Entries Tagged 'Event Center' ↓

The Event Center Change Order Gobbly Gook

make_your_own_slime

Another fine city of Sioux Falls government document

As the Argus Leader reports today, they have attained 27 pages of change orders from the city on the Events Center (you can go over there and try to decipher the fun stuff). There are some things missing though.

No beginning costs on the change orders (for instance, the siding is only listed as warranty)

What was the original estimate on the siding? What was the final ‘changed’ price.

While Mortenson made 2.25% commission on building the place (over $2 million) There are no records of what subcontractors who were in direct business made/shared with Mortenson. In other words some of the subcontractors may have shared profits with Mortenson since they may have been in a business partnership together. Finance office, Tracy Turbak with the city mumbled about this on the SuFuStu show saying something to the effect of, “We don’t know what those numbers are.”

While it is all fine and dandy we got these documents, they are just the tip of the iceberg.

Poly nails it! The Events Center ‘snack police’ have struck!

Goddammit! You will eat our moldy bread, drink our over-priced ruffied drinks, or you will sit in the car;

Guests will still see similar security procedures as they have for other concerts. Bags will be checked and hand held metal detectors will also be used upon arrival. But for this show, the new security element is a bag restriction. No bags larger than 13″ by 15″ or 6 inches deep will be allowed for this performance.

In other words, any bags that can carry in extra snacks, booze, bottled water or whatever will be monitored.

The honey moon period is over folks for the Events Center. How ironic that the concert they choose to implement this fascism is at an already duplicate act.

These posts write themselves.

Events Center’s ‘Fuzzy Math’ when it comes to ‘Net operating income’

Let’s face it, I don’t think too many tax payers in Sioux Falls are that naïve or ignorant to think the Events Center will pay for itself (You know, cuz like, it is quality of life). Even with sponsorships, you have operating expenses, maintenance and mortgage payments, a steep bill that has to be paid for the next 30-50 years.

I think this is pretty obvious to anyone who owns a home or business, or for that matter a lawnmower or snowblower.

But it still hasn’t stopped the manager of the Events Center and our city finance director from talking about ‘Net Operating Income’ which leaves out our mortgage payment on the facility.

Paying 9 million in debt service to make 2 million in income doesn’t make you a financial genius, and surely not worth bragging about. Even if you factor in the supposed tax income of $1.5 million you are still at a $5.5 million dollar loss for the year. It would be like making a household income of $3,000 a month with a $6,000 a month home mortgage payment. Not sustainable, or even reasonable.

It’s dishonest to say ‘its in the black’ or ‘net income’.  Now if you want to say the operations are in the black, that is perfectly honest, and believable.  But don’t say it’s making a profit or ‘net income’.  This word play effects people not knowing the distinction and creates the perception that it’s a wild success.

Also note, anyone who has read the prospective and then retrospective studies on all of these venues knows that the first two years don’t really mean anything.  It takes until about the third year before you see what NORMALIZED operations will be.  This is the honeymoon period and cannot be counted on as the norm going forward.

We should be honest.  Don’t claim it’s making tons of money, it’s not. Why not say it’s costing us money, but it provides a quality of life, and it’s worth the cost (and you can agree with that or not).

Walk through metal detectors for the Events Center

Last week on SuFuStu’s show the director of Finance for the city of Sioux Falls, Tracy Turbak announced that they ‘may’ be getting metal detectors for the Events Center. Earlier last week, the city put out bids for metal detectors.

According to a council staffer, the metal detectors are for the Events Center. The promoter ‘Live Nation’ said they will not promote shows at the EC unless they are installed.

While I guess we could debate about that, which is fine, I have recently become concerned that the City of Sioux Falls is now using a purchasing consultant, Mercury Commerce (EMS).

Many government entities use them, but one has to question, is our purchasing department so busy they cannot review bids? Not to mention how we are told consistently that we need a new administration building because of city growth, yet we job-out out consultants and temps not only in our engineering department, custodial department and Parks and Rec, but now it seems we need consultants to help us weed through bids.

 

An audit on the Events Center?

construction-manan

This audit is similar to wiping your butt 8 hours after you took a crap . . . but I will keep an open mind 😉

Letter to the Editor by Sioux Falls City Council candidate

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Greg touches on transparency in government;

The citizens deserve better than this. Secrecy breeds mistrust and erodes confidence in government. We need to demand transparency from our government. It is our government after all.

Will the Argus Leader have the fortitude to take their Events Center lawsuit all the way?

This is the first question that popped into my mind when I saw they were going to sue for the information. But I wasn’t the only one asking the question, I have received several emails asking the same thing.

Why?

It’s clear from the city’s track record on all things transparent and legal, they will spend as much money as they can fighting this (our money) which will probably never be decided until it makes it to the SD Supreme Court, which will take several years.

Cameraman Bruce and I both told the Argus there are other ways to skin a cat on this topic, and if they want to take the courts route, good for them, but other information about how the EC was built and paid for also exists in the private sector with the contracts the contractors signed.

While I will commend them for taking on the legal aspects of transparency in government, South DaCola will continue to pursue the low road. You never know who will crack that nut first?

It also seems the Argus finally figured out how to quote Bruce in an article;

Citizen activist Bruce Danielson, one of the most vocal critics of the city’s handling of the Premier Center siding dispute and closed-door nature of the manager at risk method used for the building project, agreed the public should have access to the settlement.

“The underlying issue here is this is a public building, and the public has to pay for this building for the next 19 years, and we do not know anything about the financing, the construction, the change orders or where the money went to. We know nothing,” he said. “The first step in any audit of any situation like this is breaking the seal of secrecy.”

Something we have been asking of this administration and city council now for several years. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take several more years to unveil the truth. Let’s face it, this isn’t about poorly constructed siding, this is about secrecy, what is the city trying to hide? I have a feeling once that skin is pulled back, we are going to find much more then a dead cat.

Overheard conversation

P1: What are you doing tonight?
P2: Before I go to a concert at the Washington Pavilion, thought I would grab a brew at Woodgrain, stroll over to Bro’s for an appetizer and then have dinner at Sushi Masa, then after the show grab a glass of wine at Paramount then maybe finish the night playing a couple games of pool at Lucky’s. How about you?
 
P1: I’m going to head on over to the Entertainment District next to the Premier Center, grab some scratch tickets at Kum & Go then see if I am a winner while enjoying a piece of pie at Rolling Pin.
P2: You always out do me. Wish I could join you, but since I live downtown and don’t have a car, I guess I will just have to wait until those shuttle rides from Downtown to the Events Center come to fruition.

Badlands Buffoonery?

I’m sure you all received the first pressing of ‘Badlands Monthly’ (I’m going to try to get mine signed by Captain Caribou himself). One of my more conservative friends referred to the magazine that was cluttered with ‘Skulls and Flames’ as ‘Icky’. I’m an old school punk rock kid, so I think that stuff is cool (If I was still 17) and many of my paintings are themed in the car culture and pop art subject matter. I hold skulls and flames near and dear to my heart. My good friend (bless her butterfly and flower heart) went on to talk about the photo of the building. She said something like, “. . . with this building being in the backdrop of the Events Center and to have this photo of the pawn shop in this desolate setting is peculiar.” But hey, not to far off mark. It is pretty desolate out there.

Just what kind of development is happening around the Denny Dome? We have a bar sitting empty that has changed more hands then a 1992 Pontiac grand prix, the remains of an old hotel and a newly remodeled Rolling Pin (which looks nice, BTW). But other then that, not much happening (as promised to us in the Build it Now campaign). Heck, we haven’t even heard about a hotel, except for one the tax payers are going to subsidize at Elmwood. And what about all those shuttle rides from Downtown to events? Argus Leader reporter Joe Snevelmarvelous has a story coming out in the Sunday edition about the (lack of) development. As he said to me yesterday, “It’s good.”

Back to Captain Caribou. I think Badlands Pawn will be highly successful. Why? As I explained to Ms. Butterfly, we have two essential classes in Sioux Falls, the Rich and Wannabe Rich and the trailer park poor who will spend their last dollar on a pack of Camels and a used rifle. This is where the pawn shop steps in. Chuck knows his clientele, he has been making millions from them for years in Sioux Falls lending them money, he now can take it a step further and get them to spend that money at his heavy metal carnival center.

And Mayor Huether was worried about Royal River wanting to build a Casino here . . . geesh!

Mayor Huether’s ‘speculative’ appearance on SuFuStu

I was honored that the Mayor called me a ‘speculator’ on Stu’s show yesterday, right before he didn’t really answer the question I asked, but danced around it for about 5 minutes (he wouldn’t say if he would vote for or against a cell phone ban if it came back to the council and he had to break the tie) yet he did say he thinks the ordinance should be voted on by citizens via an initiative process (wouldn’t that mean you would vote no?) I guess I will have to go back to ‘speculating’. Maybe I will strike gold one of these days.

The mayor also absolutely refuses to release the Events Center ‘paneling’ settlement, saying that they are protecting the private businesses involved. More like protecting your ass. Mike went on a mini-rant about how nobody talks about the ‘paneling’ to him. Well Mike, if I was a speculator, which you think I am, there are probably two reasons people don’t talk to you about it. First off, you are probably lying about those interactions, or secondly, people know if they ask you about it, you will just lie about it anyway. But like I said, I am just ‘speculating’.

In one of his funnier moments (even though Stu said they wouldn’t have ‘word play’ in this episode) the mayor said the work he used to do marketing the nation’s worst and most predatory sub-prime credit card, as NON-PRIME lending. Huh?

And since Stu decided to skip word play, I thought I would ‘speculate’ what the mayor would say if they did do the game.

The truth?

I believe what I believe

Transparency?

Dark

Micro-Manage?

Getting things done

City Council?

Pointless