Theresa wanted me to drop this note, but I will admit, I am with her on this. The city employees have been working their butts off to make this city better after the storm. THANK YOU! This is why we pay taxes, PUBLIC SERVICES! First and Foremost!
Entries Tagged 'Big T’s Thumbs Up' ↓
July 16th, 2012 — Big T's Thumbs Up
Thumbs up to those “SECOND PLACE” Journalists that RANDELL BECK referred to in his Column in Sunday’s Argus Leader (July 15). He did not mention these “Free News Sources” by name, but we can assume he means KSFY, KDLT, KELO and the Bloggers. We are grateful in our community for the wide availability of coverage that we get from our TV reporters and our internet bloggers. With a town of this size however, there is a potential for MORE media competition for the AL and the local TV stations. While I have a great respect for many of the reporters at the AL, citizens in Sioux Falls feel that there is a need for a more investigative, in-touch and an unbiased source for our local and state news. This is a business opportunity waiting to happen for the right investor.
Thumbs up to RICK KNOBE on KSOO’s Viewpoint University for his interview with city councilman GREG JAMISON last Monday. Rick has 3 hours of prime time radio coverage most days of the week, and occasionally he facilitates interviews that are gutsy, informative and of great value to the citizens. This was one of them. We need more of this kind of “Serious, issue oriented, hard- hitting” Talk Radio for the people of Sioux Falls. Involving the local citizens more in the discussion would also be very interesting for the listeners. The topic of the day last Monday was the reworking of the city employees’ pension plans. This is a very difficult topic for both the public employees who are trying to protect their future financial security, and the rest of us, who are also concerned about making ends meet. Ironically, later that week, the national media reported stories about the plight of the cities of Scranton, Pennsylvania and San Bernardino, California. Scranton dropped the salaries of all City employees to minimum wage and San Bernardino is in bankruptcy. Apparently, the city officials knew of the risks for years, yet left the public in the dark. We need to pay very close attention to what we are spending out tax dollars on, and how much debt we are accruing. Giving blind trust to our civic leaders is reckless.
A Big thumbs up to citizen TIM STENGA. (Now HE would be a great guest on the KNOBE show). At a recent city council meeting, Tim suggested using GPS systems in city vehicles to monitor the efficiency and whereabouts of the city workers. Because of Tim’s great suggestion, MARK COTTER of the Public Works Department has implemented the trial of 2 of these devices in city trucks. This gesture of listening to public input and concerns, and acting upon them is what EXCELLENT CITY GOVERNMENT is about. Stay connected, responsive and accountable to the people. Way to go TIM!
Thumbs up to KELO-TV for their coverage on INSIDE KELO (SUNDAY July 15) on the drought situation. Some have felt in the past that KELO has a tendency to “soft shoe” or IGNORE difficult issues, but in this segment they asked the tough questions about the drought and the impact of Lewis and Clark on the several communities that have prepaid, but will NOT be hooked up to the system this summer. Past stories about the effective prison ministry programs and the Rapid City flood have also been appreciated.
Thumbs up to the CITY OF TEA for implementing a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM. We have had this in Sioux Falls for many years and will be putting on picnics this August 7. Tea officials and residents are recognizing the need to make a conscious effort to know their neighbors and work to keep the town safe for children and residents alike. With the rise in burglaries, rapes and assaults happening in Sioux Falls, we would be wise to be proactive in reaching out to those around us and developing knowledge of who is living down the street. Caring about others is always a good thing.
July 2nd, 2012 — Big T's Thumbs Up
Great work to our Sioux Falls Police Department and the local neighbors in apprehending the young men who robbed the gas station in our neighborhood early Monday morning. KELO-TV news reported at noon that they were arrested just hours after they showed a gun, escaped by car and tried to break into a resident’s home. Local residents also helped to apprehend the bandits. This is another good reason that we need to know our neighbors and pay attention to keep our residents safe.
Thank you to councilors Dean Karsky and Rex Rolfing for being so open to hearing from the public at the last urban agricultural meeting. The topics of keeping chickens, goats, sheep and exotic animals were discussed. The citizens who attended were given ample time to voice their concerns. This is the way all city government needs to be handled. The next meeting will be in August and will be interesting for any concerned citizen to attend.
One of the most friendly city employees I know is Russ Sorenson from the planning department. He is always cheerful and very willing to help out. He assisted me recently in obtaining the water kit provided by the city. These kits are free* for the citizens and include a rain gage, low flow shower head, outdoor watering nozzle and information about conserving water. With these hot dry days, and the double digit water rate increases, these are very helpful items. (*Plus, we paid for them with our tax dollars.) Stop by the water department to pick up your own “FREE” water saver kit. And don’t bother to water your grass. It is a waste of money and the dormant grass will spring back as soon as we get a good 2” of rain.
Hats off to the SUBSTITUTES in our district. These people are the “Serfs” of the school system. I was told recently by a district employee that the district needs as many as 200 substitutes on a given day. They are A HUGELY under appreciated part of the infrastructure of the school district.
One day that is in particular demand for substitutes is Friday. Apparently this is the day most teachers take off for their personal day so they can have a 3 day weekend. There has been a shortage of available substitutes for these Fridays, so now the district is trying to mandate that every substitute has to be available at least 8 days each year. It is interesting that this mandate does NOT apply to retired teachers from the district who wants to substitute. . I guess the administration does not what to put undue pressure on their colleagues. The substitutes have not had a pay raise for years, and are one of the few groups in the school system that does not have any organized representation. It is encouraging that Becky Dorman (the human resource gal), and Todd Vik (the business manager) have indicated an open mind to giving substitutes positive monetary incentives for working extra days. Rewarding those who can give more time to substitute is a smart move. Make it an environment to attract the best teachers possible.
The Argus Leader had some excellent reporting in Sunday’s paper. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, stop by the library for free, or go to the Argus and buy one. I know that many people are not getting the paper any more, but the Sunday paper tends to have some worthwhile reporting. Plus it is a rewarding experience to hold the paper and linger on the articles of interest. The Coupons are also appealing to many people who are looking to save money. You can pick up a Sunday Paper at Burger King for $1.89. Throw in a Waffle cone special for $1.00 and you have a double treat.
I recently attended the Republican State convention held at the Sioux Falls Convention center. Kudos to Jay Polkinghorn the food service manager for Ovation. The meal at the convention was excellent, the service prompt, and the coffee was Hot! Many times these meals are Blasé, but this experience was a pleasure.
I recently recommended installing hand sanitizers at the public library computer areas. Many places that have public traffic like clinics, hospitals, and stores are already using them. The computers at the library are used by many people. Encouraging people to disinfect their hands after using them is a smart move. Hats off to Mayor Mike Huether and Sandy Frentz from the Health Department for moving forward with this plan. It will cost very little of our tax dollars and will be a huge move in keeping people healthy.