Entries Tagged 'Kermit Staggers' ↓

The Erpenbach hits just keep coming . . .


Michelle (a Democrat) Erpenbach seems to be concerned about councilors serving as party precinct peeps (mainly because they are not serving in her respective party), she says it is a matter of ‘council ethics’.


But the city’s Board of Ethics has determined, along with City Attorney Dave Pfeifle, that while the courts have held that the exercise of sovereign power generally refers to someone serving in some legislative or policy-making capacity for a sovereign government, a precinct officer in a political party wouldn’t meet that definition.

So it doesn’t violate the letter of the city charter.

But there’s this Canon of Ethics created by the council that is meant to govern members’ conduct. Right now that canon says councilors have a civil responsibility to support good government by all ethical and legal means.

For Erpenbach, that means staying clear of any hint of political involvement.

“Our charter says we run as nonpartisan candidates,” she said. “When I go door to door, and people ask me if I’m Republican or Democrat, I tell them I am running for a nonpartisan seat.

“Now we’re having this discussion. I do not understand how you can be so active in your political party politics and still be nonpartisan.”

Where does that line ‘Hint’ at political party involvement? Basically what she is saying is that if you are a registered Democrat or Republican and you vote in your respective party’s primaries, you are practicing partisanship as a sitting council member. I know, laughable at best.

Erpenbach isn’t going to vote for it. “Our Canon of Ethics gets to the idea of service,” she said. “It’s really about citizens’ expectations about what they want from the people on the council. … and that is providing equal access to everyone.”

She ‘howls’ about partisanship and ethics but says nothing about the MONSTER conflict of interest Karsky has with the Chamber, and the ethics of him sitting as a board member that does mountains of business with the city. Let’s talk about the equal access of citizens and NON-Chamber members when it comes to councilor Karsky, that is a discussion I would LOVE to have.

Kermit of course blows off Michelle’s silliness, confessing it really isn’t a big deal;

“A precinct committee member, at least in the Republican Party, we don’t do a whole lot but go to conventions. We select people to run for constitutional offices. It’s a nice time,” he said.

Kermit, kind of sounds like your Republicans are ‘Rock’in It’!


American Dream Conference

Councilor Kermit L. Staggers gave a presentation on the conference that he attended in Denver, Colorado, in September. He shares a ton of great information about modern public transportation. The review focused on three key presentations. He was assisted by Elijah Byrd, his grandson, who was instrumental in preparing the presentation.

Wonder if the ‘Austin Texas Four’ (councilors) are going to do a presentation on their trip, where it required four of them to attend. I also don’t remember the council voting on authorizing that trip, or heck, even a mention of it.

Love all the questions they asked Kermit after his presentation. I guess it was so thorough, no questions were required :)

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Mayor Huether the Elephant

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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


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


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.