March 8th, 2014 — Developers, Development, Jim Entenman, Michelle Erpenbach, Mike Huether, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
It seems Jim, Michelle and Mike really want to get the TIF disclosure amendment in the application process dropped, and before the election. Someone (I am assuming one of them) got it put back on the agenda for Tuesday night. They not only want the spousal disclosure removed, they want to bury this TIF change before the election.
Last Tuesday, the council voted 5-3 to postpone the change until April 1st (a week before the election). I have a feeling there was a discussion after the vote with the two swing voters (Dean & Sue) to try to get them to change their votes for this Tuesday.
It begs the question, “What is Michelle, Mike and Jim trying to hide?” This is all about transparency and ethical practices when it come to elected officials. It is no secret that Huether and his wife are investing in properties throughout our city. But why are Michelle and Jim so concerned about this?
Remember, Jim has property adjacent to the new Events Center and Michelle’s donor list reads like the ‘Who’s Who’ of SF developers. Either these three are trying to protect someone’s investment or their own.
There is a deeper story here.
March 8th, 2014 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls
So the Chamber admits that some things with Shape Places needs to be fixed;
While the chamber supports Shape Places, board members agree with Save Our Neighborhood on one point. They recommend the city review the ordinance to address concerns about how the new rules would change the opportunities for the public to give input on a project.
Palmer said the best way to ensure that happens is to revisit the ordinance.
“Voting No on Shape Places in April will give the city and interested parties the opportunity to work together to make the necessary changes before it goes into effect,” Palmer said.
Palmer is right, if it passes in it’s current state, there are NO guarantees the new city council and mayor will ‘fix’ those problem areas. There is one way though the public can make sure they do, and that is by voting NO. This will force the city to re-visit the ordinance, and fix those problem areas before passing new zoning rules. Like I said in the past, it is a good piece of legislation for the most part, but there are some areas that need to be tweaked before implementing it.
March 8th, 2014 — Mayor Hubris, Mayor Subprime Mike Huether, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
It was nice of Mayor Huether to allow the financial director of our city, Tracy Turbak, to sign this letter to the editor. Apparently, the city is embracing the glass is half full philosophy;
Nearly half of the city’s debt relates to public utility services — water, sewer and landfill — and is repaid by the users of these services — not general taxpayers.
While I thought Mike Turbak made some good points about the differences between city and state debt, this statement above by Tracy Huether had me a bit concerned. So almost HALF our city debt (around $200 million) is for things other than infrastructure? That was the whole point of Ellis’ column, the fact that the city should stop borrowing and creating debt for entertainment/recreation. But obviously in the midst of campaign season, that went right over Turbak’s head, uh, I mean, Mike’s head.
March 6th, 2014 — Elections, Sioux Falls, snow removal, Snowgates
You mean the use of snowgates actually helps local business?
Not sure what to think of the Chamber’s endorsements for the election. While the Walmart and Shape Places thumbs up doesn’t surprise me, their stances on the other two citizen ballot initiatives seems a bit silly;
The chamber also is pushing for a “no” vote on building an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. If they get their way, the city will move forward with plans for an indoor aquatics facility there.
Their board took no position on the fourth ballot measure, whether the city should invest in snowgates to keep snow from piling up at the bottom of people’s driveways.
So they are supporting an indoor public pool that will be subsidized by taxpayers and will compete with private indoor swimming providers. Doesn’t this go against the free enterprise nature of the Chamber? Do some of the Chamber members provide indoor swimming? Very odd.
And saying nothing about the snowgates is probably a relief to either side of the issue, but you would think the Chamber would endorse a public service that benefits many businesses throughout our community, not just in cleaning out the inlet’s to their parking lots but in worker productivity and lost time (if an employee is late because they were blocked by a snow berm and had to scoop it away before driving to work.)
Once again, the Chamber proves who they stand up for, and it really isn’t their members or local small businesses. No surprises here, just lots of the same old silliness.
March 6th, 2014 — Homeless, Planning Commission, Sioux Falls
“We should help the less fortunate among us, but move them out of my neighborhood first.”
I have been kind of on the fence about the expansion of a DAYTIME homeless shelter. On one hand, it will be needed, after the Good Shepard & Salvation Army close, and it will probably help alleviate some of the problems in the Whittier neighborhood with panhandlers and harassing neighbors.
BUT, on the other hand, it just seems our city has a track record of ‘moving’ these kind of problematic services into the Whittier neighborhood instead spreading them throughout the city. This shelter could be in several locations, in fact, one business owner suggested putting it in the VACANT Cathedral school, too which the new Planning Commission chair Nick ‘Mr. Bossy Pants Interrupter Jerk boy’ Sershen said it was too close to Hawthorne elementary (which he really meant to say it was too close to the Cathedral and the Bishop’s residence. The irony is that Bishop Swain talks about the sacrifice the Whittier neighborhood should make to help the least amongst us in a letter to the editor, yet doesn’t suggest the shelter be in his neighborhood.) But;
Krista Baartman, a member of the Whittier Neighborhood Association, said one of her biggest concerns is the proposed shelter’s proximity to Whittier Middle School.
“This is 100 feet out of the boundary for the school,” she said. “Are we going to be looking at violent criminals or sex offenders? We don’t know.”
And as a FB Whittier neighborhood commenter pointed out;
As a neighborhood, we already go above and beyond to help the low income and homeless citizens of Sioux Falls. Our concern as homeowners, business owners and parents is that the proposed size of the facility is 3x larger than the current Good Shepherd location and that no stipulations have been placed on the facility to outline their policy on drug and alcohol use, violent criminals and/ or sex offenders. As residents of the neighborhood, we have every right to be concerned. This facility is 2 blocks from Whittier Middle School and across the street from a very popular public swimming pool. These facilities are not used only by our neighborhood, but by a large number of residents in the city of Sioux Falls.
I truly believe the Diocese’s heart is in the right place for wanting to help this sector of our community, but they really need to find a different place. I have suggested closer to the courthouse, community health center and jail would make the most sense right on Minnesota Avenue. I have a feeling there is a push from the Uptown developers to get that stuff out of that area though.
March 6th, 2014 — Elections, Event Center, Sioux Falls
Funny how all these shows, meetings, event center tours and educational videos are popping out of city hall’s butt a month before a municipal election. I have never seen this much propaganda garbage in my life from an administration. I mean, how many times do we have to see a time lapse of the EC floor being poured?! The worst part is that you and I are paying for this.
March 6th, 2014 — Art, Bettie Page, Sioux Falls
March 5th, 2014 — 1st Amendment, Developers, Development, Michelle Erpenbach, SF City Council
It was a very strange debate between most of the council and councilors Entenman & Erpenbach (Item #64 FF:) about the TIF application disclosures, Michelle comes to the defense of the mayor’s wife then partially admits to her husband’s investments? Huh?
Jamison raised concerns last fall after learning that the mayor’s wife, Cindy Huether, was one of the investors in a TIF project, the Bancroft Place apartments in the Whittier neighborhood.
Jamison is running against incumbent Mike Huether in the race for mayor this spring.
“This amendment is about one person,” Councilor Michelle Erpenbach said. “I don’t appreciate the way this conversation has been going.”
She said the investments held by an elected official’s spouse should not be open to scrutiny.
“You elected me; you did not elect my husband,” she said.
I found it baffling that Michelle felt she had to defend the mayor’s wife or the mayor, and tried to make this into a political football.* Michelle, this is about transparency and ethics, this isn’t about an election. Secondly, are you admitting that your husband has made investments with properties that have received TIF’s? I found that statement interesting. It got heated at times, Entenman was almost scolding and yelling at the rest of the council (gee, I wonder how many property investments he has made around town?) Then in one of Karsky’s misguided moments, he asked for the vote to be postponed. Not realizing the can of worms he had opened (They won’t vote on it until a week before the election) four councilors voted for the postponement, and of course Karsky realized he had to follow suit, since he proposed it. Michelle and Mike WERE NOT happy.
It got comical at times, especially when Erpenbach came to the defense of Huether, he looked like he was melting like an ice cream cone in his chair, and looked like he was going to start crying at any moment. It was theatrics at their best between Erpenbach and Huether, it was almost like it was rehearsed. See seems to be very concerned about hurt feelings, but doesn’t give a damn about ethics. *What this is really about is Huether’s re-election. It is crucial to Michelle’s political future that Huether is re-elected, especially if she is. Everyone knows Michelle’s plan in four years is to run for the empty seat of mayor and for Huether to run for governor. So if Michelle is re-elected (let’s hope not) she must have Huether re-elected to follow through with her plans.
The other part of the discussion that disturbed me was testimony by Darrin Smith claiming we have to give TIF’s to develop land for the public good, and brought up the COSTCO site that wasn’t developed for 25 years. First off, that property sitting empty hasn’t hurt or helped citizens in our community either way. There was very little public benefit to developing that land, and not developing has not been harmful either. Ironically, as Smith brought up the COSTCO TIF, he admitted that COSTCO has asked to not use the TIF that was granted. So basically admitting that a TIF was not needed to develop the land. But yet we need them? Huh?
CITIZENS FOR INTEGRITY PILE IT ON
Also worth checking out is public testimony from myself and Bruce about the city’s ‘ADVOCATIONAL’ videos and meetings, (FF: Public Input) and the possibility of breaking state law.
March 3rd, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Walfart
These letters to the editor offer some different opinions. First, Mr. Alvine;
So why does anyone who doesn’t own a house in the neighborhood really care if Walmart builds there? Doesn’t affect me, right? Wrong. There is an equitable principal that “you don’t get to bring a nuisance to your neighbors.” The best well-known example of this doctrine is a person doesn’t get to bring their stinky pig farm to a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood that has been enjoying fresh air for years. These houses were built at that location for a reason, to create a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood. This neighborhood is and has been well established before Walmart chose to purchase the land next door. Thus, a simple principle of fairness and justice dictates that Walmart has no right to destroy the safety and peacefulness these neighbors have created. They were there first, after all.
Then there is this letter from someone who aspired to be appointed to the city council, Marlin D. Thompson;
The group’s spokeswoman, Dana Palmer, rails about Walmart’s promotional campaign to advance the company’s desires to build at 85th and Minnesota. And SYN’s “news release” (that’s a stretch) provides Sioux Falls citizens with this: “If the city allows Walmart to buy zoning to allow it to build a commercial development … .” The group continues “… our neighborhoods are not for sale to the highest bidder, and zoning in this city cannot be bought.” Wow. Pay no mind the City Council voted 7-1 to allow the project to move forward; however, SYN knows best. The ballot measure will be decided by the voters of Sioux Falls. Thank goodness.
LOL! The ‘RUBBERSTAMP’ council, the one that Marlin wishes he would have been appointed to. But he seems to have a change of heart since 2011. DOC: CouncilorThompson;
March 3rd, 2014 — Sioux Falls
There should be an interesting ‘fan club’ at the meeting tonight;
Monday, March 3
MariCar Community Center
400 North Valley View Road
At each public meeting, information regarding the specific ballot question will be presented at these times, followed by an opportunity to ask questions
Spellerberg Aquatic Center 6 to 6:30 p.m.
Snow Gates 6:30 to 6:50 p.m.
Commercial Zoning at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue 6:50 to 7:10 p.m.
Shape Places Zoning Ordinance 7:10 to 7:30 p.m.