Sioux Falls City Council Agenda Dec 3-5, 2018

All I can really say is that the first week of the last month of the year is going to be super busy for the Sioux Falls City Council.

One of the first things you will notice while perusing the council agenda is that SIRE after years of being horrible has finally been upgraded. My first reaction is that it really isn’t much different, in fact some things are worse.

• It looks as though the video is NOT working on my MAC but is on my I-Phone and PC.

• While some docs seem to appear in the upper right side when you click on agendas, like before, some don’t. You can look at the total agenda doc or PDF which is troublesome because you have to scroll through the whole document to see certain supporting docs. The city council’s doc alone is 741 pages. Dumb. They also changed the numbering system using more lettering as sub items.

Like most things in city government, it seems like things related to openness and customer service can be broken for years and once they do ‘fix’ it, it’s only worse.

Audit Committee Meeting • Monday, December 3, 2018 at 4 p.m.

Eide Bailly will be using their team from Fargo to conduct the city audit this year.

There will be a staffing update and how the hiring process is coming along for a new internal auditor.

Great Bear Audit determined that the GM signs checks to himself for payroll and reimbursement and had no written policy in place for the card purchasing program. Those items will be corrected. It amazes me that the city who heavily subsidizes Great Bear would leave such trust to one person, wait a minute. It doesn’t surprise me.

Here are some charts from the Financial Conditions Assessment; Notice the top five property tax payers in SF only make up a small percentage. Why? Because some of the biggest landowners of the city are the city itself, the school district and non-profits. There is also a per-capita city debt chart, which is extremely misleading, because this is ONLY current city debt. It doesn’t include Minnehaha County Debt, School District Debt or future sewer plant debt, which I believe would put us well over $10K per person. I found the city employee ratio chart encouraging, and one of the reasons I argued against the admin building. I think with more technology we will need less city employees and more of them can work from home.

Updates of Audits in Progress.

2018 Audit Plan. You will notice that many audits were either moved to 2019 or eliminated. This is troublesome.

2019 Audit Plan includes SMG and Ovations who run the Denty. Still haven’t heard why Terry left?

Informational Meeting • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 4 p.m.

Update on E-Bikes being allowed on the bike trail, which I think is fine.

City Council Employee Management. I found this line a little funny;

Internal Audit Manager, City Clerk, and City Council Operations Manager Compensation Need To Be Increased To Preserve Integrity Of Organizational Chart And Hierarchy.

In other words, if one of them gets a big raise, they all deserve one. I have often argued that pay isn’t the issue, it’s over staffing. I have suggested we eliminate our head city clerk and give that position to the Operations Manager and also eliminate the budget analyst and have the two assistant city clerks handle it together. Not sure if anyone noticed but before Greco took over as Head city clerk, the assistant city clerks used to answer Carnegie’s phone. Now when you call there, Greco answers. You would think a person we pay around $90K a year could have his assistants (two of them) answer the phone for Carnegie (We know they more than he does when it comes to ‘clerking’). Seems like someone is on a power trip.

Fiscal Committee Meeting • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.  (or after the Informational Meeting)

Update on City Grants and Awards.

Regular City Council Meeting • Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 7 p.m.

Item #7 Approval of Contracts.

Apparently the city needs to hire an interior designer?

We also are doing a structural engineering study on ‘Entertainment Facilities’ they don’t say which ones? Does this have to do with the siding on the EC? Or does it have to do with the North side of the Pavilion’s rumored issues with the foundation?

Item#14-16, Falls Landing is transferring it’s liquor license to the ‘Village on the River’ group, effective January 7, 2018. Falls Landing then will request to go only beer and wine. While it isn’t uncommon for bars to sell their licenses to other bars, I find this transfer interesting. First off, the dates throughout all the docs are wrong, it should be 2019. Secondly, the address listed of the transfer to 140 East 10th will be a construction site for the next two years. Are they planning on having a full-service bar in the construction crane? Maybe sidewalk patio seating this summer while you can watch the construction in progress? I’m wondering why the city would allow this group to park a liquor license for two-years while it collects NO tax revenue? Is the holder getting special breaks because of the public/private partnership?

Item #35, 2nd Reading of Public Input ordinance. I expect some surprises on this one either before the meeting or during the meeting.

Item #38-40, 2nd Reading, Public Utility rate increases. This should be an interesting discussion. Wondering if anyone will bring up that our Pleasure Palaces are not paid off with user fees.

Planning Commission Meeting Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 6 p.m.

Item #3A – Rezone for a NEW Banquet on the West side of Sioux Falls. I was actually surprised this was in the ‘Consent agenda’. It would be nice to hear the details as to why this is needed in a town with so many great opportunities and low unemployment.

Item #6A, Looks Market Restaurant is asking for alcohol licenses.



4 comments ↓

#1 Warren Phear on 12.02.18 at 2:28 pm

I always have to chuckle when I see bar graphs like the ones above. You can bet, with certainty, they have been shaped, and baked, to meet whatever agenda they are pushing. Always remember, figures do not lie, but liars do figure.

The orange bars I find especially amusing. Three so-called “benchmark” cities used for comparison simply do not portray these bars properly. St.Paul, Omaha, and Lincoln also happen to be cities I have researched before when comparing city budgets. These cities yearly budgets are considerably lower than SF’s when figuring their budget divided by their population. Not by a little, but by a lot. So how they came up with these orange bars is, well, a mystery. The city has undoubtedly shaped and baked these bars to their liking.

#2 Warren Phear on 12.02.18 at 5:26 pm

Curiosity question. How many assistant city clerks did the city have while a real city clerk, Debra Owen, was in charge?

#3 l3wis on 12.02.18 at 5:33 pm

I believe 3, Tamara, Denise and Jamie. Of course Jamie moved to licensing when Lorie took over for Debra. And since they were short a clerk it gave them an excuse to hire Bixler as Budget analyst. Guess how he got the job? His wife is big buds with Sue Aguliar. Then Jim David came along. It’s a cluster.

#4 Warren Phear on 12.02.18 at 6:28 pm

The city fired Debra in 2011, simply because she darwd tocall a spade a spade. The difference between the 2012 monies needed for the 16 city council employees from then until now is $459,000 more, or a 41% increase. Yet, un-damn-believably, two of our esteemed city councilors will come forward with a real pretty slide presentation showing us WHY council employees are underpaid???? I will be so damn happy to get the hell out of this town, not that I really want to, but because I have to. I can’t afford this $hit.

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