Democratic Forum, Friday, Feb 16, 2018

The Sioux Falls Democratic Forum’s regular Friday get together at the Sioux Falls VFW brought in District 15 Sen. Reynold Nesiba and Rep Jamie Smith. The February 16, 2018 talk brought the appreciative crowd up to date on the events in Pierre this legislative session.

Is this South Dakota Editorial Cartoonist supposed to be funny?

Or at least slightly funny?

Conservative editorial cartoonists often make me cringe. I mean, how many cartoons can you do of Stace Nelson or Lora Hubbel? Talk about picking the lowest fruit on the tree?

At least even FolkArts figured out when he couldn’t write anything funny he just copied Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists.

Sioux Falls Fire Department proposing coming one step closer to having a Public Ambulance service

As the SFFD points out in their presentation at the 4 PM informational meeting today, why not use the Paramedics we have to respond to emergency situations;

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is exploring the potential to utilize paramedics, currently employed by Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, as Advanced Life Support (ALS) responders during specialty incident responses.

Also, if we are going to be paying for this important training that I agree with 100% why not go whole hog and put in public ambulances so that taxpayers get some kind of reimbursement from the service;

  • Budgetary Considerations
  • Staff Considerations
  • Certifications
  • Skills validations
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Medical Guidelines will need to be adopted by Sioux Falls Fire
  • Rescue and REMSA
  • Collaboration with the Sioux Falls Firefighters Association

It seems blatantly obvious that we would be paying for all the training and equipment to provide a public ambulance;

This expanded response capability would allow Sioux Falls Fire Rescue to provide immediate initial advanced life support to victims of a specialty response incident.

And with the purchase of the ambulances and expanded parking facilities we would have a complete public ambulance service instead of the taxpayers currently subsidizing a private entity’s profits, an entity currently being investigated by the Federal Government.

I’ve heard rumblings from within the SFFD that many in management support a public ambulance service but the former SF Fire Chief fought it by convincing the Mayor that it wouldn’t be cost effective. Not only would it save taxpayers millions in public safety, it would be a more reliable service that the city and public could monitor more closely.

The only REAL drawback is that the city would probably have to hire a 3rd party private contractor to collect insurance and other fees for a commission.

UPDATE: Wouldn’t this be a nice place to build a public indoor pool?

Imagine this also, we would have room to expand, there would be plenty of parking, it would be next to other sporting facilities and a possible new public high school, and here’s the big kicker, we could get a private entity to help pay for building and operating the facility;

Sanford has plans to turn the adjacent rolling farmland it owns into a bustling sports, entertainment and commercial center.

What a grand idea that would be . . .

Oh wait, we foolishly built one someplace else with a cable company throwing us a few scraps from their monopoly business they run in town.

Much like the RR redevelopment, DT Parking Ramp and Administration ‘VETO’ building, our public indoor pool was poorly planned by an administration that was drunk with power, secrecy, entitlement, greed and impatience.

I give the Sanford Sports Complex about 5-7 years and their will be a massive indoor pool built on the grounds while Sioux Falls taxpayers continue to subsidize the Midco Aquatic Center even more.

UPDATE: A whopping 94 Annual passes have been sold this year for the Indoor Aquatic Center with a $17K operating loss for January.

Legacy hires a Public Relations Person

Stacy Jones, PR for Legacy

They are getting serious over at Legacy. Maybe they realized all this LLC moving around, buildings falling over and transporting Cancer causing agents through town needed a little turd polishing, so they went after the best;

Stacy Jones has joined Legacy Developments, overseeing public relations, marketing and community relations. Jones came from Sanford Health, where she spent 13 years, most recently as executive director of marketing for the development and research division overseeing Profile by Sanford, Sanford Health Plan, Sanford Research, Sanford World Clinic and Sanford Health Foundation. She previously spent 10 years at KELO-TV as a news and sports anchor, and reporter.

Twenty-Three years at Stormland-Sanford-TV should prepare Stacy for fixing the public perception of Legacy. I’m sure she is busy with her first assignment of assuring the public Legacy is the best choice for the RR Redevelopment project . . . wait . . . they haven’t announced that yet. My bad. Just as long as the Argus Leader is last to know.

Instead of a PR person, maybe they should have hired a Safety and Quality Control Specialist, just sayin’.

Sioux Falls municipal candidates collecting signatures

Sioux Falls AT-LARGE B council candidate Peter Vaughn Pischke will be in front of the Minnehaha Administration building this morning and most of the afternoon. He’ll do this all week until Friday at noon.
I’m also sure there will be other candidates present gathering signatures.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda Feb 20, 2018

City Council Informational Meeting

The biggest agenda item is discussing if or how they will spend the $3.3 million surplus from 2017. Since the administration already got their way on writing up a resolution that will have to be amended, I have a feeling a majority of the council will choose to use the money on paying off debt. This isn’t a bad thing, and it will save taxpayers a couple of million in interest. It’s just the process was manipulated by the mayor, once again.

They will also be discussing the redevelopment of the 7th and Weber old firehouse and some program by the SFFD that I have no clue about since there are no supporting documents posted in SIRE.

There will also be a visual presentation of SculptureWalk 2018. Another mix of contemporary, modern, abstract and boring feel good sculptures of kids, dogs, cats and cows. As I told one local SW artist recently about his contributions, “You make art to sell beer and pizza downtown.” He didn’t like my critique to much.

Regular City Council Meeting

Item#1, Contract Approvals, hopefully we will find out the reason why Paramedics Plus was sold to a different investment company. I think a councilor will be pulling that item.

Item#5, the first recipients of the SIOUXPERHERO award will be announced. I see the co-founder of the Roller Dollz made the list. Woot! Woot!

Item#31, 2nd Reading on contract review timeline to 7 days. Like I have said before, while this ordinance doesn’t hurt anything, it certainly doesn’t solve the problem of the city council approving POLICY changes in RFPs, before the RFP goes out for bid.

Item#38, 1st Reading, Council notification of litigation. Not sure what this is about. It may be a continuation of Item#31?

Item#45, Resolution on spending the $3.3 million surplus.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly to decide this week if she will run for mayor

Theresa obviously knows the deadline is Friday, so she will need at least a couple of days to get signatures to turn in by Friday at 5 PM. So if she does decide to run, we will know by Wednesday for sure.

I know she has been mulling this over for a couple of months and we have had several ‘difficult’ discussions about the possibility.

She told me today, “I have had several citizens approach me asking me to run.”

Obviously if Stehly runs she is probably a shoe-in for the run-off. She would also probably be knocking out the chances of other candidates like Anderson and Loetscher.

I guess we will see what she decides.

What do you think? Can Stehly break the 50+1 threshold in a run-off?

Why is the city playing a timeline game with the end of the year financial report?

While Sioux Falls Finance Director is correct that over the past 3 years the financial report has not come out sooner than the beginning of April, it hasn’t always been a strict timeline. In fact if you look at the last three reports it has been all over the map.

In 2015 it was created on May 29. In 2016 it was created on June 27 and the 2017 report was created on April 6 (the earliest).

In other words the administration could have easily released the numbers by now. We already know they are available from the State Department of Revenue, and since there has NEVER been a strict timeline, and with an election year, why not release those numbers by the end of February? The state has figured out how to put those numbers together (before the legislative session) probably with a smaller staff than the city.

This is just a game the mayor is playing that doesn’t have to be played.

Watch him closely, he will be playing games with city finance and budgeting all the way to the end.

Is local Sioux Falls arts funding in the toilet?

I have had an idea for awhile that a percentage of the Entertainment tax (3rd penny) should be put towards local arts projects and local artists. Community theatre would be a perfect recipient of these monies;

After 15 seasons, the Sioux Empire Community Theatre is making a plea for donations to stay afloat.

“The reality is, community theatre can no longer survive on ticket sales alone,” board president Kimberly Jacobson and producing artistic director Patrick Pope wrote in a post on Facebook.

Rumor has it that SECT even asked the city to write-off rental debt last year. Not sure if that is true, but if it is that’s not good.

Right now the 3rd penny has been used for building upgrades to the Pavilion after the bonds were paid off. SMG has asked to get some that money also to use towards the Orpheum and Canaries Stadium. I have often argued that since the 3rd penny brings in around $6.5 million a year, they could easily split off $1 million of it to go towards local arts organizations and projects. Besides, it is a local tax we pay, shouldn’t it go towards local projects?

The Pavilion has been in turmoil for a long time, and the multiple terminations at the end of 2017 shows there is a major restructuring going on at the institution. The Sioux Falls Arts Council is also seeing some major changes. This would be a perfect time for the new mayor and city council to take a hard look at how this money is being spent. It’s obvious the money is there, it just needs to be spread out better. The board members of the Pavilion need to be reigned in and shown there are other artistic opportunities in this city that contribute to a more diverse economic impact. Diversifying this funding would help the community as a whole.

You have to realize not everyone is into going to a concert at the Denty or a musical at the Pavilion. People want local artistic options also, let’s give it to them by spending the LOCAL tax on LOCAL arts.