Is Hultgren still involved w/new building at former Copper Lounge site?

Hultgren may still be profiting from something he helped destroy (May 10, 2018 City Council Meeting);

Item #13, Transfer of 2018 Retail Liquor License, including Sunday sales and video lottery terminals, from Pave LLC, Pave, 130 South Phillips Avenue, to Pave LLC, Pave, 130 South Phillips Ave and Level 2 of 136 South Phillips Ave.

This transfer of the Liquor license is for the rooftop patio for Pave. That patio is above the new Lewis Drug Downtown, the former Copper Lounge site. While there is nothing nefarious about extending a license for a rooftop patio, Pave’s ownership is questionable. Originally Hultgren was a substantial owner/stakeholder in Pave. Is he still? And if so, does our city council and licensing department know?

It seems Hultgren may still have his hands in the cookie jar. As I told the council last night, this fiasco will continue to replay, over, and over again in the media.

Anti-Citizen (Municipal) League continues to lobby against our best interests

The taxpayer funded legislative lobbyist Muni-League decided to rear their head again with the city council’s supposed ‘legislative’ priorities (Item #15). But some councilors weren’t buying it. Stehly had an issue with TIFs, some wondered how the county’s priorities got mixed in with it, and councilor Brekke was curious when they even talked about it.

The rumor going around is that a couple of councilors met with Minnehaha County Chair, Heiberger and cooked this up with the help of the Muni-League.

And let’s talk about them. We pay them to lobby for higher taxes (they continually try to sucker the legislature into letting cities raise an extra penny tax for ‘special projects’ with a sunset clause. NO taxes ever ‘sunset’. Once implemented, they are there forever. Look at the 3rd penny entertainment tax in SF for paying off Pavilion bonds. That tax was supposed to sunset after the bonds were paid off. That was 4-5 years ago. Still exists. They also support TIF’s which are nothing more than a tax rebate/welfare program for developers. Most times they have little to NO economic impact except raising property taxes on the rest of us.

It’s time the city cuts ties with the Muni-League. The Sioux Falls city council already has a legislative director/operations manager that makes close to $100K a year. The council praises his hard work, and he is very capable of lobbying for the city. As taxpayers we don’t need to pay another lobbyist to lobby against our interests.

Sioux Falls City Council engages in a ‘Healthy Debate’

I have to say it was refreshing to watch the city council tonight (from my comfortable stool position at Club David). They engaged in a very respectful debate about the agenda items, while challenging the city directors.

I have to say that it has been over a decade since I have seen this. I really believe that the former administration stifled this debate by cutting off several councilors and calling on his army of ‘rubber stampers’ to shame other councilors into ‘going along’ while praising city management.

While many have told me they are disappointed in the lack of engagement by the current mayor and chair of the meetings, I would say I quietly applaud Mayor TenHaken for letting the city council conduct their business without his interference or the interference of city directors. He is doing the right thing by ‘chairing’ the meeting and NOT ‘dictating’ it.

Some might argue it may be his lack of experience, and that may be true, but I also think he knows that this is ‘their’ time and NOT his.

While I have my disagreements with some of the things said tonight or decisions made, I really think that the sausage making was done the way it is supposed to be done. The legislative branch (the council) hashing this out without the influence of the mayor’s office or a department.

Bravo to ALL eight of you tonight for keeping it real, and conducting city business in such a concerning and passionate form. Let us not let history repeat itself moving forward in this new term.

CITI used us and moved on

Bravo to the Local Union for calling out CITI;

Kooper Caraway, Sioux Falls AFL-CIO President says Citi isn’t answering any of the questions, as to where these jobs are being transferred.

“Basically what we want is the attention of the South Dakota congressional delegation, we want them to support and sign on to legislation that speaks to limit big banks and big cooperations to send American jobs and particularly South Dakota jobs overseas,” he said.

They made their money here. They got a huge Federal bailout. And now they are leaving. Billy Bob Janks cooked up this scheme years ago and there was nothing holding their feet to the fire.

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken announces NEW City Attorney

UPDATE: Well, I was half right, he is younger. As for the military experience, I’m not sure how this serves us as a municipality.

Mayor Paul TenHaken is pleased to announce the appointment of Stacy Kooistra as City Attorney for the City of Sioux Falls.

A native of Rock Valley, Iowa, Kooistra graduated from the University of Sioux Falls with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, earned a Master of Science degree in International Relations (MSIR) from Troy University, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota. He is currently a partner at Myers Billion Law Firm in Sioux Falls. Since 1996, Kooistra has honorably served his country as a member of the armed forces including the U.S. Army and South Dakota Army National Guard. In 2007, Lt Col Kooistra began his service as a Judge Advocate General Officer for the 114th Fighter Wing, South Dakota Air National Guard based in Sioux Falls, where he currently serves as the 114th Fighter Wing Staff Judge Advocate. Kooistra and his wife Anna have four children—Isabel, Oscar, Owen, and Emmett.

“Stacy’s strengths as a leader, general practice attorney, and military officer make him an excellent choice for the City Attorney’s role,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “Sioux Falls is fortunate to have Stacy bring his talents to the City. He will be an incredible asset for myself and the City Council as we navigate the opportunities and challenges of a growing city.”

“I consider it a great honor and solemn responsibility to be appointed by Mayor TenHaken as the next Sioux Falls City Attorney,” said Kooistra. “I want to thank Mayor TenHaken for his trust and confidence and I look forward to meeting with the members of the City Council for their consideration. The prospect of serving on behalf of this dynamic City is truly humbling and genuinely exciting.”

The City Attorney serves as the attorney for the City, serving both the administration and the City Council. The Attorney’s Office oversees the Human Relations, ADA, Risk Management, the Ethics Board, and Charter Revision Commission. It also provides legal support services to all City departments.

Kooistra’s appointment requires the advice and consent of the City Council. That resolution will be presented to the Council on August 21, 2018.

The rumor going around city hall is that Paul will announce his pick for the new city attorney tomorrow. I guess the executive session is for the city council to ask the candidate questions. As I understand it, while a couple of the city councilors get to help the mayor in selecting the new attorney, it is purely up to the mayor to select who he wants to. The city council does approve the decision through a public vote.

While there are a lot of names being tossed around, I wouldn’t have a clue of who he would pick. But my educated guess it is someone who is young with a poli-sci background and probably a woman.

We will see I guess

Public Input Continues tonight at Club David

Week two of this little experiment. No worries though, this will probably be a short meeting. Oh, and we have a tie-breaker this week.

City’s Code Enforcement Office has highest per capita of geniuses in city hall

After it was recently decided that Mr. Bendo ‘could’ still hold an unusually small pipe in his hand by the city’s code enforcement office, something else came to realization,

“We just thought, WOW, another decision that had to be overturned by the code enforcement office. They really are the smartest people working in city government,” commented Bill Da’Tool, HR Director.

Unlike the Public Works department that must depend on engineering numbers and science or the IT department that has to depend on complicated software coding, it seems the code enforcement office is content with just pulling rules and regulations right out of their asses, than over turning the decisions later, either based on how the wind is blowing that day or by direction of the SD Supreme Court who has consistently found them to be unconstitutional.

Da’Tool continues, “Of course, second place for geniuses was the traffic control department. Even with millions of dollars in camera equipment, software and plush new offices, they still make you sit at a light for 5 minutes with no cars coming in either direction.”

Fix is In; Sioux Falls School District plans to ‘Hand Count’ $300 Million Bond Election

We are going to have 13 precincts and hand count a $300 million dollar tax increase;

5. Amending Previous School Board Action

    Bev Chase 367-7905

Amending Action 38091, adopted 7-23-18, by acknowledging for the record that the Board has directed the administration to designate the whole District as one precinct, use 13 Vote Centers for the Special Bond Election and further stating for the record that the administration will count the votes manually

This is beyond ludicrous. The School Board should be embarrassed they would ask voters for this large of a tax increase with 13 precincts and no record of tabulation by using a machine.

No more steps in the River

So I guess the city council is about to debate expanding the River Greenway. The steps into the River came up again. Please, we don’t need this expensive, Roman like structure to continue along the river. This stupid design was cooked up by Jeff S. Cherapa and Mayor Munson in some middle of the night, backroom deal in which Smilin’ Dave promised all kinds of stuff to Jeff (in which he got – because he threatened to sue if he didn’t).

But let’s face it, the steps into the river are not only expensive, they look ridiculous, are not environmentally friendly, are unsafe and do NOTHING to clean up the river.

Trust me, this wasn’t the first time I have brought this up, when they were being originally proposed I said it was stupid.

Why?

Well not only would you save millions, it would look better and help with runoff if you designed it differently. My idea then, and now has not changed. You line the banks with natural/native, organic flowers and plants that help the runoff. You widen the bike trail, and you put in multiple mini-parks with benches and more natural landscaping. Not only would it look a 1oox better, it is environmentally friendly and saves millions in concrete expenses. On top of that the flowers along the banks act as a natural barrier to the very toxic waters, which helps safety.

The geese also need to be driven away using air cannons to force them to nest elsewhere. I have often thought spending over $10 million on a river greenway that is covered in goose sh*t really misses the mark. From Falls Park all the way to Cliff Avenue the geese nest and cover the trail in crap. The noise from the air cannons annoys them and gets them to move without killing them or hurting them.

I have also said that signs about the toxicity of the river need to be put up at Falls Park and spots where people might want to take a dip along the greenway. A bright yellow or red sign with a skull and crossbones poison symbol would do the trick. I have often thought if you made people aware of the high levels of E-Coli in the river, they would not go in there. People, it is like swimming in your toilet after you dropped one. Stop doing it!

So please. Let’s use fiscal smarts, environmental smarts and safety knowledge to expand the River Greenway and not steps into a river a couple of clowns cooked up in the basement of city hall.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, August 14, 2018

Budget Hearings, 2 PM

There will be presentations on the Entertainment tax, the Parks Department and Public Works.

There is also an executive session. It’s either about Legacy again (doubtful) or about hiring a new Internal Auditor (most likely).

Regular Council Meeting, 7 PM

Item #8, Approval of Contracts. Apparently it costs $53K to engineer a masonary viewing platform. Wow.

Item #15, Resolution, City Council’s Legislative Priorities.

Item#6; The Sioux Falls City Council supports tax increment financing (TIF), an economic development tool that has led to millions of dollars in increased property value, benefitting both the state as a whole and the local entities sponsoring the districts, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the process.

Notice NO mention of how this benefits the community or supplies sustainable jobs. Why not just call it what it is; developer welfare. Tax breaks that they use to pay the mortgage.

Item #16, Resolution, Street Vacation. There is NO mention of WHO wants this vacation (developer). Hopefully we will learn more Tuesday night. I don’t have a problem with street vacations if they are no longer needed. It saves taxpayers money, because we no longer have to maintain the property. It also puts it on the tax rolls. Where I take issue is giving away the land to a private developer. They should have to pay for it, at least 50% of appraised value. Remember the street vacation for Billion auto? That property was probably worth around a million dollars, we gave it away. Dumb.

Item #17, Motion. This is a mystery. I assume it has to do with the lawsuit against the city over the drowning of a girl. I wonder if they are trying to negotiate a settlement.