Sioux Falls city election charter amendments focus on compensation and authority

Understanding the two charter amendments on the Sioux Falls city ballot
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -

Compensation and authority. Those are the two issues you’ll be deciding when voting on Amendment A and B in the Sioux Falls City Election.

Councilor Greg Neitzert explains Amendment A.

“Over the years the mayor’s pay has started to fall behind the pay of the directors. And so now every director in the city makes more than the mayor and that seems a little bit incongruent,” said Neitzert.

Councilor Marshall Selberg says a pay increase would bring things into a better balance, moving the city employee ranking for the mayor from 20 to 10 on the employee pay scale.

“When you’ve got a mayor who’s making less than pretty much all of the directors of the city that report to him and makes I believe about 50 grand less than his chief of staff, that to me really doesn’t make much sense,” said Selberg.

If approved, the Mayor’s pay would increase from nearly $138,000 to $165,000 per year. City councilor’s pay would increase by 15 percent, which is still likely under minimum wage.

“It’s technically a part-time job, but in reality it’s more like a full-time job but I will say you know, we don’t do it for the pay,” said Neitzert.

Amendment B gives both the city council and the mayor more authority over the termination of the Sioux Falls city attorney, which they share.

“If the Mayor’s happy with the city attorney and we’re not, there’s really nothing we can do this would essentially give us a little bit more parity,” said Neitzert.

Councilor Christine Erickson agrees.

“It’d be able to initiate termination, should the council ever see fit. Now it takes a supermajority, so it’s not super easy to do,” said Erickson.

All stress that there is no issue with the city attorney, it’s a matter of establishing guidelines for the future.

“This doesn’t even impact me because I’m done May 10th. And so for me this is about making sure that we always have equal representation when we as part-time, city councilors can get our questions asked, make sure that the ordinances are being written in up and proper time. And it’s really just about equal representation,” said Erickson.

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