UPDATE; Our very ‘curious’ mayor

Gawd said, “Operation Timber Strike” has been a success, even though Scott may not think so.

MMM asked me to blog about his speech at Democratic Forum, so here it goes.

As a city official said to me once about Mike, “I really don’t get the guy.” and after you listen to him speak at an open forum, you become even more confused of his intentions.

Forum started out with MC Tom Cool cracking a (very funny) joke about how Mike thinks citizens should be limited to 5 minutes for public testimony, so Tom says we are limiting him to 5 minutes (for each topic).

As Mike gets started, he began by talking about saving historical buildings in Sioux Falls. Forum’s rabble rouser, and education advocate, Melanie Bliss yells out, “SAVE MARK TWAIN!”

He then went into 1000th time about how he frostbit his ear while campaigning (how many times is he going to tell this story, until our ears fall off?)

Mike was surrounded by several mounted posters that said, “Sioux Falls is getting stuff done.”

Then Mike calls me out (Twice) because I have been critical here about him wearing his religion on his sleeve at Listening and Learning sessions,

“I’m sure Scott doesn’t like it that I said God, go ahead and blog about it.”

I laughed, and laughed even harder the 2nd time he said it. My friend sitting next to me says, “Boy, you really got under his skin.”

Then he had a little hissy about the microphone cutting out. Noticeably annoyed. (he doesn’t like being embarrassed, even though it wasn’t his fault the microphone wasn’t working.)

Then he went into a strange rant about how SF needs more affordable housing that doesn’t have dirt floors. Huh?

In some kind of stark irony he bragged about the city fixing the employees pension plan (which saves the city millions) which I applaud him for. But he seemed aggravated that the media did not cover it, because it was a ‘big story’. He said the media would rather cover stories about people punching each other in the face. (which reminded of the time he tried to get Citizen Stanga to punch him in the face in the Carnegie parking lot). The irony of the pension savings is that they are all getting burnt up in the EC interest payments.

He went into a long diatribe about how the city reserves are in great shape but never once mentioned the $400 million dollar debt lurking over our heads (around $2000 per citizen). Then says NO recession exists in SF. While I partially agree, the business sector has rebounded nicely, wages are still stagnant, even more then before the recession. He also brags about all the jobs available in SF (most low wages).

Then Mike turns into Dr. Huether and blames diabetes on the fact that no one can swim in the winter. Really? I will say this. I like jumping in a pool or a lake on a hot summer day, but I don’t know how to swim, and I don’t think it has altered my life in anyway. Not being able to swim in the winter is not a big deal, and if you think it is, go to one of the many PRIVATE indoor pools around the city and take a dip.

He almost started crying while talking about ‘Operation Timber Strike’ and says we really don’t need the Feds money. Once again proving my point that the city can afford to trim THEIR trees in the boulevard. He said the volunteerism that happened during the ice storm reminded him of the ‘old time days’ where neighbors on the farm helped each other combine and milk cows. Of course he lived in town as a child and collected beer cans at Yankton’s famous ‘Ice House’ bar.

In some weird intro, he talked about all the ‘crust’ on him from serving the public. Then gave another 1000th time speech about ‘negativity’. Someone at my table says to me ‘What does he mean by negative?’ I said, “The truth?” While I don’t get annoyed too often, I do get bothered when politicians call people who expose corruption and lies as being ‘negative’. So are oncologists being negative when they tell you that you have Cancer?

He still has yet to say if he is running for Governor or Mayor, well, someone asked him the question at Forum. After a long pause, he said that him and the governor have a great relationship of getting things done (LOL) and said he still wants to ‘do things for Sioux Falls.’ but never really said if he is running for either office. I am still in the camp that he is ‘exploring’ running for Governor.

Another Forum friend sitting next to me asked what Mike was going to do about how bicyclists are treated so rudely in Sioux Falls. She confessed to me that people were making fun of her one day at the grocery story for riding a bike. Really?! I have rode bike in SF for almost 18 years and people in this town are rude and oblivious to bicyclists. My advice has always been, “Be on the defense, and take no prisoners.” Mike just kind of shook his head about the issue, and asked if she wanted to be on a ‘task force’ to help bicyclists? Sorry but it is going to take more then a task force to solve this problem. Bicyclists in San Fran took the bull by the horns a few years back and flooded the streets causing traffic to back up, after several times of doing this, people started to get the picture. Be courteous to bikers.

Then before he started taking questions, Mike claimed that the Federal government was ‘broke’. When any politician uses this talking point, I usually cringe. Because, the Feds are NOT broke, just swimming in debt, just like our city.

Then he promises he will develop an ‘Economic Engine’ by the new Events Center site. He said that building an EC downtown would have basically wrecked DT, because people would not want to live across the street from an EC? Nevermind that there is a large residential area next to our current EC building site. Have you asked them how they feel about it? Nope, let’s just snag up more space for parking (Item #34).

My opinion about MMM has never been that great, politically speaking, but I have always tried to not have anything personal against the man. What a politician does in their personal life is their business. But after attacking me at a public forum, I will say, Mike, my ‘personal’ opinion about you has just been flushed.

Love this last little diddy where our mayor poo-poos property rights and almost makes the assumption that judges don’t understand the law, wow. (audio file)

Mayor Dem Forum Code Enforcement 5-10-2013


#1 Scott on 05.11.13 at 1:31 pm

I find this hilarious.

#2 Poly43 on 05.11.13 at 2:24 pm

…..He also brags about all the jobs available in SF (most low wages)….

Lot more to go along with that statement. I’ll just take from another post I made a while back.

Most kids get the hell out of this town when the time presents itself. Why? Joe and Jane can’t afford to live here, not with the prevailing wage scale. There are 34,000 jobs in the SF MSA that pay less than $11.08 an hour. Most are jobs like this one.


#3 Poly43 on 05.11.13 at 3:17 pm

….In some kind of stark irony he bragged about the city fixing the employees pension plan….

I’m not so certain there was anything that was really broken here. The only broken part was a provision instituted in ’75 by “smoke em if ya got em” mayor knobe. Spiked pension plans were rightfully put to death for new hires by Mayor Hanson in I believe it was ’95. So what did the good mayor mike really fix? New hires under the state retirement system? We’re still responsible for retirement for everyone up to now. It could be well into the 2070’s before the city has completely washed it’s hands of the pension system. Speaking of the pension system. What the hell is wrong with it? EVERYONE who worked, or works for a living deserves one. If the good mayor had his way, ALL his front line workers would be part time, no benefits working stiffs just like their current opening in finance.

#4 Poly43 on 05.11.13 at 3:28 pm

…..Then before he started taking questions, Mike claimed that the Federal government was ‘broke’…..

He’s just throwin feelers out there for when he raises SAM rates by 50%. He’ll claim the gov’t is broke and can’t be relied upon for federal transit assistance. Never mind FEMA just threw a bunch of money at us. REMEMBER…the government is BROKE.

#5 Bond Perilous on 05.11.13 at 3:30 pm

MMM = mental midget mike

#6 cr on 05.11.13 at 3:47 pm

Spiking will continue to be allowed for all those employees who are under the “old” defined benefit plan…..
(confirmed by Councilor Staggers at the May 7th Council meeting, see siouxfalls.org @ 45:25)

This is one of the fallacies of the City’s former retirement system that was not successfully eliminated. I think they did not want to touch this because they thought it might be a roadblock to getting it passed on the vote.

New hires who will be on the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS) are NOT allowed to spike!! Just as all of us who are currently on SDRS are NOT allowed to spike!!

#7 Poly43 on 05.11.13 at 4:16 pm

I believe spiked pension plans were eliminated for new hires under Hanson in ’95, maybe it was ’93. At any rate….all current employees at that time were grandfathered in and allowed to spike their pensions. Near as I could tell that was all that was broke. Mayor Hanson fixed that 20 years ago. So, what exactly did mmm fix?

#8 pathloss on 05.11.13 at 5:32 pm

A third of city employees live outside city limits. City retire’s leave the state. They’re not a voting block. It’s why Huether attacks them. When he bankrupts the city, city retirements stop being funded. They support Huether. They’re that dumb. If the city economy is good, how come there’s so much vacant commercial space along Minnesota and 41st St.. It’s obvious the regional economy is good. Rural and neighboring cities spend in Sioux Falls. Sales tax revenue is up. Huether is pleased because there’s more to spend for unnecessary indoor pools, pickle ball, and tennis courts.

#9 pathloss on 05.11.13 at 5:40 pm

Zamby boils lost or discarded tennis balls into poverty soup. The yellow color reminds of bananas but they’re fuzzy, rubbery, and taste like shit.

#10 Lamb Chislic on 05.11.13 at 5:47 pm

So MMM was complaining about media coverage?!? Nobody is a bigger media whore in this town than MMM.

Maybe if he didn’t hold so many frivolous “press events” on almost a daily basis, the media would have dug into the city’s pension plan. Then again, probably not.

#11 Poly43 on 05.11.13 at 6:06 pm

….A third of city employees live outside city limits…..

And a third of the city employees are part timers with zero benefits who get cut off each year as soon as they reach 1400 hours.

#12 Titleist on 05.11.13 at 11:28 pm

Huether derangement syndrome?

#13 rufusx on 05.13.13 at 12:48 am

Geez – here’s what “property rights” consist of; freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. There are NO other “property rights”.

#14 Testor15 on 05.13.13 at 8:50 am

Geez here we go again.

“Real” property rights come in several flavors. The challenge is balancing which rights and restrictions apply.

There are Constitutional, federal, state and local legal property rights to consider. Added to the listed governmental aspects are the common law rights and practices established.

The writers of the US Constitution wrote into the document the takings clause to prevent the seizure of property without legal action. The Constitutional and contract law established ownership rights.

Personal injury laws prevent your neighbor from hurting you or your property.

Zoning laws establish guidelines and rules all must adhere to equally. Zoning laws cannot be established to abuse one neighbor for the benefit of another.

What our Constitutionally deficient mayor was discussing during and after the forum was how he would attempt unconstitutional means to force the will of the neighbor and city against the ‘offending’ property owner. If a tree grows over your fence and you do not like it, it is your responsibility to cut the branch off. A neighbor can be nice and try to keep it trimmed but it is not the city’s place to abuse the owner of the trunk to please the receiver of the shade.

There are many owners of tree trunks who wish to trim the limbs extending over fence lines but the neighbor will not allow access to properly / safely remove. Who is right? What rights flow from this? When the tree falls or breaks, who should pay?

During the recent ice storm was the use of the term “Act of God” when establishing legal and insurance liability for damages. This is an ongoing battle of responsibility.

The woman should have had the tree trimmed long ago to protect her property. It was her responsibility. If the owner of the trunk cared about the life of their tree, they should have worked together to trim the tree. The responsibility of the trunk owner ended at the fence line.

To have the Constitutionally Deficient Mayor and his code enforcement office involved in encouraging their participation a basic property issue is wrong. They have no legal power in this matter and many others. They are getting involved to secure their jobs by finding ways to access fees and fines to build up their versions of self importance.

#15 Craig on 05.13.13 at 9:14 am

Poly: “He’s just throwin feelers out there for when he raises SAM rates by 50%. He’ll claim the gov’t is broke and can’t be relied upon for federal transit assistance.”

Not sure that is fair Poly. I recall hearing about the federal subsidies that come in to SAM, but they are scheduled to stop once the city hits a certain population as then the city is considered large enough to subsidize their own mass transit system. As luck would have it, Sioux Falls is nearly that threshold.

Thus rates will probably go up because the city will suddenly be faced with a massive black (or should I say red) hole previously filled by the Federal Government. I’m sure the city will still subsidize rates somewhat, but they aren’t likely to match the Federal subsidy dollar for dollar. This really isn’t any fault of the Mayor (regardless of who that might be when this actually happens).

#16 Poly43 on 05.13.13 at 5:09 pm

…..As luck would have it, Sioux Falls is nearly that threshold…..

That threshold number is 200,000. To hear the mayor tell it, we may never see another federal dollar (fear) so we must act now and increase rates.

Raising rates is certainly a double edged sword. Take a bus load of 25 passengers. 20 come from households with incomes of less than $30,000. 4 between 30 and 60k, and 1 with a household income over 60k. Can this ridership afford yet another hit on their income?

How bout paratransit? The city is ready cut about one fourth of the city out of its scheduled routes. Basically anything south and east of the Sioux river from Minnesota Avenue and 41st street will no longer be serviced. Do you know how many paratransit dependent people rely on that service to go to clinics in that area? A lot. But….we’re broke and need to make cuts somewhere.

Yet….somehow…magically, we have $23,000,000.00 to put put lipstick on the pig that is Russell Ave. from I29 to Minnesota Avenue????

#17 Bond Perilous on 05.13.13 at 7:37 pm

Poly brings up a great point. The cost to “upgrade” Russell… It could completely subsidize SAM well over a decade. With free transit, you’d see ridership rates skyrocket and traffic congestion decrease. I know. I live in a community with the US’s largest free transit system. Food for thought…

#18 Craig on 05.14.13 at 10:41 am

Well I won’t even begin to claim I understand the city’s priorities Poly. Russell (in my view) didn’t need another lane, and probably would have been fine with some repairs and worst case a new lift of asphalt.

I also am saddened we find a few hundred million for an entertainment venue that benefits primarily the middle and upper-middle classes while we have a rather poor mass transit system and are cutting paratransit routes as you describe.

The problem is – those with the money make the rules, and those people are a lot more likely to go to a Keith Urban concert or buy season tickets to the Stampede than they are to ride a bus. Until we get a Mayor and City Council who are sincerely interested in benefitting the citizens instead of appealing to special interest groups I fear this is a pattern we will continue to see.

#19 Detroit Lewis on 05.14.13 at 11:08 am

Kinda reminds me of when 5 of the city councilors were pissing and moaning about the ‘cost’ of snowgates. Did you know you could buy 10 snowgates for what the council (Erpenbach) want to spend on a projector for the State Theatre. Which do you think would be more beneficial to the public.

#20 cr on 05.15.13 at 9:03 pm

One thing the SF transit planners continually fail to mention is that a couple of years ago they did away with “transfers”. Most destinations require a transfer.

So in effect, they DOUBLED the price of a bus ticket from $1.00 to $2.00 for the **30% of the ridership who do not use daily or monthly passes.

**30% stat was provided by Sam Treblicock, transit planner, at yesterday’s Council Informational meeting

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