South DaCola Podcast III

We get down about Garth, Bosworth, Parks and audits.

Garth Brooks buys Events Center

It really came down to Mr. Brooks running the numbers, according to his management,

“Hey, make no mistake, we were going to make an a**load of money from doing our 27 shows in Sioux Falls. We even had to charter a private jet to haul all of the cash OUT OF SIOUX FALLS. We just figured it would be more economical for us to buy the Events Center.”

While most of the year Brooks shows will be booked at the EC, think Celine Dion, Vegas Show, they will do other shows, like monster trucks and rodeos, but they will also do country, country and country shows.

While Brooks won’t live in Sioux Falls permanently, he did purchase a very nice residence on the South Side.

“Garth got a Hell of a deal on a home by the Walmart on 85th and Minnesota. He loved how the Walmart sign illuminated his driveway at night.”

We asked what Brooks would do about the bent up siding on the EC. Management had a positive twist on that.

Besides getting a $1 million dollar discount on the purchase price due to the whacked siding job, it was actually a selling point.

“Garth liked how it looked like an old grain bin. Actually we will be adding fake rust streaks and a big auger. We are also going to change the landscaping to a field of corn around the EC.”

We wondered if the secret siding settlement was disclosed during the negotiations.

“Yeah, we saw it, but we won’t be releasing it to the public, they would crap their pants.”

We wondered if City Hall had any comments about the sale, and the mayor released this statement.

“This is a darn good deal for the good folks of Sioux Falls. Not only will we be able to pay off the bonds early on the Events Center, we will still have a great entertainment facility that was pretty much built for country shows anyway. And I will never have to answer questions about the siding anymore.”

We asked if there would be any major changes with Brooks management running the facility.

Besides the bars now will only serve Jack Daniels and Coors Light, all shows will be $75. Whether that is a Brooks show, a rodeo or a State ‘A’ tournament.

We asked if Garth himself had anything to say about the purchase. He did,

“Sorry Denny, there’s a new Sheriff in town.”

A bronze of Brooks is already being minted for the campus of the new Brooks Events Center.

Hey Stupid, it’s still about the wages

You can give away all the free tickets to a free outdoor concert or unlimited mimosas on center court of the EC, doesn’t matter, if young people want to move back to Sioux Falls to continue their career that decision depends on something else very important;

“There’s other things that hold people back from moving back. Like pay and benefits,” she said.

She expects her husband will take a pay cut when they return.

“He’ll most likely get paid less than in Alaska,” she said.

We can talk all we want about the cost-of-living differential, but it’s still important to note the perception here is that financially they feel they will be less-well-off.

WAGES! WAGES! WAGES! So often we like to talk about low unemployment or affordable housing, but let’s face it, over 40% of the full-time jobs in Sioux Falls don’t pay a living wage. Though we have two of the largest industrial hospital complexes in the region, our pay for healthcare workers is still some of the lowest in the nation, so yes, her husband would have to take a pay cut, a big one.

While there is lots of things to do in SF, some of them free, like recreation in our parks, it still costs money for entertainment. I’m sorry, but the 700 lb. gorilla in the room is still the lack of good living wage jobs in Sioux Falls, not entertainment and recreation.

Theresa Stehly, SE Podcast Episode I of II

She covers many topics.

Pat Starr at Democratic Forum (July 21, 2017)

Sioux Falls is lucky. Why? We have a few city council members ready to tackle issues and not just do what they are told, you know to be collegial. One of these Sioux Falls City Councilors is Pat Starr.

Pat Starr spoke to Glory House, annexation, phantom ambulances, zoning, family and other interests we’re facing. The appreciative audience of the Sioux Falls Democratic Forum on July 21, 2017 kept him around long after the microphone left.

BTW, he also said some nice things about SouthDacola and Cameraman Bruce, but we won’t take that personally.

Every Friday, at 12 noon, come to the VFW, have lunch and interact with the speakers invited by the Democratic Forum.

Big Announcement coming soon?

Garth Brooks sellout is a perfect opportunity to give us the real numbers

It didn’t take long for the usual mouthpieces to come out talking about the economic impact of the Garth Shows, which is no surprise;

Teri Schmidt, executive director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau, said anytime a concert sells out it means an infusion of money to bars, restaurants, hotels and gas stations in the city. But a household name that draws people from all over the country like Brooks raises the bar even further.

“Even if we said the average person would spend an average of about $100, that’s another $4.5 million in economic impact — just in a blink of an eye,” she said. “Throw in the possibility of an overnight stay, going out to eat, maybe they do a little shopping, fill up their car with gas — it’s going to be a great week in Sioux Falls.”

That’s good news also for local governments that find themselves dealing with sluggish sales tax revenues.

Which comes to about $135,000 in sales taxes to the city coffers (if you count all 3 pennies the city takes in). But let’s say everyone spends double that, that’s a whopping $270,000.

I won’t dwell on that.

As I have said all along, I would like to know the amount of money that is spent at the Denny (not at other businesses citywide) that leaves town. In other words how much goes to Garth, SMG and Ovations, and how much of that gets recirculated in Sioux Falls?

People have argued with me that the Denny is bringing in MORE money to the community, yet;

1) The city and SMG won’t show us the actual sales numbers AND

2) sales tax revenue has been slowly declining in SF since the Denny opened YET most shows are sellouts.

With all the additional sales at the Denny and people coming to Sioux Falls for this extra entertainment, why haven’t we been seeing a boom in sales tax growth?

You know I know the answer why, but will the city have the nads to admit it?

Cameraman Bruce weighs in

An open Note to Mayor Mike Huether

Nice try trying to snow us on a hot July day as the roads are blowing apart from your poor planning. The heat buckles caused by doing superficial street repair in an effort to save money for your precious play palaces. Many have warned you for years to reconsider wasting the second penny sales tax on bond payments.

The 6,500 who signed our petitions in 2016 were trying to warn you about wasting money on the Romantix Annex Administration Building because sales tax revenue was already faltering.

The arrogance of taking the refunded levee bond money and saying it was free cash to spend on a swimming pool so you could do a cannonball on our dreams of smoother roads.

You started out by deceitfully planning to be open about contracts and plans for Sioux Falls’ future. The Events Center is a case in point. We have been witness to your backroom deals and special arrangements to suck money out of Sioux Falls, never to be seen again. I can’t even imagine the millions that will be flying out the door with 6 sold out Garth shows.

What could Sioux Falls do with the $20 – $30 million per year now being spent on bond payments for your vanity projects?

Your vanity projects have cost many areas of Sioux Falls their future. As Rex Rolfing said at the recent Informational, projects have been moved to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing them.

What a legacy. Only you cast the deciding votes to create your vision of a boom town and as all boom towns go, there is a bust to follow. A new mayoral style coming not soon enough will be saddled with your poor decisions.

Billie Sutton’s Campaign

I’ve got friends in LOW PLACES called the Dem Party and their EX FACES in the executive office . . .

After all the Democratic party policy rejections by Billie Sutton over the years why would he run as a Democrat? The meetings I have been in where he has spoken he comes across as a west river hick who uses the FOX news Rush Limbaugh terminology at every stop. If you are claiming to be something, be it.

His decision to bring in Susie as his campaign pro is a sure sign of defeat.

SD Supreme Court made the right decision in Bosworth case

While I disagree with what Bosworth did, I do support the decision in dropping the perjury charges.

I was often baffled how she could be charged with both. She either lied about the documents or she filed false documents. As I watched the court proceedings it seemed obvious to me she was definitely guilty of the false documents charge, but I wasn’t sure she committed perjury.

The ironic part is that the crime she is charged with happens all the time, probably not to the extent of the circulator being out of the country, but I have seen petitioners circulate petitions at events and just let them go from table to table on their own without witnessing every signature, which is very similar to what she did.

I also think while she really screwed up on this and is guilty, I don’t think the charges are serious enough for her to lose her medical license. I guess we will see what the medical board decides.


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.