Names of city candidates were drawn at random to determine which order they will appear on the April 8 ballot.
Here’s what the luck of the draw turned out:
And for council positions:
At large A
At large B
Connie Ideker, left, looks on as City Clerk Lorie Hogstad reads the names of a mayoral candidate.
City Clerk Lorie Hogstad and assistant Connie Ideker drew the names from plastic containers Tuesday morning. Schwan was the only candidate on hand to watch. She was the first to turn in her nominating petition last month to officially get on the ballot.
“First one here, last one drawn,” she said when her name came up second in her district race.
Does it matter who’s listed first? Research has shown that undecided voters tend to latch on to the first name they read.
Hogstad will draft a sample ballot to be reviewed by the city attorney and county auditor. The city will print 115,000 ballots.
Along with mayor and council candidates, voters will be deciding on three amendments to the city charter and four ballot measures. The ballot measures will be listed in the order that they were filed: snow gates, Spellerberg pool, Shape Places and Walmart re-zoning.
The wording for each of the ballot measures will be available on the city website by 4 p.m. today.
Another new committee looking to sway voters in the April election registered with the Sioux Falls city clerk today. This one is asking for a “no” vote on the Shape Places zoning ordinance.
That leaves only the snow gate issue without a group telling voters which check to make on election day.
“We at this time feel confident the public is aware of the issue, and with the mayor’s assistance, they will be well educated,” said Theresa Stehly, who organized Citizens for Snow Gates and petitioned to put the matter on the ballot. She said her group is not planning to spend any money campaigning for the ballot issue and therefore won’t need to register with the clerk.
The newest committee, Save Your Voice, is backed by members of the same group that’s trying to stop a new Walmart from being built in south Sioux Falls.
Save Our Neighborhood petitioned last spring to put the new zoning ordinance to a vote. Members felt it took away the public’s voice on matters such as zoning decision for the new store.
Spokeswoman Dana Palmer said much of Shape Places will be a benefit to Sioux Falls, but some issues need to be corrected. One is rezoning areas without proper notice to landowners, she said. Another is the limited use of the conditional use permit, which usually requires a public hearing, she added.
Palmer said a no vote wouldn’t bring the city back to 1983 when it comes to development regulations as some have claimed. The city ordinance has been updated continuously since it was adopted 30 years ago, she said.
Save Your Voice has its own website here.
The group campaigning in support of Shape Places is known as Forward Zoning. They have a website here.
Information put out by the city on all ballot issues is available here. The first public educational meeting is tonight at 6 p.m. at the MariCar Community Center, 400 N. Valley View Road.
Mayor Mike Huether turned in his nominating petition today, taking that official step to get on the April 8 ballot.
He submitted a petition with 527 signatures, he said in a news release Thursday afternoon. Mayoral candidates need 200 valid signatures of registered voters in Sioux Falls. City Clerk Lorie Hogstad said Huether’s petition met that requirement.
Huether’s challenger, councilor Greg Jamison hasn’t yet submitted his petition.
The deadline for mayor and council candidates to get those to the city clerk is tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Three petitions for city council seats have come in this week, and Hogstad has verified their signatures. She said she’s waiting to hear from at least eight more potential candidates.
Council candidates who have submitted petitions so far are:
Some council candidates have taken other steps toward running for office, but haven’t yet submitted their nominating petitions:
Two new ballot committees have formed in hopes to see through a set of issues they petitioned to put on the April 8 ballot.
One group that filed with the Sioux Falls City Clerk today changed its name slightly. You might remember Save Our Neighborhood from its opposition to a south side Walmart. Now they’re trying to save your neighborhood, too. The issue affects more than just those across the street from the proposed supercenter at 85th and Minnesota, says the group’s spokeswoman Dana Palmer.
Ballot committees must register with the city and file financial statements if they’re spending money to advocate for or against a certain measure.
Earlier this month, Walmart dropped $250,000 into a campaign supporting a ballot measure that would rezone the land for the south side store. Palmer has said her group can’t compete with that, but she’s hoping people won’t be swayed by the Building a Better Sioux Falls campaign that Walmart is funding.
“If the city allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development next to this residential area, it makes every neighborhood in the city susceptible to the whim of developers,” she said in a news release Tuesday. (See the full statement below.)
Citizens Saving Spellerberg is another ballot question committee that registered Monday. Save Spellerberg petitioned to vote on building a new outdoor pool at the neighborhood park.
They’ve got their own competition. It may not be funded at the Walmart level, but Community Swim 365 started a campaign last month to push for a no vote on the Spellerberg Pool issue. Instead of an outdoor pool, Community Swim members want the city to build an indoor aquatics center at Spellerberg Park. The group had raised $10,000 at the time it filed its first financial statement about a month ago.
Forward Zoning joined the crowd last week, hoping to convince people to support the Shape Places zoning ordinance. That leaves only snow gates without a group to tell you how to vote.
The city will make its own attempt to explain the four measures on the spring ballot. Officials will announce dates later this week for a series of educational meetings.
Here’s the news release from Save Your Neighborhood:
A new ballot question committee, Save Your Neighborhood, registered with the City Clerk today. The Save Our Neighborhood group submitted the registration under a slightly different name, Save Your Neighborhood, to reflect the fact that the issues it faces and have addressed, affect neighborhoods throughout the City. Save Your Neighborhood’s aim is to educate the public on the FACTS surrounding the rezoning of the land at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue.
While Save Your Neighborhood lacks the financial resources of Walmart, it encourages the citizens of Sioux Falls to look past the vast funds that Walmart is expending to influence the voters’ decisions. The group encourages citizens to discover the FACTS regarding the rezoning of this area, including the impact that rezoning of this area will have on the residential area next to it and the impact that the City’s decision will have on neighborhoods around the City. If the City allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development next to this residential area, it makes every neighborhood in the City susceptible to the whim of developers.
Save Your Neighborhood is not opposed to the City’s growth, but maintains that such growth must be logical and consistent. Further, the group welcomes commercial development and a Walmart to the south side of the City, but maintains that a large commercial development is inappropriate at this particular location. There are far more appropriate building sites in southern Sioux Falls for this store. Those locations would replicate the same proper buffering and improved access that our fellow citizens will soon enjoy at the new Walmart at 60th & Marion.
Save Your Neighborhood urges the citizens of Sioux Falls to send the City a message: that our neighborhoods are not for sale to the highest bidder and zoning in this City cannot be bought. Vote “NO” on Referred Law 4.
Since last week, Sioux Falls voters have been getting calls asking their stance on indoor and outdoor pools.
Indoor pool supporters commissioned the survey under the registered group Community Swim 365.
The idea, said Community Swim Chairwoman Margaret Sumption, “is to help frame the information and help voters understand why they should vote no on April 8.”
Argus reporter Beth Wischmeyer received a call Wednesday, Feb. 12, and Tweeted about some of the questions.
Just received a survey call from Clark Research, asking me a lot or questions about the upcoming April municipal election.— Beth Wischmeyer (@Argus_BWisch) February 12, 2014
The questions were heavily focused on the pool issue, she said, but also asked who she would vote for in the mayoral race: Mike Huether or Greg Jamison.
The ballot will ask voters if the city should build a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. The city had been heading toward putting an indoor aquatics center at the park in west-central Sioux Falls before a group of neighbors opposed to the idea petitioned to put the matter on the ballot.
The city parks department’s recent presentations on the pool options have caused a stir. They had plans drawn up for both indoor and outdoor facilities.
One question during the phone survey asked if the city should use public funds to educate voters on the issues.
Sumption said she personally believes it’s helpful for the city to provide information ahead of the vote.
She did not know how long the phone surveys would continue or how many people they hope to reach.
According to the city’s top legal man, the group petitioning to stop city officials from “educating” voters about ballot issues is up against a Supreme Court ruling.
The group argues that the city’s effort to educate is really an attempt to sway the vote. City Attorney David Pfeifle, however, said that state law and case law allow such education efforts in the run up to an election.
The citizen group took out a petition last week and hopes to put the matter to a vote this fall.
"I fail to see how this petition could be upheld," Pfeifle said.
The Supreme Court says government officials have a right to free speech and the ability to educate the public, he said. That could mean giving presentations, posting information to the web, or distributing pamphlets explaining what council would do if measure is adopted or if it’s not.
“You are putting a gag order on city government from even expressing educational information,” he said.
Some have been critical of the city parks and recreation department’s recent presentations about the Spellerberg pool. Voters will be asked this April if they support spending $7.5 million for a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. City officials have been pushing for an indoor pool there instead.
When the city spent $46,000 to draw up pretty plans for both indoor and outdoor pools, the outdoor supporters weren’t happy. Some felt the city was trying to lure voters to their side by showing the grand design for an indoor pool.
“Has the city really been just fact oriented?” Councilor Kermit Staggers asked, noting that the ballot question is about an outdoor pool. “Why are we talking about an indoor pool?”
Councilor Michelle Erpenbach is concerned about what would happen if voters approve the ban on city education campaigns.
“It’s going to put the city in an expensive position, because if that becomes law here we’re violating the Supreme Court decision,” she said.
If this measure makes the ballot, it will make for one interesting campaign from the city – an education campaign about about stopping education campaigns.
Which, by the way, concerns me as a journalist. If the information holders at City Hall are afraid that anything they say or any document they provide would be considered an education campaign and an attempt to sway the vote, are they going to stonewall every question and lock away project plans until the election is over?
The city’s information is public information. It’s up to us journalists and voters to learn all we can about the issue and its implications and make our own responsible decisions.
Here’s what our own Mr. Lalley had to say about it in his Sunday column: http://www.argusleader.com/article/20140209/COLUMNISTS0111/302090028?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1
Sioux Falls City Council candidate Denny Pierson will take questions as he formally announces his campaign at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the downtown library.
Pierson, a former legislator, is vying for the most contested at large seat, currently held by Jim Entenman, who will not run for re-election. So far, Rep. Christine Erickson, Rob Knutson and Glen Rice have filed for the position. Candidates are circulating their nominating petitions now, and more could join the race before the end of the month.
Pierson, a member of the city’s planning commission, said future growth is one of his chief concerns.
"We must plan for this growth with prudence and common sense to ensure that our growth is managed in a positive way to the betterment, not to the detriment, of property owners," he said in a news release.
Here’s what our opinion panel had to say about growth: http://www.argusleader.com/article/20140204/voices/302050001/argus-leader-opinion-panel-public-input-vital-sound-growth
In case anyone had doubts about whether Mayor Mike Huether wanted to keep his job leading Sioux Falls city government for another four years, he’ll be holding a press conference about how he’s “working to earn the honor to serve again.”
Huether filed for office back in November, and this is the first week candidates can petition for the signatures they need to get on the April 8 ballot. That makes it timely for Huether to be holding what’s technically his first official press event talking about re-election.
The mayor will be at the Hilton Garden Inn, downtown at 201 E. Eighth St., at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5.
“We have accomplished so much but I am even more excited about capturing the opportunities and addressing the challenges that lie ahead,” he said in a news release.
Huether’s challenger, Councilor Greg Jamison, got a three-month jump on his campaign before Huether would officially say he’s running again. Lately, Jamison has been talking about his People First initiative. So far, he’s focused on traffic and public safety issues.
Responding to the recent string of robberies, he went so far on Friday as to say in a news release: “… if Mike Huether isn’t going to do anything, he needs to get out of the way. Public safety needs to be our number one priority.”
Here we go. Campaign season has begun.
Rumors have been circulating on Twitter that Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether died of a heart attack last night. Not so.
Mayor Huether is alive and well and working today, confirmed Julie Wilson, his executive assistant.
On the other side of the state, however, Mike Huether, who was human resources director at the Wall Drug Store, died of a heart attack last night, an employee confirmed.
In email exchanges with the mayor he asked where the rumor started. It appears that around midnight a Bryant Huether, who is apparently the son of Mike Huether of Wall, S.D., posted to Twitter asking for prayers for his dad, who may have had a heart attack.
Condolences to the Huether family of Wall.
Mayor Huether expressed his sympathies as well:
"This is very, very sad. All of the Huethers in South Dakota are related, some more distant than others. Mike and his family are relatives and my sympathies go out to them. Mike made a big impact in Wall and in South Dakota and will be missed."
After weirdly raising the question in October, Councilor Greg Jamison will get a chance to discuss with the entire council his proposal to list investors who apply for city assistance through a tax incremental financing (TIF) district.
At the time, Jamison asked his fellow council members if they would be surprised to learn that he was behind one of the TIF developments. He’s not, he says. But the wife of Mayor Mike Huether is.
Jamison, by the way, is challenging Huether in this spring’s race for mayor. Be prepared to hear much more from these two.
Tuesday night, the council’s land use committee got an update from the Community Development Department on the new application developers will have to fill out when they apply for a TIF.
Jamison used the opportunity to offer an amendment to the city’s TIF ordinance that would require full disclosure of parties investing in the project. That’s not just listing an LLC by some vague name, he wants the names of individuals.
Jamison said it’s still important that the council grant TIFs based on the merits of the project. The council likely won’t even see the list of names, he said, but it’s important they’re on record.
"This disclosure, this amendment will add trust to the process of handing out TIFs," he told the committee Tuesday.
Councilor Dean Karsky still doubts the benefits of having such a list. He expressed concern that future councilors would play favorites and approve or deny a TIF project based on who’s behind it. TIFs should be used, he said, to revive a blighted area and make the community better.
The land use committee voted unanimously to forward the amendment to the full council for further discussion. The matter will be placed on a future agenda.