Mayor Mike Subprime held a press conference yesterday, January 29, 2013, at 4 a.m. at City Hall and presented what he considered the top ten wins for him and his ilk in Sioux Falls City government during 2012.
Mayor Subprime presented a countdown;
#1. Pension changes in City government will save taxpayers millions, enabling us to spend those savings on more spray parks and special interest club sport facilities. We successfully identified strategic pension changes affecting current and future employees in order to reduce and stabilize rising pension costs. The savings over the next 30 years from these changes is estimated to be over $300 million, in which we will spend on building a new events center to replace our current events center that has not been built yet.
#2. Sioux Falls inks record-breaking naming rights deal for Events Center before the voters even approved building the facility! We successfully negotiated and signed one of the richest naming rights deals in history for a market our size when the City inked a $20.75 million, 25-year deal with Sanford Health, First PREMIER Bank, and PREMIER Bankcard to name the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, and we did it all in the dark with blindfolds on!
#3. Big-time manipulation of figures, economic development, job creation and growth!
• $490 million of construction activity permitted, the second highest year in history. Thank God we included the Events Center in that number.
• Over 2,000 jobs created. (I personally pulled that number out of my ass)
• 3.7 percent unemployment rate (We of course included part-time, teenagers and the underemployed in that figure)
• Great teamwork with Sioux Falls Development and the Governor’s Office. In fact, Pat Costello only hung up on me three times.
• Record boardings at Sioux Falls Airport. Still waiting for them to return.
• 158,800 citizens now call Sioux Falls jail!
• Over 8,000 citizens signed the snowgates petition, then we gave them the middle finger, told them to shut up and go home.
#4. The old River Ramp comes down. A new Hilton Hotel sprouts up! A goal of the City for more than a decade was finally accomplished in 2012 with the removal of the 50-year old River Ramp parking garage in downtown Sioux Falls. Ground was broken on a much-anticipated 136-room Hilton Garden Inn & Suites complete with conference room meeting space, restaurant, and lounge estimated at $30 million, with millions of developer welfare handouts from taxpayers for TIF’s, landscaping, and a squirty-squirt park, all of which is gigantic waste of money just like snowgates.
#5. Team Policing is a huge success in keeping citizens safe, but not from stray bullets in shootouts with suicidal maniacs! The Police Department’s reorganization effort and Team Policing Initiative resulted in many cutting-edge programs. The hospitals even changed their free meals program to the SFPD. Trust and communication between Police and community members have been enhanced along with providing education on personal safety and the security of property, unless of course you are in violation of city ordinances, then we will haul your ass to jail and threaten to sue. The Pettigrew Heights neighborhood is just one of many success stories in 2012 that we will claim to be a success again in 2013 and 2014 without really cleaning up anything, but if we continue to say it is a success enough times it just might magically happen.
#6. “Our new Events Center” is going up and taxpayers secured incredible interest rates without the place costing a dime! The official ground breaking for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center was held on August 30. The foundation systems and on-site utilities were completed WITH MONEY FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND instead of from the bond fund, and the McCart Park parking lot (that will have to be replaced by a parking ramp eventually) and the new gravity flow sanitary sewer main were constructed off site to ensure its reliability the next time we have to dump your shit in the Sioux River. We are ahead of our goal to have 85 percent of the work performed by local subcontractors and suppliers that we just happened to have already picked out even before the first Events Center task force met.
An overall interest rate of 3.13 percent was achieved on two bond sales composed of taxable and tax-exempt bonds to raise the needed $114.5 million in financing. These outstanding rates will result in interest savings of millions of dollars when compared to the interest costs initially forecast for the Events Center project, but like I said already, it won’t cost you a dime. In fact, the Events Center will be so profitable I project we will all be getting our money back sometime in 2057 or 2058.
#7. Lewis & Clark water is flowing into Sioux Falls just in time to make it appear the $80 million we spent on it wasn’t a total waste of money! A new and critical supply of water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, which draws water from the Missouri River, was tapped on July 30. Construction was completed on a one-mile, 20-inch diameter water transmission main to connect the Sioux Falls water distribution system. Lewis & Clark water provides Sioux Falls with a drought-resistant supply offsetting demand on the Big Sioux Aquifer, the main source for the city (even though we will probably only really need water from L & C about 2 or 3 days out of the year). Without the Lewis & Clark water, lawn watering schedules and restrictions would be much more restrictive in an extended drought period, but during a drought you shouldn’t be watering your lawns anyway, unless you are an obsessive compulsive selfish prick.
#8. Surpassed the 200-mile mark of our “SMOOTHER ROADS AHEAD” campaign, and man am I tired, next time I am going to drive it instead of running it! In the past three construction seasons, we have repaired, rebuilt, and/or replaced over 200 lane miles of inner core roads. This work improved the driving surface, reduces driver delay, creates safer roads, and adds capacity to the arterial street system. Believe it or not, #8 is actually true.
#9. www.siouxfalls.org website is completely redesigned and receiving rave reviews from city employees who are in denial of how poorly it operates. There has been a complete redesign of the City’s official website, www.siouxfalls.org. Not sure why, maybe the media services and IT people needed something to do besides pretending to fix things. The new website provides a more complicated navigation structure, outdated design, and an almost non-exsistant search function. Over 20,000 pages of my press releases and 20 GB of data were restructured for my massive ego. Please check us out today (but stay away from the council meetings page, it probably isn’t working) And try the fun game ‘Find the council meeting calendar’.
#10. Our City’s “piggy bank” keeps growing while our debt is at a record all time high! We balance progress with drunken sailorness in Sioux Falls! Despite news of governments at all levels around the country struggling to live within their means, we just say fuck it and say ‘Charge the Card’, the Finance department is anticipating the City of Sioux Falls will add dollars to its general operating reserves for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW while adding 10x that to our debt rolls. Although originally budgeting to use $3.8 million in reserves, the City’s modest revenue estimates and strong budgetary management practices ensured the City remains fiscally strong with General Fund reserves, which exceed policy targets. Finance is also forecasting excess capital improvement plan money that will be utilized to its fullest soon, like when we run out of money building the Events Center.