Cameraman Bruce helps to induct Cleveland ‘Cleve’ Abbott into the SD Hall of Fame

Listen to Bruce’s interview about Cleveland on SDPB.

Cleveland Abbott excelled both academically and athletically. 

Born in the late 1800’s, Cleveland Abbott paved the way and created opportunities for many.

As a young black child, Cleveland didn’t let much of anything get in his way.

Sioux Falls School Bond issue incredible waste of education tax dollars

I’m not naïve, I can see the writing on the wall. This special election with a small number of precincts will probably only get supporters out to support the bond issue. In other words my opinion is starting to change, they may just have a good chance of getting this bond passed by the 60% + 1 threshold.

But let’s face reality here.

One argument I hear a lot from my friends who support these bonds is that we need to spend MORE on public education. I couldn’t agree more. But where we fail on this bond issue is the incredible waste involved. Basically for every $3 of tax dollars expended, only $2 of it goes towards education. We are borrowing $190 million with $110 million in interest. The $110 doesn’t get spent on education, it goes straight from our wallets in the form of property taxes to bond investors. Not one single penny of it will be spent on education. What makes it even worse is that the bond investors live all over the country and possibly world, so that money won’t even get recirculated in our economy.

So you ask what the solution is? Well, I think we should take out smaller bonds that can be paid off faster using the capital outlay. While our taxes most likely will go up (there is No escaping that fact), this allows MORE money to go towards the actual projects instead of bond interest. It also stretches out the debt and tax increases. This is something Public Works Director Mark Cotter suggested during the task force meetings and was told they couldn’t trust Pierre. A horrible excuse to blow $110 million of tax dollars on bond investors instead of education.

The other sad reality is that this $190 million is only being spent on brick and mortar. There is no long term plan to staff the schools and where that money will come from.

I hope people wake up before September 18 and come out in droves to vote down this incredibly dubious bond proposal that only lines the pockets of banksters and does very little in helping education in our community.

 

Public Input Continues tonight at Club David

Week three. Long meeting tonight. Gobs of controversial issues.

Just when you thought I stopped painting

Don’t bring snakes to public festival

You thought the people who leave guns in unlocked cars were idiots? Well they had some people top them over the weekend.

There is a reason JazzFest bans dogs/pets. Your dogs don’t want to be there, it’s hot, it makes them nervous and they could hurt someone or another dog. But some people don’t seem to get the message at DTSF festivals. The dogs were on display once again. Several barking at each other, some hiding under picnic tables in fear and some so hot and miserable it was pathetic.

But besides the ignoramus dog owners, there were a couple of guys that decided it was OK to bring their Pythons to Riverfest around thousands of people. When one of the guys walked past me, I just turned to him and said, “You are an idiot.” I guess there would be no other way to describe them.

While I am not scared of pet snakes, many people have extreme phobias, and with all the dogs down there, it was a recipe for disaster.

It was obvious these clems were trying to get attention by dragging their snakes to Riverfest but next time I highly suggest you leave them at the trailer park with your other exotic pets, Keystone beer and X-Box games.

I encourage DTSF to implement a NO pets policy from now on at ALL of their festivals because apparently some people are too stupid to realize you don’t bring snakes to public festivals.

You wonder how some people make it through life.

Sioux Falls School Bond issue supporters have begun robo calls

I have heard from at least two people that they have gotten robo calls about the school bond issue. One was a push poll the other was asking them to vote yes.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. There will be a lot of money and effort spent to get this passed, several important people in town have a lot at stake and a lot of money to make.

Maher made the point yesterday that they will have the contractor and architectural bids completely open (ironically this transparency is a requirement by law). When someone has a $190 million of taxpayer money to be spent locally, I guarantee the banksters, realtors, contractors, developers and engineers will be lining up to the trough. Remember, these public projects pay well and it is a reliable source of income.

It seems these days if the hospitals or the government wasn’t building, the contractors in town wouldn’t have much to do.

Just look at the recent past and future;

EC – $115 Mil

Pool – $25 Mil

Admin – $25 Mil

Water Treatment – $230 Mil

Downtown Hotel/Parking Ramp – $50 Mil ($20 mil public)

Schools – $190 Mil

Jail – $48 Mil

That is over $600 Million in public projects in less than a decade. When you tack on interest you are plenty South of a Billion dollars.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Aug 21, 2018

Budget Hearings – 3 PM

There will be presentations on the Health Department, Planning and Development, Affordable Housing and Transit.

City Council Meeting – 7 PM

Item #1, Approval of Contracts;

The city is looking at sending out Mass Notification text messages about important emergencies, etc. I hope one of the city councilors pulls this item so we have more explanation on what this all encompasses.

Item #22, Resolution, Capital Budget Adoption, 2019.

I suspect some convo on this one.

Item #38-39, Ordinance, 2nd Reading, Railyard Redevelopment Overlay District.

Item #43, 1st Reading, Lifescape Parking.

Item #44, 1st Reading, Apartment rezoning. This is a highly controversial item. I expect a lot of dissent from the neighbors. They want to build a large senior living apartment complex in an established neighborhood with water drainage issues. This is the item the Planning Commission threw the flaming football to the city council claiming they had a ‘legal right’ to approve this, even though commissioner Paulson voted ‘NO’.

Item #51, Motion. WTF!? I have NO clue what this is.

Item #53, Motion to approve new city attorney. It is interesting that COS Beck signed this for the mayor.

Sioux Falls City Meetings, Aug 20th

100 Day Update from Hizzoner

UPDATE: Sioux Falls School District continues to crank out propaganda while possibly breaking state election/campaign laws

UPDATE: Super Maher was at Dem Forum today and we should have video up soon. I asked him about the super precincts and why they did it that way. He said he ‘struggled’ with doing it with the General which would have saved money and made it more convenient, though he argued the super precincts would make it more convenient. NOT AT ALL. I appreciate his honesty though by admitting it is NOT as convenient. I’m not sure how this bodes for a 60% passage. I still think they would have had a better chance in the general. I still think this will fail with a 55% approval.

Missteps by the School District continue to mount.

The story going around is that the district mailed out around 60k of the ‘Ignite’ flyer. Or as a foot soldier said to me last night, “Have you seen the ‘G-nite’ flyer.”

As someone who has worked in printing and design for over 25 years, I will hold back on my critique of the poorly designed piece and only focus on how our tax dollars are being spent. (they put the important budget information in 4 point type)

First, the entire piece seems to be in violation of state campaign laws by expending tax dollars to promote passing the school bond. They pretty much say everything besides ‘Vote Yes’. Ding. Ding. Ding. You lost.

NOTE: Super Maher will be at Dem Forum Friday at NOON spreading the love.

Click to enlarge images

 

But the best piece was by School Board President, Alberty;

 

You know, I have met Kent a few times, I didn’t know he was a comedian. Isn’t it ironic he points out that when you have ‘joint’ elections with all the precincts, voter numbers go up AND in another ironic move claims he is ‘saving us money’ by having a stand alone super-precinct election.

Hey Kent, I heard they offer remedial math classes at SE Tech. You may be able to get a discount. Not sure? But worth looking into.

You would save us thousands of dollars by having it with the general election AND you would get a larger voter turnout. But what makes his article ‘comedy hour’ is bragging about saving us a couple of grand while asking for a $300 million dollar tax increase. That’s gold Kent! Gold!

So let’s look at the 13 precincts, and obvious attempt to circumvent the YES vote. I circled the wide swaths of areas in red that will not have ‘vote centers’. Notice the NORTH end again is ignored. The central poorer area is ignored. But for some strange reason, the ‘nice school’ districts have vote centers AND all of sudden the school district has recinded their NO precincts at schools rule that they have during other elections. Interesting.

As I have mentioned in the past, this is possible violation of Federal Law. But hey, when we are breaking state campaign laws, why not break Federal ones too.

This entire election is a SHAM, and I encourage everyone to VOTE on September 18 a resounding NO and make our school board and administration go back to the drawing board.

We can educate our kids better, we can END segregation through ENDING open enrollment and we can do it fiscally prudent. Let’s make it a priority that the education of our kids come before the profits of banksters, bond salesman and contractors. We deserve better and the School Board and Administration should be ashamed of this plan, it is disgraceful.