ArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016
2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.
But locally there were three things that stood out;
• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.
• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!
• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.
Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;
• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.
• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.
• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.
• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.
• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”
• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .
• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.
• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.
• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.
• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?
• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.
• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.
• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .
• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.
• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.
• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?
• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.
• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.
• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.
• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.
• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.
• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.
• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.
As a commenter pointed out, the irony of code enforcement cracking down on a private business for painting a mural, but allowing students to paint on publicly owned property their religious beliefs and being protected by a ‘disclaimer’ is a bit hypocritical. Could the business owner put a ‘disclaimer’ on the mural to exempt themselves from city code? Besides, the US Constitution is the highest law of the land, it trumps city charter.
Sometimes murals are obvious adverts, but sometimes they can be subtle and quite artistic;
“The purpose of the sign code is so people can advertise their business without overdoing it,” Jeff Schmitt of City planning and zoning said.
In other words, Jeff Schmitt with City Planning and Zoning says a business can have a sign, or it can have a mural, but it can’t have a mural as a sign.
“So is it a mural or is it a sign? Art is art, but a sign is what they put in the mural,” Schmitt said.
While I understand the city’s argument on this, I think it is okay for a mural to be an advertisement for a business as long as it doesn’t use words or lettering and artistic in nature, such as this mural is.
Gaddis, who admits she didn’t check City code, spent a lot of money having the mural painted. Now she’s being told it’ll have to be painted over or she’ll face multiple fines until she complies.
Yeah, Big Daddy doesn’t like it when you don’t ask for permission. I think it is time to get more lax on the mural laws.
The city made a handshake agreement barring overnight RV parking into the permits for both stores, Cooper said.
“If you’re going to occupy a vehicle such as an RV overnight, you are required to be in a campground,” Cooper said. “We have licensed campgrounds and truck stops within the city limits for overnight parking.”
There’s a catch to this “requirement,” however, in that there isn’t actually a “requirement” in a strictly legal sense. There is no ordinance prohibiting RVs in commercial parking lots.
In my opinion, handshake agreements with a municipal government just doesn’t fly. Instead of having Walmart decide who can and cannot park in their lots, the city should either implement a city wide ordinance that RV camping in retail parking lots is prohibited, or have NO ordinance at all.
Either way, I personally think it should be prohibited. We have truck stops, camp grounds and rest stops for that reason. I remember one time I drove past the WM on Louise, and an RV was parked in the lot, they had out their lawn chairs and were BBQ’ing next to the RV. This is silly. How would you feel if you pulled into the HyVee lot and you saw a tent setup with people sleeping inside? How is that any different? It’s not. Community’s have campgrounds for this reason.
He was told it was his responsibility to prove his innocence; which he did five years and $40,000 later in the South Dakota Supreme Court. But in his opinion, it should have never gotten that far.
“The city does not allow appeals in court,” he added, “They make all these rules and they can’t enforce them; they can’t take you to court.”
Barbara and Pierce McDowell and Joseph and Sarah Sapienza entered litigation after the McDowells claim the Sapienza’s home is built far too close to theirs. However, Daily says the frustration should be directed at the city who gave the green light on construction.
“The city by charter is supposed to protect citizens, and they don’t.”
Fiddle-Faddle and the Mayor use the city charter to punish citizens while covering their asses. It is a perfect example of what a charter should NOT look like.
Bad Bad Neighbor or is it Bad Bad Mayor? At what point do the people of Sioux Falls decide they have had enough of the propaganda? Sure, we want a nice, clean village to live in but when will the Minister of Propaganda learn we can accomplish so much more without encouraging neighbor on neighbor violence and property destruction?
The shaming of a property owner on South Main Street shammed the city of Sioux Falls on June 22, 2016. We’re sure most have seen the disgusting display of disgrace toward our fellow citizens shown in the local media perpetrated by the chief marketing officer. He should listen to and take heart the words of his new code enforcement manager Matt Tobias.
This video could have been shot in city hall but instead Mike and Heather produce it in front of the offending property but make it look like the attractive neighboring house is the problem. We did an interview with Theresa Stehly minutes before our view was changed by Heather because of “privacy concerns.” Bulls**t. If privacy was a concern, we would not have had the presser where it was held.
Within minutes of the first presser broadcasts in the local press, vandalism began around the community by our neighbors following the mayor’s lead. Mayor Huether should be ashamed but he does not know shame and this proves it.
When will the code enforcement system of the city of Sioux Falls become constitutional? The way this mayor operates things, never so we’d better get ready for more neighbor on neighbor violence. Thanks Mike.
A foot soldier pointed out to me that he has noticed several political yard signs without a ‘paid for’ on the bottom of them (Paulson & Srstka did not), and he was unsure of others. I know that Stehly, Noble and Neitzert do have the disclaimer on them. But it begs the question if ‘paid for’ is no longer needed on yard signs, there is no city ordinance on the topic, but there is state law, which is about as clear as mud;
12-27-15. Printed political communications to contain certain language–Exceptions–Violation as misdemeanor. Any printed material or communication made, purchased, paid for, or authorized by a candidate, political committee, or political party which expressly advocates for or against a candidate, public office holder, ballot question, or political party shall prominently display or clearly speak the statement: “Paid for by (Name of candidate, political committee, or political party).” This section does not apply to buttons, balloons, pins, pens, matchbooks, clothing, or similar small items upon which the inclusion of the statement would be impracticable. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Signs are not mentioned in the law, so one wonders if they are NOT exempt. Any lawyers in the house want to chime in?
What an unusual year 2016 was. In fact the 16 years of this new century has been filled with changes that happen daily. Look at the weather. The temperature can go from 40 degrees one day to below zero the next.
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