SFPD promotes officer involved in deadly crash

The SFPD created a Diversity position today;

The Sioux Falls Police Department is creating a new position to build relationships in the community, particularly with the many diverse groups that exist in Sioux Falls. Officer Cynthia Holmquest was recently selected as the first Community Resource Officer and will begin her new duties on Monday, August 14, 2017.

The Community Resource Officer will become the primary contact for minority groups, religious organizations, the Multi-Cultural Center, the LGBTQ community, and numerous other organizations.

While I applaud the creation of the position, I’m wondering if this was taken into consideration;

Authorities say an off-duty Sioux Falls police officer cited for careless driving in a crash that killed a 17-year-old Badger girl will not face additional charges.

Kingsbury County State’s Attorney Gregg Gass said that the July 22 crash was “simply a matter of inadvertent careless driving.”

Gass said25-year-old Cynthia Holmquest was reaching for a pair of sunglasses in her vehicle when it struck Savannah Koistinen’s vehicle from behind, pushing it into the path of an oncoming school bus carrying students.

At the time of the incident, some questioned whether Holmquest (who was a new officer on the SFPD) should have been able to keep her patrol officer position or her job at all. Obviously it was a tragic accident, but one has to question Holmquest’s driving abilities during emergencies as an officer after the incident (she was off-duty at the time).

I guess I am ignorant how these decisions are made when an officer is charged with a traffic violation. But hey, we kept the city attorney in charge of the SFPD after he was charged with a DUI.

The Pavilion must be getting VERY desperate for VAC directors

TV Host, Cartoonist, Artist, Youth Director . . . there isn’t nothing this guy can’t do.

I had to take a double take when I read this;

The Visual Arts Center in Sioux Falls will have a new leader starting next month.

The Washington Pavilion announced Thursday that Jason Folkerts has accepted the position and will start on August 2.

Before joining the staff at the Washington Pavilion, Folkerts graduated from the University of Sioux Falls and worked as a youth pastor for 12 years. He is also a full-time artist and owns his own business that specializes in murals, cartooning, and live art.

Folkerts used to be the editorial cartoonist for the Argus Leader. He was relieved of his duties after a couple of local cartoonists made the newspaper aware that he may have plagiarized a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. But the AL just couldn’t get enough of Jason’s work so they brought him back, until he was suspected a second time of plagiarizing another international cartoonist (who ironically was the president of an anti-plagiarizing organization). The AL relieved him permanently after that. (You can read all of Jason’s comments about the incident HERE in the comments section of this blog post).

Besides his lack of integrity when it comes to other artists creative property, what baffles me even more is that the Pavilion would hire an individual that doesn’t even have a degree in art, art management, etc. Heck, he doesn’t even have a degree in regular management or business, he is a youth pastor with a seminary degree.

Running a Visual Arts Center isn’t like running summer Bible Camp folks.

I have been told though that the qualifications for the position have been drastically changed since the last director left (it was also changed a little before she took the job).

The Pavilion management and board are apparently losing their freaking minds. There needs to be a National search for an ACTUAL art director with the experience to run such an important division of the Pavilion.

Citizen street striping job gets painted over

Remember this?

While the city claims that it is legal for Zach to do this because of the 80% approval from the neighborhood, one has to question the liability of the city and and safety concerns of having a citizen buying his own paint and standing in a public street painting stripes?

It’s bad enough citizens risk their safety trimming city owned trees in the boulevard now they have citizens striping the streets, something public works and the traffic department should have paid for and contracted after Zach did the legwork of the approval process. Are we so destitute for money in the city we now are having citizens buying and painting city streets?

I guess the city recently re-striped North Main, somehow they were able to scrape the money together, but ironically it wasn’t to touch up the job Zach did. The city repainted the parallel parking spots taking away the angled parking Zach created. So I guess the city has money to stripe the streets when they are covering up citizen’s hard work.

The city’s chief traffic engineer claimed they decided to go back to parallel parking because the Bakery closed. Huh? I guess they don’t think the place is ever going to reopen. Let’s face it, the real reason they painted over Zach’s work was to cover up the embarrassment of having a citizen do their job for them. Lazy asses.

The New Sioux Falls City Council Leadership struggling to learn the ropes (and laws)

You would think that you pick your leadership because of their tenure on the council and knowledge of rules and regulations, but it seems our new leadership had a little hiccup last night at the city council meeting (FF to last agenda item). While last night’s meeting was a long one (over 3 hours) the fireworks really went off at the end when leadership was trying to cover up their possible violation of open meetings laws.

Let’s start from the beginning.

The city uses an outside auditor each year to do a ‘Financial Statement’ Audit. They have been using the same firm for years, Eide Bailly. Nothing against the firm, because it really has nothing to do with them or their performance. But a couple of councilors were concerned that we kept using the same firm, year after year. It was explained to them that they prefer to sign a 3 year contract with the external auditor to save money (yes, cause when we are either auditing the city or having elections it’s all about saving a couple of grand while millions fly out the door on play palaces). That’s all fine and dandy also, and really not that controversial.

The councilors that asked about the contract were wondering who else responded to the last RFP (Request for Proposal). It was explained to them that NO RFP was sent out this time because it is under ‘special services’.

OKAY, I guess I kind of understand (pulling rules from their butts). But this is where it gets sticky. Eide Bailly was chosen AGAIN behind closed doors, without an RFP and without the consent of the full council in a public meeting (This is why the item came to the floor Tuesday night). It was a possible violation of open meetings laws if the full council did not vote on it.

The real issue here is the council leadership (going back several years) thinks they have some special powers that the other councilors don’t have. They don’t, their votes are equal. Under charter the only REAL duties of leadership is to run certain meetings and to be messengers to the rest of the council, they have NO special powers to make decisions on behalf of the rest of the council. NONE.

While they may be PO’d at the councilors who brought this out into the open, they should be thanking them for saving their asses from an open meetings violation.

Sioux Falls Parks Board Oblivious to the intention of the Districting Ordinance

Besides Stehly, many of the public in attendance gave several reasons why this legislation is a good idea. Stehly even repeated herself several times to the board that this is NOT ABOUT THE CURRENT BOARD or their performance this is about the future growth of the city.

They didn’t get it. At all. Straight over their heads.

When it was time for them to testify as to why they were opposed to the legislation, I waited in anticipation to hear something NEW as to why they may be against it besides the fact that they think it would hurt diversity. So what was the resounding argument from board members?

Why you picking on me?

They repeatly made it sound like this was attack on them, their volunteer service and their stellar qualifications. Just like the video recording ordinance, the board was quick to say they are personally being challenged.

• None of them are mentioned in the ordinance change.

• None of them would lose their seats.

• Professional or Personal qualifications are not mentioned in ordinance change.

There is only one change in the ordinance; FUTURE members going forward through 2024 will have to represent a geographical area.

Does that seem like a personal attack on current members? Not at all. No one today testifying said the board wasn’t doing their job. It just seems like their lilly-white positions are being threatened and they don’t like it. Like the group-thinkers they are, they all pulled out their rubber stamps and voted against Stehly’s proposal. Doesn’t matter though, she will still bring it forward in August, and if it fails she will bring it again next Spring when the new mayor and council are in office. It’s not going away.

Sioux Falls Parks & Rec BIG FAIL at JazzFest

While everyone was dancing naked in the parks in celebration over the smoking ban (I still saw a lot of people smoking) at JazzFest, I was extremely disappointed that the ONLY public water fountain available on the South side of the park was shut off this year. In year’s past, the organizers do a good job of trying to hide it behind the porta potties, but it is usually on.

I get it that the organizers want to sell bottled water to raise money, but those of us that would prefer to spend what money we do have on food and beer and don’t like the taste of bottled water (ick) we like having that available, especially when it is around 100 degrees, and you know, like a public park.

So let’s talk public safety here. While we seem to be concerned about the 2 or 3 kids that will be in attendance that have asthma breathing smoke, we don’t seem to be too concerned about thousands of dehydrated individuals on a hot day, unless of course they have $3 to buy a bottled water the organizers probably bought for a nickel or got donated.

I guess this year we not only had a smoking ban in Yankton Trail Park, we had a Water Ban. Ironically the sprinkler system was working just fine because when I was walking around in the grass Thursday night my feet got wet.


Tell us what you really think of code enforcement in Sioux Falls

It’s pretty clear what this property owner thinks when code enforcement asked this Fargo owned company to come in compliance on a sign that wasn’t being used. They complied. Be careful what you ask for I guess. Just don’t paint pregnant women on the sign, than you really could get in trouble. LMFAO.

The Wind Haters in Lincoln County Fake Science wins big time, 57/42

Like the voting down of solar energy a few years ago in Minnehaha county, once again, the Haters of alternative energy wins again in our region.

Take a deep breath while you can, the end is near.

Huether repeats the EC ‘Running in Black’ lie during Budget Address

Wouldn’t it be great if you wouldn’t have to consider your mortgage payment on your house as debt? Or affecting your monthly income by making that payment?

That is the philosophy of Mayor Huether when it comes to the Events Center. During the budget address he said the place was running in black ($4.5 million net operating profit), and went on to say the same about the Indoor Pool which operating almost even revenue/expenses.

He of course leaves out the mortgage payments on both facilities which are close to $10 million a year.

Nice try though Mike.

Greg Jamison ‘Unofficially’ announces for Mayor on FORUM

He plans an official announcement in August.