Mayor Huether Vetoes Parks Board Recording Ordinance
Mayor Mike Huether has invoked the power of the Mayor under Section 3.04 of the Sioux Falls City Charter to veto Ordinance No. 14-17, “AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD (THE “CITY”), AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 95: PARKS AND RECREATION, SUBCHAPTER PARK AND RECREATION BOARD, TO REQUIRE AUDIO OR VIDEO RECORDING OF PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD MEETINGS AND REQUIRING 48 HOURS PRIOR TO OFFICIAL ACTION.”
“The City of Sioux Falls is committed to open and transparent government and gains valuable insight from the 350 private citizens who volunteer their time and talents to serve on citizen boards,” says Mayor Huether. “Mandatory recording of these meetings will cause board members to limit their comments and would have a chilling effect on a board’s discussion, limiting its overall input and effectiveness.”
Mayor Huether feels it is in the best interests of the citizens and the City government that the City not adopt a recording requirement for citizen board meetings. Reasons include:
- These citizen board meetings are already open to the public, with meeting agendas publicly posted in advance. Minutes of those meetings are publicly posted so that any interested person can view the discussion and the advice provided by those boards.
- A recording requirement for any citizen board meeting will negatively impact how those meetings are conducted.
- Recording the meetings will not increase citizen involvement and transparency. Instead, mandatory recording would foster grandstanding by those who want to pursue their personal interests rather than pursue the public interest. • Members of boards have expressed concern about their continued board service if their respective boards are subjected to a recording requirement.
- The recording of board meetings unwittingly thrusts these private citizens more into the public eye.
- Increased notoriety for board members raises the concern that the employers of board members may ask their employees to resign if a contentious issue comes before a particular board.
- The recording requirement will greatly diminish the available pool of applicants and would make citizen board service more unlikely for the vast majority of our citizens.
- A recording requirement for the Parks and Recreation Board, and perhaps other boards, may lead to the eventual dissolution of some citizen boards due to a lack of qualified applicants.
Please see the attached letter from Mayor Huether to the Sioux Falls City Council, which includes additional rationale.