HOW DOES THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS WORK UNDER OUR HOME RULE CHARTER?
There are some in our community that are claiming 'we' have a Strong Mayor form of government, which is completely false.
The "Charter" which was adopted by the people of whom reside within the annexed boundaries of the "City" - adopted a charter that supported the ability of the "people" to have a greater ability to self govern themselves, they wanted a form of government that both had a Strong Mayor side by side with a Strong City Council.
In our version of City Government, the Mayor has Administrative Power, where the City Council has Investigative Power.
The Mayor has City Boards, Commissions, Committees that he works through, to gain valuable advice from the people; where the City Council have their own Committees, Task Forces, and Advisers of who they gain valuable advice from.
Where the Mayor appoints his Department Heads, the City Council can hire and appoint Officers and Staff of the Council.
- The Mayor's Office Administers all Public Departments, Offices, Managers, City Staff;
- The City Council Office Investigates all Public Departments, Offices, Managers, and Staff.
The Mayor's Office can place Resolutions and Ordinances on future City Council Meetings, whereas 2 City Councilors can place Resolutions and Ordinances on a future City Council Meeting. The Mayor can call forth a Special Meeting of the City Council, where at least 6 City Councilors are Necessary to call forth a Special Meeting of the City Council.
The Mayor cannot remove any Department Head without first getting advice and consent of the City Council, however, the Mayor can at anytime enter into a "Contract" with landowners, property holders, developers, let alone a corporate partner of the City, so long as the contract remains within the confines of a recently adopted ordinance and, or resolutions adopted by the Council.
However, the City Council, if they so choose to remove or replace a Department Head, would first have to call forth a Investigation of the Department, and any public office under the department in order to subpoena evidence and take testimony in order to vote to remove the department head. And that first means the City Council also has to provide to the Mayor, a report of their findings, in order to call for the termination of the Department Head.
Not all "Cities" are governed as such, some have Commission forms of government, some have a Strong Mayor, with a weak City Council, but in Sioux Falls - "WE" have both.
In Sioux Falls - the Strong Mayor's Office and the Strong City Council Office are considered Equal Partners, with each not being above, nor beneath the other. Both are established to oversee the Daily Activities of the City Government.
In a fast growing city, as such is the case with Sioux Falls, it is important to maintain, and provide the people with a well balanced approach to Local Government. Every ten years, the Charter instructs the Mayor to appoint a Redistricting Commission to address the population changes, whereas the Charter instructs the City Council to formally adopt any such proposal the Redistricting Commissions comes up with, if the Commission provides for more than one option, then the City Council must decide.
Whereas, the Redistricting Commission, side by side with the Charter Revision Commission attempts to change the Charter itself, thus changing the Composition of the City Council - then the PEOPLE themselves must be fully included in that process by voting on a Regular or Special Election of the Voters.
In our form of City Government, the PEOPLE have the ultimate say in how the City Government is to operate, whereas below them, we have the Mayor's Office and the City Council of which work together to ensure the people's rights are always preserved. The people reserved to themselves, under the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, and our laws adopted, the right to Petition, to Organize, and to Adopt on their own Resolutions, Ordinances.
The City of Sioux Falls has Five Districts, and within each District, the residents are organized in no less than 25 Precincts, of which by the State Constitution, within each County, they are broken down further by precincts, while each Precinct has a "Precinct Committeeman and Woman elected by each a Republican, or Democrat, or Independent Group of People. By organization of those precincts, the people can easily petition and gather signatures to adopt resolutions and ordinances themselves.
So, whereas the Mayor's Office has its Administrative Power, the City Council has its Investigative Power, the People have the Ultimate Authority.
The People making up the City of Sioux Falls, by means of the Charter, can overrule any such action of the City Council, the Mayor with one public vote taken - for no Ordinance, nor Resolution can be officially adopted for 30 days, giving the people no less than 20 Days to Petition each other to place the subject matter up for public vote, whereas the City Clerk, an officer of the City Council has to instruct the Council to promulgate rules establishing time, place, and manner of holding a citywide public election to settle any such grievance, dispute, or controversy held by the people of any recent council action.