Entries Tagged 'Bob Litz' ↓

How has Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz’s attendance been?

bobby

I can’t speak for Mr. Litz, because I don’t work in the county administration office. But several people who do, say that they don’t see much ‘office time’ by Mr. Litz. There are plans for the auditor’s office to hire another employee. I can’t find the specifics of that position, but I was told that it was a ‘finance’ manager.

Now, I am not going to rail on Litz about perfect attendance, because I don’t know all the details (but if someone does, please forward it to me) but I would like to give some advice;

1) When you are you are an elected official who manages a very important department for the county, my advice would to at least put in 40 hours a week in that office. With the long lines in the department across the hall from you, can you imagine if our county treasurer didn’t show up very often? You would have a VERY irate public.

2) Why are we considering hiring another manager for the auditor’s office when we can’t get it’s head honcho to show up?

If his attendance is an issue, Mr. Litz needs to realize that this isn’t like his private business, he works for the taxpayers now. Show up. Work. Thank You.

I would also like to give a H/T to the county for posting their meeting videos online. Not sure how long they have been doing this, but I have been doing catchup. The videos are a little grainy, but the audio is perfect, and unlike SIRE, when you push play, the meeting starts immediately. BRAVO!

County Commission pulls a fast one on Auditor Bob Litz

As we just discussed in June, county auditor, Bob Litz (was doing his job) by shopping around for better interest rates on county bonds. Since Dougherty has pretty much a monopoly on bonds, not only in the county, but the city and state, it was wise for Bob to do some shopping around. But it seems, according to a story in the AL today, the CC (or should we say Dougherty) decided to vote on a bond consultant while Litz was out of town. Only ONE commissioner, Pekas, questioned what the hurry was to vote on this.

I have a feeling this had NOTHING to do with a ‘rush’ to get it done, or getting the ‘best deal’. This had to do with Litz being out of town and Dougherty continuing their monopoly on bonds in this state.

Can’t wait to hear Litz’s reaction when he returns to Dodge.

South DaCola ‘Thumbs Up’ to County Auditor Bob Litz

Thought I would never say that? Huh? Bob is my new hero for getting a second opinion about the monopoly Dougherty and Company seem to have on bonds, not only in our county and city, but also for our state;

While Litz’s approach of basically shopping around the county’s business is a bit unusual, he made a point when he said his job is to be responsible for the taxpayer.

Unusual, HE IS THE COUNTY AUDITOR! It is his job to make sure the county, and ultimately the taxpayers are not getting ripped off. But of course, this is coming from an ED board that has it’s heads so far up the elite’s asses in this town, it is not even funny anymore.

The bigger question here my be, “Has Dougherty been giving taxpayers a fair shake all along on bond sales?” Remember, Dougherty gets a COMMISSION on bond sales, not a flat fee. Think about that one.

To Bob Litz’s defense

I read the Argus Leader’s Wednesday article about the election result counting process and it seemed like a strange hit on Bob Litz and his staff.  Trust me, my confidence in Litz isn’t at an all time high. But I do know he really isn’t a complicated person who would devise a multi-level scheme to screw us all. He is also a little slow . . . counting votes that is. So what?! Do we need to know who won instantly. No. This isn’t Joker Poker on a video lottery machine. Bob’s quote pretty much summed it up;

“I don’t know what I could have done to speed anything up,” Litz said Wednesday. “My main thing is, I don’t care how long it takes. If I screwed up and I have to recount, it takes even longer.”

So I was curious if Bob really did FU, I asked a friend, Bruce, who volunteered Tuesday night to answer a few questions about the evening.

DL: So Bruce, why did you volunteer and what did you do?

Bruce: I love the process and wanted to see what I could do to help. I love being involved.  I was asked to be one of 8 resolutions judges.  These 8 judges are 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans working a two person teams.  The team responsibilities included verifying the military internet ballots, deciding voter intent on ballot marks, verifying blank ballots and guiding the machine operators when partisan, yes or no decisions needed to be made.

DL:  BTW, did you know Bob Litz or any of his staff before Tuesday night?

Bruce: I only knew of Bob in passing and none of the staff other than the quick visits to absentee vote.

DL: Back to Tuesday night, did you have many decisions to make?

Bruce: Each team sat at tables within site of the counting machines, we watched the process up close.  When a problem at one of the machines / ballots arose, we were asked to examine the problem and make a new ballot able to be run through the counters to register the voter’s intent.  The two of us had to recreate about 150 ballots before the tally could be processed.  I am not sure how many ballots were done by all the tables, but all were busy.

DL: What did you think of the staff, did they waste any time?

Bruce: I thought the staff did an amazing job.  You should see what people do to their ballots.  It was surprising how they mark them, fold them, tear them in half or creatively fill them out.  The staff knew how to deal with all the issues.  The equipment worked without issue.  You could tell this group had been doing this for a long time.

DL: What did Bob Litz do during this?  Could he have made it run faster?

Bruce: Bob did a great job of keeping everyone and everything out of the way of the process.  Just what a leader is supposed to do.

DL: Did you read the Argus article and if so what did you think of it?

Bruce: There is a reason I don’t read the Argus much anymore.  You could tell they know nothing about the process.  They were making issues out of the speed in which the process ran.  You do not make the machines run faster than they are designed.  I do not believe in rushing a process or skipping steps.  There were many boxes of ballots from many different sites.  As stated before, if people mutilate ballots, it takes longer to run count them.

DL: But what about the slowness of the absentee ballots.

Bruce: The absentee ballots were already opened when we started but they were done in a locked room away from us.  They were moved into position to be counted after all other ballots were done.  It took three hours to run all the regular ballots and then bring the absentees in after preliminary counts were noted.  The massive number of absentees were impressive to see.  These ballots were also folded for first class mailing envelopes and also for Auditor’s office absentee voting.  All of these had to be carefully run so they would not jam the equipment.  Besides, why should we rush the counting system?  Who cares?

DL: What do you mean?

Bruce: What difference does it make if we are done at midnight or noon on Wednesday if the totals are right?  If the office and staff folds under pressure to rush the job and we end up with a miscount mess like the Mitchell Auditor had in June 2012, what did we gain?  Isn’t the idea to get the count right?  Are we more interested in how fast we can get on to the drinking games or go to bed?  We need to make sure the count is right above all else, let’s not forget this.

DL: Would you do it again?

Bruce: It was a fun experience.  The staff was professional and their respect for the truth in counts impressed the skeptic in me.

DL: What was your general impression of the article written based on your experience?

Bruce: It was a hit job, written by someone with no experience in voting processes.  What I read into the article?  How about a publishing deadline was missed and the Litz office is being blamed for it.  We were very busy until 3:30am and did not see anything we could have done to speed up the process.  Before the Argus tells a professional staff how to do their job, they should learn how to do the job themselves.  It was a usual weak job of glossing over their own incompetence.

DL: Thanks Bruce for your firsthand reporting on the process.

 

UPDATED: Let the petition drive games begin

Minnehaha County Auditor’s office fearless leader, “Not sure if they have enough signatures. They won’t let me look in their minivan.”

UPDATED: BTW, my apologies to Litz. He apparently is telling the truth in this matter, according to the Argus.

I will admit, I am surprised the opt-out signature gatherers were able to get 5,400 signatures. I do know there was 35+ volunteers out there getting them. The problem is the short time they had to get them (20 days). As I told one of the volunteers the other day, “This is done on purpose to make it very, very, difficult for citizens to overturn legislation.”

You should always try to get at least 20% over your needed amount for a buffer. But like I said, time constraints are a bitch.

Shortly before a 5 p.m. deadline today, activists say they turned in about 5,400 signatures, more than the 5,334 they need.

Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz didn’t count or verify the referral petitions today. That process will begin on Thursday. But his office did a rough, unofficial count and say the opponents might be thousands of signatures short.

C’mon Bob! You determined from a ‘rough count’ they were thousands short? I suggest that if Bob ‘Can’t get enough ballots to the precincts’ Litz deems them invalid, that the group ask for an independent audit agreed upon by both parties. How can you trust a county auditor that 1) collects his paycheck from the very county that is asking for a tax increase and 2) chased the petition gatherers out of the Republican booth at the SE fair? it is pretty damn obvious he has a bias in this matter, and his hands should be kept off of the petitions. I would also suggest the group have a representative sitting right next to the auditor reviewing the signatures. Remember this same office can’t even distribute ballots correctly, blaming it on a mini-van taking the ballots hostage. My confidence in the current auditor’s office is at a all time low, and his current support system, SOS Jason Gant, doesn’t know petition laws from a freaking hole in the ground. I guess he is too busy tracking people who are visiting his website.

Will the audit of these signatures be fair? I guess we will have to wait and see. I’m not holding my breath.

How is Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz doing?

Before we start talking about Litz, I first want to post a correction about Dick Kelly and Pat K. hanging out in the Auditor’s office election night. This is perfectly LEGAL as long as it is after the polls have closed (though I don’t agree with it). Sorry, I was technically wrong, but you were ethically wrong.

I have been hearing quite a few grumblings about Mr. Litz and his job performance. It is no secret that former auditor Roust did a very good job of training her employees, but obviously, you can only train your employees so much, and you certainly would not show them how to do your job, what’s the point? She took her job seriously, that means educating herself on new procedures and training her employees. That’s what a responsible manager does. The buck must also stop on the auditor’s desk. That means if one of the auditor’s office employees makes a mistake because of lack of training, that is on the auditor’s head. I know that some of these employees have expressed frustration with Litz’s ‘management’ style, or lack thereof. When employees in the auditor’s office don’t have faith in their boss, this can be counterproductive to having smooth elections.

I do know that in the municipal election, running out of ballots was not good, and a little bit inexcusable (still waiting for the SOS to do a proper investigation). When their printer (B & S) delivers the ballots, they are delivered to the auditor’s office, not to a school district employee’s van. Rumor has it that the city, the school district and the auditor’s office don’t work well together, some within city government might even want him to personally fail, which I think is ridiculous. As a public servant citizens should always come first, whether you think the auditor is total loser or not, should not matter, when it comes to elections and voting, the strong public servants should always help the weaker links. I see this as an underlying problem, because if Litz fails, it hurts us more then it hurts him. Kiss and make up.

Secondly, I do know that auditor employees had to call Roust for advice primary night because Litz did not have the answer. They can only rely on this for so long. Eventually Roust is going to stop answering her phone since she no longer holds that office, she has no reason to educate herself anymore on election procedures. That is what Litz is supposed to be doing, and passing that info to his employees.

I do know that Litz had mentioned to several people while he was running for the job that he was only going to be a ‘manager’ and his employees would handle all the details. Sorry Bob, if voter’s just wanted a ‘manager’, we would just hire one for a lot less money. You are an elected official that gets paid very well, you need to educate yourself and do the job well, otherwise this may be just a temp job for you.

Thank Gawd Bob Litz is at the helm

This scares me a bit, and makes me a little sick;

Minnehaha County auditor Bob Litz says the county might need to cut back by at least 7 percent in 2012, based on early income and cash flow numbers.

Litz says cash on hand in March was $1.35 million, when it is typically about $4 million at that time of year. He says expenses are running nearly $6 million over income each month.

Commissioners approved a $64 million budget for 2011. That was more than $22,000 less than the 2010 budget.

I just hope they find money for a decorating budget for Bob’s office. Though the cardboard boxes do match his skin tone.

 

Are Gant & Litz trying to take credit for something that has been in motion for a long time?

Who’s on First?

Don’t quote me on this, but I think this idea has been in motion by either the SF city clerk’s office, Sue Roust, or both for quite awhile, long before Bobby and Jay-Jay took office;

Instead of designated precincts, voters will be able to cast their ballot at any voting center located throughout the city.

Great idea, way overdue. But I’m wondering why Abbott and Costello get to toot their horns about this? This was something that was probably sitting in both of their IN baskets the first day they took office. And by looks of Litz’s office (watch the video) he needs to decorate with something besides cardboard boxes and manilla folders. I’m just saying.

(Screenshot KELO-TV)

The debate is over

Watch out, don’t disappoint the Godfather (Image: KELO-TV screenshot)

Enough already! After viewing last night’s city council meeting, I have decided that the debate is over concerning the Events Center. It is time to move forward. I don’t care about the diversity of the selection committee (which consists of ten white men, five of which are city employees). All creeds are bias on one level or another. Not important, especially when the voters should be deciding location, funding, etc.

VIDEO OF COUNCIL MEETING

The extended version.

Stormland TV‘s condensed version.

So what should be done?

1) Skip the design analysis and do an economic impact study of both locations instead, first, present those numbers to the public ASAP.

2) Put it on the ballot, ask three questions; Approval, Location, Funding. Done deal.

These debates between a bull-headed mayor and and his former contractor, who is just as bull-headed, is getting tiresome. Heck, councilor Erpenbach even had to interject and remind the mayor that public input is for ‘listening’ not ‘debating.’ (should have told that to gavel happy Munson :)

We have not only beaten this dead horse enough, we have beaten it clear to China. Present the impact numbers and let the public vote already!

On a side note, I was rather irritated by Councilor (short-timer) Litz’s comments in reference to public input;

“(paraphrasing) I appreciate people’s passion on this issue and I appreciate your (mayor) passion to get this information out, but I think somewhere though, and I think I am pretty liberal when it comes to applications of the process, but somehow this is turning into berate the mayor” Litz.

“Yeah.” Huether.

“And normally we allow people to come up and do their five minutes, and do their statement and maybe we refer it, and somehow we are going to wind up eating up a lot of the council meeting’s time of business we are supposed to be taking care of, so somehow I hope we can find a solution to this.”

First off, Huether agreeing just shows how big his freaking head is. If I were the mayor, I would have told Bob that it is part of the job as a public officials to take heat. If you can’t stand it, get out of the kitchen (which ironically Mr. Litz is doing).

As for Bob’s comment about eating up time I was unaware that the council meetings were timed. If you think your time is being wasted, why don’t you resign TODAY so we can appoint or elect a councilor that actually gives a shit what the public has to say.

As for doing our five minutes. Screw You! I watched you last Monday night (one day before the election, which had your name on the ballot) blab and blab and blab on every freaking topic you possibly could. Not only wasting the other councilor’s time for your campaign info-commercial but wasting taxpayer’s time.

Litz, meet kettle.

The Hypocrisy and Irony of Darrin Smith, uh, I mean, Bob Litz

KELO-TV Screenshot image

I think this says it all;

That gives the city council time to talk about appointing a new member. It’s a process Litz himself is already familiar with.

“Ironically when council member Litz was first appointed he went through that process himself a few years back,” Sioux Falls City Clerk Debra Owen said.

I think Bob realized he could make more money and work less as county auditor and used his name recognition to skate into the job. While I am happy to see the flip-flopper leave the city council, his title as auditor doesn’t exactly make me feel to good either. I also grow weary of politicians who are ‘quitter ladder climbers’. When something better comes along, they just quit and move along. While that is fine and dandy in the private sector, in the public sector you have made a commitment to the taxpayers to at least finish out your term. That is what has chapped my hide about the appointment of Darrin Smith to the Huether administration. Maybe they will let Bob work from home since there probably isn’t a parking space at the county administration big enough for his aircraft carrier of a truck he drives. Everytime I drive by him, I get the image of the BP oil well spurting oil into the Gulf.