A recent example shows that city government can work together and make changes to better serve the public. As a result, the City of Sioux Falls has become a bit more transparent.

One influential group that conducts business on behalf of the people is the Parks and Recreation Board. City Councilor Christine Erickson proposed an ordinance while Mayor Mike Huether was in office to have the recordings of those meetings made public which was eventually vetoed. Erickson says things are different with Mayor Paul TenHaken.

“They were already recording the Park Board meetings and it was simply that I wanted access to them and I thought why not the public, too. After it was vetoed, we still got them as the Council but we weren’t able to post them for the public. (Eventually) Mayor TenHaken decided that the city will (make the recordings public).”

This is an example of the Council and Administration updating policy without having to go through the legislative process and Erickson believes the whole city benefits.

“I think that’s important for the public to know it doesn’t always take an ordinance to make change. It can be done when a constituent makes a suggestion. We can sit down and talk about the proposal (and adopt as policy).

The original intent for Erickson’s quest was to fully understand the Park and Recreation Board’s conversations that led to establishing pool pass increases

Audio recordings of the Park and Recreation Board meetings are now available on the city’s website including sessions dating back to September 2016.


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