Where is the Washington Pavilion’s 2015 Annual Report?

Seems they are taking a page from city hall, hiding financials as long as they can while getting millions from the CIP for facility upgrades on a building that is merely a teenager.

After the annual meeting held each June, the annual report is released. I have been told that the meeting was held, but as you can see, the annual report is NOT available online yet.

Looks like Director Darrin Smith is off to good (non-transparent) start. He learned from the best.

Won’t get pooled again

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This is what happens when you don’t play the city’s reindeer games


Improvements planned for this year at Terrace Park will not move forward in 2016. Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will complete another planning process to ensure that any construction at the park will both improve accessibility and preserve the historical features of the park.

“We engaged the public at a very high level and for a number of years regarding this project, but we have not yet determined a solution that allows us to feel confident moving forward at this time,” says Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our next step will be to reengage the neighborhood and take another look at the master plan for the park. Any revisions to the master plan will be approved by the Board of Historic Preservation, the ADA Accessibility Review Board, and the Parks and Recreation Board.”

In 2014, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation collaborated with the Terrace Park Neighborhood Association and the community on a master planning process to guide future development of the upper portion of Terrace Park. The goal of this project was to identify existing issues as well as potential opportunities within the park. Over a six-month process involving multiple public input sessions, a master plan was developed and was to serve as a road map for future construction of the park.

The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property.

Construction of the master plan improvements were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place in 2016. Those improvements will not take place this year. The master plan will be revisited, and design work now will take place in 2018 and 2019, with construction in 2020 and 2021.

This year’s construction contract will be canceled, and materials already purchased for the project will be used for other projects. To date, about $39,415 of the planned $176,250 project has been expended, but much of the work will be applicable when the master plan improvements are completed. The construction of the proposed master plan improvements in 2020 and 2021 will cost about $2 million.


Terrace Park Improvements to Be Discussed at Wednesday News Conference

What: News conference to provide an update regarding planned improvements at Terrace Park

When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 11 a.m.

Where: City Hall Commission Room 224 West Ninth Street

Who: Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation

Why: Construction of master plan improvements at Terrace Park were to be completed in multiple phases, with the first phase to construct a monument sign, accessible pathways, and a centennial marker recognizing the 100-year history of the park to take place this year. Recently, the Board of Historic Preservation determined the construction plans would have an adverse effect on the historic property. Come to the news conference to learn more about the next steps for Terrace Park improvements.

Don’t look under the bed


Why is the Sioux Falls City Council Operations Committee meetings held in private?

Before the mayor started spewing about monsters and his CIP presentation, the city council had a chance to have open discussion at the today’s informational meeting.

The main topic at hand? The supposed secrecy of the operations meetings. Fiscal, land use and public services committee meetings are held in public and recorded at Carnegie Hall, not so much with the operations committee.

Erpenbach, the sorcerer of all excuses dug deep today, by arguing the meetings could be recorded but after 30 seconds they would have to go in to executive session.

Councilors Neitzert (who is on the committee), Starr and Stehly were not buying it. Starr brought up the notes from the previous meeting and asked how talking about rotation of the director’s meeting and changing public input had anything to do with the legal safety of an executive session.

Stehly said she spoke with former Jamison this morning (who used to serve on the committee) and he professed it was simply a house keeping committee that dealt with staff and procedures.

By this point, Michelle’s head was a steaming teapot and Kiley shut down the conversation.

This is about the older councilors controlling the new councilors and posturing. Erpenbach’s argument about their ‘newness’ is beginning to wear thin.

I advised people to vote for Greg, Theresa and Pat because of their readiness to serve. They may have a small learning curve (mostly trying to figure out the games the mayor and his minion councilors are playing) but their knowledge of city government is not up for debate.

They proved that today.

While we are on the topic of public input, I find it interesting they are still trying to fiddle with it. I had heard rumors they were planning changes, and it was confirmed today. Now that it is out in the open, it is time to tamp out those flames. How ironic they would discuss in secret the changes to public input. That’s not irony, that’s tyranny.

UPDATE: Public Open House of Indoor Aquatic Center TODAY!

5:30 at Spellerberg Park, 26th & Western Avenue.

We went with our camera and were not allowed in because they claimed that SF Construction has control of the site, and we are NOT media. We got the excuses part on video. We will be posting soon.

Inn Indoor Pool 400

NOT the new Spellerberg Indoor pool.

Chair of the Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation writes a letter of clarification

Dixie Hieb lays out the job of the board, and what their decisions ultimately mean in reference to Terrace Park;

I have complete confidence that our City’s Parks Department and Confluence, the landscape architecture firm involved with the project, will develop a plan that both improves accessibility and protects the historic integrity of Terrace Park. I believe the planning and approval process is an opportunity to serve both of these goals, but characterizing the process as a battle between opposing groups serves only to undermine these goals. All of the parties involved care deeply about Terrace Park, and together we will find solutions that maintain the historical character of the park for generations to come.

I couldn’t agree more. This isn’t about fighting the city, this is about preserving our city. That takes transparency and cooperation.

Google Evaluates the city website

Well, at least you can view it . . . when it finally loads.


Why hasn’t the Public had a City of Sioux Falls Financial report since April?

The mayor is set to give his CIP presentation next Tuesday, yet, we really don’t have any context where the money is coming from, or what it is projected to be.

In fact, there hasn’t been a financial report (publicly) since April of the March numbers, and the April report was quietly released on the city website on April 30 (not at a public informational meeting).

The returns are the lowest in years, in fact, even the entertainment tax is down. Could it be the boomtown has tapped as much as it can? Are revenues leveling out?