Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mayor/Council Roles - Then and Now

Joe Kirby was one of the original authors of the City Charter drafted in 1994. He and others spoke to numerous service groups to sell the idea of a change in the form of government from a full-time commission to a mayor/council form of government. 

Kirby proposed changing the executive powers language in Section 3 of the City Charter citing the recent action by the city council to require all contracts be approved by the city council as evidence that the city council was moving into the mayor's administrative duties under the charter. The language he proposed to the Charter Revision Commission and which the CRC approved unanimously at their January 4, 2012 meeting is as follows (new additional language is underlined):

Section 3.01 Executive Power.

The executive and administrative power of the city shall be vested in a mayor. The mayor's executive and administrative power shall include, but not be limited to the following: appointing directors, hiring employees, supervising staff, disciplining employees, terminating employees, negotiating and awarding contracts, supervising the delivery of services, administration of the budget, administration of the Capital Plan, preparing the budget, preparing the Capital Plan, assignment of duties and responsibilities of staff, and enforcement of city ordinances.

Here is the summary presented in those Kirby dog and pony shows back in 1994:

Isn't it interesting that back "then," Kirby's side by side comparison stated that the council acts as an independent control over those who spend?

So, why add all this language that now includes the language "negotiating and approving contracts?" Especially after the council took official action to approve contracts against the position of the mayor.

It sure seems a little suspect that Mr. Kirby pops back up right after the city council acts to approve contracts at a regularly scheduled city council meeting to push the mayor's agenda which was is in disagreement with the city council.

Joe Kirby's then and now - why now?


  1. One requirement for serving on a city board should be full time resident of Sioux Falls. I believe Joe Kirby is truly a resident of LaQuinta, CA. No good ideas come from the left coast. Mayor Mike is not to be trusted. He is only interested in building a monument to himself and let the citizens of Sioux Falls be damned. Mayor Mike needs to be watched like a shoplifter in a store. He will steal our future if we let him. He was, is and always will be a phony. Just ask his former co-workers at First Premier. I believe he was referred to as bi-polar Mike.

  2. If you want to chat with Mr. Kirby, it looks like you need to go to the Argus' comments page: The back and forth is entertaining, to say the least!

  3. Acting as an independent control does not mean they have to be involved in the approval of contracts. They could do a blanket approval of spending once a month or quarter. Note also that they were not to have staff or offices. Unfortunately, the city council has slowly expaned their role well beyond what was described in the document you shared.

  4. Private Citizen Kirby floated an idea and got City Attorney Pfeifle to draft the language for him. Since when does the City Attorney's office draft proposed language for private citizens? Did the Charter 5 ask Pfeifle to draft the language? Not that you could tell from listening to the video. Funny business going on.