Sioux Falls New Fire Chief, Goodroad says Canton is a good community to raise children in

I know what you are thinking, that was really nice of him to say such a gracious thing about our neighboring town that doesn’t employee him for 6 figures a year.

So why would he say this?

Well according to a SF City Councilor who recently spoke with the new chief, this was his response when the councilor asked him why he lives in Canton instead of Sioux Falls (maybe hinting the new fire chief should probably live here and spend his 6-figure salary here instead of in Canton).

WOW! What a vote of confidence from the guy who now is in charge of fighting fires and disasters in Sioux Falls. It’s much better in Canton. Maybe we should have lured Canton’s Fire Chief to come work for us instead?

This of course brings up my old beef about city department heads living in Sioux Falls. Maybe our tax revenue is down in boomtown because all these 6-figure directors don’t spend their bread here?

Goodroad was going to become fire chief anyway. Rumor has it he was endorsed by the Union President and Sideras way before Jim announced his retirement. It was no split second decision by the mayor to appoint Brad as temp Fire Chief and ultimately giving him the job full-time.

I think it is time to recommend to the next Charter Revision Commission that we incorporate a new city ordinance that requires city directors to live in the jurisdiction of Sioux Falls, or at least those that deal with safety, like the Chief of Police and Fire. This is just makes sense folks.

Weird, this place was never mentioned in the Thrive Report

Well at least they have good taste in art, I see they own several paintings by my good artist friend Eyob Mergia.

Kristi Noem has revealed her new (retro) look

As I revealed a few weeks ago (until a GOP thumb sucker from Brookings cried) it seems the Castlewood Queen has a new look.

I took this screenshot from KELO-TV last night. I’m no expert, and it could very well be great makeup and hair, but seems a little nook and tuck took place. Maybe? Hmmmm?

Wonder what it costs these days to look like Morticia Addams? Too bad Rep. Curd wasn’t standing next to her, you’d think uncle Fester was in the room with her.

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2016 Absentee Voting at Schlotzsky’s

I will have to admit, the first time I watched this video, I was so confused because I couldn’t understand why Bob Litz was handing out sample ballots at Schlotzsky’s for an election that already happened. Welcome to Trump World.

2017 City Salaries; Human Resources

The best way to describe the city of Sioux Falls Human Resources Department would be ‘Management Heavy’ of the 15 employees there is 7 managers, over 50%. There is even duplicity in some of the managers. For instance there is two Human Resource Managers who both make $97,073.60 a year, their boss, the Director of Human Resources makes $145,392.

Management salaries equal $662,207 with hourly employees equaling $404,183.

Salaries for the entire department is $1,066,390 with an average salary of $71,092.66 a year.

If I had any advice for the next mayor, I would take a cutting knife to the HR department, and I would start at the top down.

Here is the full doc: 2017-Wages

The Windhaters got it handed to them today

Looks like they are going to have a tough road ahead (Full DOC PR; REFER-WIND);

Faced with the heavy task of gathering more than 1,700 signatures from Lincoln County registered voters, supporters began circulating the referendum petition last week after the publication of the new setback ordinance. Supporters achieved their goal of having the requisite number of signatures far ahead of the statutory 20-day deadline. 

“Gathering nearly 2,100 signatures in a little more than a week is a true testament to the enthusiasm the voters of Lincoln County have for wind energy,” said Minish. “While circulating the petition it was a pleasure to hear thank you from the numerous voters who want to see clean, sustainable energy production become a reality in Lincoln County. From parents and grandparents looking at the funding this project would bring to schools, the county and townships to our ag producers, farmers and individuals who believe that landowners should be able to choose what they do on their family’s land, the support for Dakota Power Community Wind has really been overwhelming. We’re looking forward to the next phase of this process that will bring us one step closer to making wind energy in Lincoln County a reality.”

That many signatures, that fast, tells me that this will probably get the NO vote they are looking for on the setbacks. I predict at least a 70% in favor of eliminating the 1/2 mile setback. Get ready for more letters to the editor about how great and knowing the Lincoln County Commission is (LOL) and how evil the wind energy business is. What I find incredibly ironic about the opposition to wind energy is how we have no problem with two oil pipelines going through our state (with a 3rd one in progress) that provide us NO oil for energy, yet we fight green energy that will be used locally.

Shaking my head.

It also goes to show, once again, it takes the voters taking matters into their own hands with a petition to get things done. Just look at the amount of time and energy that County and Planning commission wasted on this. They should have just set up an election date to begin with and saved a lot of people, a lot of time. As I tell the city council quite often, ‘There are some things above your pay grade.’

UPDATE: Ellis probably should have ‘confirmed’ this before tweeting it

UPDATE: Ellis did apologize for his tweet yesterday, and in his defense, Hagen did have a brother die, even if it was a step brother.

If you’ve been following the Eric Hagen trial, you’ve noticed that J. Ellis has been tweeting for the Argus Leader. Did you catch the tweet yesterday that stated Eric Hagen’s brother might be dead?

That’s pretty sloppy journalism.  According to a foot soldier who knows the Hagen family what made it truly a living nightmare is that Eric Hagen is from this area.  His aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents were all alerted to that tweet and had several hours of crying and anguish before they could reach Eric’s only brother to confirm he was alive and ok.  He travels a lot and lives in L.A., so it was very plausible Eric’s brother could have died and his relatives not been notified yet. With Ellis being part of the press pool, he may have had access to alternative information. While he does say that it ‘needed to be confirmed’ it should not have been tweeted at all until he knew for sure.
I’m starting to wonder if anyone at the AL even gives a rip anymore.
Oh, and BTW, not only is Eric’s Brother still alive, Eric is a free man;

Eric Hagen was acquitted Wednesday by a jury in Flandreau that needed only a couple of hours to deliberate. Hagen and his company consulted with the Flandreau Santee Sioux in 2015 on the project.The tribe eventually torched its crop amid fears of a federal raid, and Hagen was charged with several counts related to marijuana possession.

Hagen says the state overstepped its authority in bringing the case. He says he “never once thought that I was guilty.”

Oh the irony of this case compared to when Fatty Patty Powwers was running his political trinket business out of the SOS’s office. Jackley tries to charge Hagen with possession of a product the tribe owned, because Jackboots knew he couldn’t go after the tribe. When Stan Adelstein accused Pat Powerless, as sitting deputy SOS, of ‘borrowing’ intellectual property from the state to help his personal political consulting business, Jackley finds Mr. Fish & Chips NOT GUILTY of stealing (money or other materials from the state). Something he wasn’t accused of to begin with.
And this guy wants to be governor. LMFAO.

This is what our zoning and code enforcement officers fart around with

IMAGE: KDLT-TV

It’s almost embarrassing to think this is all they have better to do;

A Sioux Falls business will be holding a ‘painting party’ after the city says the mural on the side of their building is against city code. The owner of Elegant Mommy says she tried to resolve the problem, but has no choice but to concede to the city.

Of course, all code enforcement violations start with a complaint, I can’t help to wonder if the city’s biggest grocery retailer sharing a parking lot had a little to do with this?

Than there are those silly rules about the square footage of the lettering of the signage compared to the building itself (not sure whose butt they pulled this math from);

The City of Sioux Falls Zoning Enforcement Manager Shawna Goldammer says there’s another problem: there is too much signage. Gaddis says she never received official notice of that violation. She says having a permitted company put up signage that is within city code will cost her at least a few thousand dollars.

Oh, because you know, how on earth could a business owner be able to know how to paint a stencil on a straight line? Yes, in all this silliness you have to hire a certified sign contractor to put a sign on YOUR property, even if you follow all the insane rules. It reminds me a lot of Project TRIM where the city requires you to trim THEIR trees, and if you don’t do it to THEIR standards they will hire a contractor that can, charge you for it and also send you a fine.

It makes you wonder if you really own your property anymore if you are not allowed to improve it yourself without hiring a certified contractor. Lewis Drug did that for their project on 1oth & Phillips, how did that turn out?

Sioux Falls City Council’s new buzz word ‘collaboration’

Hey man, I don’t have a problem with collaboration. I put on several Art of Jazz events and as a group we produced some pretty incredible paintings, I think they all sold within a few days.

When any group collaborates whether that is artists or legislators, that is a good thing, but it also must be executed for the COMMON GOOD. Collaborating for the sake of being a rubber stamp for the executive branch to protect or help a special interest isn’t collaboration, it’s collusion.

In this final year of the city council with this mayor it seems the council wants to return to the status quo of the past 15 years, rubberstamping projects and expenditures in the name of this new (old) form of governing and calling it something different, collaboration.

You can put lipstick on a pig, and it’s still a pig.

Our 3 branches of government in Sioux Falls should be ‘collaborating’ for the best interest of its citizens, if that isn’t the collaborative goal, there should be dissent, debate and discussion. We don’t elect our councilors and mayor to do the bidding of their biggest donors, we elect to do the work of the citizenry, and any other kind of collaboration is just counterproductive and quite frankly destructive.

Like I said, I am all for them working together to achieve a common goal, but if that goal hurts us, I would prefer they don’t get along.

With diminishing taxes, it will be interesting to see how this final year plays out, and how collaborative the council will be. So far the silence on the ambulance issue and the parking ramp development worries me, and it seems the only thing they have been collaborating on successfully is deafening silence while moving farther away from transparency.

 

South Dakota’s Regressive Sales Taxes are a prehistoric way to fund government

As if it isn’t bad enough that the state taxes food, and increased it by a half penny last year, now the state wants to implement another penny and a half on Farmer’s Market food sold by Falls Park. The state may be able to pull this off. Because state law says they can charge this additional tax to any retailer at a tourist site.

State Rep. Jamie Smith, D-Sioux Falls, said while he understands the revenue office is only enforcing the laws that are already on the books, an exemption for farmers markets is something he’d support. While he believes there shouldn’t be any taxation on food, burdening local producers with a higher tax than grocery stores will only deter the public from using alternative food sources.

“We’re discouraging locally grown products,” he said. “Those are dollars staying local right here. The person that grew that carrot lives here, spends money here and goes to school here.”

I guess I would have two arguments against the additional tax. First off, they are not selling souvenirs, they are selling FOOD. Secondly, the Farmer’s Market isn’t really in Falls Park, it’s actually wedged between a stinky meat packing plant, and a blue-collar bar, hardly the tourist attraction. People come to the market to buy fresh produce and the occasional jar of raw honey. They are not buying T-shirts of Falls Park.

I guess things are getting so desperate for the state and the city, they are looking to start charging additional fees on anything they can, including claiming organic food products are now souvenirs.

The sad part is they continue to make excuses about the farm economy and internet sales instead of offering solutions (and there are really simple solutions out there). They keep wanting to beat the dead horse hoping to suck more money out of it.

Let’s face it, sales taxes are regressive and primitive. Don’t get me wrong, they are applicable for many things, but should NEVER be charged on necessities like Food, Clothing and Energy costs.

Of course everyone fears an income tax. To most hard working South Dakotans, an income would never even touch you or effect you.

I would suggest we implement a three step process over 6 years;

First step would be to eliminate ALL sales taxes on anything tangible or a service that is considered a necessity of life or living. For example, you wouldn’t pay a tax to get your tire fixed on your car but you would pay one at a sun tanning salon. I would then increase that sales tax to 10-12% on all the remaining products and services. There would also be a ‘luxury’ clause. If you bought a minivan for your family of 5, you probably wouldn’t pay a tax on that, but if you bought a Porsche Crossover, there may be a tax. Same would go with luxury homes.

I would wait two years before implementing step two, which would be a income tax on corporations profiting more then $2 million a year, singles making more than $100K a year and households making more than $200k a year. This would be a flat tax of about 5-7% with NO exemptions.

I would wait another two years to implement the last stage, shut down Video Lottery. I would keep property taxes where they are.

Let’s face it, we can continue to bitch and complain about sales tax revenue going in the hole, but as the gap between the rich and poor get bigger, it’s reality, because it is a regressive tax. Tax those who can afford it.