Hey Republicans, let’s talk ‘Transparency’

I have often scratched my head when Republican lawmakers in this state say they are against Amendment V because of transparency. They feel voters have a right to know what party a candidate belongs to, but it seems many of them don’t want you to know what they do for a living, or more specifically the name of their business. Let’s talk transparency. I want to know what profession or previous profession (many are retired) a lawmaker is. It is important to my decision making. As an independent, I mostly lean left, but do vote for Republicans on occasion, if I feel they are the best candidate. Their life experience in their employment is very important to me.

Out of the 6 districts the Argus Leader media surveyed only ONE Democrat, John Koch listed his employment as ‘Salesman’. The rest of the Democrats either revealed who they work for, what they do, the name of their business, or that they are retired (and they even listed their employment before retirement).

On the other hand, most of the Republicans were very vague as to what they do or who they work for. One of them even went so far to call herself a career politician, Jenna Haggar listed the State Legislature as employment (A 40 day out of the year job).

This is why Amendment V is important, it will give voters the opportunity to research candidates beyond their party label.

Image/information: Argus Leader Media


Is Sioux Falls Community Development and Fire Department hiding something from the development community?

Many in the development community may already know what that secret is, but, it seems, some do not;

But that’s not sitting well with JDI, Inc.’s CEO Robin Miller, who’s company wanted to build a 12-story condominium, including underground parking and a rooftop garden.

Miller said unlike the two other proposals, which would have maintained the parcel’s green space by turning it into a park, JDI’s plan would have generated $35 million or more worth of construction, brought high-quality architecture to downtown and bolstered downtown’s parking capacity.

If that plan wasn’t good enough for the city, Miller’s not sure what would be.

“When we first went to the city they said ‘We want to see quality construction that’s uniquely special to that site, and we agreed.” Miller said. “When they don’t proceed with what you think is a good proposal … what’s my incentive to make a proposal on something else.”

What many people may not know is that the city may be holding back on projects like this because of the height of the building. Remember the $1 Million dollar fire truck the city had to provide to make sure they could reach the top of the Events Center? Rumor is the planning office won’t allow NEW buildings over four-six stories. It has a lot to do with the airport and National guard base’s proximity to downtown, but it also comes to the fire department not having the equipment to put out fires over 4-6 stories high. The other bank buildings downtown that are over four stories were built before these regulations were put into place.

Let’s face it, we could develop 12-story condos downtown, but if the fire department can’t reach the top in an emergency, we would be screwed.

I wonder if anyone in Community Development or the Fire Department will ever share this little tid-bit with the good tax payers of Sioux Falls? Oh, that of course requires transparency. LOL.


Sioux Falls City Councilor Theresa Stehly on Belfrage today! (10/27/2016)


Theresa touched on Gavel-Gate, City Attorneys, Smoking Ban and Solar speed signs. Surprisingly no one called in and called her ‘Councilor High Crime’. Podcast should be up early afternoon.

Zombies and Cartoonists, Double Whammy Saturday!

Who couldn’t be more geeked out?! During the day on Saturday, cartoonist seminars, and when that is over, ZOMBIES! Bloody pumped!



Whatever you do, don’t vote Trump

City Administration Bond Sale ‘Crickets’

During the ‘Mayor High Crimes’ interview on the Belfrage show this morning, the mayor (bragged) that when the bonds sold last week all he heard was crickets, and the reason NO ONE was saying anything because people are in support of the building. He would say that, that’s like saying voting against an outdoor pool means the public wants an indoor pool, even if an indoor pool wasn’t on the ballot.

How quickly he forgets all the roadblocks he put up preventing the public and even the council from weighing in on this building, and he was successful to the end, there wasn’t much more we could do to prevent the sale.

Here is the chain of events that led up to the bond sale;

• Mayor breaks the tie with the council twice to approve the building construction and bond sale

• Mayor vetoes a majority of the council to repeal the bond sale

• Advisory vote fails to pass the city council

• Petition drive successfully collects 6,400 signatures and gets thrown out due to technicality that the city clerk didn’t notice when he stamped the petition

• Judge agrees with city clerk and city attorney that the technicality is enough to throw out the signatures

What about the what ifs?

• Even if the advisory election was approved, it may never of happened unless the mayor delayed the bond sale, the only person who had the power to delay the sale besides a judge.

• Even if the judge approved the petitions or the technicality DID not occur, a judge still would have had to intervene to stop the bond sale until an election, AND the council would have had to certify the petitions and set an election date, in turn getting a judge involved again to delay the sale.

While the mayor bragged about the crickets and couldn’t understand why more people were not fighting to stop the bond sale, there wasn’t anything left to do. He successfully roadblocked everyone who tried to stop this building, and expended tax dollars to do so (in legal fees, etc.).

It was the epitome of ethical corruption by the executive branch. One of the dirtiest sequence of tricks he has pulled since he has been mayor. That wasn’t silence you were hearing mayor high crimes, it was disgust.

Big shakeups at our daily paper?

Early reports, says the blood letting started on Friday and continued today with terminations and layoffs at all levels and management.

I guess it is the result of dismal sales and subscriptions, and low morale.

I’m sure once new management is settled in we will be hearing all the gory details.

In the meantime, what would you do if you were publisher to turn it around?

‘High Crime Mayor’ Huether


Make the Events Center ‘Great Again’

Mayor ‘High Crime’ Mike was on the Greg Belfrage this morning (podcast should be up by early afternoon).

He started out by blabbering about the pool and how he got a lot of flack for wearing a shirt while diving off the high dive. He said he wore the shirt, because his secretary, communications director and wife told him he needed to wear it in the name of ‘decorum’ and he commented that he wasn’t ‘Putin’. I guess you have to take off your hat while talking to the council and mayor, and put on a shirt while swimming with them. While I can understand his wife asking him to wear the shirt (she has seen him shirtless, maybe) I’m wondering when his secretary and communications director have seen him shirtless . . . Funny how he was concerned about ‘decorum’ at the pool during public appearances, but the day before he lied to the public about voting for the indoor pool. I guess good decorum doesn’t include telling the truth. As for not being like ‘Putin’ I disagree, they have similar leadership styles 🙂

He also had a moment of ‘honesty’ and told the good folks of Sioux Falls that the pool wouldn’t run in the black.

Duh, Duh & Duh.

But he continued by saying ‘unlike the events center’ (running in black). It often amazes me how the mayor can go from saying something truthful to saying something false in a matter of seconds.

Let’s go over this again for the kids who were late to class. While the EC may cover its operations costs with revenue, the maintenance and mortgage on the facility are about 3x the revenue taken in. In other words, while SMG and Ovations are making money, the tax payers of Sioux Falls are footing the mortgage on the EC out of the 2nd penny, not revenue from the EC. Hardly ‘operating in the black’. In other words if you ran your personal business the way we run the EC you would be bankrupt in less than a year.

The mayor also touched on the Administration Building, and peddled the silly notion that Rex Rolfing’s 10 golf buddies told him they supported the building, and that was enough to defy the citizens and the city council 3 times to spend $25 million on a building we don’t need. Funny that the mayor didn’t bring up the ‘buzz off’ letter he received last week from the Minnehaha County Commission reminding him that they are absolutely NOT interested in leasing space at the building, ever.

The next caller got the mayor’s gander up a bit. He talked about working with the traffic engineering department and the police department to reduce speeding in his neighborhood for the safety of the children (he lives near Endeavor School) and after several conversations with them he was wondering why ‘nothing’ is being done. Mikey doesn’t like it when citizens accuse city employees of doing nothing, besides, it takes effort to lean on a shovel or belly up to the Avera Hospital lunch line. But you know what doesn’t take effort, Solar powered speed signs, as the caller suggested. They also are very inexpensive and effective at reducing speeds. The mayor said he would do some checking into why we are not using them. What a short memory our mayor has, a few short weeks ago, councilor Theresa Stehly made an amendment to the city budget to buy some of these signs to ‘experiment’ with them in high speed problem areas (FF: 1:19:30). The council voted her down after Public Works Director Mark Cotter said they don’t have the ‘staff’ or ‘time’ to move the signs (they are simply held to a post with brackets). I think Stehly is going to be on the Belfrage show sometime this week, hopefully she can explain how the signs work, since our mayor is doing ‘nothing’ to promote them.

But the highlight of this morning’s show was when a caller called the mayor ‘High Crime Mayor’ and said crime has ‘gone through the roof’ since he has been mayor. Like Donald Trump, Mayor Mike interrupts the caller and says ‘Wong’. I will defend the mayor on one level, the caller could have worded it a little less rudely, but his premise of the increase in crime is true. In the previous mayoral election, the increase in crime rates was a topic of discussion, at least in the Jamison camp, the mayor was in complete denial of the crime increase, and his previous Corvette Convertible driving police chief had his back and wasn’t concerned about it either. Fast forward a mere 3 years, different story. The mayor rambled on about how he is tackling the meth problem in Sioux Falls by having a ‘press conference’. As I have mentioned before, meth or as we called it ‘crank’ has been prevalent since I have lived in Sioux Falls (1991). For the mayor to claim that he is being tough on crime while giving SF police officers dismal raises and ignoring an epidemic that was around long before he showed up on the scene is ludicrous.

He was so pissed about the ‘high crime mayor’ comment he couldn’t stop talking about it the rest of the show.

Truth hurts I guess.

Speaking of public safety, I guess now the SFFD is now saying (mostly the chief) that his employees don’t have to go through the same diversity training as the police officers after the transgender incident at the jail. I will update you on this as soon as I get more information.

UPDATE: The mayor also bagged on the referendum and initiative process saying it was too easy to get things on the ballot. Hey Mike, it is your party that is putting these initiatives forward.

The wind haters are still spreading hot air

While oil spills are polluting our oceans and ground water and coal polluting our air, some people in Lincoln county are worried about the ‘noise’ from a wind turbine;

“It’s time for an update. At that time, wind turbines were not as large, not as powerful, not as prevalent and not as much was known, not much studies had been done on the effects on people and animals, the environment, the cost. Those things weren’t known,” added Peterson.

Maybe they are known, and the reason why all you are blowing is hot air.

“There are better green energy projects out there to produce electricity and we need to be looking at those. Those that protect the health and safety and economic welfare of the public, not ones that are going to destroy that,” said Canton resident, Cindy Thomas.

You mean solar energy, which is a good source, but much more square footage has to be used to provide as much energy from wind turbines. It has been proven time and time again that people most opposed to wind energy are just miffed because their land is not being leased for the project. There are really no health affects, just a lot of jealousy, which in reality can affect your ego more then anything.

While McGovern students have to do an online bake sale to fund instruments, the school district blows their wad at the Denny

Oh the irony.

Remember this story from almost a year ago?

Andrew Travers launched a Kickstarter program for a couple reasons. One, to buy five new electric instruments for his students; a two violins, a viola and a cello.

“Half the kids can be on the electric instruments in the corner, and the electrics don’t make a lot of audible sound unless you’ve got the headphones on,” Robert Travers explained. “And then the rest of the class can operate at the same time. And we can start rotation kids in and out so that, basically, two different lessons can go on simultaneously.”

Fast forward a year, and magically the SFSD has all kinds of money for music;

The Sioux Falls School District will spend $35,000 to lease the city’s entertainment center for a December performance with rock violinist Mark Wood, an original member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

In March, school board members approved a more than $60,000 contract with Wood to spend time working with Sioux Falls students, 3,000 of whom will perform with Wood during the concert.

On Monday, school board members approved an additional $8,000 for Wood plus the cost of leasing the Premier Center. They also approved a $25,000 contract for “lights and sound.”

The Sioux Falls School District will spend $35,000 to lease the city’s entertainment center for a December performance with rock violinist Mark Wood, an original member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

In March, school board members approved a more than $60,000 contract with Wood to spend time working with Sioux Falls students, 3,000 of whom will perform with Wood during the concert.

On Monday, school board members approved an additional $8,000 for Wood plus the cost of leasing the Premier Center. They also approved a $25,000 contract for “lights and sound.”

While I think this is a great opportunity for students, I sometimes question the spending priorities, especially when a music teacher has to ask for private donations for a couple of instruments or the fact that several education assistants with the district make a whopping $11.79 an hour.