City of Sioux Falls says citizens have to hire their own legal counsel to fight 5G

5G Antenna by Eastside Sioux Falls Target

In correspondence with the city’s legal department, an advocate opposed to 5G, John Miller, received this letter from the city; (DOC: 5G-Letter)

I found this part interesting;

The taxpayers of Sioux Falls OWN the utilities and all of the equipment associated with the utilities.  The city has said that the poles are not strong enough to hold the 5G equipment and that Verizon is going to have to put cement under the poles.  That is a change that SHOULD to be approved by the taxpayers, thus it should to go to a referendum.  Legally, the changes proposed by the city council must be approved of first by the taxpayers in an election. But since no one asked, city hall didn’t let the taxpayers know their rights. A little trick City Hall has played for many years – don’t tell citizens what is going on, have only back room meetings with the major players, then tell the public once it is too late to do anything, or at least have time to organize. Could this be illegal? Not sure. Every city has a constitution (charter), a document of formation.  You will find that Sioux Falls probably needs public approval before doing something as fundamental as allowing a private corporation to change the way the utilities operate.

Can we stop 5G in Sioux Falls? Or is it too late because we ‘missed the boat’?

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Jan 22, 2019

Informational Meeting, 4 PM (Carnegie Town Hall – SF)

Storm Drainage overview presentation

Lincoln County Joint Meeting, 7 PM (Commission Chambers, Canton)

Rezone of Ag Land to Commercial Property, more SPRAWL in Lincoln County.

More staff changes at Sioux Falls City Hall?

The 2019 City Employee salaries was supposed to be posted already. Last year it was posted by Jan 8th.

I’m wondering if the delay has to do with some ‘rumored’ staff changes?

Supposedly the ADA Coordinator resigned this week, and two managers were hired to work under Jason Reisdorfer as an IT Manager and an Innovations Manager.

If any of this is true, all I can say is this is what happens when you hire someone with only a HS Diploma to run a massive department, they need some qualified people to do the actual ‘Heavy Lifting’. Maybe this is why TenHaken hired Beck? Not sure what bet he lost that forced him to hire T.J. TypeOver?

Not sure what happened with the ADA Coordinator. I do know that the past mayor did appreciate her in the position, so it may have been a ‘philosophical’ disagreement with the current administration. It is probably a very stressful and demanding job, and maybe she just needed a break? I also know that TenHaken has been mysteriously silent about his feelings about the LGBTQ community.

UPDATE: Kettle meet Black

My first reaction to the kerfuffle over the banning of the Municipal League’s Chief Lobbyist and Director was complete laughter. It seems to be a couple of ‘Whackies’ going at it. I wanted to call Haugaard and ask him to ban her for life.

Either way, it doesn’t seem he has the legal authority to ban Taylor based on free speech rights.

But also in defense of Taylor (though it pains me) I thought she was a little light on her criticism of 20% of the legislature being ‘Whackies’. I would set that bar much higher, like closer to 90%.

But what makes the situation even more ironic (and down right funny) is Taylor and Haugaard both are on the anti-citizen team when it comes to proposed and passed legislation. Steve’s party consistently is working against the good folks of South Dakota, and so is Taylor (just on different playing fields). I would say they have a heckuva a lot more in common than differences.

UPDATE: For instance there is a DRAFT bill the Anti-Citizen League (my nickname for them) is pushing to repeal the law that basically would ban public input at all public meetings EXCEPT regular meetings held by city councils and county commissions. In essence going backwards. The ACL has long hated public input into anything and has strived for years to let muni’s pass sales tax increases, that they say would ‘Sunset’. Nothing ever sunsets, especially tax increases.

COPY OF DRAFT: Open-Meeting-Cleanup-DRAFT

Highlight;

In a corresponding email, Taylor says, “Hi, all – attached is the copy of our re-write of the open meeting laws.  The intent is clean-up, readability, and clarification.  This has been a long, negotiated process, and in its current form, the newspapers are OK with it.  I will appreciate you thoughts and comments, and am happy to answer questions.”

The ‘newspapers are OK with it.’? What about the citizens?! You know, the people who pay your wages! Sneaky, Sneaky, Sneaky, Snake.

With Haugaard’s recent ‘banning’ of Taylor, I think it is finally time for Sioux Falls to cut our ties to the League and stop wasting approximately $70K a year for their ‘Lobbyist’ help. They are not helping. As I have argued in the past, we have a city council operations manager and a deputy COS, T.J. TypeOver who can handle our lobbying needs.

I also wonder what our very Republican City Council Chair, Erickson, who has long been a defender of Taylor’s actions thinks of this latest ripple? Seems she is in the best position to alleviate the situation. My solution? FIRE Taylor and send Haugaard a Thank You card with a copy of the Constitution.

SD State Legislature won’t fund education properly but want schools to buy plaques that violate church and state

God, Guns, and Abortion, that is all the legislature seems to be concerned about. Now they want schools to violate separation of church and state, yet provide NO funding mechanism;

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require 1 the national motto of the United States to be

2 displayed in public schools.

3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

4 Section 1. That chapter 13-24 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

5 Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the national motto of the United States, “In God

6 We Trust,” shall be displayed in each public school. The display shall be located in a prominent

7 location within each public school. The display may take the form of a mounted plaque, student

8 artwork, or any other appropriate form as determined by the school principal.

9 For the purposes of this section, a prominent location is a school entryway, cafeteria, or

10 other common area where students are most likely to see the national motto display.

While some may argue that the term ‘GOD’ doesn’t talk about a specific religion, I still think it borders on violation of the separation clause. What’s even worse is that the legislature wants schools to apparently fund this on their own without providing a funding mechanism. A sign or plaque that is prominently displayed could cost anywhere from $75 to $750 dollars. This is a waste of educational dollars. If I was one of these schools I would take a highlighter to a dollar bill and put it in a frame and hang that up. In America, we only have one true God, and it is green.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Chief of Staff for TenHaken makes $161K a year

While I’m still waiting for the 2019 salary report to come out, I have some ‘early’ returns.

COS Erica Beck’s salary is $161K + $28K in benefits.

In comparison, Mayor TenHaken’s salary is $128K + $42K in benefits (Salary is controlled by ordinance and not performance or education).

Also, City Councilor’s yearly salary is $19K plus $200 month stipend for gas and phone. They are ineligible for retirement or healthcare benefits even though other cities and counties across the state allow it.

Like I said, once I get the full salary report, I will have more names to add.

I have often felt that NONE of the Mayor’s ‘support staff’ should get paid more than him. For example, when looking at the 2018 salaries, the former mayor’s secretary (who is still with the city) was getting $63K + Benefits and his communications manager was getting $75K + Benefits. Also, the Operations manager for the city council will make around $100K this year, and he has to support 8 people instead of just one.

I also find it a bit ironic when you see these corporate like pay scales in public service (government is not like private business).

Just read this story when you want to have comparable wages in the private sector in SD;

The News Watch analysis of 2017 wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics within the U.S. Department of Labor showed that:

  • Roughly 21 percent of employed South Dakota residents, about 87,000 people, make under $30,000 a year; 41 percent of employed South Dakota residents, about 169,400 people, make under $35,000 a year, and 71 percent of employed South Dakota residents, about 292,000 people, make under $40,000 a year.
  • Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, South Dakota is third lowest in average annual pay at $40,770, with the national average at $55,470. The state is also at or near the bottom nationally for average pay in several occupational sectors, including office and administrative support (51st), architecture/engineering (51st), education (50th), production workers (50th), life/physical/social sciences (50th), construction and extraction (50th), arts/design/sports/media (50th), computer and mathematical (49th), community and social services (48th), legal (47th), transportation and materials movement (45th), community and social services (47th) and business and financial operations (44th).
  • While doctors, medical specialists, dentists and CEOs are among the highest paid, the support staffs that work for them are among the lowest paid.

Isn’t it sad that about 71% of employed people in SD make under $40K a year and the mayor’s COS makes 4X that in the public sector. What is even more troubling is that TenHaken calls himself a fiscal conservative because he is of Dutch decent, yet pays corporate like wages on the taxpayer’s dime. I guess he is only conservative when it comes to HIS money, not ours.

I also find it a bit ironic that this story has been long overdue, and where did it come from? The local MSM? The AP? Maybe PBS? Nope. From a Non-Profit online news organization.

Sioux Falls City Council Meeting, Jan 15, 2019

No Collusion?

The Argus could soon have a new owner

So this was surprising;

The hunter has become the hunted. Newspaper publisher Gannett Co. may find it difficult to resist the advances of an activist investor and potential buyer.

MNG Enterprises Inc., the owner of the Boston Herald and Denver Post that’s backed by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, on Monday disclosed a 7.5 percent stake in Gannett and made an unsolicited offer to acquire it.

Someone wants to buy Gannett? Uh, okay. If it happens, I’m sure there will be changes to staff and content. I guess it all depends on if someone buys it.

Sioux Falls Headliner has a couple of zingers this week

thesiouxfallsheadliner.com