Ethics & Represent SD at Dem Forum (Jan 13, 2017)

Corruption is illegal in America? When did this happen? Who knows this? If this is true, who snuck this into the rule book? Does South Dakota use this rule book? Does Sioux Falls count? Anybody let the Sioux Falls City Attorney and pseudo Ethics Board know anything about this?

So many questions and no answers even though the voters of South Dakota tried to do something about it last November when they voted overwhelmingly to begin the effort to open up the books for all to see. The Sioux Falls Democratic Forum put the Open Government efforts on the wall for all to see when they invited Represent South Dakota to address the crowd on January 13, 2017.

Doug Kronaizl and Mark Winegar of Represent SD brings a message of ethics and responsibility to reality for all to see.

We are in a time when those who are in power are struggling to shut out everyone else. We voters are stupid, gullible, uninformed and hoodwinked for demanding our “leaders” be open in all ways if they are chosen to be help us. Being an officeholders does not mean we give you the keys to the treasury to do as you please. It does not mean you are to take everything so the next officeholder has to start from scratch.

In the November vote, the voters said we do not fully trust our officeholders or as Saint Ronnie liked to say, “Trust but verify”.

Sioux Falls City Council takes first steps to gifting the land to the Glory House

As you know I support this, not just for charitable or moral reasons but it makes economic sense (DOC: gloryhouse);

The money taxpayers will save by keeping ex-cons out of jail while they rehab in a safe place is priceless.

Changes to South DaCola

You may have noticed some updates to DaCola. It’s still a work in progress and much more to come. You will notice;

• Huether Administration count down clock,

• Weather Updates

• Latest videos

• Latest local news feeds

I’m also working on connecting with Twitter and Facebook, and more changes to come.

City of Sioux Falls, Tracy Turbak, Finance Director gets over $10K a year raise

source: siouxfalls.org, 2016-2017 salaries

I have been warning the citizens of Sioux Falls for over a year about these out of control corporate like raises for the managers and directors while the minions beg for crumbs (SFPD). This is what it is like when you run a city like a corporation, the big dogs get all the dog food and the little guy gets a joke of a COLA.

But let’s look past this, shouldn’t raises, whether you are in the public or private sector be based on performance? Let’s look at Mr. Turbak’s performance over the past year. While he has no control over tax revenue being down, he certainly hasn’t been very good at bringing in the expenses. He should have came out against the $25 million dollar city administration building, admitting himself it is more cost effective to lease then to own office buildings. He also should have been able to tell us how much the indoor pool would cost us (operational).

All Tracy has done to get his over 6% increase in pay is be a patsy for the mayor while ignoring his bosses (the citizens). Now that’s business acumen folks.

UPDATE: Argus News Director charged with DUI

Took a couple of days, but at least they are being forthright;

Argus Leader Media News Director Cory Myers was arrested Saturday night for suspected drunken driving following a traffic stop on Interstate 229 in Lincoln County.

Most are shocked it wasn’t someone else at the AL, especially after I saw this certain reporter (the someone else) driving down Phillips Avenue last summer with a pint of beer in his hand. When I questioned him about it, he said he was looking for a closer parking spot to Stogeez. Maybe he will learn something from his boss.

If you are against taping city board meetings, you are anti-transparent

I believe the Sioux Falls City Council is set to vote on recording parks board meetings this next Tuesday. If the measure passes (must get 5 votes because it is an ordinance) it will open the door to more transparency when other boards will be asked to be recorded, like REMSA.

Folks, this is a GOOD thing, open and transparent government will always benefit the public and protect us from corruption. Just look at the oral arguments today at the SD Supreme Court, our local paper had to sue the city over something as simple as a settlement contract, it shouldn’t be that way.

The opposing side has their excuses, and I will debunk them;

• It will cost to much to record and to store videos. First off, if it is so expensive to record these meetings, why do we have such an enormous budget following the mayor around to do a press conference every time he gets a haircut or wipes his butt? Secondly, you wouldn’t need a production crew, a city employee in attendance could simply set up the camera, hit record. As for storage, digital storage these days is minimal cost, and even if it wasn’t, the city could do like the county and use YouTube to store the meetings.

• It will discourage people from volunteering on boards. Really? The Planning Commission, one of the most powerful boards in the city has been recording their meetings for 12 years, they are all volunteers and it seems like they never struggle finding people to serve. Secondly, I wouldn’t want anyone serving on a board that wasn’t pro transparency and open government. Just because you volunteer on a government board doesn’t give you a license to keep secrets, quite the opposite.

• The public/media will twist what is said in the meetings or interrupt them. If they are recorded, the public really won’t have a reason to show up in person, and secondly, if the entire meeting is recorded and put online, not sure how that is ‘twisting’ it’s content. The only time the truth is twisted is when decisions are made behind closed doors.

Let’s face it, these boards make important decisions that impact thousands of lives and millions of dollars of taxpayer money, they need to be transparent and readily available to the public. Any councilor who would vote against this are basically saying they are happy with the status quo and are anti-transparent government, any other arguments are weak kneed and ‘twisted’.

Rex, admit it, you are the only one that gives a rip about hats

Look at that, two presenters at the Minnehaha County Meeting never removed their hats. In fact, during the presentation, not one single commissioner asked them to remove their hats. Why? Because it’s petty, just like the city councilor who constantly asks people to take off their hats.

Argus Leader VS. City of Sioux Falls (Secret Siding Settlement)

Here is the audio of the arguments today at the SD Supreme Court.

Nick Weiland ‘softly’ announces he is running for mayor of Sioux Falls

Nick is the son of political activist Rick Weiland.

Thumbs Up to USD

I have often argued that taxpayer subsidized birth control (free for all) is money better spent then welfare or SNAP or other issues/expenses that arise with unwanted pregnancies and health concerns with disease;

According to the most recent data from the South Dakota Department of Health, in 2016, they saw the most chlamydia cases ever in one year as well as the most gonorrhea cases since the 1980s. Because of that information, in a partnership with Sanford Health, the University of South Dakota is taking steps to make sure that their students are not only informed but practicing safe sex.

“We’ll have seven locations on campus starting in our north complex, with is largely where our freshmen student population lives as well as in Burgess and Norton halls.”

Placed in bathrooms mainly located on the first floor, explained Associate Dean of Students at the University of South Dakota, John Howe, students in these halls will soon find free condoms.

If you can’t feed em’ don’t breed em’!