Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, April 23-24, 2018

Audit Committee Meeting, 4 PM Monday

External Audit Results from Eide Bailly

2018 Audit Plan

RFP Auditing Plan

Joint SF City Council/Minnehaha County Commission Meeting, 4 PM Tuesday

Update on Siouxland Museums Enterprise Funds

Change orders for archive building

Helpline Center Community Program Trends

City Council Informational Meeting, 4:30 Tuesday

Wastewater agreements with Tea and Harrisburg

Public Facility Consultant study. Honestly, I read this 90 page report and I am more confused now than before I read it. A lot of mumbo jumbo about population and attendance. I wonder how much we paid for that monstrosity; DOC: SF-Facility-Study

Executive Session. I have no clue what this is about.

Wish list for new Council & Mayor

The first thing on my list is going to be asking the new council and administration to pass an ordinance that will restructure the entertainment tax to give a percentage to local public art projects.

My hope would be to give around $1 million a year to the projects.

I would be adamant about using local independent artists, contractors and artisans. In fact it would have to be written into the program. NO one attached to other public art facilities or projects like the EC or Pavilion.

The projects would be for beautifying the city, like mini parks, murals, sculptures, gardens etc., in dead spaces around town.

Besides downtown a good place to start would be the gateway to Sioux Falls from the airport.

What’s on your wish list that would be revenue neutral?

Sioux Falls Skycam Shots (H/T – Helga)

One of my foot soldiers from out-of-state (formerly of Sioux Falls) sent these to me last night. They took the screenshots from the KELOLAND skycam at about 8:30 PM Friday night.

TenHaken will not be attending Diversity Forum on Sunday

Paul says his faith prevents him from attending;

Paul TenHaken This event was promoted before I had the opportunity to accept and my schedule does not allow for me to be there. The mayor’s office is a 24/7 job, but Sunday’s are for faith and family and not campaigning. I have had a chance to meet many of you over these past few months and I look forward to talking with all of you in the near future.

While I won’t defend Paul’s excuse, because I do not attend religious ceremonies on Sunday, I have a feeling he knew the piling on would occur. All the better for Loetscher I guess.

Okay, I was wrong.

It seems Daugaard and Huether are out of the mix for USD president;

The following candidates will visit the campus on April 24 and 25 to meet with constituents and regents:

  • Kelli R. McCormack Brown (Milledgeville, GA)Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, Georgia College & State University
  • Christopher Callahan (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Dean, vice provost, and professor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Arizona State University

  • Sheila Gestring (Vermillion, SD)Vice president of finance and chief financial officer, USD
  • Philip K. Way (Slippery Rock, PA)Interim president, Slippery Rock University

For once I can honestly say, I’m glad the rumors were not true.

I’m NOT behind ‘Paul Been Takin’

Like the fake Mike Huether twitter account, I can assure you I am not behind the Been Takin account. I have often told people if I parody a politician, I take credit for it. I have nothing to hide.

As for who is doing it? I have no idea, but would love to buy them a beer.

People have been bugging me all week asking if it is me – this is why I am responding in a post about my innocence.

It reminds years ago when the Argus basically accused me of being the graffiti artist ‘Disinform’ who as I understand has moved away. I never did get to meet him.

I had a little fun though with the accusation sending the AL reporter, Nester, on a wild goose chase for a couple of days of places I told him I had sitings. Man that was fun. I still snicker about that when I see graffiti painted somewhere.

How I miss the AL having naive reporters. Now they are just underpaid and lazy.

Taxpayers of Sioux Falls need to STOP subsidizing special interests at 100%

As if we didn’t do enough monument building in the past 8 years, here we go down that rabbit hole again;

If the Sioux Falls Canaries get a new home anytime soon, it should go downtown.

That’s one of the takeaways from a report that’s been shared with the Sioux Falls City Council that resulted from an intensive study of city-owned entertainment and convention facilities that took place last fall.

Here we go again. A consultant that taxpayers paid for are telling us what the administration wants us to hear. Think Midco Aquatic Facility. When is the city instead going to ask for public input on these matters instead of an expensive consultant?

Sioux Falls Stadium is 55 years old and hasn’t had any major upgrades in nearly two decades. The report says annual attendance averages there have declined steadily since 2013, which could be a result of the game experience that an outdated facility provides patrons.

A new stadium and a more active location could bring those attendance numbers back up, according to the report.

Maybe numbers are down because people don’t care? Why not ask the public? With all the different entertainment options these days in Sioux Falls, maybe people just are not as interested in baseball as much?

If I was the city council, I would explore some options. 1) Tear down the stadium for more parking at the Denty. 2) Refurbish the stadium, but make the baseball franchise pony up at least 50% or more. 3) Don’t build a new stadium downtown if we decide to tear it down. Have Canaries use Harmadon Park, or fold.

Some mention it would make a good place for concerts downtown. Hey McFly, we are building the Levitt Pavilion for $5 million for outdoor concerts downtown already.

Enough already with special interest monument building that none of us benefit from except having another bond to pay off. Besides the skatepark proposal which organizers have promised to kick in $500K privately, we really just need to take a deep breath and take a break for awhile.

I really think the next council and mayor need to use 2018 as a year to review finances. They also need to do forensic audits of all the departments budgets and enterprise funds. They also need to look at deregulation and LOWERING fees and taxes.

This Spend, Spend, Spend mentality is going to eventually break us.

Disguised Donations (Guest Post Bruce Danielson)

Do you remember the 1968 Bee Gees song I started a joke or are we hearing John Fogarty singing Deja Vu (All Over Again)?  Here we go again. Aren’t we getting rid of a habitual storyteller who ran an administration based on what they could get by with? As someone who is not involved with either campaign, I have some questions to ask.

In 2010, a City Attorney and Director of Finance were hired to bend every rule possible to accomplish the questionably legal or at the very least the unethical making it seem ethical. Starting with a couple of 2014 Board of Ethics meetings I started asking questions about the abuse of “white lies” happening in city government.

SouthDacola wrote about and then I asked a question on Tuesday night about the legality of six children with no outside source of income “giving” $1,000 to a mayoral candidate. It reminds me of a mayor we have, who said his wife (who had no outside source of income) was investing in a TIF based private development he helped arrange. It was “legal” but was it ethical?

Does anyone else scratch their head when we have a candidate saying it’s OK to take seemingly unethical donations as long as it accomplishes an immediate goal?  If we are looking for a new start in Sioux Falls, why does this sound like something My Man Mike would say?

The state financing laws are weak and we know it. Why should we citizens allow it to be acceptable? Did our City Clerk actually talk to an attorney to understand this law? Here is the state law on Disguised Donations:

12-27-12. Disguised contributions prohibited–Misdemeanor. No person or entity may make a contribution in the name of another person or entity, make a contribution disguised as a gift, make a contribution in a fictitious name, make a contribution on behalf of another person or entity, or knowingly permit another to use that person’s or entity’s name to make a contribution. No candidate may knowingly accept a contribution disguised as a gift. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A subsequent offense within a calendar year is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

According to our City Clerk’s office we have a technicality to deal with and not a moral one. The donor signed checks then giving the checks with someone else’s names in the memo field making it legal? Wow, where’s John Mitchell, Maurice Stans and Richard Nixon when we need them? Oh that’s right, Watergate happened. I know something about it, I was in Washington back then seeing the results of shady donations. I had to hand carry donation checks back to the naïve citizens who in good faith wrote these kind of checks. If it was questionably legal, it went back, no matter how bad we needed the money.

A friend and I talked about this problem for today’s city politicians and it came down to this common phrase today’s Christians proclaim:

What Would Jesus Do? WWJD is printed on trinkets of all types as a reminder to guide a person to do the right thing.

A campaign spending report from mayoral candidate Paul TenHaken shows contributions from a single donor of $7000. The annual limit for an individual is $1000. How did they do it? By saying 5 of the super donor’s minor children contributed a $1000 each. Then on top of that the donor’s business threw in $1000 to the slush fund.

This campaign is becoming an all or nothing effort to take over the government of Sioux Falls. Our city government is legally justifying a wealthy donor’s contribution to make it happen but it leaves the question: is it morally right? I may have been a political nerd at 12 and interested at 6 but six year old kids need to invest their $1000 in a good mutual fund for college. There is a reason no one is allowed to vote until they are 18 and contributions never used to be allowed in their names until they could vote.

How many six year old kids have $1,000 sitting around to give their favorite politician instead of buying an Xbox?

The current mayor has often gotten himself in trouble when he has done things that are barely legal but certainly not moral. The list is long but the Denny siding rip-off of taxpayers certainly tops the list. Was it a Million bucks or $1,000,000? Was it new money or did we just take it out of the savings account then slip it into the checking account for a cool headline?

The actions of a candidate during the campaign are indicative of how they will behave when they get elected. We do not need a Mayor who will do the legal thing but not the moral action. We’ve had enough of that in Sioux Falls.

The candidate needs to follow his or her self-proclaimed following of Christ and do the moral thing: send the money back. Campaigns have P.R. spin machines to make it look “right” so do the right thing. Tell the rich donor thank you but that’s not how we do things in Sioux Falls.


Bonus Round Bar Spring Party Tonight!

The Bonus Round will have a parking lot party tonight with Bands ‘Black Van Burnouts’ (Rock/Metal) ‘Donny Brook Brawlers’ (Irish Rock) and ‘Velour Prunes’.

Cliff Avenue and Prospect (2 blocks South of 14th)

It will be under a heated tent and Brickway Brewery from Omaha is the guest beer provider.

Party starts 6ish.

Dem Forum w/ Bill Walsh and 60’s Politics, 4/20/18