Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

The South DaCola straw poll sucks

I sometimes wonder if Sioux Falls City Councilor Christine Erickson is Clash fan?

Over the last couple of months I have heard pretty much an equal amount from both sides that she is either running or she is not for mayor.

It really heated up today after Diamond Jim’s announcement. I got two calls she is in and one she is not in.

(I have a bunch of snarky things I could say between these parenthesis, but I’m not going to, you can thank me later Christine).

Please run for a 2nd term on the council, and make the announcement TODAY, so I can free my phone up for the latest deal from Expedia.

Diamond Jim announced he is running for mayor

I could go on and on about my opposition to Mr. Self-interest, but if you want a repeat of Huether, Jim’s your man.

Notice on his website he only mentions ONE item from the big three, Transparency, Affordable Housing and Crime (he says something about safety). Like I said, running as Huether Part II won’t bode well.

A 3-Legged Stool campaign platform for the 2018 City Election

If you are running for mayor or city council for the 2018 Municipal election, you should have your work cut out for you.

There will be 3 main campaign issues that I think will dominate;

• Crime: While crime in Sioux Falls hasn’t gotten out of control and is manageable, the increasing violent crime rate over the past 5 years should concern us. The candidate(s) that come up with a leading solution(s) while making the public still feel safe will garner attention. I have suggested concentrated patrolling, more neighborhood watch programs and educating the public about what to look for when it comes to suspicious activity (drug dealing, domestic violence, etc.) Also an increased social media presence.

• Affordable Housing: It is probably the NUMBER ONE issue affecting Sioux Falls right now, but it is closely tied into with crime. When people don’t have a decent place to live or a decent job to pay for it, it breeds crime. I suggest the next mayor and city council take away focus from big development and TIFS (urban sprawl) and concentrate on the core and proper of Sioux Falls. First off, big development will survive, they have plenty support from private investors and banks. Plus urban sprawl only hurts our infrastructure budget (building more NEW infrastructure means more to take care of). We need to concentrate more on community development loans to private homeowners and landlords of small apartment complexes. Not only can they be helped with NO or LOW interest development loans, there are plenty of Federal grants they can apply for. This of course will take bigger staff to go door to door in these neighborhoods and promote this kind of revitalization. It will also have to come from the real estate and mortgage banking industry willing to invest in first time home buyers and young families to rebuild these older neighborhoods. Another measure tied into this would be passing a city ordinance minimum wage within SF city limit of at least $10 an hour.

• Transparency: This is just a given. We have had one of the most secretive administrations to date. Trust me, Munson and Hanson were not much better, but Huether has taken his dictatorship (home rule charter) to heart. Heck, our local paper had to sue in Supreme Court to get a contract (and they may lose the case). The next council and mayor need to open the books and communication, and it shouldn’t even be a fight, it should just be done. A healthy democracy depends on it.



Los Angeles not only elects it’s city attorney, but also their controller

Hey, not a bad idea;

The city of Los Angeles, California, will hold primary elections for mayor, eight city council seats, city attorney, city controller, and three community college board of trustees seats on March 7, 2017. Any race where no candidate earns a majority (50 percent plus one) of the primary votes cast will advance to a general election on May 16, 2017.

I would assume a city controller is essentially the CFO or Finance Director of the city. With the recent shenanigans with both our city attorney and finance director, maybe it is time to elect both. it wouldn’t be that hard to change the charter. Citizens would simply have to ask the Charter Revision Commission to put a change on the ballot. Do you think citizens should elect the City attorney and city finance director? Pretty simple. Just look at the county, the Sheriff, Treasurer and Auditor are all elected positions.

Get your School Board on!

As of yesterday you can pick up your nominating petitions, and you have until March 28 to file them (I think you need 50 signatures?).

Only one candidate has announced, the wife of Mark Mickelson, Cynthia. While I’m sure she would make a great board member, I hope others will run.

Nick Weiland makes it official for Sioux Falls Mayor

Nick is the first to announce;

“For me, local issues have really become what’s most important,” Weiland said. “No one sitting here upset about some national (issue) can really do anything about it but you can do something about a local issue.”

Gee I wonder where he would get such crazy ideas 😉 I guess a few people listen to me when I flap my trap.

You say you want to be a city councilor?

I’m almost finished. Can you feel it?

South DaCola is looking for a few good men and women to run for city council in 2018. Technically there could be four seats up of grabs. Rolfing and Erpenbach are term limited (At-Large and Central). Kiley is up for re-election for his 2nd term (SE district) and badly needs to be retired. Erickson, who I hope runs again for At-Large, may run for mayor, which leaves her seat open. Either way there are plenty of opportunities. While you have to live in Central District to run for that seat, ANYONE in the city limits can run for Rolfing’s empty At-Large seat.

We are hoping some citizen friendly candidates emerge and we would be willing to help out the campaign in any way possible, especially data for direct mail, graphic design and marketing.

Remember, this is a mayoral election, so there will be a bigger voter turnout (I would estimate between 20-30%). Besides the mayor and four council seats, there will probably be some charter adjustments on the ballot. I suspect the campaign will garner good media reporting.

This will be a transformational time on the council. Not only will there possibly be two new councilors and a mayor, this may be a big changeup in the way things have been done over the past 7 years. It will also hinge on how much money Sioux Falls has coming into the coffers and what our current debt limit will allow us to borrow. The next mayor and council will have some challenges, especially after they open the books. I encourage the next mayor and council to request a full forensic audit of the city over at least the past 4 years to get a clear sense of what Mr. Transparency has been up to.

Hopefully some people from the last election cycle will reappear, like Erin Srstka.

Either way, if you are running or not, it will be a fun one to watch.


UPDATE: Sioux Falls 2018 Mayoral/Council Races Heating up

While there haven’t been any official announcements yet, there have been some interesting names thrown around.

Here is where we are right now;


  • Greg Jamison (R)
  • Kenny Anderson Jr. (D)
  • Nick Weiland (I)
  • David Zokaites (?)


  • Jim Entenman (R)
  • Christine Erickson (R)


  • Michelle Erpenbach (D)
  • Dean Karsky (R)
  • Theresa Stehly (R)

I have also been given two other names, but have been told to keep it on the down low for now until they decide. I still suspect there will be at least 10 candidates on the ballot come next Spring for mayor.

As for the council races there will be four seats up for grabs. Erpenbach (Central) will be an open seat as she is term-limited. Not sure who is looking at it, but I am sure John Paulson will probably be considering a run. He currently is serving on the Planning Commission. Rolfing (At-Large) seat will also be open due to term limits (Thank Gawd!) I have not heard of any interested parties for that seat. Which brings us to Kiley that is up for re-election in the SE District. There is a recruitment effort for someone to run against Kiley, but that may depend on who runs for Rolfing’s empty seat. Then you factor in Erickson who is up for re-election also as an At-Large, if she chooses to run for Mayor, that would also leave an empty seat.

Am I considering a run? At this point NO. But I will be working hard to recruit people to run for all 4 seats.

UPDATE II: Were Snow Gates usage ever written into ordinance?

UPDATE II: The Argus has an update from the city attorney’s office on this topic. Funny how if we need to stick it to the citizenry, we write it down, but if the city is supposed to do something, it’s just a suggestion. WOW!

With all of the discussion over the last couple of years about snow gates and there hit and miss usage lately some have been wondering why the city doesn’t follow it’s own ordinances? There are plenty of rules on the books about mowing your grass and scooping your sidewalk so shouldn’t the city follow the ordinance requiring snow gate use? Sure, if there was one.


WE, THE UNDERSIGNED qualified voters of the municipality of Sioux Falls, the state of South Dakota, petition that the following ordinance be submitted to the voters of that municipality for their approval or rejection pursuant to law. The proposed ordinance in proper form is as follows: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA TO MANDATE THE USE OF SNOW GATES FOR REMOVING SNOW FROM PUBLIC STREETS: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA: The City of Sioux Falls shall use snow gates or other devices to prevent snow, in an amount that prevents usual access, from being plowed or placed into driveways or their openings to public streets from and after November 1, 2013. This section shall cover city employees and contract employees. Snow gates are discretionary upon the declaration of a snow emergency on routes that have been declared snow emergency routes.

I did a search of the city charter (start at 96.120) and I couldn’t find the ordinance that requires the city to use them. When it was on the ballot, it said they would NOT be used on emergency snow routes AND the city had the discretion to NOT use them in deep or heavy snows, but the ordinance was clear, the city had to use them in all other cases.

So if the citizens passed this ordinance, why isn’t it on the books? This question has been asked of city officials, and apparently there has been some ‘scrambling’ to answer said question, but it seems law may NOT be on their side. As you can see below, when an ordinance is passed by the citizens, by charter, it needs to go on the books;

Section 8.03  Adoption of amendment.
   If a majority of the registered voters of the city voting upon a proposed charter amendment vote in favor of it, the amendment shall become effective at the time fixed in the amendment or, if no time is therein fixed, 30 days after the initial canvas certifying its adoption by the voters.

But for the sake of the argument, let’s say the city IS supposed to be following ordinance (even if it is mysteriously absent from charter). Why is the city and certain snow plow operators picking and choosing when they use them? I will admit, since the vote, they have used them on my block every time they plowed, and unless you are blind, it is pretty obvious when they are used. It usually only leaves about 1/3 of the snow of what used to left before there usage.

One of the ideas councilor Stehly has come up with is painting large numbers on the snow gate maintainers and a hotline that you can call in if Plow #__ did not use the gate.

Once again, the city is practicing ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ It’s time to follow their own ordinances, that is if they even bothered to add it to the city charter. Maybe this was a plan all along to have an ‘out’ in case a driveway is missed. In other communities that use them and have them in charter, if a driveway is missed, the city will come out and fix it. Could it be by NOT having this in ordinance the city can skirt it’s duties?

It will be interesting to hear the city attorney ‘Fiddle Faddle’ his way out of this one.

Councilor Erickson says she is still considering a run for mayor on KSOO

This shouldn’t be a big surprise. Several months ago Christine told me she was keeping her ‘options open’ when it comes to running for mayor and she repeated that same sentiment today on KSOO. Even last week she asked my opinion about another possible candidate running for the job. She also commented she didn’t know if she would even run for re-election on council because her family business keeps her so busy.

She has become quite popular with the SD GOP and while the race is typically non-partisan, I don’t see Christine shying away from calling herself a proud Republican if she does decide to run for mayor.

I wish her luck no matter what she decides.

As I told another candidate recently, I may stay out of the race this time and not support anyone specifically.