Who is behind Sioux Falls municipal candidates?

So I went to the city’s campaign finance page to see who is ‘helping’ candidates with their campaigns. Obviously, some candidates that have announced have not officially filed yet. As I understand it, they cannot raise money until they do that.

Here is what we have so far;

Kenny Anderson Jr. (Mayor)

Curt Rust (Former elected official) – Chair

Kristeen Andersen (Independent Accountant) – Treasurer

Thor Bardon (City Council, Central District) Self-Chair and Treasurer

Jim Entenman (Mayor)

Michael Bender (Bender Commercial-Major Developer) & Rob Oliver (Former Augustana President) – Co-Chairs

Melissa Ellefson (Salesperson) – Treasurer

Clara Hart (At-Large Council) – Chair

Kyle Boese (Elbo Computers, former candidate for state legislature) – Treasurer

Jolene Loetscher (Mayor)

Emily Sievers (Marketing Director for Augustana) & Julian Beaudion (Works for State in Public Safety) – Co-Chairs

Sadie Bell (VP or Retail Banking, First Bank & Trust) – Treasurer

John Paulson (At-Large) – Treasurer

Dick Bohy (Retired Hospital Administrator) – Chair

Paul Ten Haken (Mayor)

Michelle Lavallee (Marketing Executive) & Dave Rozenboom (President of First Premier Bank) – Co-Chairs

Joel Dykstra (CEO RMB Associates/Developers) – Treasurer

David Zokaites (Mayor) – Chair

Mack Gammeter (?) – Treasurer

Friends of Sioux Falls (PAC)

Doug Wagner (?) – Chair and Treasurer

I’m not sure what the PAC is all about. I can’t find much information on it or it’s chair. Like most PAC’s they are a way to funnel money to certain candidates. So I guess we will have to watch and see who this PAC gives to.

As for the other candidates, their Co-Chairs can tell you a lot about them. As of right now, it looks like Jim Entenman will have a lot of connections, while big money in town seems to behind Paul Ten Haken.

On the Good Ship Lalley Pop show yesterday Pat and guest Matt Staab discussed who would make it to the runoff. If the election was today, I kind of agree with them. If Jolene doesn’t have any female challengers I would put her and Entenman in the runoff with Entenman winning.

But a lot of things can change between now and April. Jamison still hasn’t officially entered the race and we still are also waiting to hear more from candidates like Nick Weiland and Mike Gunn. I also expect at least 2-3 more candidates jumping in before the end of the year. It’s not too late for a game changer. So pull up your jeans and finish your cupcakes, it’s gonna be a long haul.


You may have noticed that South DaCola was up and down earlier today. No worries my host was upgrading servers so there was some interruption of service. Blog On!

South DaCola Podcast VI: SF Mayoral Candidate Nick Weiland

Nick breaks down his issues, and of course I give my advice, go figure.

Touch of Europe book available

The Touch of Europe book is finally printed. I printed only 50 copies for first edition (I will number and sign) I may add pages for future printings. I don’t want to make this too complicated by running all over town to get you a book, so we are going to do this by snail mail. They will be $11 + $1 for shipping and handling. Just message me on FB or email me at fb.art@sio.midco.net with shipping/payment details if interested and I will get you my address. Thanks!

Paul TenHaken has ‘Kind of’ a platform

When I have people ask me advice about running for municipal government I give them one important piece of advice before even announcing, EDUCATE YOURSELF. In other words watch old meetings, attend current meetings, talk to present and past elected officials and city employees and get to know the issues and before announcing build a strong platform with solutions that encourage transparency and common sense government.

You don’t need to be a part of a party or group, in fact in city politics that is probably the last thing you want to be a part of.

I also advise to stick to the issues that affect all citizens. That means fringe or special interest social issues, faith and personal interests should be avoided. It’s okay to talk about these things, but when running for city government it is important to look at the big picture.

Also, be specific.

After looking at Mr. TenHaken’s website, I’m a little lost on specifics. He touches on some good issues but gives us NO solutions;

Crime Reduction, Fiscal responsibility, Affordable Housing, Workforce and Economic development, Moving Downtown forward and building consensus.

And if you look at his FB page you will see he doesn’t take many stands and asks readers to give him advice.

I hate to say it, but these discussions with the public should have taken place BEFORE you announced. If you want the city’s top job, you should know what you want to do in the terms of policy before announcing.

I’m not saying you can’t change some these policy ideas during your campaign, but you should have them written down to keep your message solid while campaigning. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

I don’t think Paul knows what he wants to do for us, it seems like he is just looking to win the race than figure it out later. I am NOT comfortable with that approach. You are building and managing a city NOT selling a website.

Having Faith, Being a People Person and wearing jeans isn’t a solid platform, it’s a starting point, and not a good place to be when you announce you are running for mayor.

This is what CityLink is supposed to be doing

I thought this was a wonderful historical perspective on the coliseum. This is the kind of programming CityLink should be doing instead of mayoral propaganda.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 19, 2017


The fun starts at the informational meeting with little to go on because there is NO attached documents. That’s because our super transparent government can’t share until the big reveal.

The three topics are actually pretty interesting, because some good discussion could be had.

On the August financial report, one could ask about the financial impact of the Soccer tournament (from June) and besides a bump in hotel BID taxes, there wasn’t much of an impact (CVB predicted $17 million), I calculated about a $4.3 million dollar economic impact, but if you compare from the year before, it was about a $2 million dollar impact.

Speaking of the BID, head of the CVB will be talking about their BID Tax budget for 2018. Wonder if any councilors will ask about what happened to the Mayor’s committee on changing the BID tax? Oh, that’s right, he was told to go to H—.

The new building inspector will be in attendance to talk about his new role. I find it ironic that the building services department constantly says they are understaffed even though they have had thousand$ in software upgrades, a previous director who spent more time at a local watering hole than in his office and a planning department that has put a director and two staffers (paid by taxpayers) to help SELL the $4.4 million dollar TIF to the city council for a private developer.


The regular council meeting is going to be a longgggggg one. Let’s preview;

Item#1, Approval of Contracts. For some strange reason the city is buying $600K in property from Sweetman for the water department. We also find out the city contracts about $195K for outside cleaning services.

Item#2, Approval of Change orders. The beer coolers at The Denty are costing us another $32K.

Item#12, Protest Petition for Lacey Estate. Not sure how this will go, but expect lots of testimony.

Item#33, 2nd Reading. Property Tax Increase.

Item#34, 2nd Reading. Re-Finance on Bonds for Lewis & Clark.

Item#38, 2nd Reading. Lloyd Companies TIF. This one is sticky, because most of the council supports this. There has also been a question about whether or not councilor Selberg should vote on this due to his conflict of interest with being an independent broker for Lloyd. We will see if he decides to excuse himself. He has in the past on other Lloyd decisions.

Item #39, 1st Reading;

(a) No malt beverage retailer license shall be issued in the same building as an on-sale license or an off-sale license or another malt beverage retailer license, unless the licenses are intended for use by the same licensee and licenses issued are for the same licensed premise (or legal description) or there is provided

This one may apply to multiple casinos in the same building.

Item#51, 1st Reading. Changing the Design Standards of the DT PUD district.

Item#52, Final Budget hearings. Expect to hear some amendments.

Item#53, Bid Tax Budget for CVB.

Item#55-56, Resolution to form TIF for Lloyd companies, they waste no time considering the council will approve it the same night on #38.

Item#58. Permanent Easement for Arc of dreams (even though it was signed by the mayor a year before quietly in the night with the city clerk as witness).

Item#61. Resolution. 85th Street Pre-Annexation agreement. Yup, one item before the end of the meeting is a great time to submit an agreement that could cost the taxpayers of Sioux Falls over $30 million dollars.

*Recently at a OLLI (Osher Lifelong Living Institute) class, the Mayor was the guest to talk about city government. He told the class attendees that the council needs to ‘Stop listening to the minority voices.’ He was probably talking about the minority voice councilors like Starr and Stehly, but he also could have been referring to the CAVE people who show up to public input. Not sure, I wasn’t there, but found the commentary interesting considering the minority voices over the past two years have the best ideas for our city, that the mayor just vetoes.

The Parks Board doesn’t make major decisions? Oh Really?

As you may or may not heard, the city is considering new contractors to manage our city courses. It’s been a forgone conclusion that GreatLife will probably scoop up the contract simply because of the influence of it’s Whopper of a Founder, Tom Walsh.

I could care less. I don’t golf, use fitness centers, bowl or watch movies outside my home. As long as the next contractor can make the city some money from the courses, I’m happy.

But for a moment, let’s pretend that decision to pick GreatLife or Dakota Golf (again) was on the up and up. Who get’s to make the preliminary decision and pass the flaming football to council? Oh, the Parks board;

Following the calendar provided in the city’s official request for proposals, the park board’s committee set up to facilitate the process has been discussing the bids. Additional interviews with contending firms would take place Sept. 27-28, with “notification of conditional award” taking place Sept. 29.

I guess just reviewing all the proposals and bids and making a conditional award isn’t really that major of a decision. Remember when the Southside Snobs told the council during the debate over districting the parks board that ALL the major decisions were up to the council. Than why isn’t the council reviewing this RFP’s in a land use committee instead of letting a bunch of ‘unimportant’ volunteer board members do it?

Make no mistake, the Parks Board has a gob of power that they use under the direction of the Chief Lawn-mowing-Liar of the City, Parks Director Don Kearney.

Hopefully the next council will pass the Parks Board Districting ordinance. I would also make it go into affect within 4 years.

Bikes & Liars, SF City Council Public input Sep 12, 2017

Well here we go again, someone dies and our town’s marketing manager in chief only worries about how long he has to sit at a traffic light. Somehow this manager doesn’t take into consideration a reason no one else has died at 10th and Minnesota is the residual knowledge left from years of being forced to stop.

“But by gosh, golly gee, we gotta get moving, I can’t waste 22 seconds waiting for a darn light change” he says. Just listen to him in the video we posted from the presser ( https://youtu.be/SxlxMbY3WnY ) as he tries to justify risking lives at intersections just because they are not in a car.

The Falls Area Bicyclist club members showed up to plead their case to an uncaring administration, trying to help them care. Watch the MayorCam as they talk on September 12, 2017 at the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input and see how unmoved the leader is. This is just another example of what we can expect over the next 7 months. An uncaring administration when it comes to public safety. The bikers need to show up and stick around for the entire meeting to see how the process does and doesn’t work so they can help change it.

Our blog leader Scott spoke about the Arc of Dreams and the lack of information the city is willing to share about the process of getting it approved before it is built. Another item we heard about at the Tuesday Informational is the mongo savings account setup with proceeds of the increased water fees and the recently borrowed money giving the city the ability to pay off the Lewis and Clark bonds early. So much for the enterprise funds and reserves being touch and go. Oh and speaking of liars, how about the Parks Director Kearney first saying there was no such thing as a no-mow list then handing one out? Liars, why does this administration have to run on lies?

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert on SE Podcast

Greg talks about many topics including the stupidity of the 50% threshold of a council election.