Sioux Falls City Council

Volunteers Needed to Serve on City of Sioux Falls Districting Commisson

The City Council is seeking volunteers to serve on the Districting Commission for the purpose of adjusting district boundaries. Five members will be appointed by the Council: one member each from the Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, Northeast, and Central Districts of the city. All applicants must be registered voters and live in the district for which they apply to represent. Applications are due to the City Clerk by 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

The need for this Districting Commission stems from the city’s population increase of more than 15 percent since the last redistricting in 2011. The Commission will meet several times over the course of the year to prepare and submit a districting plan. The adopted redistricting plan will go into effect prior to the 2018 Municipal Election.

Applications are available online through the City Council web page at or by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at 367-8080 or The Office of the City Clerk is located in Carnegie Town Hall at 235 West Tenth Street.

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SEP047 – Sioux Empire Weird

Things get weird on The Sioux Empire Podcast this week as hosts Robert Mehling, Seth Glover, and Natasha Estes seek to discover more about the secretive paranormal research group here in Sioux Falls calling themselves Sioux Empire Weird.  The Sioux Empire Podcast has secured an exclusive interview with the anonymous group that, while illuminating, may raise more questions than answers. Before that, we bring you local stories only slightly less weird.  City Council member Theresa Stehly get’s gaveled, pee wee football players get death threats, Ron Branstner holds another refugee hate rally in Aberdeen, everybody loves Dennis Daugaard,  South Dakota eats it’s young with Referred Law 20, and more.  This week’s episode is sponsored by #PremonitionLive October 8th.  Get your tickets now!  We also feature new music from Work of Wolves off of their new album “Is this all we are?”  The Sioux Empire Podcast is pretty sure that thing you saw out of the corner of your eye just before you fell asleep was nothing…  Pretty sure…



South Dakota eats it’s young,_Referred_Law_20_(2016)

Stand With Standing Rock

Stand for the flag… or else

Another hate seminar in Aberdeen

Everybody loves Daugaard

Fireworks and possible ethics charges at city hall

“Work of Wolves” with their new album “Is this all we are?”

Sioux Empire Weird

Parental Advisory

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Kermit Staggers Joins Stop the Funding Campaign in Sioux Falls

From Stop the Funding Campaign:

The Stop the Funding campaign is proud to announce 12 year City Council member, Kermit Staggers is joining the petition signature drive as Co-Chair. Kermit is the longest serving member of the City Council. Public is invited to attend and welcome Kermit Staggers to our efforts.

Stop the Funding is a citizen petition effort gathering signatures to force the City of Sioux Falls to place the funding of a planned $25,000,000.00 city government overflow administrative office building to a public vote before sales tax revenue bonds are sold.

“The Sioux Falls City Council has voted 3 times to not allow this project to move forward. Only through two tie breaking votes and a mayoral veto did the project reach the point of direct public involvement in the process. The public’s response to our signature drive have been overwhelming,” said Bruce Danielson, Co-Chair.

The response to this grassroots petition effort is generating interest across every neighborhood of the city. Each petition contains 20 signature lines and Bruce Danielson spent the weekend distributing leadership petition packets to at least 35 neighborhood leaders.

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UFC comes to Sioux Falls: Fight Night 91

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD - K Moriah Slade -

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD – K Moriah Slade –

As a longtime supporter and fan of the UFC organization, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the world premiere of official UFC Fight Night 91 yesterday at the Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Ever since Dana White’s confirmation that the MMA sport would be coming to town, the anticipation of the event was amazing, and walking into the arena Wednesday with the lights, fans, and cameras looming was a big part of a dream come true. From the moment I approached the doors of the Premiere center to the moment I left nearly 6 hours later, the anticipation and adrenaline was incredible. Now before I go into the rest of this amazing night, I want to layout some history of this sport that makes it great.

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD - K Moriah Slade -

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD – K Moriah Slade –

In 2005, Sioux Falls legislature had banned all mixed martial arts (MMA) events in public places, such as parks, bars, and other public owned facilities. As with any contact sport, the birth of the MMA was quickly tainted with unregulated fights, injuries, and events that took the sport, and the violence too far.  While may other states have implemented sports commissions to regulate and monitor official, sanctioned events, South Dakota was deeply concerned with previously injuries that had occurred through unsanctioned fighting, and the overall, public opinion that MMA was a sport that emphasized violence. However, as the rise in MMA and UFC interest rose across the nation, and South Dakota began to generate many of its own professional MMA athletes such as Brock Lesnar, Shayna Baszler and Devin Clark, to name a few, not to mention fighters such as Ben Nguyen (who fought in Wednesday’s event), who have been training for years with the chance to break into the professional scene, the need for a commission was recognized and many people began to work behind the scenes to make this event, and many future events like it, possible.

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD - K Moriah Slade -

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD – K Moriah Slade –

6 years, and hours of testimony and discussion before the governor and legislators later in 2011, the South Dakota Athletic Commission was formed, and the MMA sport began to grow in South Dakota, but it wouldn’t be till Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 that the Sioux Falls City Council would lift the ban on MMA fights, allowing the Sanford Premiere Center to host the First UFC sanctioned, professional fight in the state of South Dakota. Now, 9 months later Sioux Falls had the privilege of hosting the UFC and putting their name on the map of a multi-million dollar industry, and finally giving our dedicated South Dakota fighters a place to grow and cultivate their talent, create a fan base, and enjoy the community support that Sioux Falls, and South Dakota is known for.

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD - K Moriah Slade -

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD – K Moriah Slade –

But getting beyond the politics of the sport for a moment, what really makes MMA great? I am sure there are some out there that enjoy it for the competition and the violence, and just as many that don’t enjoy the sport for the same reason, but fundamentally, I think there is something innately powerful about the concept of competitive mixed martial arts. Each MMA fighter will have spent years cultivating their skill, power, and specialty with the goal of getting the pro card and reaching UFC status. In 2007 I had the honor to grapple with both Ben Nguyen and Shanna Baszler in Sioux Falls only a year after both of their first professional fights. Over the last 9 years they have both gone on to train with some of the best in the profession. With rigorous workouts, strict adherence to nutrition, MMA is no more a hobby to these fighters than breathing is to you and I. The amount of dedication, self-control and commitment is more than many of us apply in our everyday lives, and the thrill you get when you have the chance to watch them put all of that hard work and dedication into 3 short rounds is incredible. There is a reason this sport has grown from a “back alley” brawl, to a worldwide competitive sport. As humans, whether we feed it or not, there is a part of us that still remembers our wild, fundamental desire to compete and triumph. Every time I participate in a grappling session, or watch a fight, my entire being is infused with a restless desire to conquer the world! I may never be a great fighter, but I am inspired to take that energy, and passion that I feel when I watch those fighters and apply it to my life, fully convinced that I can and WILL succeed in everything I touch! And as that high wears off, and real life sets in, I look forward to that next event, where I will be re infused and ready to take on the world, in all my glory. When you look beyond the sport, to what the athletes have accomplished, it not only gives you a greater appreciation for the sport, but a “real life” “in the flesh” example of how hard work, dedication, and passion can achieve greatness. So with a bow, I step off my soapbox, to dive into the greatness that was Wednesday nights UFC Fight Night 91!


6 hours may seem like a lot, when you think of sitting still watching a sport, but the electricity that was in the room that night was undeniable. 12 fights, 24 athletes and thousands of fans gasping, fighting, and holding their breath at every roundhouse, and take down, til only 1 victor stood.  The night started with early prelims as one of our own, Devin Clark (6wins-1loss-0draw), made his UFC debut against Alex Nicholson (7-2-0) out of Florida. Clark came out strong, but unfortunately lost in the first round by knockout (KO), with only 2 seconds left. The second prelim match was between Rayni Yahya (22-8-0) out of Brazil against Matthew Lopez (8-1-0) out of Arizona. Their first two rounds were solid, and kept spectators on the edge of their seat, with 41 seconds left in the 3rd round Yahya took down Lopez with an arm-triangle choke.


The start of prelims brought up Scott Holtzman (9-1-0) out of Tennessee against Cody Pfister (12-6-1) from Texas. They went full 3 rounds with Holtman winning by unanimous decision. The next bout brought up the first female fight of the night between Courtney Casey (5-3-0) from Arizona and Cristina Stanciu (5-2-0) from Romania.  Casey won by TKO with a furious reign down of elbows with a 2:24 left in the first round. The next fight was one of my favorites of the night. Sam “Smile’n” Alvey (27-8-0) from Wisconsin took on   Eric Spicely (8-2-0) out of Massachusetts. “Smile’n” used the Guillotine Choke with 2:18 left in the first round. As they interviewed Alvey after the fight, that infectious smile he is known for could be seen from across the arena as his wife embraced him after his win was announced. He was so proud, and announced that in only 10 days, he would hope to introduce the world to his 3rd child. After his win, he mingled around the spectators, greeting a young boy of about 5 with hugs pictures and seeking out a fan high up in the stands who had previously yelled out that “Smile’n” was his favorite. Lauren-Murphy (9-3-0) out of Alaska and Katlyn Chookagian (8-0-0) from Pennsylvania went all 3 rounds and gave an incredible show. Chookagian took the win by unanimous decision.


The Main Card might not have had a title fight, or MMA star, but the fights were well worth the 5 hour wait.  Louis Smolka (11-1-0) fighting out of Hawaii and our own, Ben Nguyen (15-6-0) from Sioux Falls,  gave spectators a fantastic show of jui-jitsu and worked the octagon until Smolka’s win by TKO in round two with only 19 seconds left. That was followed up quickly by Kyle Noke (22-9-1) from Australia and Keita Nakamura (32-7-2) from Japan who won by a rear naked choke with just a second left in round. The next bout had me on my feet as Oleksiy Oliynyk (50-10-1) from Russia and Daniel Omielanczuk (19-5-1) from Poland went all 3 rounds which started out slowly, but ended with some of the most aggressive, entertaining fighting I’ve seen in the last several UFC fights I’ve watched. Omielanczuk earned his win by majority decision of 28-28, 29-28 and 29-28. Tim Boetsch (19-10-0) from Maine and Josh Samman (12-5-0) from Florida did not disappoint as they exploded into their first round that left Boetsch victorious by TKO  with 1:09 left in round 2. As the co-main event between Tony Ferguson (22-3-0) out of California and Landon Vannata (8-1-0) from New Jersey, I was sure Vannata was going to finish the fight in round 1. He laid some solid strikes and had Ferguson down several times with the clock running out, giving Ferguson time to come back in round 2 swinging. Ferguson took down Vannata with the d’arce choke with 2:38 left in round 2. I couldn’t help but be a little proud as a fellow Californian, fighting out of Orange County close to my childhood turf, took the win! Which brings us to the Main card event of the night between Michael McDonald (17-4-0) fighting out of Modesto, California and John Lineker (W) (28-7-0) fighting out of Paranagua, Parana Brazil. The bantamweight bout went 2 minutes 44 seconds of non-stop hooks, body shots with McDonald knocked down and kept against the fence for a majority of the fight with Lineker winning by TKO. McDonald was relentless in his attempts to recover, get up and regain his composure, only to be battered again by Lineker’s fists. While I was disappointed to watch McDonald lose, it was almost washed away by getting to briefly shake his hand as he walked out of the arena. If a woman can have a moment, this was definitely not the worst one of her life. Now all I need is to meet Uriah Hall, Anderson Silva, and Chuck Liddell and my UFC bucket list may just be complete. While I am at it, if Joe Rogan has the inkling, in all his free time, to sit down and have a discussion about almost anything, I may just be able to call it a good life.

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD - K Moriah Slade -

UFC Fight Night 91 in Sioux Falls ,SD – K Moriah Slade –

Overall though, as the fans flooded out of the arena, and I was able to reflect on the evening, I found it incredible that standing there, in the middle of the parking lot, in Sioux Falls, Sd. I was able to participate in one of the greatest spectator sports around (in my opinion) and be a part of the iconic UFC Fight Night 91. That is a memory that I will have for the rest of my life, and greatly anticipate more opportunities to enjoy events like this in this town I call home.

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Sioux Falls City Council will vote raise your water rate 18% on May 3rd

The Sioux Falls City council will hold the second reading of a proposed water rate increase in Sioux Falls at their May 3rd meeting.  This will be the last chance for members of the public to speak out about the 18% rate increase before it becomes policy.  Especially distressing about this proposed rate increase is two members elect of the city council (Theresa Stehly and Greg Neitzert) oppose this rate increase and see it as unnecessary.  As a result the current “Lame Duck” council is ramming it through as quickly as possible to prevent the newly elected council members from having any say on the proposal.  So unless you’re a fan of paying more in fees to the city I would strongly encourage you to contact your council members about the Tuesday the 3rd vote.  Water and Sewer rates in Sioux Falls have already doubled in the last five years.

Sioux Falls Water Rate

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Sioux Falls Municipal Election Results 2016


At-Large City Council – 67 of 67
John Paulson 4,578, 37.46%
Theresa Stehly 5,419, 44.34%
Ritch Noble 2,224, 18.20%

Northwest City Council –
Jacob Johnson 135, 7.24%
Greg Neitzert 892, 47.83%
Erin Srstka 695, 37.27%
Briggs Warren 143, 7.67%

Northeast City Council
Robert Knutson 305, 16.69%
Tammy Enalls-Fenner 741, 40.56%
Pat Starr 781, 42.75%

Southwest City Council –
Marshall Selberg 1,223, 55.46%
Manny Steele 982, 44.54%

School board – 67 of 67
Kent Alberty (I) 5,734, 37.93%
Randy Dobberpuhl 2,826, 18.69%
Carly Reiter (I) 3,753, 24.83%
Dianna Stelling 1,938, 12.82%
Peter Vaughn Pischke 866, 5.73%

Amendment F (protected classes) 67 of 67
Yes 76.04%
No 23.96%

Amednment E (council power) 67 of 67
Yes 71.95%
No 28.05%

Amendment C (zoning cycle) 67 of 67
Yes 80.63%
No 19.37%

Amendment B (pension reform language) 67 of 67
Yes 72.00%
No 28.00%

Amendment A (council term) 67 of 67
Yes 65.67%
No 34.33%

Amendment D (mayor term) 67 of 67
Yes 59.83%
No 40.17%

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The Sioux Empire Podcast Episode 034- South DaCola – Bonus Episode

Enjoy this bonus episode, an exclusive long form interview with Scott L. Ehrisman, political blogger and cartoonist from

This episode is sponsored by SiouxperCon and South Dakota Code Bootcamp.



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Sioux Empire Podcast Episode 033- The Road To Carnegie – Bonus Episode

The Sioux Empire Podcast interviews Sioux Falls City Council candidates Theresa Stehly, Erin Srstka, Jacob Johnson, and John Paulson.  Sponsored by South Dakota Code Bootcamp and SiouxperCon.

Learn more about our fantastic sponsors:

South Dakota Code Bootcamp



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Interview with John Paulson, Candidate for Sioux Falls City Council.

Interview with John Paulson, Candidate for Sioux Falls City Council.

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