Changing City Charter Conundrum
Changing the Charter of Sioux Falls is one of those elements of civic duty that is rare. Thus when it needs to be done both the elected leaders and the citizens have to agree to adjust.
Three tweaks to the City Charter will be rendered to the citizens. Two of them look to better define the terms of City Council members and the other to dispense responsibility to both the Mayor and City Council in regard to the employment status of the City Attorney.
Amendment A & B reflect the change in meeting night for the Council according to City Clerk Lorie Hogstad. “A & B are very similar. The Charter the way it reads now says that the terms of newly elected Council Members or Mayor will be for a four-year term beginning on the third Monday following the canvass. The City Council changed the day (of the week) they meet in 2012 from Monday to Tuesday. So it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense to state that elected officials begin on a Monday. These Amendments now state that the terms begin in the third week in May to allow for future Councils to change their meeting day.”
Jim David Operations Manager for the City Council dives into the murkier issue of Amendment C which involves the City Attorney. “The Mayor appoints the City Attorney, but the Council approves (of the hire).” Both entities, in turn utilize the services of the City Attorney. However under the current rules of the Charter the Mayor can act alone in the removal of the City Attorney. “Under Charter Amendment C, the Council would have to concur if the Mayor decides that he or she wants to remove the City Attorney during his term. If a Mayor is re-elected, there is the ability to appoint someone else brand new, but that would be the only time the Mayor could make that change without Council approval.”
For more study on these issues, please sample the following audio cuts.
Segment 1: Streamlining the opening service date for elected officials.
Segment 2: Dividing power over the City Attorney between Mayor and Council.