Mitchell Mayor Thinks Closed Council Meetings Need Armed Guard

Speaking of improper use of police resources, the Mitchell mayor Jerry Toomey has decided, without council discussion or approval, to deploy a city cop to guard the City Council chamber doors during closed sessions… because, what, so many people have been trying to bust through the door to hear councilors’ secret conversations?

The Mitchell Daily Republic editorial board finds this move silly and fiscally irresponsible:

While this was pegged as a “no-cost alternative” to protect the information discussed in private by the council, it certainly isn’t. By forcing an officer to stand idly by the council chamber while crime may be occurring elsewhere, the city is prioritizing money on a guard. That money could otherwise be used to staff an on-duty officer.

We see the decision to station an officer outside of Council Chambers as an inefficiency that could easily be solved by one of two methods.

First, the council could do what it’s done several times before: move the executive session to another room. Or second, and much more reasonable, council members could speak more quietly.

If the council is going to spend money on this initiative, it would make more sense to reinforce the door rather than station a police officer at the door to guard against nothing [editorial board, “A Nonsensical New Normal at City Council Meetings,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2017.09.11].

A South Dakota mayor or city councilor thinking he needs police protection during secret deliberations has too high an opinion of his importance. We need to drop these constant police-state posturings in our public buildings and get back to an efficient use of our public safety resources to protect everyone, not just elected elitists.

5 Responses to Mitchell Mayor Thinks Closed Council Meetings Need Armed Guard

  1. Just plant a listening device in the room you can here it all from the comfort of your living room.

    Mayor shows how stupid he is.

  2. Cory, we in Sioux Falls learned last night how bad the group who is leaving office wants to remain in charge. My video just posted gives you a sample of how these people are changing our election laws to protect the privileged over the rights of the common folk: 2017-09-12 Rolfing, Erp, Kiley legacy solidified has put the entire video up for your viewing at

  3. Perhaps Mayor Toomey needs to have a situation room or a top secret, undisclosed command center. Not only is this nonsensical, the optics are comical

  4. Hmmm… listening devices… USB thumb drive models around $100… but planting such a device in a council room during an executive session and recording the proceedings would violate SDCL 23A-35A-20, which forbids recording a conversation without the consent of at least one party to that conversation. That crime is a Class 5 felony—serious stuff!

  5. Cory we need to get that law changed. Executive sessions should be recorded.