What is the Power Behind a City and How Does that City Operate Today?

To best understand who or what the City Bureaucracy is, one has to understand the definition of the word, and who makes up this group of men and women today.

The Bureaucracy is a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation of which becomes an administrative policymaking group that becomes a government characterized by specialization of functions, adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority making up of Public Officers, Managers, Agents, alongside our appointed or installed board members, commissions, and all of the committees of which work to manage our policies.

And while the 'electors of the city' vote every two years in order to often change their governing board of which consists of their mayor and city council, what effectively does not change are these positions of public offices beneath them.

To best understand what a "City" truly is today, one has to trace back to the ancient Greeks to best understand the proper definition of the word itself, and when you do this, you find the word Polis - of which is the administrative and religious centers, or the public place of which a sovereign group of people manage their organization.

This area becomes the central area, to which holds your City Hall, Town Hall Chambers, the City Clerk Office, all of the Administration Offices, to your Community Centers of public event centers to which the people actively congregate.

These places are made up of the men and women to which are hired or appointed, or contracted into their roles of administrating, and managing over your public buildings, places, roads, in addition to all the public services and programs created by the people...

  • Public Directors - these men and women are appointed by your elected mayor and city council members, and seemingly hold onto their jobs, so long as they can convince each new mayor and council they are doing a great job. Their role then becomes to work closely with the offices beneath them, in order to execute the policies being adopted;
  • Boards, Committees, Commissions - further become installed by your Mayor's Office in order to meet every once in a while, to observe and to become group of non-elected persons that advise their legislative bodies on a wide range of policy issues. Some of these boards are designated by statute for a specific purpose, such as a building code board of appeals;
  • Public Officers, Management - these are a hired group of persons of whom are then tasked with managing over your public offices and agencies to which work to oversee, and conduct the actual business of the city as it relates to the individual public services such as public roads, services, public places, and managing the public services of the city;
  • Public Employees - further become the hired lower level group of men and women who actually do the work, required of them to fulfill and provide to the people, the growing number of tasks, to which the people of the city are asking for;
  • The Agencies - an establishment of men and women who are engaged in doing business for an administrative division of the government of the establishment of sub-units of government engaged in doing business on behalf of the government itself, to which a person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved to carry out the functions of government. Examples of these are the Great Plains Central Plains Zoo, the Sioux Housing, Glory House, and the Bishop Dudley House;
  • Non-Profit Corporate Partners of the Government - is a group organized for purposes other than generating profit and in which no part of the organization's income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers. They can take the form of corporations, individual enterprises, charitable organizations, associations of people, or groups of people, partnerships, foundations of which carry out further functions as designated by the people of the city itself;
  • Landowners - a person of whom owns many acres of land within the local subdivisions of who annex their properties into the city limits, and to whom agree to subdivide their land for specific uses within the boundaries of the city itself.

Under this form of government, of which the City of Sioux Falls operates under today, the powers of the "city" is carried out by a centralized form of self government, whereas this Bureaucracy actively performs activities upon the land to which to raise revenues, and to expend those revenues according to the policies adopted by the governing body itself.

And while the 'residents' of the City have somewhat of a voice, the true power behind the city seemingly begins with those landowners of whom own the land, and to which 'acts' through those appointed and installed boards and committees to advise, and steer future policies, to which your elected governing board (mayor and city councilors) are being asked to enact.

And while your At-Large Representatives work closely with those landowners to effectively create policy, your District Representatives therefore work closely with the residents to whom are proportioned in equally sized 'districts' upon the land to effectively create policies supported by the residents living on that land, and while your "Mayor" represents both groups of people equally, in order to find compromises, and to effectively maintain law and order between these two groups of people.

In the old form of local government, under the commission format, the voters elected five commissioners, to which one of them was voted in as the Mayor. As Rick Knobe had recently stated in an appearance before the Charter Commission, "One day a week, I acted as a policy maker, while the other 4 days a week I would act as the administrator, responsible for directing the departments and offices themselves".

Prior to 1995, the Commissioners were elected at-large, and each was responsible to act as "Directors" each tasked with directing specific public offices and agencies of the city. And while, after 1995 - the people today elect a Mayor and Eight Member City Council of whom both act as a "Governing Board" and are separated from the government itself.

The Mayor today acts as a member of the governing board, while also serving as the administrator, appointing directors to head Departments, while the other Eight City Councilors act as policy makers, and have the power to investigate those Departments, Offices, Agencies, and Corporate Partners of the City itself, while the "City Government" today is a separate entity in relation to the Mayor and City Councilors.

Under this new form of city government, the Bureaucracy made up of the people highlighted above get to 'act' as a centralized, independent unit of government, but must operate under the ordinances and resolutions adopted by the governing board.
That "governing board" really has no control over how this bureaucracy operates today, other than its investigative powers, it cannot meddle, nor interfere in the inner-workings of the city government except for one of two ways - (1) the city council can act through the mayor's office working with the administrator to discuss city business; or (2) the city council may at times conduct a public hearing, calling for a public investigation of specific city business subpoenaing officials, officers, employees, documents, etc.

Where the "governing board" once held a more hands on control of city business, today, they really have no hands on control of city business today. From 1987 to 1993, there became that movement to create that division, thus creating the four branches of City Government - The People, the Mayor's Office, the City Council Office, and finally, the City Bureaucracy of Departments, Offices, Agencies, and Non-Profit Corporations, all to whom 'act' independently from one and the other.