The hypocrisy of SF city government transparency

Apparently it is perfectly fine to display the names of PRIVATE CITIZENS on the city council agenda who didn’t take care of CITY PROPERTY. But knowing the companies that are bidding on the naming rights of the Events Center, and who is bidding on the construction of the EC project needs to be a secret?!

I recommend that any citizen who received fines, to show up and protest them.


#1 rufusx on 07.08.12 at 10:28 pm

Good luck getting a Federal Court to hear your “case”. They consistently refuse to hear cases having to do with either land use regulation – including such things as the ordinances that cover property owner responsibility for maintenance of abutting R.O.W. (sidewalks, trees, etc.) Your CLAIM there is no constitutional manadate regarding above is true – but only to the extent that it is one of the powers r4elgated to the state (Feds don’t want to have anything to do with it.) Likewise – SD State statutes covering zoning (again, R.O.W. maintenance ordinances) – SDCL title 11 – give broad authority to Counties and municipalities to regulate same. Like the Feds – the don’t want to get involved. In short – you advice (above) is actually pretty bad legal advice.

#2 Detroit Lewis on 07.09.12 at 2:15 am

You are right Rufux, I changed the post, BUT, Besides taking these people to small claims court, what other action can the city take against them?

#3 Craig on 07.09.12 at 8:45 am

I believe in the vast majority of cases you own the boulevard, so it is not “city property”. There are very few areas in Sioux Falls where the boulevard area is truly city owned land. You are taxed on the land, you are required to maintain the land. The only issue here is the city has an easement and a right-of-way for utilities and for road expansion if they ever need to widen the road.

And guess what – if the city does decide to widen a road, they pay the homeowner for that land. Neat concept.

I’ve said it before and I’ll likely say it again – if you don’t want to maintain trees in the boulevard, then don’t plant them and don’t buy a house where they already exist. If you decided to purchase a house with large trees and/or you decided to plant some which would later require maintenance then you are responsible and you should stop acting like it is some great injustice that the city requires you to do the right thing and maintain your property.

I bought a home with three trees in the boulevard. I knew what I was getting into and I don’t stand around whining that the poor city is requiring me to trim those trees no more than I am whining that they require to mow the lawn beneath them. I’ve trimmed those trees every year to ensure they don’t hang too low or obstruct pedestrians and vehicles, and never once did I feel the city was taking advantage of me.

Then again I’ve never been fined from the city for not taking care of my property, nor have I ever received notice that there was an issue. I guess that is because I’m proactive rather than ignoring things, thus I’m going to reserve my sympathy for people who actually deserve it – not for people who ignore notices and just act as if they don’t matter.

#4 WOW! on 07.09.12 at 11:11 am

Good to know if gant leaves the SOS office he has a nice place to land.

#5 Joan on 07.09.12 at 8:55 pm

I haven’t done any research on this, but I have always been told that the city owns from the middle of the sidewalk out to the street. I could be wrong and it would be interesting to know for sure.

#6 l3wis on 07.09.12 at 8:57 pm

Joan, you are right. City admins like to protect their asses, please ignore.

#7 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 10:16 pm

Means nothing. Per state supreme court, city government is unconstitutional until they revise ordinances. Namely, Code 2-66 which states ‘subject to judicial review’. The city denies itself access to the courts. They have no lien authority. There’s no method for them to collect fines or assess (a county function). In other words, there’s bark but no bite. IGNORE THEM. These resolutions are but more unenforcable jargon for the incompetant city clerk to process.

#8 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 10:24 pm

A typical residential street is 50′ right-of-way subject to city maintenance and disgression. A typical paved street is 24′ wide and either side is 12.5′ back of curb to 1′ toward your house behind sidewalk. I happen to be a land surveyor and real estate broker with more experience than anyone now working in city government. Especially, the public works director. If they cite you for trees or grass in front of the sidewalk toward the street, tell them to take a hike and ignore them because their government is not a recognized democracy (see above)

#9 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 10:37 pm

When they take you to small claims court, you must agree to accept the judges authority. It’s the first question they ask when you get to court. Say ‘NO’, you want your case heard in circuit court because you intend to hire a lawyer. It’s a trick (like all others) the city uses to get a judgement against you. They’ll not file in circuit court because the court does not recognize their authority per case #11-2478 & 2011 SD 48.

#10 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 10:38 pm

Can’t we just get back to DEMOCRACY. It’s a word that means freedom and constitutional due process.

#11 rufusx on 07.09.12 at 10:40 pm

Actually Dan – a typical street is 60′ – and 30′ in paved width, with sidewalks edge at the property line 15 feet back from the curb. None-the-less – by ordinance – it is the property owners duty to maintain the R.O.W.

You must have not worked in a while.

#12 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 11:15 pm

Residential streets are 50′, more travelled streets are 60′. Yes, you can be assessed half for street repaving, widening, or sidewalk repairs. However, the city has no authority to collect assessments. Many assessments exceed $10K and are not eligable for small claims. Less than 10K can be contested by ‘NO’ and refered to circuit court where the city is denied access. Why do we even pay attention to this entity if they have no governing ability?

#13 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 11:19 pm

You pay taxes and you might as well send thousands to a TV televangelist.

#14 Dan Daily on 07.09.12 at 11:25 pm

I’ve visited with Marion Road landowners. It’s a city widening project. They now know they don’t have to pay the assessment and you (taxpayer) will foot the bill.

#15 Pathloss on 07.09.12 at 11:27 pm

It’s called DEMOCRACY. It works impartially for all. We should try it. It hasn’t been effective since 1994 when Munson (aka Lenin) took control of local government.

#16 rufusx on 07.10.12 at 9:38 am

Dan – SF is unique (that means one of a kind) in the state fact that the city pays for MAJOR ATERIAL streets (Like Marion Road) and not the property owners. That’s been standard city policy for a long time – and has NOTHING to do with their supposed “inability to assess”. It’s by CHOICE – essentially as a courtesy. Spin the other direction for a while, you’restarting to get muscles just on one side.

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