A Sioux Falls board that oversees more than $1.6 million in revenue will see a dramatic change in membership after Mayor Mike Huether declined to reappoint six of its nine members.
The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Business Improvement District oversees a $2 per night hotel fee that is used to promote Sioux Falls and bring visitors to the city. The City Council created the board in 2010 after hotel owners petitioned for its creation. The mayor appoints its members, which include hotel and industry representatives.
The board generated controversy last year when emails revealed that the mayor’s wife, Cindy Huether, was trying to find out if, legally, the Community Indoor Tennis Center, of which she’s a board member, could access BID money in its push for a new indoor tennis facility. Most BID board members and the founders of the BID argued the money could only be used to promote the city, and not for capital projects that included a new tennis facility.
But in an email obtained by the Argus Leader, Cindy Huether told members of the Community Indoor Tennis Center that: “I know three BID Board members that would be totally in favor of using money for these types of projects.”
The three members reappointed to the board were: Lee Howell, Shailesh Patel and Mark Wahlstrom.
Cindy Huether did not immediately reply to an email asking if those were the three BID members she referenced.