Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

Sioux Falls Multi-Housing City Council Candidate Forum

I guess we were lucky to get this recording. Cameraman Bruce was told this was a ‘private’ meeting/event and should not have been recorded.

I guess listening to candidates debate policy in public is going by the wayside. I do know that other business associations have also been holding ‘private’ or ‘invitation only’ forums for their members. The Realtors held a Mayoral Forum recently at the SF Country Club.

I think ALL forums not only should be open to the public, the public should be invited.

As we have seen more and more in municipal races, big money is donating more money and picking their rubber stampers. It is a slap in the face of Democracy.

Highlights from Sioux Falls City Council Candidate Forum

I attended the Forum today at NOON hosted by the Multi-Housing Association. Hope to have video up by tomorrow.

While I think most of the candidates did very well with the short time they had, I think Janet Brekke crushed it. She had quick, simple, intelligent answers to BIG problems. My biggest disappointments were with Kiley and Paulson who really didn’t address anything but boiler plate topics.

Here are some highlights;

Janet Brekke, At-Large A

Not a property owner but did formerly own a restaurant in Sioux Falls.

ISSUES: Council needs to set policy WITH public and mayor, NOT just the mayor. Too many regulations on the books that need to be repealed. Wants to study them. Council needs to set up Long Range Policy Strategies, community policing programs, embrace diversity, and cleaner neighborhoods.

Rick Kiley, SE District, no challengers

Does not own investment property.

ISSUES: Public Safety, Affordable Housing, Streets.

Clara Hart, At-Large A

Owns one Duplex rental unit.

ISSUES: Need to address the low wage culture in Sioux Falls to help with affordable housing. Better public trust in law enforcement, affordable housing for the working poor, better public transit system that serves ALL.

John Paulson, At-Large A

Does not own investment property.

ISSUES: Better leadership.

Christine Erickson, At-Large B

Owns several short-term rental properties, Air B-N-B

ISSUES: Should have a fiscal impact statement with new proposed regs/permits. Focus on public safety and drug prevention programs.

Thor Bardon, Central District

Owns home, rents to roommates.

ISSUES: Councilors should cite reasons they vote for or against an ordinance. (Tax) incentive program for maintaining investment properties or homes. Better ethics and city planning.

Tom Hurlbert, Central District

Owns several investment properties.

ISSUES: 1st and 2nd readings of ordinances are too late for the public to have input, should be done in advance. Should be a test or trial period on new permitting. We should elect an Architect (like himself) to council who understands building and zoning issues. Better council communication with public.

Peter Pischke, At-Large B

Does not own investment property.

ISSUES: Public input is messy, but worth it. CityLink is useless, needs to be re-formatted. Wants a more ethical city government. Thanked Stehly for working towards better ethics.

Zach DeBoer, Central District

Owns Gallery, rents studio space

ISSUES: Incremental Development, focus on smaller developers, proposed smaller mini-TIFs. Better city planning and infrastructure.

Curt Soehl, Central District

Used to own a rental, got rid of it because renters are a pain.

ISSUES: More public input during planning process. City Board meetings should be more open (ironically why we have been pushing to have them recorded, give CityLink a purpose). Focus on public safety and jobs.

Nick Weiland, At-Large B

Owns Parker’s restaurant with Family.

ISSUES: Need to embrace technology more to help public in all facets of city government, upgrade CityLink. Better wages and better jobs.

Sioux Falls Council Candidate John Paulson’s resume isn’t that stellar

As I pointed out when he ran for city council last time;

So is Paulson NOT being transparent about his resume? Not at all, he did retire as VP of Administration, that much is true. But doesn’t it seem odd that a guy who started his career 30 years ago with SV/Sanford as a VP had to take another 26 years to get promoted to a similar position within the organization? Talk about coming full circle.

But this letter writer/supporter thinks that John may bring some civility back to the city council;

In response to the current political environment, I am supporting John Paulson for the at-large city council position in the 2018 Sioux Falls Municipal election. Paulson has an impressive resume as an administrator, planner and community volunteer. However, the characteristics I appreciate most about him are the ones that do not show up on a resume. His transparency, decency and respect for others make him a strong leader and are the characteristics that are much needed in today’s political climate.

As I have been stating over the past 7 years, there is ONLY one person responsible for the current ‘turmoil’ in city government, it’s the person sitting on all the secrets, Huether himself. No city councilor can ‘fix’ this problem. Hopefully after May 15, it will fix itself, and hopefully John won’t be sitting on the dais to take credit for it.

Sioux Falls City Council Central District Candidate Curt Soehl seems to be the ‘chosen one’

You know what they say, follow the money.

While I have said we have good choices in central district candidates Bardon, DeBoer and Hurlbert I’m a bit wary of candidate Soehl after reading his financial report (FULL DOC:  Soehl-Finance )

It seems Mr. Soehl has a lot of big wheels behind him hoping they will get their corporate welfare rubber stamper on the city council to do their bidding.

Here’s a list of a few of his donors;

Cindy Huether (Mayor Huether’s wife)

Nathan Peterson (Sanford Health)

Lowell Hyland (Retired MD, Angel Investor)

Mark Wahlstrom (VP Business Development, First Dakota Title)

Dana Dykhouse (President of First Premier)

Scott Gullickson (VP at First Premier Bank)

Dave Sweet (Chairman of the Board, Ramkota Companies)

Nick Gustafson (Bender Commercial)

David Knutson (First Premier Bankcard)

Mike Crane (Developer)

Steve Erpenbach (Current Central District city councilor Michelle Erpenbach’s husband)

Michael Bender (Developer, Bender Commercial, chair of Jim Entenman’s mayoral campaign)

Dennis Breske (Commercial Realtor, NAI)

Craig Lloyd (Developer, Lloyd Companies)

The next financial report is due on April 5th (the Thursday before the Tuesday election). Hopefully all the candidate reports will be filed online by the end of the day Friday so voters have a chance to ‘follow the money’ before the election on Tuesday.

South DaCola Podcast 13: Thor Bardon, Central District Council Candidate

Thor tells us why we should vote for him. Listen HERE.

UPDATE: Chamber says Entenman a life-long resident of Sioux Falls

UPDATE: The Chamber made the error, not the Entenman Campaign.

As I have been telling people, it is often the ‘little’ things you have to pay attention to in campaigns. Details that candidates will try to slip by you.

I have noticed that Entenman’s campaign is built on a lot of spit balling and approximates. Like how he kind of just guessed that 2017 ended well financially for the city. Or that he has the intention to serve 8 years, even though he only did one term on the city council after his bucket list of the Event Center and BID tax was marked off the list. Seems he is learning from his buddy MMM who he would emulate as mayor, it’s NOT a lie if YOU believe it.

He claims in the Chamber interview he is a life long resident of Sioux Falls. Never mind the time he spent going to college in Aberdeen or the over 15 years he lived in Brandon. It’s kind of like a certain legislator from SD that lives in Texas most of the time.

Brandon isn’t a sub-division of Sioux Falls (they probably wish they were with all the water problems they are having) It’s actually a separate community with a different zip code.

Dell Rapids, Canton, Tea, Baltic  . . . Sioux Falls? Close enough.

Best Municipal Candidate Website; Nick Weiland (At-Large B)

So I have been looking at all of the candidates websites, and Nick’s is probably one of the BEST. While Nick may struggle with public speaking sometimes, if you read his campaign issues he really has a grasp on building a more progressive and transparent community.

He goes into great detail about building a greener community, transparent budgeting and communicating with the community.

No doubt Nick has a tough challenger in Erickson, but Christine’s record over the past two years has been anything but stellar. Besides the Mayor, Christine was the force behind the DT Parking Ramp and picking Legacy. She served on the RFQ committee.

It’s time for some new blood on the council and Nick would be a great addition.

How did Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate Entenman know how the city did financially in 2017?

In all fairness, Jim may have been guessing that 2017 ended better than expected. But I talked to a couple of other mayoral candidates today that were a little surprised that Jim brought up the fact the city ended the year just fine during the mayoral forum the other night. How does he know? The city council and the public haven’t seen those numbers yet. Did someone at city hall leak this important information to Jim?

Jim also talks about his candidacy on Jon Michaels’ Forum recently. I liked this tidbit from Todd’s blog;

And no, current Mayor Mike Huether is not going to be his chief of staff. Entenman said he plans to serve his full four or eight years if elected.

He said that Mike will NOT work for him in any capacity . . . at this point and doesn’t know what Mike’s plans are. He joked that he will probably be the LAST TO KNOW.


It was interesting that Jim brings up being on the Brandon city council for 15 years. That city is in bad shape when it comes to water infrastructure and other issues due to very poor planning.

Here’s is Todd’s interview

You can watch all of Todd’s candidate interviews HERE and all of Jon’s interviews HERE.


Sioux Falls City Council Candidate Forum

The city council forum sponsored by SDMHA (South Dakota Multi-Housing Association) is Thursday February 15. It will be at the Pizza Ranch on 41st St. @ noon.

I actually think this will be more informative than the Mayoral Forum.

YPN, AARP, League of Women Voters Sioux Falls Mayoral Forum