Petition drive aims to make changes to Sioux Falls city charter

A group is gathering signatures for a petition that aims to make substantial changes to the Sioux Falls city government.

The group "Triple Check Charter" turned a sample of the petition for review to the city Monday.

The petition calls for three changes to the Sioux Falls charter.

One portion calls for the mayor to be taken off the city council and removing his tie-breaking votes. Any votes ending in ties would fail.

Another item would turn city council elections to a simple plurality.

The third measure would require a 2/3 majority to pass any bond measure, meaning at least 6 of the 8 council members would need to vote in favor.

The group, led by Sioux Falls activist Bruce Danielson, has six months to gather the roughly 5,200 signatures required to get the measure on a city-wide ballot.

Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken said officials are reviewing the petition, but he called it "a solution in search of a problem."

"We have such positive momentum in our city right now and I don’t see these changes helping us further that progress," TenHaken said, in an email to KSFY News. "I’ve been a very collaborative leader with the council and I believe the community would echo that sentiment, so removing the mayor from his or her role on the council seems counter-intuitive to maintaining our progress."