Entries Tagged 'Code Enforcement' ↓

City worried about Mobile food vendors, still waiting to hear about restaurants recycling

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While the city worries about where these trucks park and sell taco in a bag, they still haven’t addressed my issue with restaurants recycling glass, aluminum and plastic. They claim there has been ‘complaints’ about noise and litter. How many? And did they know that current ordinances already cover litter and noise? This is a non-issue looking for a solution.

Kill these proposals!

Good Luck Kevin Smith!

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Kevin Smith, I am told, has left the city for the private sector. Kevin worked for Code Enforcement division, I think, he was on the TV a lot telling us how to cut weeds and measure our grass. Thanks.

Kevin, just remember, freedom is a good thing. Good luck in your future endeavors!

Trash Talking at the City Council meeting 1/20/15

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How does the city become compliant with their own code? By changing the rules.

Remember this guy? He pointed out how the city was busy beating up on private citizens for not following code on dumpster enclosures, yet the city doesn’t follow it themselves. Solution? Change the rules.

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From the city council agenda for Tuesday, Item #21;

§ 160.485 LANDSCAPE STANDARDS.

(c) Screening of dumpsters and outdoor storage. All outside garbage or recycling dumpsters or other garbage or recycling receptacles or any outdoor storage which requires screening on the site shall be screened from view of the street right-of-way by an opaque durable fence or wall with a gate with materials similar in color, design, and composition to the primary structure for with a minimum height of six 6 feet in height.

Notice the change? (bold italics). So now if the city can just hide their dumpsters from street view, they will be compliant. Nice move. Makes you wonder about the thousands of dollars spent by private business owners building enclosures when all they need to do now is ‘hide’ the dumpster. I guess the only way to get the city to change rules is by embarrassing them in a public meeting.

City only follows their own code when they are ‘Busted’

Have to laugh, the city only follows it’s own rules when they are embarrassed into it.

The city is taking steps to hide its dumpsters after a business owner complained he was fined for not having his enclosed.

Darin McDonnel runs the Gas Stop on East 10th Street near Interstate 229. He brought his concerns to the City Council after he received fines adding up to $600 for not having his dumpster behind a screened fence.

He came to the council with a list of dumpsters on city-owned property that were out in the open: at City Hall, Sioux Falls Stadium, where the Canaries play, and several parks.

His presentation got snickers from Councilor Kermit Staggers, and Mayor Mike Huether promised he’d follow up on it.

Here is Darin pointing out the city’s hypocrisy;

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Arresting people over their yards

I think a better approach would have been to mow her lawn and send her a bill, instead they decided to waste a lot of time on courts, lawyers and such, initially wasting more tax dollars to make an ‘example’. But hey, like the Bruce Danielson case, let’s blow tax payers money on frivilous lawsuits, and even if we lose, who cares, it’s not our money;

According to Knoxville’s WVLT, Karen Holloway was cited by the city last summer for her failure to maintain a neat and orderly yard. She received a citation in the mail, but was too consumed with other things to pay it much mind.

“With my husband going to school and working full time, me with my job, with one vehicle, we were trying our best,” said Holloway.

The working mom said that she would be the first to admit that the yard around their house could use some maintenance, but she was utterly shocked on Monday when Judge Terry Vann handed down a five-day jail sentence.

“It’s not right,” Holloway said. “Why would you put me in jail with child molesters, and people who’ve done real crimes, because I haven’t maintained my yard.”

Holloway made an additional appearance before Judge Vann to plead for clemency. Vann reduced her sentence to six hours in the county jail, but would not dismiss the charges altogether, nor would he allow her to serve the time by performing community service.

She turned herself in to authorities at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

This was not the first time that she has been served with code violation citations, she told WVLT. When her husband was stationed overseas, she fell behind on the yard work due to “personal, family issues.”

“This opens a floodgate to everybody in Lenoir City being put in jail for silly things,” Holloway said.

A gigantic floodgate of giving absolute authority over what your private property should ‘look like’.

 

The Harassment continues

This is the kind of ‘stuff’ Bruce Danielson has to put up with from his neighbors. He shot this photo last night of one of his neighbors charging him with her car and screaming at him, an almost daily occurrence. And of course the city enables it by allowing his neighbors to use city resources to harass him with supposed code violations.

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Is this going on in Sioux Falls?

Maybe more frequent then you think. Ever since Danielson won his criminal case against the city, people have been coming out of the woodwork about the procedures of the city code enforcement office and city attorney’s office.

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Sioux Falls Apathy Council

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Mr. Danielson’s case is NOT the only one. Several citizens have been coming out after the verdict on Friday that they are also being ‘criminally’ charged for violations. So now we have a code enforcement department that is treating people who have things ON THERE OWN PROPERTY like common criminals instead just civil code violators.

Man Bites Dog

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Surveillance of the surveillance (This is a shot of one of Bruce’s neighbors taking pictures of his yard, but you know, the city claims only the code enforcement officer was a ‘witness’)

To those interested in the Bruce Danielson case, try to understand some of the underlying issues at play.

The City of Sioux Falls has established itself as a Home Rule Charter form of government. The Home Rule Charter form of city government was designed for small villages with a limited number of people to help make decisions. It can be a benefit in emergencies to quickly make survival decisions but many safeguards must be in place to keep authoritarians in check.

Since 2010 city election, we in Sioux Falls have seen the rise of a dictator-like form of ‘efficient’ government. Our city government does not brag about trains running on time but we do have a city government bragging about cutting corners to get things done (Take the cuts in Paratransit, for example). The civil rights of ANY individual are not to be stripped from anyone for the expediency of another, tell this to a subprime credit card salesman turned mayor, practically overnight.

Do you know what it is like to be arrested and put in jail? I certainly do. I was arrested over 7 years ago. It was normal operating procedure to arrest me for what I did. I spent about 2 hours in jail before I paid bond.

We are seeing abuses in the operation of Sioux Falls and a few of us are willing to speak up.  For speaking up Bruce Danielson was arrested and put in jail for over 6 hours, not for a serious traffic violation, like myself, but for a ‘code violation’ (too much building materials in HIS fenced in and locked backyard).

The administration of Mike Huether has decided they do not need to follow the US Constitution, it’s Bill of Rights, the Laws of the United States, State of South Dakota or the Home Rule Charter of the City of Sioux Falls. We the people have no rights to question their authority or decisions.

This issue is not ‘piles’ of junk sitting around the property. This case is an example of a code enforcement system becoming an all-powerful entity onto itself, able to have citizens arrested without due process. It’s offensive and SICK.

The Sioux Falls code enforcement officers under the possible direction of superiors are to pick and choose one citizen over another. We are learning more everyday how this system works.

The Honorable Judge Joni Cutler saw through the city’s illegal activity.

Cutler showed she had the ability to listen to the witnesses, weigh the evidence and control the courtroom in order to perform the responsibilities of her office. Cutler decided the city had no right to interfere or set a ‘speed’ claim for project completion.

It is also the policy of the City of Sioux Falls to NOT work with possible offenders. As you can see in Darin McDonald’s public testimony to the city council and mayor, he tried several times to work with the city, only to find out they fined him anyway. And to add insult to injury, the city failed to comply multiple times with their own property for the same thing they were fining Darin for.

Code enforcement officer Todd Rhinehart admitted in court he never attempted to call Mr. Danielson, personally visit or return a telephone call in his process of building a case. He never supplied any information to help Bruce understand what the issues were. He also admitted to the unconstitutional, illegal service of notices and citations.

By Rhinehart’s court testimony admissions, It is the policy of the city code enforcement system to pile on without assisting or guidance to possible problems or corrections.

Mr. Danielson had proven an almost 20 year track record of working with the City of Sioux Falls. Prior to the administration abuses demonstrated in this case, Danielson never had any citable or serious violations. He always worked with the city to make sure everything was safe and presentable. I was actually witness to it once with councilman Staggers. Ron Bell from the city’s code enforcement office came out to inspect some repairs Bruce had made, and he approved the repairs and assured Bruce their would be no fines. That was probably the last time anyone from the city worked with Bruce on his home.

The reason Mr. Danielson began to seriously get involved in Sioux Falls politics was to have a voice in correcting the abuses of the personal liberty of the Huether administration. And apparently they like to bite back.