Entries Tagged 'Event Center' ↓

UPDATE: City Council MUST demand to see FINAL siding report FIRST

I’m thinking more and more with the recent acceptance of the administration to do a siding report that the Chamber was in cahoots with the mayor in recommending the council gets a report. It just seemed to ‘easy’ to me that the mayor would go along with it, and the Chamber was pushing for it.

Like I have already said, the mayor only agreed to this as long as he can have staff on the RFP committee (he can control). If I was the city council, I would request the final report be sent directly to Carnegie Hall and not City Hall, and after they review it in executive session, they share it with the Public at the exact same time as they share it with the mayor’s office.

If this report is reviewed by the mayor and his staff before the ENTIRE council sees it, I will struggle with trusting the contents of it. When hiring the firm, the council should DEMAND that all correspondence goes through them (preferably Jim David, NOT Tom Greco, who has shown his allegiance to the mayor’s office time and time again).

I would like just for once the city council and public getting the information first before the mayor’s team can water it down and LIE, LIE, LIE about the results.

UPDATE: HERE IS A COPY OF THE RFP: (DOC: Building-Enclosure-Consulting)

Mayor’s office agrees to study of Events Center siding

While I am happy this is happening and glad to see the mayor didn’t put up a big fight over it I am a little skeptical about parts of the process.

Public Works director Mark Cotter dropped this on the council at the 4 PM informational out of the blue and they want to get the ball rolling right away on the RFP. I get the feeling that the Administration agreed to this AS LONG as they could control the process, which is unfortunate. I think the council should lead the way on this and NOT the administration which F’ckd up the siding to begin with, then lied to us while blowing thousands on legal counsel. Sorry, anything moving forward with the EC from now on should not have the administration’s hands on it.

Rex once again decided to be a big Jerk to Stehly after she voiced her concern that the ENTIRE council would not be involved in the RFP. She also reminded the council that other stuff surrounding this settlement wasn’t just ‘noise’ (a couple of councilors felt everything but the siding study was just ‘noise’). Rex told Stehly that he was disappointed in her ‘Distrust’ of the administration. Thank God I was at home when he said that because I was laughing so hard I think I sharted. Gee, Rex, I guess the multiple LIES from City Hall on the settlement wasn’t enough for us to ‘distrust’ them. What a sad case of denial.

But there are some good things –

  • We are promised that this will be a complete study from an out-of-state firm.
  • Two councilors and a local contractor/citizen will be on the RFP committee.
  • It will be paid for out of the 2nd day fund from the EC.
  • The entire study will be made public.

The one POSITIVE thing about this is, as Rolfing ironically pointed out, this will put this to rest. This of course is if they pick a firm that will really dig in and have no conflicts with Mortenson or the city, which I think they will, because I believe they really do want this to go away.

My opinion though is it really won’t put it to rest, because I do believe there are moisture issues with the building that will have to be fixed. I guess we will have to wait for the experts opinion, oh, and make sure it is NOT a ‘Draft’ report this time.

A member of the Sioux Falls Millionaire club comes out to defend the mayor

It’s good to see the mayor still has a few millionaire friends in town willing to defend him and their club. Mr. Byrne, a man who made millions himself (and has seminars to tell other people how to make millions) Thinks a few million here and few million there lost is ‘worth the risk’;

We’ve been making some fuss about $1 million of the $118 million investment we made to build our great new entertainment venue. Whatever we might think about that $1 million we’re fussing about, perhaps many of us can agree the other $117 million was a great investment. Maybe many of us can also agree that $117 million out of $118 million isn’t bad.

A couple million doesn’t seem to mean much to Mr. Byrne, but tell that to the poor stiff in Sioux Falls who is working 3 jobs to support his family and never will get to see some clown in a cowboy hat perform at the Denty, because he can’t afford it, but every time he purchases something in this fine community, he is helping to pay the mortgage so you can be entertained (around $10 million a year + maintenance and operations). But let’s look past the million dollars for a moment (we actually only got about $336K after legal fees – which doesn’t include the secret amount spent in the legal fight against the Argus) and look at all the lies told to the public, that actually cost us more in the end. 

How can you defend such corruption while pretending a million dollars (of our money) isn’t a big deal? Maybe if it isn’t such a big deal, why don’t you give half that ($500K) to the Huether Tennis Center so the mayor can pay back the taxpayers, I mean, if a million isn’t anything to you Bill, what’s half that?

And in conclusion;

Thanks to Mayor Mike Huether, Councilor Jim Entenman, . . .

Yes, please continue to mention these two as the dynamic duo attached at the hip who allowed this fiasco take place and continue to play the denial game. Diamond Jim as our next mayor would look no different than the current administration, except for moving city hall to Mexico for an entire month in Winter.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert posts timeline of siding issue on FB

As I pointed out on Thursday, it seems they new for a long time that the siding was not a good idea, but installed it anyway. Greg puts out a great time line of the events leading up to the settlement. (DOC: Events Center Timeline)

From Greg:

One of the biggest questions out of the Events Center metal panels issue is – what happened? I’m not sure we will ever know completely. However to try to add some clarity I have created a timeline of events. This timeline is based solely on public records and no inside knowledge or privileged information. As noted in the document it is believed to be accurate but some facts are not independently verified in other words there was only one source such as a statement by one of the players in a press release. All supporting source documents are publicly available. I think it answers some questions but it certainly raises more. In the end I don’t think it’s about beating people up or Monday morning quarter backing for the sake of second guessing, it’s about trying to learn from any mistakes so we can avoid them on the next big project.

UPDATE: Greg will be a guest on Patrick Lalley’s show on Monday, at 4:15. Oct 16, KSOO AM 1000.

UPDATE: Uh . . . Thanks for the Documents? I think?

It only took 3 years and a Supreme Court decision and now the city has decided to release (some) of the Events Center building documentation. (click on Item 4A, and you will see the PDF DOCS on the lower right hand side of your screen).

The obvious reason we WANT to see the siding report is that it may or may not tell us if we will need to do maintenance to the siding in the near future. Attorney invoices from 3 years ago don’t help much. Just saying.

UPDATE: I had a chance to review most of the documents. Besides the fact we spent thousands of dollars on outside legal counsel, there was something that stuck out, over and over. That in a moment.

I will say this first, while I can be uber-critical and cynical of local government, there is a part of me that understands that public officials (either elected or appointed) don’t always make the right decision. Most of the time that is for two reasons; 1) They didn’t get the proper information or did not seek it out before making the decision OR 2) it has to do with their political philosophies. While those two are not totally inexcusable, they are within reason. Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, we all tell a lie from time to time, but we try to LEARN from our missteps.

But what stuck out on the siding settlement and the attached documents is that in the dozens of pages of memos and letters between all parties involved (contractors, city employees, architects, manufacturers, legal teams, etc.) they all had a repetitive theme in their correspondence; APPLYING THIS SIDING IS NOT A RECOMMENDED OR GOOD IDEA. But for some reason at the end of the day, they did it anyway.

Why? Well that seems to be the Million dollar question. Like I said, most mistakes by public officials are excusable, but it is baffling to me with all the warnings that anyone would approve this siding job. Somebody was following orders, and someone was giving them. Can anyone say “Code Red”.

Big Savings!!!

Rex Rolfing questions Events Center siding, May 27, 2014

Here is the first time the rippling siding is mentioned by Rolfing at a city council informational meeting. (FF: 24:00). Notice the answer from Mortenson if it is an ‘Issue’. The rep says, “I’m not saying that.”

Sioux Falls Chamber supports the release of Events Center siding report

Like most of the city council and most citizens, the Chamber thinks it is a good idea to release that report;

One final issue that lingers is whether the siding, as it exists, is doing its job and protecting the building as it should. While city professionals noted that there are no structural threats to the building, the Council is asking for confirmation from an external source. We would like to see the administration provide the requested confirmation to put the issue of structural integrity to rest. It appears the Council will continue this discussion at a future date.

While I agree the report should be released, I’m afraid that it probably wasn’t a ‘complete’ report that really shines a light on what is truly going on with the siding. As I have told people in the past, I could care less what the building looks like, it is what it is, my primary concern is whether the siding is ‘weather proof’ enough that the holes and open seams in the siding are not causing damage underneath.

I think to be proactive in future maintenance of the building the council should request their OWN report from an outside source that has no connections with Mortenson or other sub contractors who worked on the project. And even if that report costs up to $60K, it is still worth the ounce of prevention. If there are issues, we can budget for the maintenance in the future. Transparency, at least this time, will save taxpayers money.

I know that Rex Rolfing and Mayor Huether think that nobody is ‘talking about it’ but I would beg to differ. Denial is a tragic thing.

Ask the Mayor . . . What is wrong with the Siding

During the latest episode of ‘Watch the Mayor Lie’ (notice all the flies around him. What are flies attracted to?) he gave his newest version of the siding settlement. While discussing the issue the video flips to shots of the events center siding (I assumed shot by citylink) (see below).

Notice the water stains already starting to accumulate under the siding. Not sure if this is from water flowing over the top of it, or seeping out of the bottom. I just found it interesting that these are the (unflattering) shots they decided to show of the siding.

Administration’s Presentation on siding settlement ironically full of holes

You can watch the replay and read the presentation HERE. (FF to Aprox 29:00)

I won’t go into a lot of detail since it was a very long meeting, but there was something NEW that came from the discussion.

The city attorney said that due to state statute they don’t HAVE to release the forensic report about the siding, BUT they can as pointed out by councilor Starr. The administration refuses to release the report and told the council to take Public Works Director Mark Cotter’s word for it that it is structurally sound.

When councilor Neitzert asked about the ‘corroding edges’ email in the below invoice for the report work, NO ONE from the administration would comment on what that meant.

This worries me.

There may be a followup meeting to digest all that was said today. I think moving forward the council should use some of the money leftover in the building fund (around $3 million) to conduct their own independent study on the structural integrity of the siding and put this to rest once and for all.