Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Minnehaha County throws the ‘Code Enforcement’ book at rural resident

(FF: 6:40) While I will give credit to the CC for giving this person many opportunities to clean up this lot, they put down their foot on Tuesday and now gave him 1 month to finish cleaning it up. They determined it a ‘public nuisance’. If he doesn’t clean it up, they will come in and seize vehicles.

Do I think he is in violation? Yes, but not as a ‘nuisance’. The only laws I feel he is breaking is not licensing abandoned vehicles. But I don’t think this is a ‘nuisance’ or health issue. He lives in a rural area for a reason, so he can collect his junk. I can go to any farm in this county or across the state that have junk tractors and equipment piled up. So what?! It’s a rural area.

I think they view this as a problem because he is on a major rural intersection where people can see it. As the owner points out, this property has been this way since his grandfather owned it in the 1940’s. In fact many neighbors who drive by on a daily basis have defended him and said they don’t have a problem with it. And why would they? They probably have a junk pile on their rural properties.

While I think nuisance laws and junk piles inside a city or town are important where there is small lots and density, I don’t think it is a big deal when it comes to the rural areas, and to be quite honest, I think this is just harassment. I encourage him to fight the county in court, but first license your vehicles or junk them.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sept 4-5, 2018

City Council Working Session – 2:30 PM – Sept 4th

They will be discussing budget amendments and ‘Unfunded’ projects

City Council Informational Meeting – 4 PM – Sept 4th

Update on UDC meeting, Subdivision ordinance update, Parks Master Plan study and City Attorney’s budget

Regular City Council Meeting – 7 PM – Sept 4th

Item #1, Approval of Contracts. We still keep polishing the turd called the Pavilion Parking ramp.

Item #3, Selling off 3 transit buses in an online auction.

Item #4, Mecahnic’s lien against the city for not paying contractor for Brown Bear exhibit at the zoo. I guess this was the first time I have heard about this. Hopefully we will get an explanation.

Item #21-22, New beer and wine license for a new establishment in the old Prairie Berry location on 8t street.

Item #23-24, Another Axe Throwing place wanting a beer and wine license. But NO beer with your popcorn at the movie theater.

Item #32, Notice of Change Orders over $25K. This really should be changed to notice change orders starting at zero.

Item #40, LifeScape parking lot. This has been a very controversial debate and I expect a lot of people from the neighborhood opposing the parking lot. It will be interesting to see how the council votes. LifeScape has already bought and removed the houses in the area of the proposed parking lot. So if the deny the lot, what will go there?

Item #41, Street Vacation.

Item #46-47, Dissolving 2 TIFs (see my earlier post)

Item #48, More citizen board appointees.

Item #49, Resolution, denying demolish of homes in a historic district. I expect testimony from the developer who owns these homes or a representative.

Joint Minnehaha County/City Council Meeting – 3 PM – Sept 5th

Joint Budget Hearings for Museums, Libraries and Metro 911

Planning Commission Meeting – 6 PM – Sept 5th

Item #7, Alcohol permit for a Coffee shop. Still trying to figure out why establishments call themselves ‘coffee shops’ but serve beer and wine. Puzzling.

Item #9, Alcohol permit for another telephone booth video lottery casino. Planning staff doesn’t recommend approval or denial, they recommend the commission listens to testimony. It’s interesting because the place is close the Avera Campus. We will see who wins? Video Lottery or the Hospital Industrial Complex? Wonder if the Planning Commission will throw another flaming football to the city council.

Item# 10, oh, and guess who is looking for a rezone in the very next item? Avera.

Item #11, Subdivision ordinance change. This is interesting;

• Add new private streets standards.

• Require a maintenance agreement for the private streets and utilities.

• Define and add standards for flag pole lots.

• Improve pedestrian and bicycle neighborhood connectivity.

• Add standards to reserve new bicycle trail corridors.

• Move some standards to the Preliminary Plan.

• Clarify and make minor changes to the subdivision process.

• Update the plat process to be consistent with state law.

Item #13. 2nd ANNUAL CITIZENS PLANNING ACADEMY. Wonder if they changed their tune about letting the most wealthiest developers in town getting their way?

Did Minnehaha County Commissioner Barth get sidestepped?

(FF: 31:00) The County Commissioners each are appointed to different departments. One of departments under Barth’s direction is Emergency Management. There has been a behind the scenes movement to move Emergency Management to a different location in which Barth had no knowledge of. Listen to Commissioner Beninga try to dig himself out of a hole.


As you may have saw a few weeks ago, Sioux Falls City Councilor Brekke was troubled about how the council came up with their legislative priorities. Commissioner Barth has also expressed that he wasn’t to happy about the fact that Council Chair Erickson and Commission Chair Heiberger cooked this up together without input from other councilors and commissioners. Seems leadership is going to some people’s heads pretty quick.

Update: Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Aug 28, 2018

Informational Meeting • 4 PM

Minnehaha-Lincoln County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan presentation. I’m glad to see this. We have been talking about what plans risk management has in case of a major train derailment. And now with the recent amounia leak in the Big Poo by Smithfield’s it’ time we put on our big kid pants on as a city and realize we need to be prepared for a major disaster.

We will also get an update on the Emerald Ash Borer.

Joint Minnehaha County/Council meeting • 5 PM


Auditor Litz really needs to open his eyes while stuffing envelopes

Besides the two letters below, I guess Cindy Heiberger received an envelope addressed to her with Jeff Barth’s name on the enclosed letter.

How can we even depend on safe elections when our auditor’s office can’t even stuff an envelope properly?

Minnehaha County has budget hearings with the cameras off

Minnehaha County is always asking for more money for criminal justice and a new jail. I get it. It takes tax dollars to fund these things. What I don’t get is the lack of transparency.

Besides the fact that the Tuesday regular meeting still hasn’t reached the internets 3 days later, the county didn’t bother recording the budget hearings that take place on a weekday in the AM. The county upgraded their video equipment at a cost of $40K, but they don’t seem to know how to turn it on.

It is continually frustrating that the county, the city and the school district ask for more money from us, but do it in the dark. If you want my money, you need to ask for it in the open. This lack of Sunshine by our local government is becoming frustrating.

ACLU of SD opposes Minnehaha County OPT-OUT

In response to the county commission’s consideration of an opt-out of property tax limits, Heather Smith, the executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, sent the attached letter to the Minnehaha County Commissioners this afternoon.  She’s also planning to attend the meeting on July 10.

DOC: ACLU SD ltr to Minnehaha County Commission PDF

Please take a look at the attached letter, but in brief, the ACLU of South Dakota is asking Minnehaha County Commissioners to shift away from funding incarceration and raising property taxes to find new approaches to our current criminal justice system. Our “tough-on-crime” policies have led to more arrests and increased costs, but don’t actually do anything to address the underlying causes of crime. Though the Commission may not have direct control over things such as who is charged with a crime and how many people are incarcerated in the county’s jail, it certainly has influence. There are myriad reforms that could be made on the local and state level that would keep our communities safe while also cutting costs.

In light of this proposed property tax opt-out and the school board’s proposal for its own opt-out, surely we could be looking at some alternatives so that the burden on Sioux Falls taxpayers/property owners isn’t so great.

Janna Farley, Communications Director, American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota

DaCola Notes: In my conversation with commissioner Barth about the matter, I told him that the CC needs to have more control over the State’s Attorney’s Office when it comes to expenditures with certain prosecution cases.




Water Rates going up? That’s news to me.

Apparently Councilor Rick Kiley has a crystal ball, because he is predicting our water and sewer rates are going up;

“They foresee a possible increase of about $2 per month for a family of five,” city councilor Rick Kiley said.

Kiley says the city knew this day was coming.

“You never want to raise rates, but in a situation like this where we are at 82% capacity today, we have a community that’s growing by 5,000 people every year and we are bringing on regional customers in addition to that it’s the prudent thing to do now is to expand our existing facilities,” Kiley said.

The city council will be voting on the funding this project when it passes the city budget in October.

While I agree we need to fix up a 1980’s water treatment plant, if we didn’t switch the rates over to enterprise funds we could easily pay the bonds with 2nd penny CIP revenue without raising fees. But see, former mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut wanted to free up the 2nd penny from paying for silly old water pipes, and use it for paying down bonds for monument building.

So now our taxes are going up for a new jail, and Minnehaha county admitted at their Tuesday meeting (Commissioner Barth) that there will likely be another opt out, put that on top of a 25 year around $300 million dollar new school bond and our already existing $300 million city debt, and things are going to get a lot more expensive in Sioux Falls, including taking a dump.

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission Special meeting this morning

UPDATE: Watch the video of the meeting today;


Apparently this meeting was posted on Saturday. I guess auditor Litz found a sealed box of uncounted ballots and had to re-count. Not sure how many or what district(s). I’m waiting to hear the details after the meeting.

Monday, June 11, 2018 8:30 a.m.

Pledge of Allegiance


1) Consider Motion to Certify the Results of the June 5, 2018 Primary Election Canvass – Bob Litz


City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County Triage Meeting, 5/23/18

So many areas of the Sioux Falls Minnehaha County healthcare industry have nothing to do with healthcare. What does a farm store have to do with healthcare? Nothing. What does hoarding, than parking a liquor license have to do with good healthcare? Nothing. Sports complexes? Nothing. Taking away affordable housing? Well on this one a lot because it adds to a community’s downward spiral.

The reason for this meeting held on May 23, 2018 in the Sioux Falls Minnesota Ave HyVee store was to bring the county, city and school district up to date on the Triage Center progress. A Triage Center will be a way to bring the local governments into a partnership with the local healthcare community to remove the criminal aspect out of helping people with problems. It also takes the burden off the taxpayers for arresting and booking someone who might have emotional or drug problems more easily handled with caring and understanding.

A Triage Center is a safe place to help people when they are in trouble and then direct them on to services able to assist them into the future.

As Cameraman Bruce has followed these meetings and discussions, a thought becomes more clear. If this process could save the two main hospital systems in Sioux Falls millions of dollars per year in bad debt billings, why don’t they subsidize the operation of this center? As you watch the video, listen to the benefits the hospitals will realize by working together on this.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on vanity projects having nothing to do with good healthcare, our medical industry could actually do something to pay for their place here