Earlier today, the Argus Leader had an article about Sioux Falls City Council member Pat Starr who got up and walked out of last night’s meeting and abstained from the vote on the newly approved City of Sioux Falls mixed-use parking structure as part of a political protest over how the debate.
I’m not sure how leaving ever accomplishes anything, but that’s what happened.
This afternoon, City Council Chairman Rick Kiley sent out a statement in regards to Starr’s press release sent out to the media about the incident demanding apologies:
Councilor Kiley’s response to Councilor Starr’s Request for Apology
“Councilor Starr requesting an apology is really just a concerted effort by him to deflect responsibility for this public spectacle, and failing to uphold a Councilor’s basic responsibility to represent his/her constituents by voting yes or no on challenging issues.”
“It is unfortunate that Councilor Starr elected to leave the Chambers last evening. Once he left Chambers he was no longer in a position to represent the citizens that elected him to represent them and to make the hard decisions required of a Council member.”
“Councilor Starr could have appealed the Mayor’s decision by making a motion to override the chair which he has successfully done in the past. Why he decided to avoid voting instead is beyond me.”
“I want to emphasize that public input was taken on all six of the remaining items associated with the mixed use parking ramp project. It is unfortunate that Councilor Starr was absent for this additional public input.”
“It is a dangerous precedent to not make the hard vote. It is my hope Councilor Starr will elect to exercise a greater degree of professionalism in the future.”