Why only thank FOUR councilors?

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Notice that he thanks only FOUR councilors for support of the Events Center, I am assuming he is talking about the FOUR that voted for the Arena location.

UPDATED: Click on the below image to enlarge and read the bottom caption.


The Sioux Falls School Board’s SUPER failure on the new SUPER hire

The school board can dress the contract negotiation up how ever they want, but let’s look at what they are giving the new Super;

• $200,000 a year in salary + medical and pension

• Four weeks of vacation and 15 days sick leave (Total 35 days off paid)

• $2,900 a month in ‘fringe benefits’ ($34,800 per year)

• $750 a month for transportation ($9,000 per year)

• $25,000 one time moving reimbursement

Let’s review;

• They are paying the new super who is currently in command of a student body of 5,300 (SF has 23,000) $25,000 more a year then the current Super makes after her 11 years of service (talk about a slap in the face to Homan and a bit of over confidence in Maher).

• He basically gets a month of vacation on day one.

• His ‘play money’ account is more then some teachers in the district make in a year.

• Even if he leased a really nice vehicle (which includes most maintenance) put gas in it, and insured it on his own, that would come to about $550 a month. He is pretty much getting paid $750 a month to drive to work. I would only give him $25 a month (that is the price of a monthly bus pass).

• Moving expenses are something the private sector does to lure good workers, it should NOT occur in the public sector.

When I hear the School Board talk about children’s education being their top priority, and I see them negotiate a contract like this, I want to ask them the question, “You do know the more money that goes towards teachers and classrooms the better the kid’s education?” It seems the school board’s concept of salaries in the education field is to be ‘top heavy’ and hope that trickles down to the students somehow. Okay Ronald Reagan.

So why do I think this contract was a total failure on their part and an insult to taxpayers? For the same reason the ‘Save our Summers’ group won in the last election; The lack of transparency, prudence, humility & compromise by our school board. But instead of applying these qualities to the Super search and employment, they once again slipped and instead of apologizing for their blatant ignorance, they defend it.

I told a teacher today who voted YES and wanted to keep the current school calendar, “You have no one to blame for the calendar change then the inept school board, this wasn’t the teacher’s fault.” He agreed they should have listened to a compromise.

Maybe the next time the board makes such a stupid financial decision (and it was really freaking stupid) we need to get the combat vets involved, they have at knack changing board members minds.

Food Truck Regulations Explained


Peter Chang (Who owns ‘Street Eats’ food truck) does a fantastic job explaining on THIS episode of ‘Inside Town Hall’ the GOOD regs and the BAD regs about food trucks.

Leon Bridges this weekend

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I am so excited about seeing him this weekend, don’t care about the drive.

UPDATE: I’m crying to Mike about the Events Center profits, but not for the same reasons you are


UPDATE: WOW, that was fast! City News video already up.

Another Academy award winning performance by MMM, crying about the profits of the Events Center and chastising the naysayer’s (who actually use math instead of emotions to point out the FACTS). But let’s look at those FACTUAL(?) numbers.

Interesting again the way Tracy Turbak plays with numbers?

6 Month Statistics

$1.1 million net operating income $962,383.40 sales tax payable 408,807 attendance (October 3, 2014-April 2, 2015- not including Grand Opening events) 94 event dates (includes multiple events in one day) 11 sold-out events 8 total pop/rock concerts 5 total country concerts 32 basketball games

Let’s forget about the events. What is important is the actual numbers of revenue including sponsorships.

Does the city collect sales tax on the sponsorship rights including the ‘non-profit’ Sanford Hospital system naming rights?

Does the city collect revenue on the rental of the events center itself?

Backing into the total taxable revenue of the Events Center shows about $16,000,000. Using a minimum tax rate for Sioux Falls business of 6% (I know some revenue was at 7% for entertainment / food but let’s be conservative) we find the SD Sales Tax revenue is close to the $962,383.40 reported.

Now look at the SD Sales Tax in terms of attendees.

Let’s say we break down tax collected per reported person. If we have $962,383.40 Sales Tax payable and we have 408,807 people showing up to an event, the city collected only $2.35 per person. So we built an events center where the city claims each person spent approximately $39.18 to attend the complex. $39.18 for tickets and concessions?

Let’s just look at the 13 sold out concerts:

10,000 (sold out concert tickets)

$60 (per ticket)

               13 (concerts)

$7,800,000 (total) * .07 tax rate = $546,000 (Sales Tax due State of South Dakota)

$7,800,000 (total) * .06 tax rate = $468,000 (Sales Tax due State of South Dakota)

Who is paying all the sales taxes? Where are they? Something once again does not add up. In each of the 94 events, $10,238.12 was collected. How? Once again the numbers are not adding up. It appears we are just to be excited by big numbers without understanding the actual audit. Tracy once again is playing with fuzzy math.

And let’s pretend for a moment that the EC does make $2.2 million this year. That doesn’t even come close to paying the almost $10 million dollar mortgage per year. Hardly in the black. Like I said before the vote, this place was built to make other people money, contractors, promoters, scalpers and management companies, while the taxpayer’s of this city foot the mortgage.


UPDATE: Still NO comment on the siding.

Marketing Genius?


A Million Cups of Yankton more important then being the mayor of Sioux Falls?


The new fire station ribbon cutting today in Sioux Falls. Good thing SF Chamber Board Member (and part-time city councilor, Dean Karksy could make the event for the mayor)

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After getting a good clubbing at last night’s council meeting, the mayor headed off bright and early this morning to Yankton.

He did the full scale tour.


Press & Dakotan

I had to chuckle at the irony of my friend Ben Hanten in Yankton inviting the mayor to speak at Yankton’s 1 Million cups. If it wasn’t for Mr. Hanten, I would have never gotten into politics or blogging. Thanks Ben.

Happy Earth Day!

No better way to celebrate then to tear down some trees at Spellerberg Park for a $24 million dollar special interest indoor pool. Progress Baby!


Start your own office gallery! Starter Kit Available!

Be the coolest cat in your office with a $25 dollar painting cubicle rat gallery.

1 (one) painting: $25
5 (five) paintings: $115
10 (ten) paintings: $220

To hell with Chia Pets and Desk Zen Gardens, be the curator of the office.



The SF City Council ‘almost’ grows a backbone

I don’t know how many times I have told individual councilors in private and them as a body (as I did tonight) in a public meeting, that the only way you can stop the mayor from stepping all over you is to stand up to him (still waiting).

I suggested tonight they vote against the website contract, and even further suggested, even if they support it, to vote against it, and come up with their own contract. (I also noted that a jobs website was unessary and too expensive).

No luck, but no surprise, as I counted out the YES votes on my fingers with my hand in the air at the meeting they approved the very contract they cried about being constructed in secrecy. It’s like saying it’s okay for a homeless person to steal food because they are hungry and have no money.

The big disappointment of the night was Kenny Anderson Jr. While he talks a big game that he was against the way the mayor handled the contract spending in private, he votes for it tonight, with Erpenbach, Karksy, & Rolfing (Kiley absent). And bravo to Erickson, Staggers and Jamison for voting against it.

I told them in public testimony, the only way to stop the backdoor deals is to not approve them. Extra kudos to Jamison for asking Darrin Smith who chose to put the mayor’s mug on the billboards? Darrin said it was his idea.


Only a city director can lie this straight face in a meeting. He must be getting lessons from Cooper and Schmidt. He mumbled something about the mayor being the face of our city. Funny, I have always thought SF was quite attractive on the surface, apparently I was wrong :(

I will say it again, the only way you stop the mayor from continuing to sidestep you on important decisions is to start voting against his proposed contracts and resolutions, and as a legislative body, present your own. It’s kind of your job. You know, like how you should have postponed the meeting tonight because it was in violation of city charter for proper notice of a public meeting.

We do pay the city council to be our check and balance against the mayor, start acting like you are actually punched in and doing your job, otherwise, do us all a favor and resign.