The Sioux Falls City Council hosts public input at the beginning of their regular meetings. The first reading of an ordinance to adjust the placement of the people’s opportunity to address the City Council in person brought a fair amount of discussion.

Councilor Marshall Selberg introduced the idea and says there is a basis for tightening the rules.

“There’s been a number of instances over a period of time where we’ve had everything from cackling, some incomprehensible kinds of things and stories that come out that don’t have anything to do with anything. Then you’ve got some profanity that’s now made a scene. Sometimes it’s not very family friendly. I don’t want to cut it off. These people who are there and are talking continue to show up and I’m sure they will.”

Since Tuesday night Mayor Paul TenHaken and the Council took stock of the public testimony and concludes that there can be a better way to engage with the citizens.

“When it comes to public input, people come with their problems that they’ve had for six weeks and nothing is being done about it. Rather than offering just a thank you while the person sits down, we can (go the extra step and) schedule a meeting to have a conversation about this.”

The original proposal would have moved public input to the end of the meeting. A new proposal agreed in principle by the Mayor and Council would keep public input at the beginning of council meetings, but limit the total time for public input to 30 minutes with three minutes allowed per person.

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