Entries Tagged 'Dean Karsky' ↓

UPDATE: Apparently Sioux Falls City Councilor Karsky won a CMA award?

UPDATE: As I suspected, the tickets for the CMA’s were bought privately by the Erickson’s and no taxpayer expense. Just to clarify.

Foolish me, I thought outgoing councilor Karsky was going on his last junket to the National League of Cities conference in Nashville to learn more about municipal government that he could share over the last 5 months of his term. It was all a ploy to receive his CMA. (snark)

Notice the conference started on Wednesday, but the councilors needed to move this week’s meeting to Monday so they could go to the conference on Tuesday. But Tuesday night they took in the CMA’s.

Our tax dollars hard at work! Now if we can just get them to unlock the doors at the Huether Family tennis center.


Another Karsky suggestion . . .


While Dean doesn’t care who puts shingles on your roof, he seems to be very concerned about who is drinking malt liquor;

Karsky said Sioux Falls law enforcement is overburdened with alcohol related problems, and the calls that come in tend to cluster in specific areas of the city – downtown and the Whittier and Pettigrew Heights neighborhoods. “Alcohol-impact areas” – places where alcohol-nuisance calls are most frequent – could be established with more restrictive booze rules, Karsky said.

Dean, we tried this thing called ‘Prohibition’ it didn’t work out so well. Did you take American History in High School? Did you go to High School? Alcoholism is a disease, they will find a way to get a drink, you are not going to fix anything.

What I want to know is what yahoo on the chamber made you be the poster boy of this idea? They owe you a drink . . . that is at least 40 ounces.

Erickson says it best;

City Councilor Christine Erickson said she’s open to discussing the alcohol rules on the books in Sioux Falls, but questioned whether banning single sales in select areas of the city would significantly reduce the number of alcohol nuisance complaints. She’s concerned also about the unintended consequences of alcohol impact areas.

“I understand the reasoning behind it. My concern is, too, are they going to get in the car and drive somewhere else to get it? Now we would just be encouraging them to get behind the wheel,” she said.

Erickson said a ban in specific areas of town wouldn’t alleviate the problem, only move it, similar to what happened when the council banned alcohol from Van Eps and Tower parks.

“It’s kicking the can down the road again. That was my concern when we banned the alcohol at Van Eps as well. We weren’t really fixing anything – just telling them to go back into the neighborhoods,” she said.

Besides her great points, I also would like to point out that I think product designations are up to the state and maybe the county. Don’t know, but I think the City of Sioux Falls learned the hard way about trying to limit video lottery. They lost in SD Supreme Court. They seem to be very good at that.

UPDATE: Who will apply to be on the Minnehaha County Commission

UPDATE: Yesterday the commission decided they will be accepting applications and resumes until December 31 for the appointment job. There was some discussion on whether they should appoint a ‘caretaker’ or basically a ‘seat warmer’. This of course was Dick Kelly’s idea, and Cindy pretty much said that was a bad idea, and they should appoint someone who is prepared to do the job in the fullest for the next two years, and if they want to run again, that would be fine.

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I found out yesterday that Dean Karsky has withdrawn his name and said he is NOT seeking the appointment, but expressed interest in running for the seat in two years when he is term limited from the city council.

Mark Millage has also told me that he is not interested in the appointment either.

I’m not sure who the ‘ten’ people are, but it should be interesting when those names are released.

In other County news, it seems that the commission is backing out on their set of rules for picking an election review commission. The names I have heard so far are either elected officials, past elected officials or public employees. Bad idea. This commission should be citizen driven, NO elected officials, NO public employees and NO past officials BIAS to the process. Looks like another Kangaroo court.

I also have some other inside information about the formation of the commission that I will share AFTER the appointments. Let’s just say the cattle wrangling has already begun.

Chamber: Calling out Karsky’s conflict of interest is laughable, but nobody is laughing

Well got to hand it to the Chamber, they were quick to respond to me, in a very nice NON public passive aggressive way, (which I expected) with an email story to their members;

During the Council’s public input session, the Council’s constant commentator Scott Ehrisman maintained that Councilor Dean Karsky should recuse himself from any Council agenda item that includes any member of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce since he is now a Board member. As is typical, councilors do not respond to the public input sessions.  It seems, however, we should.

Yes, the councilors don’t respond because they don’t give a rat’s ass what a citizen has to say, just the big wheels in town, you know, like Chamber Members. So instead of Karsky or a city attorney responding in a official public meeting, which would have been the appropriate place to do so, the Chicken Little Chamber does it in an email to their members. You must be so proud of their defense Dean. Did you help them type the email?

The comments seem to show an incredible lack of understanding of the nature and role of citizen-composed legislative bodies that are so vital to our state’s history and current function.  Conflicts of interest are inherent in the way we do business, but a conflict is not synonymous with impropriety. The state constitution deals with the issue in Article 3 Section 12 where it prohibits state legislators from having an interest in any contract with the state authorized by any law passed during their term. That makes sense; you can’t authorize a contract or appropriate money for your own gain.  However, in our legislature, farmers vote on ag issues; teachers vote on educational issues; bankers vote on banking issues; and so on. We expect them to and we have the choice to remove them if they abuse their power.

Oh, so when the city charter doesn’t fit your loophole rule book, you run to state law. This is what the city charter says about the issue; Section 35.053 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS.

Typically, conflict of interest issues rise to the level of impropriety when a public official uses his or her office for personal gain or benefit. Councilor Karsky has noted that he would be willing to recuse himself from votes that affect the Chamber specifically. While a noble thing to do, that’s probably not even necessary. But, to maintain that an improper conflict of interest exists whenever a Chamber member has an issue before the Council and Councilor Karsky votes on it is not just a stretch, it’s somewhat laughable.

The only thing that is laughable is how Dean’s position on the Chamber Board is defended, in an email from the Chamber, not from the city attorney’s office. Secondly, this is more about ethical behavior not if what Dean is doing is legal or not, it is perfectly legal in South Dakota to be unethical. We expect our public officials to have integrity, by serving on both boards, it shows Karsky lacks integrity and the ethics to serve the public. I would much rather he resigned from the city council, the Chamber can have him. But if you do keep him on the board, you should probably try to spell his name correctly. Heck you figured out how to spell mine.

Farmers Insurance Group/Karksy Agency

SF City Council Chair & Chamber Board Member goes back on his promise to the Ethics Commission


It’s okay to lie about being ethical, because I own goats.

Last night I handed out the below verbage during public testimony. It was concerning Dean Karsky and his dual membership to the city council and Chamber board of directors. Dean did not recuse himself from voting on any of the items, he just sat there. He didn’t even ask a city attorney (the main one was absent) if he should recuse himself. Apparently Dean just lied to the Ethics Commission about recusing himself from voting on Chamber related items.

Tuesday November 4, 2014

Recently Council Chair Dean Karsky attended an Ethics Commission meeting to ask them if it was okay for him to serve on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. They said it would be okay because Dean proposed he would ‘recuse’ himself from voting on any agenda items that are directly related with the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. The Ethics Commission agreed with Dean’s proposal.

Tonight I submit to you several agenda items that Council Chair & Chamber Board of Directors Member Dean Karsky should recuse himself from due to conflicts of interest with Members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. By voting to allow Chamber members to do business with the city you could assume a conflict of interest because Councilor Karsky could give an unfair advantage to Chamber members versus non-members.

The concerning items are as follows;

Item 1) Approval of contracts, several Chamber Members are getting contract approvals with the city. They include; Infrastructure Design Group, Inc., Sayre Associates, Inc., Vision Video Interactive, LLC, Stockwell Engineers, Inc., Short-Elliott-Hendrickson, Inc., Soukup Construction, Inc., Thompson Electric Company, Friessen Construction Co., Inc., and several other snowplow contractors.

Item 2) Change Orders. Chamber Members include; First Rate Excavate, Inc., Beck & Hofer Construction, Inc., Krier & Blain, Inc.

Items 3-8) Fuel contracts, Chamber Member, Howes Oil

Item 10) Liquor Retail License renewal, several businesses are Chamber Members

Items 11-13) Malt Beverage transfers, Chamber Member, Staybridge Suites

Item 17) One day wine license, Chamber Member, Active Generations

Item 18) One day liquor license, Chamber Member, Avera

Item 28) Water tank lease agreement, Chamber members, Soukup Construction, Sioux Falls Two-Way Radio


All other items concern internal city business, change in ordinances or re-zone housekeeping, and don’t present a conflict for Council Chair and Chamber Board of Directors member Dean Karsky.

Looks like SF City Council Chair Dean Karsky is going to be recusing himself from A LOT of votes.

I see Dean pulled the trigger and got a seat on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of the Directors (Notice he has doesn’t mention in his title that he is city council chair). Since the SF Ethics Commission Kangaroo Kourt cleared Karsky of any unethical behavior (even though it clearly is) he decided to sit on this conflicting board. Karsky promised the ethics commission (and the citizens of Sioux Falls) he would recuse himself from voting on any council items that have anything to do with Chamber business. It will be interesting to watch the meetings with Dean spending most of his time in the overflow room.


The Villagers have spoken already, LEAVE PUBLIC INPUT ALONE

A friend recently sent some questions to the entire Sioux Falls city council about some different topics, one of them was about the public ‘engaging’ the council during public input (and how it isn’t happening). Council Chair, Dean Karsky responded in this manner;

I have been toying with the idea of moving the public input to the Informational Meeting as it would allow for more interaction with the Council and possibly engage the public more with us.  Still working on the pro’s and con’s of doing so, input on the matter is welcome.

Here is my input Dean, LEAVE IT AS IS!

There is absolutely no reason why the council can’t ‘engage’ the public during public input at the city council meetings. During the Munson administration, the council interacted all the time with the public.

If this is a matter of ‘time’ I should remind the council that they are getting PAID to attend the meetings, and the public, which comes on their own time to testify, pays those wages. If they don’t like hearing public input, or they think the meetings are to long, or they don’t get paid enough, then please, resign. There is nothing more annoying then a politician running for office then complaining about their duties once they get elected. Then why did you run?

Lastly, I do partially agree with public input at the informational. In fact several of the citizen advocates in the community have discussed that it would be nice to have public input at the informational. The problem with only limiting it to the informational is timing. The meeting is at 4 PM when many people cannot attend because of work conflicts. By all means, have public input at the informational, but also keep it at 7 PM to so working folks can testify.

Once again, the council is out of touch with the public on this one, just like snowgates, they seem to want to do the opposite of what the public wants for their convenience. Their convenience is of little importance to good government, the public’s convenience is.

SF City Council Informational Meeting 10/7/12

So now Dean just proposes ordinances without talking to the rest of the council, just the homebuilders association?

While this is a great debate to have, I think the issue isn’t the building permits,

1) There was a bad hailstorm

2) Building services has one speed (very slow) and can’t keep up

3) Dean is trying to look important (again)

At the end of the day, this will probably fail, building services and contractors will catch up, and the head of the department can go back to having a beer at Monk’s at 5:05 each weekday.

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The Pros & Cons of a Building Permit for roofing

I can see both sides of this argument;

Believe it or not, June’s hailstorm is to blame. It has created a back log of paperwork and home inspections for city employees in the building services department.
Since June, over 6,000 re-shingling permits have been issued in Sioux Falls. The influx of permits has one city council member asking, do we really need permits to re-shingle a house?

Since golf ball sized hail hit portions of Sioux Falls, life at the office has been pretty hectic for Chief Building Official Ron Bell.

“Last year we had a record number of building permits that we’ve ever had issued. I believe that number was just under 8,000,” said Bell.

More than 11,000 building permits have already been issued for this year. Over the last eight weeks, Bell said contractors have been coming in with 80 re-shingling permits at a time.

Bell said at this time last year they had only issued 1,500 re-shingling permits. This year, they are at 6,700.

It’s taking its toll.

“The thing is, is that by the amount of permits that are happening at the counter, the staff doesn’t have the time to devout to large commercial projects,” Bell said.

“We are delaying large construction projects because we are processing re-shingling permits for homes,” City Council Chair Dean Karsky said. “It makes no sense.”

Karsky said that’s why he wants to pull the city’s requirements for re-shingling permits.

“Building permits should be unnecessary for simple maintenance and most communities regard it as maintenance and not as construction,” Karsky said.

Contrary to Bell’s belief that the re-shingling permit gives homeowners a ‘safety net,’ Karsky said not so much.

“Contractors have to be licensed within the city of Sioux Falls, and with their license, they have to post a $10,000 bond,” Karsky said.

Karsky said that process won’t change permit, or no permit.

Believe it or not, I do agree with the city, to a degree, it is kind of a safety net if a city building inspector approves something, and that work is bad. A friend recently had to have some roofing work redone, thankfully she used a contractor for the work and was inspected by the city.

But I also see councilor Karsky’s point of view. Seems silly to get a permit to re-roof a home, say for instance you want to do it yourself over a period of time in different sections. Should you be required to get a permit to work on your OWN home.

IMO, a solution would be to get a permit if you use a contractor, and not require a permit (unless you want to) if you are doing the work yourself. For example, the city requires you to get a permit to build a deck on your home (don’t know a lot of people that build their own decks that get one.) Had a friend go through a nightmarish ordeal with a city building inspector when he decided to get a permit to build his own deck. Let’s just say, he got to build the deck twice.

There seems to be this attitude in the city building department that people can’t do their own remodel/building projects and should always hire a contractor. That is silly, and probably one of the main reasons the city code enforcement department harassed Danielson for 20 years, because he wouldn’t hire a contractor.

City Council plans to rearrange meeting schedule so Karsky can have a conflict of interest


I want my goat and I want to eat it to.

I guess councilor Dean Karsky still doesn’t see a conflict of interest with serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board and the City Council at the same time. He is going as far as to get the city council to change the meeting schedule in October so he can attend the Chamber’s annual meeting (Item #12).

So let’s rearrange seven of the councilor’s normal schedules so ONE city councilor can attend a meeting that presents a clear conflict of interest. Why not ask the Chamber of Commerce to change their schedule?

The Ethics Commission (Kangaroo Kourt) contends there is NO conflict because Karsky will excuse himself from voting on anything doing with the Chamber. So I guess when any business that is a Chamber Member comes fourth Karsky will be excusing himself, yeah right. What is even more troubling is will Karsky excuse himself from non-chamber members asking for a license or permit that are in direct competition with a chamber member? If Karsky truly keeps his word on excusing himself, he won’t be voting very often, might as well just sit in the front room of Carnegie and watch the council meeting on TV, or better yet, just resign from the Council, the Chamber can have you.

I am wondering when Dean is going to pull some ethics out of his butt and realize this is a very bad idea to be serving on both boards. Of course, he has probably been mentoring Mr. Ethical himself, Mayor Mike.