Sioux Falls City Council moves forward with public input compromise

Published: Jun. 19, 2018 at 11:02 PM CDT
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The Sioux Falls City Council has killed a plan to move public input to the end of meetings.

Instead, council members cast a unanimous vote to move a compromise forward that would keep public comment at the beginning of meetings, but with some limitations. It would be limited to 30 minutes and three minutes per person. No videos would be allowed. The proposal would also open up the first reading of an ordinance for public testimony.

Right now, public input is only allowed during the second reading before final votes are cast.

"There's been a concern about the decorum in our meeting, and the problem is that the law gives us very few tools to actually control the content that people say, including very inflammatory speech," Greg Neitzert, northwest city councilor, said. "So, we can control time, manner, and place. What time in the meeting somebody can talk and how long they can talk."

Several who got up to speak talked about how this issue was not just a public input issue, Rich McCorris said that it is about a transparent and responsive government.

Councilor Theresa Stehly said yes to the agreement, but is going to propose amendments during the second reading to limit the number of times people can speak in a month.

The city council will have a second reading on this new ordinance on July 3rd.