Jamison Campaign gets UNSOLICITED $47,000 donation

Imagine you are running for mayor of Sioux Falls, and without asking, a national organization drops you a cool $47,000 to help you with direct mail.

That was the surprise the Jamison campaign got last week when they donated that amount.

But here is the amazing part of the donation, according to the finance report document, they gave the money without asking Jamison (DOC: National-Association-Realtors-DON)


Can you imagine if they tried to open a place like this in Downtown Sioux Falls?

Not sure how many of my readers of South DaCola have been to downtown Rapid City, but it’s very ecletic and fun. There’s your normal gift shops and galleries with a nice mix of bars, restaurants and a brewery, but there also some unique places like the Mud Hole.

Teresa Roland and her husband David run the Mud Hole, which combines an antique and thrift store, and a café.

My first thought is that it would cool to have something like this in Downtown Sioux Falls. But can you imagine all the hooping and hollering that would go on if someone applied for a conditional use permit to have something like this in DTSF? I remember all the screaming that went on when Vishnu Bunny came downtown, or when the Night Club concept was turned down. Or the recent noise issues at ICON.

Would DTSF support such a business? We know that the new parking ramp has set up rules that doesn’t allow ‘thrift stores’ in the retail space. But we also know that DTSF already has an upscale thrift store. Would a combination café/thrift store be suitable though?

I don’t have an issue with it, what do you think?

I have felt for a long time there should be more diversity DTSF, and more homespun businesses like this would be a nice addition to our downtown.

AirBnB mysteriously changes from Bed & Breakfast zoning to short term rentals

Short term rental or short term friendship with the mayor?

First off, I agree with the city, a ‘short term rental’ like AirBnB should be just that, a rental. For it to be considered a Bed & Breakfast it has to have a ‘service’ kitchen that serves food to the renters that needs to be inspected by the health department. Since it does not, it is pretty much like any other apartment, but just for a shorter time. But this could ruffle the feathers of your homeowner neighbors who ARE not short term renters.

The rules seem simple. The state requires a tax license;

Beginning Sept. 1, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting state and municipal taxes on all eligible bookings in South Dakota.

The City of Sioux Falls requires rental registration;

Short Term rental properties (such as Airbnb, VRBO, etc.)

This all makes sense, taxes paid, registrations in check.

But here is where it gets a little ‘sticky’ and all that ‘transparency’ thingy a lot of council candidates like to talk about lately. This story from 2015 paints another picture;

“A bed and breakfast requires a Conditional Use Permit and approval of the Planning Commission for that permit to be approved,” said Shawna Goldammer, Sioux Falls Zoning Enforcement Manager.

Goldammer says an Airbnb is considered a bed and breakfast. Chances are, Airbnb hosts are unknowingly operating illegally.

“What the ordinance does for us in Shape Places makes residential residential. So when you live in a residential area under a residential zoning district, you can expect residential in your neighborhood,” said Goldammer.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t consider short term rentals a bed and breakfast. What I take issue with is that after Shape Places passed and Goldammer made these statements, somehow the rules disappeared into the night without any action from the city council . . . that I can find.

What is also very interesting is that council candidate and incumbent, Christine Erickson’s main business is ‘short term rentals’ and AirBnB. Please tell me the rules didn’t change quietly in the night after a secret handshake with our mayor and code enforcement?

The irony of this is that Erickson could have had a very public debate about it, and would have probably won and got citizen support. Or maybe not. Would you want to own a home next to a short term rental in a residential neighborhood? I have renters in my neighborhood, I don’t take issue with it, but it’s not a revolving door either.

I would really like to know how these rules just magically change when it affects a city councilor’s business and a mysteriously renewed friendship with the mayor.

Kind of like the Downtown Parking ramp deal, Erickson got a little back peddling to do.

SouthDaCola planning Run-off Forum

I have thought since the last election two years ago it is time SouthDaCola had it’s own forum/interview. Since there has been so many forums/interviews with candidates before the general election I didn’t want to muddy the waters with another forum so I am planning to have a runoff forum instead.

There will be only 4 candidates. The mayor’s race and the central district race. I will do separate forums for both.

Stay tuned for details after April 10th. I will be asking my readers to submit questions.

Mayor Chickensh*t gets mad about a mayoral candidate trying to fix something he should have

I just want to let Greg Belfrage know that he should sell all that precious chicken manure that was dispersed in his studio this morning, it makes fantastic fertilizer.

Hizzoner has been on his departing tour now for what seems like eternity, this morning he came on the B-N-B show and couldn’t resist to continue to talk about how he is the greatest mayor ever and how none of the candidates know what they are talking about.

He of course has been using these opportunities to go after Greg Jamison (without saying his name). While I wish the mayor would stay out of the race completely, if he is going to throw certain candidates under the bus at least have the balls to say their name instead of calling them Candidate #1 or whatever.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

Ironically, the issue he railed about that Jamison brought up, quiet zones for train traffic through town, is something our mayor SHOULD HAVE negotiated with BNSF when we handed them $27 million of Federal taxdollars. That apparently did not occur to MMM when he had to make his secret middle of the night chartered flight to Minneapolis.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

Driving the Conversation

I had to blush a little this St. Paddy’s Day when a long time friend and executive in the media in Sioux Falls told me that my blog is driving the conversation in local politics.

I’ve known this for awhile, and while I have a big opinionated mouth, I try to stay modest about my popularity. Mainly because the praise also comes with the retribution. And I have seen my fair share of both. I have lost many job opportunities, friends and business opportunities because of my opinion. But I also believe my advocacy has always been more important than keeping up with the Joneses or my prosperity.

The top issues in the latest municipal election are things I have been talking about for over a decade;

• Transparency in Government

• Affordable housing and living

• Crime and drugs

• Rebuilding our core

Let’s start with the first one. Many may not remember, but one of the reasons Jodi Schwan was hired to work for former Mayor Dave Munson was because the city council felt that his administration was not communicating well with the council. In fact the transparency was so bad that Dave broke city ordinance by approving a 100% cost overrun on Phillips to Falls without council approval. Mayor Huether did not invent government secrecy in Sioux Falls, he only perfected it. That is why Bruce and I pushed so hard on the faulty siding on the Events Center and the eventual lawsuit of the secret settlement.

I have been a champion of our core for years and have thought that our city needs to do a lot more in lifting up affordable housing in our core. I recently attended a city course on planning, in which my theories were confirmed, that the big wheels and money in this town like Sanford are destroying affordable neighborhoods and driving development in this town by the people with the most money, they basically admitted it during the Q & A session. I did not attend the second course.

I even told a current candidate for the Central District who is a strong advocate for the core, “I moved here in 1991 and lived close to Minnesota Avenue. You know what it looked like then? The same as it looks now.” Administrations over the past 3 decades have ignored our core. Now all of a sudden it is an issue. Please.

I have also felt that a public ambulance and even a public garbage service would serve our community well. Until the latest conversation about the problems with our private ambulance service and the SFFD taking on ALS training no one has been willing to take it on.

Crime! Wow! We all know now that because of the poorly negotiated pension reform we have literally lost hundreds of years of experience on our police force that we are desperately trying to make up for now. Let’s face it, they are understaffed, underpaid and lack the experience, all because of cost saving measures by our current corporate snake mayor. What works in the private sector can have monster repercussions in the public sector. We are seeing this with our SFPD and the way they have not only been treated by Huether but by Munson.

While I appreciate our local media bringing up these issues and topics, I have been pounding on them for well over a decade. Long before Mr. Huether’s marketing practices at a sub prime credit card company forced a change in Federal Law. And long before a bunch of ‘Johhny Come Lately’s’ entered the race.

If you want to read about what is going on in the community and what needs to change, you can come here and read about it. I encourage everyone to dive into my archives that span over 11 years of city politics and then make an informed decision on April 10th. I’m not bragging, I’m just asking you to educate yourselves.

Ignorance of the topics only gives us the poor leadership we have experienced for way to long. It is time we truly move this city forward by putting the citizens first by giving them a government they can trust that is open and dedicated to transparency and integrity. Anything else is losing campaign.

KELO TV Mayoral Interviews

KELO does an excellent job of covering some other issues with the candidates.


Sioux Falls City Councilor Theresa Stehly’s message to the Mayor & Media

Theresa sent this out this afternoon to the mayor and media after the tragic incident at Falls Park;

Dear Mayor Huether and Director Kearney,

I am writing to voice my concerns about the tragedy at the Falls.  Citizens have also been expressing their concerns with adequate safety while preserving the beauty and access to the falls.

I am urging your support  of increased signage and a temporary barrier  during the spring season due to the  dangerous foam and slippery terrain at the site of the three tragic deaths. I will support appropriating funds to make these safeguards a reality, along with any effort to clean out the foam in the area.

A temporary Spring fence could be done in a way to enhance the beauty, while adding extra protection to visitors.

Our prayers go out to the family of visitors who lost their beloved daughter. Let us work as a community to ensure that this does not happen again.

Thank you for your consideration,

Theresa Stehly

I’m against permanent fencing, I think when they put up the chainlink fence around the Japanese Gardens at Covell Lake it ruined it.

I do agree though there should be a much bigger and prominent signage that is permanent, and maybe temporary fencing in the Spring when water levels are high around the dangerous areas. They have put in temporary fencing in the past after heavy rains. It’s not a matter of funding, the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars decorating Falls Park during the holiday season, we have the resources to put up temporary fencing. Another thing that could also be added to the larger warning signs is the potential hazards with just touching the water which has high levels of chemicals and E-Coli in it (the mayor has refused to put up the recommended signage in the past). If the rushing water doesn’t scare you, the possible health affects should.

It would be hard to clean up the naturally occurring foam.

But I also believe people must take some personal responsibility, and no amount of signage or fences can fix ignorance. If something looks dangerous, it probably is.

Pork Barrel Rhetoric & Latest SE Podcast

Greg Jamison on KSOO AM 1000 – TODAY!

Listen Here, show starts at 3 PM.

Sioux Empire Podcast interview;