No money for snowgates, but plenty of money for Pickleball?

Yup, you heard me right, taxdollars going to pickleball.

Some ask where will the city come up with extra money for snowgates? Well why don’t we tap the pickleball budget? That’s right, the city built a pickleball court at Menlo park, invested in equipment that you can borrow, and are even building an indoor pickleball court at the Kenny Anderson community center (so you can play pickleball in the winter). Just watch this episode of City Scene (about at the 50% mark) that explains pickleball.

And how did this come about? Someone walked into the Parks and Rec office and asked for it, and like magic, the city built it for them. No petition drives, no messy elections, not even City Council approval.

Oh, but it gets better. We both know that the money budgeted for snow removal comes from the operation fund (1st Penny) and Parks and Rec comes from the capital fund (2nd Penny). You would think former mayor of Sioux Falls, Rick Knobe would understand this;

Petitions are being circulated in Sioux Falls to mandate the use of snowgates. I am not going to sign a petition, and if a vote is held, I will vote “no.”

City staff is prudently researching the cost efficiency of snowgate use. The research is not yet complete. I may ”think”  they are a good idea, because I don’t like cleaning out my driveway after the plows have come thru. However, the higher cost, extra time, and maintenance of the additional equipment may not be worth it.

Our federal government is broke because they continue to make  promises we can no longer  afford to keep. As local taxpayers, it doesn’t make sense to mandate a service(raise taxes), just because we  are tired of shoveling snow.

We elect a  mayor and eight council members to make policy and daily administrative decisions on our behalf. If the mayor wants snowgates, he can put them in the budget. If the council wants snowgates, they can add them to the budget.

Should we have public votes on the type of technology the city uses? Equipment on fire trucks, or in police cars? How often the grass in the park is mowed?

It doesn’t make sense for us,  ”sidewalk(driveway) superintendents,” to direct or micromanage snow plowing operations.

Hey, Rick, that’s not how the operation’s penny works. The ‘first’ penny CANNOT be raised. The city has to work with what they take in, period. That means budgeting responsibly for PUBLIC SERVICES. Obviously we will still have money for pickleball in the 2nd penny, even if snow gates get implemented by the voters. The people are not voting on ‘budgets’ they are simply asking for a public service. You are right, it is the Mayor and City Council’s job to create the budget, and if voters approve snowgates, the city will have to find the money in the first penny for them. TAXES WILL NOT BE RAISED (at least on the 1st penny), because they don’t have the power to RAISE THEM.

But essentially it is about priorities, not higher taxes or pickleball. Snowgates are a public service and public safety issue not a ‘frill’ like pickleball or monkey hot tubs. Our taxdollars need to be spent on PUBLIC SERVICE not PICKLE SERVICE.


#1 Helga on 10.05.12 at 10:41 pm

What the hell is pickleball? Is it taking over the country and I missed it?

#2 l3wis on 10.05.12 at 11:39 pm

Snowgates are going to plow over pickleball.

#3 Poly43 on 10.06.12 at 8:52 am

What is pickleball? Let’s see. Four pickleball courts can be placed on one tennis court. Just right for wannabe tennis players too slow for the real thing. The net is eight inches lower than a tennis court net. Just right for those challenged by a tennis net. The ball, (whiffle ball) goes about one third the speed of a tennis ball. Again, for those just a little too slow for the real thing. Great game for senior citizens!

Looks like the mayor has found his “Game”.

As for former mayor rick? He’s former mayor for a reason.

#4 grudznick on 10.06.12 at 9:31 am

If Rick Knobe is against it then I am for it. I only wish I could sign and help circulate your petitions.

#5 scott on 10.06.12 at 10:19 am

And yet Knobe didn’t have a problem blowing money on an event center.

#6 Detroit Lewis on 10.06.12 at 11:03 am

Of course not. The city loves to spend money on special interest projects. They don’t give a shit about public service. I told Kermit today that if snowgates are successful and voters approve them, the next drive will be for trimming trees in the blvd.

#7 cr on 10.06.12 at 2:18 pm

$500,000 Sioux Falls Tennis Association

$1.5 million Sioux Falls Ice Sports Association

$4.6 million South Dakota Junior Football Association

$20 million ++ Proposed Indoor Aquatics Center

$36 million River Greenway Project

$180 million Denny Sanford Premier Events Center

All are examples of how we are currently spending OUR tax dollars…….

NOW, there is an opportunity to provide a service, SNOWGATES, that will benefit ordinary citizens………..

Ordinary citizens, who are most likely NOT involved in “special-interest” groups…….

AND, this probably explains why over 3,000 registered voters have signed the snowgate petition in the first 30 days of a six-month drive………….!!

#8 Joan on 10.06.12 at 6:07 pm

I don’t understand all the interest in sports, in this city. It is time for the city to start watching what they spend for entertainment for special interest groups. Maybe the Mayor has decided to start playing pickle ball, instead of tennis, thinking it won’t be as dangerous.

#9 Detroit Lewis on 10.06.12 at 9:54 pm

“Maybe the Mayor has decided to start playing pickle ball, instead of tennis, thinking it won’t be as dangerous.”

Joan, funny, that is exactly what I thought. I would agree, our fascination with sports certainly isn’t making our citizens skinnier. We have some of the fattest people per capita then any city in the country. What that tells me is that a very select few are using these facilities. This small group would still find ways to exercise if the city was not providing these services.

#10 Testor15 on 10.07.12 at 12:25 am

DL, maybe the rest us us are expected to get out exercise chipping away at the ice mountains left by our city plows?

#11 Analog Kid on 10.08.12 at 4:49 pm

In this country we have due process, a right which needs to be exercised more often. Looking away is what got us in this mess so for Rick to put down something of this level is inexcusable.
The city council isn’t taking the poisonous fluoride out of our water any time soon but I do see citizen groups eliminating it from their water coast to coast.
Hey if we know of a better tire to use on the squad cars which are safer and save the city taxpayers money why stay idle? At least this way some lobby group didn’t beat us to it gouging the coffers!

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