Enough of the FB Games (Guest Post-Bruce Danielson)

First of all, I, Bruce Danielson, do not belong to the website Facebook, so don’t go looking for me there because I do not partake in their invasive intrusion in privacy.

Second, don’t send me Facebook links because I cannot click on them to see what you are excited about.

Third, don’t expect me to go to Facebook if the world is coming to an end, because it is not the place I will be able to see it.

If you, like me, do not live in the Facebook or do not live in the pretend world of social media, the city of Sioux Falls Facebook page copy attached here, is a usual screen “non-friends” will get. It begs the question, if you do not let Facebook own your life, you will not be allowed to survive?

Our town recently spent $67,000 updating the city information system some call a website. The city spends millions of dollars per year on emergency services including items referred to as police, fire and ems. Our town also has a board that meets monthly to discuss something called emergency management and another board called REMSA to preparing for needed ambulances to actually show up where needed when called. It does not take much to remember the phantom 980 ambulances sent to defraud the taxpayers and insurance providers to know how far our administrations will go to hide the truth of competence.

Meanwhile back to story, many of these expensive services failed to perform on Tuesday night September 10, 2019.

What did the city “leaders” do? Blame the citizens for not being prepared to meet their version of God.

Our town of Sioux Falls experienced three tornados that night. Thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed. We again were lucky. I was up working on a project late that night when my house began to shake and the roof was pounded by the rain. Like I said, most of us were lucky. Certain parts of town were not so lucky and were put in more danger by our administrations lack of planning and miserable lack of candor in admitting their screwups.

Our Sioux Falls city government seems to think if they use their millennial social media accounts to announce danger to their “friends” or “followers” their special groups will be fine. To hell with the rest of the heathens seems to be their governing creed.

The administration seems to not believe in disaster planning, sirens or coordinated messaging. The administration leadership and members of the RS5 believe the public should be silenced like the emergency sirens were that Tuesday night.

Spooky Facebook social media broadcasts to only their “friends” do not make the cut in all homes during an emergency, but sirens have in the past and still do. The monthly first Friday at 11:00am siren tests are heard inside most houses and businesses with closed windows. The sirens have a specially designed waving siren sound was designed to play in all weather over most sound pitches. To say the sirens would not have made a difference is a lie or a far-fetched excuse with no merit.

If this town actually did regional emergency planning, like done in the region 30 years ago, the administration might have found out there are eight (8) switches to flip to activate the emergency sirens instead of a single main control. The lack of planning also shows in their plan to destroy our emergency shelter built in 1962. The design of the Arena was to allow it survive with thousands of people inside before and after a tornadic type event. During the recent Task Force discussions the members were frustrated by how much it would cost to tear it down because it was built to emergency management standards. So now we are going to tear it down because it is not pretty enough for our current delicate tastes.

Remember the use of the Fargo dome to fill sandbags in freezing weather when no place else could do it? This is was emergency planning in protecting thousands of people and property. Fargo did it right, why can’t we?

Remember the Sioux City disaster planning that made survival possible after the United flight 232 crash? It was actual emergency exercises and planning that brought in the thousands of people necessary to help the survivors. Sioux City did it right, why can’t we? Oh yea, we play Facebook games on our phones.

According to our town’s “leaders” Facebook social media accounts are needed to survive disasters. We really have a bunch of loonies running our town’s administration. No planning, just city “leadership” playing Facebook games with their phones. FACEBOOK SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS THE PRIMARY METHOD OF INFORMING THE CITIZENS OF ANYTHING! Is this clear enough?

Administration officials are blaming others for their lack of information delivered to the people. An information vacuum is caused by lack of planning. The administrations poor messaging shows they do not want to be leaders. I, with many others, ask them to get to work, quit blaming others for their screwups, quit replaying the election of 2018, quit using our poor lives to play 2020 election games and start hiring people with experience. If you can’t figure out how to lead, just get out of the way, hide in your offices or just help us all out by resigning.

Editor’s Note: This all reminds me of a docu-movie I watched about the campaign that secured the Brexit disaster. The campaign that won was spreading false information and half-truths all over FB. In fact there are serious investigations going on to this day of their campaign practices. Folks, FB is NOT the place to go to get official information about ANYTHING. Often when I read a story on FB that looks plausible, I search other sites to see if it is true.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Businesses say they feel like ‘the enemy’ at Jensen fundraiser?

So Pitty Pat decided to chime in on Alex Jensen’s fundraiser last night. Like I have said before, I don’t really have an opinion on Alex, because he really has NO political resume. His time in the legislature was minimal and he usually voted with the GOP majority. That aside, I did enjoy a couple of tidbits from the event;

You might have even caught a glimpse of a city councilor or two.

I heard that Marshall Selberg and Greg Neitzert showed up, (correction, Erica Beck WAS NOT in attendance). This of course is 2nd hand information since I wasn’t there. But this part of Pitty’s assessment had me rolling in the aisles

You did hear business people note they were weary of being considered an enemy as opposed to a valued parter in the future of the city.

So business owners feel like the city is making them the enemy and not partnering with them? That’s hilarious. Well, the biggest partnership in the history of the city went down the tubes, the Bunker Ramp and the RR Redevelopment isn’t looking much better. Other then that the city has consistently given handouts to some of the biggest developers in this city. For almost two decades they have gotten millions in TIF’s, Tax reductions, infrastructure upgrades, worker training programs, etc. and in return citizens have gotten pallet humper jobs and low wages. We also have gotten higher property taxes to pay for these ‘partnerships’ and in return we must beg the city for a low interest loan to fix our furnaces (Community Development Loans). The working class has gotten the shaft due to these ‘Partnerships’. Any business that complains that the city is treating them like ‘the enemy’ is either blind, ignorant, naïve, stupid or just flat out lying. The greed is insurmountable.

The business community is upset because Stehly can’t be bought with a tiny $250 donation. For the first time since Kermit Staggers, the people have a voice with Stehly, she fights for them, because as taxpayers we are the REAL partners driving the economy in this town and we are tired of feeling like the ENEMY. We saw this with the Tornado cleanup last week where citizens helped each other while the city fiddle-F’ckd around with their FB messaging.

Sioux Falls Board of Ethics gets warned they may get very busy (Meeting 9/19/19)

Notice the ‘Note’ handoff to one of the members who showed up late. Kind of looks like the decision was made before the meeting even started.

You hope you can ask a question of Sioux Falls city government and get a straight answer but all you found was a false hope. Just like so many citizens of Sioux Falls, City Councilor Janet Brekke had basic questions of what can I do and what can’t I do in a petition drive.

Triple Check the Charter petition drive is being fought by every resource the city of Sioux Falls has available. Government officials with no political or election experience are cooking the petition process to disenfranchise voters. These individuals with the blessing of the administration are creating new rules no one has ever heard of before to protect their power grabs.

After the confusing August 16, 2019 Board of Ethics hearing, Janet Brekke wanted more information and the members refused to clear up the any of the mess being created by it and the actions of the administration.

The Triple Check the Charter movement is a citizen led effort with a simple goal, redefining the responsibilities of the city council. The administration’s leadership team is scared they might have to be actual leaders and lead. The RS5 coalition on the Council might actually have to work together with all the members to succeed. All of the Sioux Falls city government might actually have to work for the betterment all citizens of Sioux Falls.

A scary thought right?

Like Councilor Stehly asked in August, Brekke wanted simple guidance but the September 19, 2019 meeting of the Board of Ethics once again shows, trying to do the right thing is the last thing our city government wants to see someone do. They might be caught doing something? It’s why we ask.

Sioux Falls should model it’s municipal website after Omaha

I have always thought regionally, the City of Omaha has a good functioning website. Could it look better? Well, anything can look better. But does it function well. I think so.

We spend thousands of dollars a year to host a city website, it should function and it should be the FIRST place people go for information. In the wake of the latest communication breakdown with city hall, there was mass confusion on messaging that I attributed to the city relying to much on Facebook games and not what we already have, a city website.

Is there anything wrong with having a city Twitter page or Facebook page? Not at all, but it should NOT be the place to get OFFICIAL information especially in the wake of a natural disaster.

As you can see below, Omaha’s site is easy to navigate. One of the features I found intriguing, besides the fact that there is tons of news and information scrolling across the page constantly, is you have a language translation option. I’m not sure how many languages are spoken in Sioux Falls, but I do recall a SFSD official saying something that it is well over 50. The other great feature about the search engine is it actually works! When you type in a topic, it will provide links and those links will send you to the place you need to go ON THE CITY WEBSITE, not some other site that doesn’t work in some browsers (like the SF city website does).

When it comes to messaging and communicating with the public, I always tell people that the KISS theory works the best. It’s simple, let’s just use the city website to get out this official information, and when someone asks ‘Where do I go?’ You answer, ‘Siouxfalls.org will provide you with all the information you need.

I love technology, but like everything else, if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The city’s website could work just fine in disseminating information, now if we can just get the mayor and city employees off of Facebook long enough to make it operational and functional.

Augie students to have ‘Climate Strike’ on Friday

The Augustana students are leading a “Climate Strike” tomorrow (Fri. Sept.20) on campus at 10:30am. It is part of a nation-wide and worldwide effort to ask for action referred to as “climate justice”, because so much is at risk, including the livelihoods and even lives of the poorest people. Some references:

Action Network

“Our house is on fire — let’s act like it. We demand climate justice for everyone.”

Global Climate Strike

The Nation

By coming, we can support the cause and these students.

Sioux Falls City Council Meeting, Sept 17, 2019

UPDATE: As Majority of Sioux Falls City Council prepares to skewer Stehly, they trip over procedure

UPDATE: Belfrage misses the point entirely;

Can someone check on Councilor Starr and see if he’s lost his voice? He left Stehly twisting in the wind without a word.

Hey, McFly, maybe Starr didn’t 2nd the motion, because Stehly got to make her point without the rest of the council beating her up? And that is what exactly what happened. If anyone looked like a winner after the motion didn’t receive a 2nd, it was Theresa, not Paul.

The last item of the night at the city council meeting was under new business and Stehly’s motion to encourage the city to help with storm cleanup. Stehly was actually attempting to amend the motion to actually THANK the city for helping (even though the messaging didn’t align with that from the administration). She never got there, but the public did.

Several people came up to say the city DID help and were thankful, but confused and disappointed with the communication of this help.

So it came time to 2nd Stehly’s motion and NO one did. This killed it, which killed the discussion.

Mission accomplished anyway.

Mayor was told by the public that he needs to be better at planning for disasters and communication. I agree. No need to fight about political grandstanding. Tell it like it is. Help each other and communicate better. End of discussion.

It was refreshing.

I wonder who from the city council staff had to stay late and shred all the vitriol that didn’t get used? Hopefully the mayor gives them one of his lucky coins.

At first I was confused. Then I had a very good laugh. Well played councilor ‘X’. Well played.

Brandon School Bond vote crushes SFSD record

This bond election was in NO way in comparison to the SFSD.

First by the numbers, this was a $17 million dollar bond, heck, the SF City Council passes bonds like that every other week. Our bond issue was $300 million with interest.

But the bigger point was the Brandon School District asked for NO increase in taxes to pass the bond. See, they just paid off a bond, so instead of decreasing taxes they simply are keeping them where they are at currently. It’s called planning ahead, something the SFSD hasn’t been doing.

I argued at the time of the bond we could borrow half and pay the rest as we go. In fact, that suggestion came from school bond task force member, Mark Cotter. It would have roughly saved us $50 million in interest payments (but who’s counting?)

Also, the election vote turnout in Brandon was less then stellar, about 8.2%. While Brandon elections normally don’t draw many people anyway, I think the fact that taxes were NOT increasing didn’t really interest people as being that important. Even if it would not have passed, they would have found a way to keep taxes where they are. I have never known there to be a property tax DECREASE in the region, or at least lately.

I still believe, as I told a SFSD official recently that the SFSD vote was tampered with, but NOT by the counters, but by the people who entered them into the system. I guess we will never know because the district wouldn’t allow us to have an independent audit of the results without paying them to supervise our efforts. How is that independent?

Sioux Falls City Council RS5 should audition for Community Theater

It was quite the performance of the RS5 last night and their little parlor trick to make sure the Mayor’s proposed ‘Cult Officer’ got a tie vote so he could break the tie.

Three councilors argued that the mayor could just slide the position thru on the sly, but he chose to be open about it, then they let him have his way by letting him break the tie anyway.

Don’t be fooled by their performances, and Erickson’s classic standby, “I really struggled with this.” The only thing she struggled with was keeping track of the votes, that I can guarantee were counted in advance to make sure the mayor could break the tie and slide it thru.

I’m no expert on HR, and I couldn’t tell you if they need this position or not. But I do agree with one argument, if they do need it, it should be in the HR department, not under the mayor’s department.

Want to reduce racism in Sioux Falls & SD? Stop voting for White, Male, Republicans

Just look at what our legislature does each year to encourage racism and less tolerance. Anti-choice laws, little access to affordable healthcare, open carry, bathroom bills, resisting other languages for driver’s licenses, etc. This is what happens when you have one-party rule, and that party SUCKS!

It takes more than an attitude or culture change, it takes a LEADERSHIP change, and until that happens in Pierre and in the City Halls and County Commission chambers across this state, we will continue to legislate hate instead of tolerance.

I find it a little ironic that our mayor said he scaled back a compassion program in the city because he wants others to chip in. What he fails to mention is he supposedly fired the person in charge of the program.

Make no mistake, those in power are quite happy with our Lilly-White community, and they want it to stay that way . . . at least in their minds.