Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Dec 10-11, 2019

City Council Informational • 4 PM • Tuesday, Dec 10

Update on Legislative Priorities for the 2019 session and a presentation on Walkability by Councilor Stehly (I’m not sure what her presentation is about). But I see they continue to peddle the perceived benefits of TIFs;

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.

I say ‘perceived’ because we have NEVER gotten evidence that it has benefitted us.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM • Tuesday, Dec 10


Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 3:30 PM • Wednesday, Dec 11

The hammer continues to drop at the CRC. As you can see from this graphic, they have been very good at killing stuff;

Oh, but they are going to get something done, making it more difficult to do a petition drive when it comes to the changing the Charter;

The petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the proposed charter amendment and must be signed by registered voters of the city in the number of at least 5 percent of the total number of registered voters at the last regular city election, (change) or the number of signatures required by state law, whichever is greater.

When I talked to fellow city government nerd about this the other day, they said ‘If it gets on the ballot, we will make sure it doesn’t pass.’ The irony of it would be the mantra of the CRC and saying they don’t like to put stuff on the ballot because people just vote ‘YES’ on it without researching it. I will guaran-F’ing-tee you that if they put this on the ballot, we will make sure the public is VERY informed about what they are trying to do and it will be fun to watch the ONLY thing they approve for the ballot fails, or at least we hope it fails.

I also find this discussion curious;

Clarification of Duties of the Charter Revision Commission on its Webpage

Huh? This is what is listed on the city website;

The commission may deliver a report to the city election authorities framing and proposing amendments to the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter. The commission holds at least one public meeting each calendar year for the purpose of receiving recommendations from the public regarding revisions to the charter and to take action upon any matters before the commission relating to proposed charter revisions.

It will be interesting to hear what changes they want to make.

Sioux Falls Arts Council has call for art

You can apply HERE. I think the call for art at city hall is a ‘paid’ exhibit.

On-Demand Transit Pilot RFP

I was able to find the RFP on Friday when it was released.


Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr Inside Town Hall

As we look at Transit as a burden, KC looks at it as an investment in workers

What a concept! KC has made public transit FARE FREE and said it will only cost them $8 million a year, but the economic impact is well worth it. DUH!

“I think it would make the bus system stronger, not weaker, and would probably bring in more revenue, not less.” 

I also loved this quote from the Editorial board at the KC Star when people asked where they will find the money;

“A good first step would be to stop giving away tax revenue to developers.

Yeah, maybe the AL Ed board should send the same message to our city leaders. Stop the corporate welfare in this city and we can find the money for all kinds of public programs.

Our 5G ‘Jet-Setting’ Mayor TenHaken

Am I the only one who finds it a bit ironic that PTH doesn’t have the time to hold a ‘regular’ press conference on the Bunker Ramp, where actual media and constituents can ask questions, but apparently has time to fly off to China, California, and now DC to testify in front of a Senate Committee (FF 31:30);

Many people have been questioning where the money is coming from to send him all over the place, but I ask a bigger question – is he running the city or is someone else? Remember, COS Beck has the executive authority to sign executive orders and paperwork for the mayor, it was one of the first things he granted her when he hired her. So are we paying the mayor to fly all over the place, or are we paying him to do the job he is supposed to do according to charter, which is to be the city manager. I totally understand you have to negotiate opportunities for the city (we will get to his 5G crap in a moment) but as a guy who is consistently talking about technology I want to ask him if he has ever heard of email, a cell phone, or SKYPE? Here’s a little insider baseball Paul; they are all a lot cheaper than jet fuel.

I still believe my conspiracy theory also that they are prepping TenHaken to run for Congress. I still think Rounds is NOT going to run, and Dusty will run for his seat, and TenHaken will run for Congress. His little ‘trip’ this week is just another indicator that Thune has taken him under his wing and preparing him for a statewide run.

Gag me with a gigantic shovel.

The guy has made mistake after mistake after mistake running the city. Heck, he can’t even figure out how to plow the streets or pick up trees. He does have one thing down though when it comes to being prepared for Congress – his lack of communication and interaction with constituents.

So why was PTH in DC? To brag about how he hosed constituents on 5G and ramrodded it thru with little interaction or participation from the public, heck he didn’t even fill in the city council;

“We want several more small cells as well as the entry of AT&T and T-Mobile small cells into our market. the strategy of Sioux falls for dealing with this was simple: cover our costs. as mayor, it’s not my intent to profit off carriers to deploy small cell infrastructure,” said Mayor TenHaken.

So how much 5G coverage do we really have in Sioux Falls? Just look at the map below. Basically only DTSF has it. So how will this ‘drive’ our technology in Sioux Falls if we only have it DT? It won’t, we are simply lab rats, as I always assumed we would be. Maybe PTH can fly somewhere to figure this out further, or send his Director of Innovative Drinking and Gambling figure it out? As Nancy Pelosi would say, “I pray for these people everyday.”

UPDATE: JazzFest Killed

UPDATE: The story going around is that JF lost significant money this past year, which doesn’t surprise me. Having to pay for generators, bad weather damaging stuff, no major acts and having the headliner cancel probably did it in. I’ve even heard they are so broke from it that they may have to hand over the concert series they hold at the Orpheum to the Pavilion management, but we will have to see what happens. I think they ‘could’ bring it back in 2021 but would still need to do something like a small Saturday night concert this summer and bill it as a ‘mini’ JF just to keep it relevant. But with the money situation, I’m not sure if that is even possible.

I also have heard that people are blaming Mayor TenHaken because of the proposed ordinance to charge for police assistance. I guess he has been on the horn with certain people mad about the blame game. I won’t defend PTH on much, but it really isn’t his fault. Sure the proposal is stupid and ridiculous, but the city council hasn’t ironed out the details yet and may vote it down anyway IF it is even brought forward. So while the ordinance proposal is moronic, it hasn’t happened yet. I was actually surprised he was so annoyed with it, I would just blow it off.

As you have heard in the news, JazzFest has ended (but will consider doing it in 2021). I think once you go there, you can never recover.

It saddens me for several reasons, I assisted with JF for several years in different roles with graphic design work, helping to design the logo two years, and designing countless other items for them. It was always a tradition for me, for at least 20 years. I will miss it.

Some think it may have to do with the city council considering charging for police assistance, but I think it really has to do with all the problems from this past festival and low attendance, and former director Rob Joyce leaving. It of course has never been the same since Janoct Adja died 🙂 We may never know. I think that this city has been going towards more ‘family friendly’ festivals lately (not that JF wasn’t) and it is just hard to put on these kind of large events anymore.

I actually think the city council has the votes to either kill the police ordinance, or at least reduce the proposed fee of $70 an hour per officer significantly. I would like for them to pass an ordinance that only charges ‘For-Profit’ events for police assistance and leave the non-profit’s exempt.

As we know these events bring in huge economic impact that can cover the police costs, it is just a matter of the city budgeting for it and paying the officers for these duties. Which is easily done instead of continuing to screw the police union.

Isn’t ironic that our mayor was in DC yesterday bragging about how he doesn’t want to burden the FOR-PROFIT telecoms (who make billions a year) with high fees for 5G poles then turns around and depends on volunteers to clean up after tornados, doesn’t plow our streets and now wants to charge for police assistance (even though they have plenty of money in the budget for it). This administration’s priorities are messed up, and you will see that when the $21.5 million dollar TIF for a private developer gets passed with NO evidence or studies proving TIFs provide economic impact to our city. The arts and other non-profit events in Sioux Falls have already had numerous studies showing their impact, but who has time to read that stuff? For TIFs and telecom handouts we’ll just take your word.

Metro 911 meeting this morning

According to councilor Stehly on FB and local media;

Happening Now: Metro 911 wants $9-11 Million for a new facility vs $6-8 Million to remodel. Unfortunately,the meeting was not recorded.

She also told me that she was chastised at the meeting by another city councilor for posting that information on FB. This was a public meeting, so I’m not sure why that was an issue? Oh, because without the media there they can try to keep people in the dark. I’m not sure why our public officials like secrecy so much. I have often argued that if you keep the public informed from the beginning they can never come back and say ‘You never told us about this.’ That is why the Bunker Ramp has been such a disaster, too many behind closed door deals.

Well looky there, a quorum of leaders in a public building, wouldn’t that be considered a ‘public meeting’?

Kermit Staggers Funeral

I just want to say a few words first. Bruce got permission from the family to film Kermit’s funeral and post to YouTube. I am sad I could not make the funeral, he was a good friend, but am happy that the moment was captured. I also want to say that former Governor Janklow’s funeral was live streamed, so this is NOT a rare event. For those who could not make it, I hope this comforts you. I will miss you friend, you were always a light in the darkness, and your light shines bright and always will.

UPDATE: Stace Nelson case will be one to watch

I have been thinking about this today, A LOT!

Soon to be resigning Republican state Senator Stace Nelson is being sued by a second-year University of South Dakota law student in Vermillion for kicking him off his Facebook page.

Jeff Church says in the complaint filed in federal court in Sioux Falls that Nelson’s Facebook page is a public forum.

Church says by not letting him comment on his posts, Nelson is denying him his First Amendment rights.

It may be a pretty cut and dry case;

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court said that President Donald Trump could not block his critics on Twitter and this is account was a “public forum.”

I think where it could get complicated is if Jeff was threatening physical harm to Nelson or his family (actual harm NOT hyperbole) he could have a case. But as I told an elected official tonight who asked my opinion on it I said, “Whether that is you, Mayor TenHaken, Councilor Neitzert or Nelson, if you are using your FB page as a public forum to get out public information, you have opened yourself to a public platform, and as a public official, you can’t curb free speech.” We also talked about what I said above, if people are actually threatening you, you have a different case. But I do know for a fact that Councilors Neitzert, Stehly, Erickson and Mayor TenHaken have all blocked commenters they don’t agree with. This case may overturn all that ‘blocking’. I don’t know enough law to make an educated guess, but it seems the Federal ruling may stand.

I have suggested to Stehly in the past she just put up a blog like I have so you can moderate the idiots. Because on FB, it is a FREE for ALL for idiots, and why ANY politician would want to start a discussion on an issue over there is beyond me.

The irony of all this is that Cameraman Bruce and I have told the TenHaken administration several times to NOT use Facebook to get out information or start a ‘public’ discussion. They should use the city’s official website FIRST and SECONDLY hold a PUBLIC press conference or open house to have a discussion with the public and the media.

And for the record, I don’t block many comments. If you are being libelous about someone or you call me a fat little idiot, you will probably be deleted of even blocked. In fact I have blocked OR edited many of my main commenters several times. Ironically they have thanked me in an email by saying “Thanks for deleting/editing my comment, I wasn’t thinking.” And on FB, there isn’t a lot of thinkers.

UPDATE: I have told Stehly not to block people’s opinions, but I really got a chuckle out of this;

Councilors Christine Erickson and Greg Neitzert say they’ve also been blocked by Stehly. Stehly asserts those two blocked her first, though both Neitzert and Erickson insist they do not block anyone from seeing their Facebook pages.

“I will say I have no one blocked nor do I recall ever blocking her,” Neitzert said.

Yeah, Greg, and monkeys fly from my ass. Like I said already, I don’t care if it is Theresa, Greg or any other elected official, you shouldn’t block citizen’s comments on a public forum when you are a public official (comments AND friends both). But to say he is innocent is a stretch. Neitzert shut down earlier this year without the consent of co-creators of the site. I won’t go into any more detail than that, but let’s just say, all the damn hand sanitizer in the world won’t clean Lady MacNeitzert’s hands.