Entries Tagged 'Kermit Staggers' ↓

Sioux Falls Apathy Council

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Mr. Danielson’s case is NOT the only one. Several citizens have been coming out after the verdict on Friday that they are also being ‘criminally’ charged for violations. So now we have a code enforcement department that is treating people who have things ON THERE OWN PROPERTY like common criminals instead just civil code violators.

The mayor’s bullying at SF City Council meetings

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Let’s just say for now, I am done talking about the indoor pool. To tell you the truth, I was never to concerned about the pool itself as I was about the process. I think the process was handled horribly, before the election and right up until the council vote to approve the facility, and that’s what I want to talk about.

This wasn’t the first time that certain councilors and the mayor have bullied other councilors at meetings. It doesn’t matter what the agenda item or topic is, I feel that there should be a thorough discussion on EVERY agenda item. Let’s face it, the council makes some pretty important decisions about our money, they should do their jobs as our city’s legislature and study each expenditure very carefully.

What does this mean? It means that sometimes a lot of questions need to be asked, and that means there are NO time limits on this questioning. I have never found anywhere in the city charter that says the council has to finish their meetings at a certain time. They are certainly entitled to a recess if they are running long, or they can also defer agenda items to a later meeting, but this current trend of limiting public testimony and even limiting questions a councilor can ask has to end (I think the longest council meeting I watched was over 4 hours long).

Let’s take Tuesday night’s meeting as an example. It wasn’t the first time the Mayor cut off councilor Staggers and called a vote, it was even worse because councilor Rolfing leaned over to Kermit’s direction and said, “You have talked enough.” And as Staggers was trying to talk and being bullied by the mayor, the city clerk, DeniseTucker continued the roll call vote before anything was resolved between the mayor and Staggers.

First off, Denise fails to know who she works for, she is council staff, not the mayor’s. She should have suspended the roll call until Huether and Staggers resolved the testimony issue. Secondly, the meetings are called ‘City Council meetings’, not ‘The Mayor’s city meeting’. These meetings are legislative sessions for the council. The mayor is a part of that body, but he is only there to break ties. Besides being obviously rude and disrespectful to his fellow elected officials, the mayor is negligent in allowing the council to perform their respective duties when he bullies and censors them.

The irony of all this is that the council will spend hours each year scolding and publicly embarrassing business owners over failing alcohol compliance stings (something that doesn’t affect the city budget that much, and is mandated by the State) but when they are spending almost $20 million of our tax dollars, suddenly there must be a limit on the time it can be discussed.

Does councilor Staggers carry on sometime? Sure. Is he repetitive in his questioning? Sometimes. But I didn’t feel he had did either of these things Tuesday night. This was an important vote, it needed to be vetted fully. If I were in his shoes Tuesday night, I would have walked out on the vote, and not came back to the meeting until the mayor gave him a public apology. I was also disappointed in the council for allowing the mayor do this to him. Not one single councilor defended him.

I think there is no hope for the mayor. He is used to being the school yard bully at his previous job so he continues to do it as mayor. The NEW council needs to seriously look at changing the city charter/ordinance so that the mayor is not running these meetings anymore. He can sit in the audience in case he needs to break a tie or testify to a specific item, but he shouldn’t be running these meetings like a dictator.

Am I happy we are building an indoor public pool. Not really, but the community wants it, so it was inevitable that it would get approved. But the process that was used by the mayor and some city directors and councilors was abhorrent and possibly against state election laws.

If I was an indoor pool supporter, I would be embarrassed of how this pool got approved. Very embarrassed.

Look’s like councilor Erpenbach and Rolfing’s hissy fits were over nothing

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Remember when Michelle & Rolfing threw a fit because they didn’t want councilor Staggers to go to a convention on the councils dime?

Well Kermit explained his trip to the council at Tuesday’s informational (FF: 22:36) Instead of attending a right-wing cluster, he actually learned about sustainable development, affordable housing, public transit, affordable personal transportation and the Feds role in all of it.

The only thing Rex and Michelle were ‘suspicious’ of is that Kermit actually attended something productive. Can’t wait to hear Rolfing’s report on the League of Cities conference. We’ll see how ‘productive’ that was.

Guest on ‘Inside Town Hall’

I was Councilor Staggers guest for the first segment of ‘Inside Town Hall’ for the May edition. We talked about the upcoming vote on snowgates, how they work, and the petition drive. Stehly was supposed to do the show, but had a conflicting appointment.

It should start airing on CityLink on Monday or Tuesday. Not sure when it will be online.

Just for clarification

I will admit, I was blindsided a little bit ago. During the LIVE meeting of the SF City Council informational meeting, councilor Staggers questioned why he could not access certain ‘blogs’ on his city computer. He iterated that it was perfectly acceptable for the administration to block certain sites from city employees. And I agree. While I would love it that people read my blog, I would prefer they DID NOT do it on the taxpayers dime. However, he brought up the topic of ‘research’ and they should be able to access it for that. He also reminded the ADMINISTRATION they are welcome to block their employee’s internet access, but they have NO RIGHT to block elected officials. And he is right.

I will also say this. Kermit and I had a splendid convo today about tonight’s city council meeting’s agenda. He never once brought up blocking blogs. (We were not in cahoots on this) Like I said before, people will still read my site. They will just have to do it with their morning coffee at the breakfast table or with their end of the day night cap.

I think they referred to my sites as ‘MSN’ and ‘Hotmail’, LOL!

Is this what city hall has become?

Darrin Smith seemed to be on the lam a bit about naming rights & the Events Center

Councilor Staggers grilled Darrin about the groundbreaking deadline and how it is nearing (FF 44:00). He asked if a contract has been signed yet on naming rights. Darrin told him he hopes to have one before the groundbreaking ceremony. Darrin also said to just ‘trust him’ because basically everything is being handled just fine by him.

I am wondering why the council has not been let in on these negotiations? At least before the public knows. We are a month away from groundbreaking and SOME councilors don’t have a clue who is being considered. This is uncalled for, especially for an administration that calls itself ‘open’ and ‘transparent’ and has launched a Facebook page (8 people as of today ‘LIKE’ the events center).

Huether basically backs up Darrin by saying negotiations are taking a long time because they want the best value for the citizens. I would agree about the value, but I think these negotiations could go a lot better if there was more transparency. The mayor seemed uncertain about whether or not a naming contract would be singed before August 30 but they were shooting for it.

Oh, boy.

 

BE WARNED: Water Rate Increases (By SF City Councilor Kermit Staggers)

Beware citizens of Sioux Falls with the final reading of a proposed ordinance at this Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Sioux Falls Water Department wishes to increase water rates by 3% in 2013 and another 3% in 2014.  Presented as bargain-basement rate increases in comparison to previous years of double-digit increases, these rate increases are justified as necessary to pay off the Water Department’s debt in a shorter time frame.  These rate increases are actually part of a larger Department strategy to continue a policy of sustainability in which consumers get less water while at the same time paying more for the water.  Wrapped in the cloak of conservation, the Department portrays itself as taking the moral high ground while at the same time the Department allows water to be wasted by going down the river system to the Gulf of Mexico to be mingled with salt water.

During the 1990s the Water Department operated under a different, pro-consumer philosophy of processing a lot of water for a cheap price for consumers, but since that time the Department has instituted an anti-consumer policy of sustainability by charging higher prices for less water.  This is quite evident in the fact that with the additional water coming from the Lewis and Clark pipeline in a few weeks and increased production capability of the water plant, the Water Department will reduce the amount of water processed from the city’s traditional water sources instead of producing more water to be sold at lower prices

Because of the abundance of water available to the city because of the Lewis and Clark pipeline, it is foolish for the Water Department to continue its anti-consumer policy of selling expensive water when additional water is readily available. By returning to a pro-consumer policy of the past, the Water Department would be imitating successful businesses in the private sector that make large profits by selling products and services to consumers at cheap prices.  The Water Department could actually make more money by reducing the price of water instead of increasing the price.  In terms of real conservation, the salty Gulf of Mexico would have less of our precious fresh water.

(While I agree with Kermit on the issue of supply and demand, I also think that SF water consumers should be awarded for conservation, currently they are not – DL).

Stehly’s letter about councilors Staggers, Jamison & Anderson.

This is an awesome letter;

Recently, four City Council members were sworn into office for four-year terms at Carnegie Town Hall.

Three of these council members, Kermit Staggers, Kenny Anderson and Greg Jamison, have several years of experience serving the citizens in this political capacity. I personally have found all three of these men to be responsive, caring and full of integrity. This is a refreshing reassurance in a time when many politicians are motivated by big business and personal gain.

What is exciting about these men is that they have a proven track record of standing up for fiscal responsibility, and courageous decision-making. Staggers, Anderson and Jamison stood strong to defend the reputation of our city clerk, Debra Owen. Jamison and Anderson were some of the first members on the council to apologize to the public when the council was found guilty for breaking the open meetings law this spring.

I believe these men have a desire to develop public trust in government and to keep the political process open and honest. They want to do what is best for all the citizens of Sioux Falls. We are blessed to have this kind of quality on our City Council.

I invite the public to tune into channel 16 on Tuesday nights at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to view for yourselves our government in action.

As we progress onward with our newly elected officials, stay in touch and informed. This city belongs to all citizens, and we need to stay connected.

Theresa Stehly

Sioux Falls

 

The ‘Real’ drama comes from the mayor

Had to chuckle after watching this interview on KSFY last night. Towards the end of the Staggers/Huether interview, Mike says he doesn’t like ‘Drama’;

“I am not a big fan of gamesmanship. I don’t like posturing. I don’t like the politics, you know, if you’re just going to grandstand, that is not good.” Mayor Huether says he is not a political bully and is always open to discussing differences with council members, he says Kermit Staggers will be no exception.
But Huether makes it clear; he expects Staggers to work for the city and to work with him…not against him…and that he does not want drama at Carnegie Town Hall. “Lets leave the grand standing and the politics to Washington DC. You see what those folks are doing out there and you see the anxiety and the stress that its caused the people of our state and our country. Lets leave that crap out there in DC. We have stuff we want to get done in our town.”

You mean, like crying in front of the cameras? Is that the kind of ‘Drama’ you are talking about? Let’s talk about crap, there should be a boot scrape outside your office so people can clean their shoes when they leave.