Entries Tagged 'blog' ↓

Holsen’s views on TIF’s and Public Transportation in relationship to Affordable Housing

BusStop4

Holsen made some interesting observations recently on her blog.

First about TIF’s and the mayor’s conflicts of interest;

35.028  CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; ACTING IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY ON MATTERS IN WHICH AN OFFICIAL OR EMPLOYEE HAS A PRIVATE FINANCIAL INTEREST CLEARLY SEPARATE FROM THAT OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

   (a)   No officer or employee of the city shall knowingly have a financial interest clearly separate from that of the general public in any contract, transaction, zoning decision or other matter which is subject to an official act or services from the city. This provision shall not apply if the interested officer or employee discloses by written communication to his or her immediate supervisor, director and the appropriate elected official(s) and they reply with unanimous consent to the financial interest or if the person serves on a lay board and discloses to the city council the full nature and extent of that interest and disqualifies and/or removes himself or herself from consideration or future participation in the matter in any respect.
   (b)   The foregoing conflict of interest prohibition shall not apply if an interested officer or employee does not or will not act in the regular course of his or her duties and responsibilities, directly or indirectly, for the city as to inspection, any related performance issues or any operational oversight or work with the matter in question. Also, this prohibition may not apply if the interested officer or employee is an employee of a business involved in the matter in question and the officer or employee has no ownership interest in the matter and will not receive a fee or compensation related thereto.
Clearly, current TIF ordinance language does not speak to criteria or investors. Ordinance language in Chapter 37 should address criteria.  However, the conflict of interest ordinance (Chapter 35.028)  does speak to acting in an official capacity on matters where the official might have a financial interest. It is mindboggling to read the councilors responses to the disclosure about the mayor’s wife’s involvement in an approved TIF.  Do they not comprehend ethics or conflict of interest when they are elected officials?
Uh, not really. In fact, I think most of them are in cruise control, don’t ask any controversial questions, and just move right along. Just look at councilor Enteman, ever since he said he wasn’t running for re-election, you haven’t seen much of him. ‘Caring’ about what is ‘ethical’ and ‘right’ doesn’t seem to cross their minds much.
Holsen also brings up the gorilla in the room when it comes to public transit and affordable housing, and how they don’t match up;
The city says its nearly impossible to expand transit services to keep up with the growth rate of the city and federal funding just doesn’t keep pace with increased costs associated with transit fixed route costs. The city is growing outward from the core and many of the outlying areas don’t even have transit service. So, it’s kind of a head scratcher to learn that city is awarding funds to private developers to build affordable housing in an outlying area that doesn’t even have transit services and probably won’t get transit services.
More like banging your head against the wall, especially when a committee (of supposed experts) approved this loan and gave the loan to a developer who is the Planning Commission’s Chair. Besides the obvious conflicts of interest, shouldn’t he have known better? Doesn’t leave a lot of confidence in the man running our Planning Commission. But according to the Planning Department, they do no wrong, EVER!

Jennifer returns!

January-30-2012

I was glad to see several posts by Mrs. Holsen this month, we really need her voice as we go into the municipal elections this Spring.

jenholsen.blogspot.com

Bloggers as journalists?

“Let’s see here, I have three Whopper Jr’s, a Thune press release, a hidden server and STYX blaring on my stereo. I’m ready to blog!”

The Argus is at it again, asking if Bloggers are journalists. I ask the bigger question, are their journalists very good bloggers? Well, during the State Legislative session, David Montgomery had the most extensive coverage of any journalist of the session. Fair, balanced and accurate, but you didn’t read about it in the newspaper or even on their website, all of this very well balanced ‘reporting’ by a ‘journalist’ occurred on David’s BLOG.

Do I think I am a journalist? No. I prefer citizen advocate. I don’t have a degree in journalism, and I often misspell words and use poor grammar. But the main reason I don’t consider myself a journalist is because 1) I am not getting paid to write on my blog 2) I don’t consider what I do as writing ‘news’ stories. I see things happening, I get a couple of good sources, I ask questions. I also offer my opinion, which makes me more of an editorialist then anything (the main reason I started the blog to begin with).

I did get a kick out of the cast of characters rooted up for the Robo-call trial though;

He and several high-profile Republicans have been called by Willard as witnesses for the defense, along with Secretary of State Jason Gant, state senator Dan Lederman, and Tony Venhuizen, a senior adviser to Gov. Dennis Daugaard. (also Powers, Joel Arends and Shawn ‘The Tornado’ Tornow are involved).

Joel Arends VS. Shawn Tornow. Would love to see that Sh*t Show. I hope they don’t slip on each other’s slime. Then you have Powers as a ‘Journalist’ (I didn’t know publishing Thune and Noem press releases was considered ‘journalism’)

So do I agree with the judge that bloggers are journalists? I dunno?

Ruf’s new blog

I read parts of it this morning, pretty funny stuff

http://hicktownhighjinks.blogspot.com/

Just for clarification

I will admit, I was blindsided a little bit ago. During the LIVE meeting of the SF City Council informational meeting, councilor Staggers questioned why he could not access certain ‘blogs’ on his city computer. He iterated that it was perfectly acceptable for the administration to block certain sites from city employees. And I agree. While I would love it that people read my blog, I would prefer they DID NOT do it on the taxpayers dime. However, he brought up the topic of ‘research’ and they should be able to access it for that. He also reminded the ADMINISTRATION they are welcome to block their employee’s internet access, but they have NO RIGHT to block elected officials. And he is right.

I will also say this. Kermit and I had a splendid convo today about tonight’s city council meeting’s agenda. He never once brought up blocking blogs. (We were not in cahoots on this) Like I said before, people will still read my site. They will just have to do it with their morning coffee at the breakfast table or with their end of the day night cap.

I think they referred to my sites as ‘MSN’ and ‘Hotmail’, LOL!

UPDATED: Forum Response . . .

Got this interesting email after forum, by someone who has worked in government for several years;

Your mentioning the fictitious name issue and Pat Powers yesterday brought a question to mind — fictitious names can be filed with either the Secretary of State or any county register of deeds in the state.  Have you verified that PP did not file in Brookings, Hughes, or any other county?

This is in response to a Democratic Forum attendee (attorney) who questioned if Pat Powers ever registered his name, or a fictitious ‘business’ name for Dakota Campaign Store in Brookings or Hughes county. It is a misdeameanor to not register your business with the SOS of state’s office, if your business is not named after your own name. I know we have talked about this in the past . . .

At least one Jackass in the room. Democratic Forum Review

Though I was a little nervous about speaking at FORUM, yesterday, it went well.

Some topics I touched on;

• The lack of professionalism or at least substance in our local media.

• The AG’s ‘Faux’ investigation of SOS Jason Gant and Pat Powers,

• The money and influence in Pierre from ALEC and similiar organizations (I told them the only way Dems would take back Pierre was if they shut down the money machine from the right).

• The lack of ethics rules in our state for government employees and politicians.

• Political satire and the Dan Scott/Janklow VS. Randell Beck (Argus Leader) case.

• Sharing stories with the MSM.

• Suppression of editorial cartoons.

• Rigged bids in our city, the Events Center (I had a retired city employee approach me after FORUM that pretty much verified that it goes on).

• The city of Sioux Falls exploding debt.

• Tips and conspiracy theories and sorting it all out.

• What I ‘hold back on’

• My prediction that Huether and Staggers would be in the runoff for mayor. I told them about how they both were veracious campaigners.

• PREDICTION OF DAY: Huether is running for governor in 2014.

I really enjoyed actually ‘talking about’ what I do. People who know me, know I am not short on what I do (no pun intended).

Guest Speaker, Democratic Forum, Friday March 8

I will be the guest speaker next Friday at Democratic Forum.

Forum starts at Noon and is held at the VFW, 3601 S. Minnesota Ave.

There is NO CHARGE for attending Forum, but they do pass a hat. They encourage folks from all parties to attend.

TOPICS I WILL BE COVERING
- How I got started blogging

- Editorial Cartoons & the importance of political satire

-  Blogging as the ‘New Media’

If time allows:
Stories I have either broke or helped break;

- Heuther VS. Staggers in the mayoral race

- Pat Powers promotional website, SOS Jason Gant, Powers resignation and the AG’s faux investigation

- Royal River Casino’s Sioux Falls Casino Proposal

- Democrats assisting Republican De Knudson in her bid for city council

Questions

My mother’s cousin’s blog

He has an interesting blog he started after publishing the above book, mom writes;

Did I ever tell you that my cousin Joel Jurrens, also has a blog site.  He lives in Estherville, IA and is a deputy sherrif over there.  He also has written a mystery book named “In the Sticks”.  I have it and read it.  He is the type of guy that has a dry sense of humor and injects this into his book.

BTW, my mother is a DaCola reader and commenter. Be nice.

Welcome Back Jenn!

Good to see Holsen is back in the saddle.