Entries Tagged 'Mayor Almost Done' ↓

Did Mayor Huether, Finance Director Turbak and the City violate state law?

As I mentioned yesterday, the city put this press release out rebuffing TenHaken’s 100 day strategy. Since this press release came from the city, is it a violation of state law?;

Universal Citation: SD Codified L § 12-27-20 (through 2012)

12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 20.

The city cleverly will point to the last sentence;

presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question

But is a ‘CANDIDATE’ the same as a ‘BALLOT QUESTION’? I think not. I hope someone holds the mayor accountable for once.

Ironically, TenHaken accepting donations from minors is within the letter of the law;

The children, ranging from ages 6 to 15, each contributed the maximum yearly contribution of $1,000. McDonald, who created the medical software company in downtown Sioux Falls in 2000, also gave the maximum amount.

Those contributions don’t break any laws, city officials said, but they do point to the way savvy supporters can lend a little extra help to political candidates, especially if the kids are on board.

“They’re technically not signers on the account, but there (were) six separate checks with a memo with their name on it to keep it clear,” McDonald said.

But is it ethical?

Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University, said contribution limits are intended to limit the influence a single individual can have on candidates and elections. But when someone is politically savvy and invested in a candidate, they’ll almost always find a way around those limits.

“For better or worse, that’s the idea,” he said. “So when people are using children, there’s a possibility that people are avoiding the intention of the law – even if it’s not technically illegal.”

Yeah, Savvy. LOL.

Does building growth matter?

Notice in this new video of MMM where he is trying to reinforce his legacy, he mentions the city’s record 5 year building permit growth.

First off, I have often questioned the actual records being broke. Between 25-40% of the those building permits were from public projects (that we have to pay for, maintain and don’t collect taxes on) or Non-Profit projects (that we don’t collect taxes on) and than there are the number of projects in the private sector that receive TIF’s, tax abatements, other discounts and millions in new infrastructure and upgrades paid for by taxpayers. In fact, all this growth is costing us dearly in these new infrastructure upgrades, and if you don’t believe me, look at your property tax bill and assessment from 2013 and compare it to today.

Some records are fine NOT being broken.

Here is the City Council meeting from Tuesday, 4/17/2018

We don’t need another ‘salesperson’ for mayor

There is a lot of people running for mayor this time around. And a lot of them are trying to ‘sell’ us their ideas. We don’t need another ‘salesperson’ for mayor.

Besides the backroom deals, the private investments with developers and the total lack of transparency and honesty from 8 years of Huether, ever notice he was always trying to ‘sell’ us something. If it wasn’t the Events Center it was an indoor pool, if it wasn’t the administration building it was the RR redevelopment, and in his final hoorah he sold us a parking ramp that costs double of what it should, doesn’t provide enough parking and puts us in cahoots with someone that is facing civil and Federal charges.

ENOUGH!

With all the debt he piled up with these purchases he cleverly tried paying down some of it with increased fees and taxes and sneaky ‘enterprise’ accounts. From May of 2010 – August of 2017 the administration initiated and the council passed over 50 fee and tax increases.

Now that we have a housing shortage, contractors will tell you that one of the biggest hurdles to providing more housing (even those that can afford it) is regulations. In the same time period above the mayor and council passed over 70 new code ordinances.

And what about the debt? Also in this same period there was 50 supplemental appropriations passed (extra budgeting) and 15 revenue bonds.

Our next mayor needs to stop selling us stuff because it is costing us dearly. It is actually hurting growth, mostly in sales tax revenue. People don’t buy things when they are immersed in personal debt and high taxes and fees.

Our next mayor needs to hold the brakes on spending, increasing taxes and fees, and passing more regulations (we actually need to work on eliminating some). We need to get back to providing reliable public services at an affordable rate. The monument building needs to put on hold, and we need to focus on the most important thing in our city – IT’s PEOPLE!

Mayor Huether Got ‘SH*T’ Done

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. During his last hour long ‘Ask the Mayor’ they did a tour of his office, on one of the shelves was this book next to a couple drink tumblers. They never commented on the book.

But one of the more astonishing moments was when Reed asked Mike if there was any disappointments during his term, or things he didn’t get done. He said he could only think of one, but said he tried to fix it, and that was Public Transit. Really?!

I wasn’t expecting him to throw himself under the bus, but you couldn’t think of ANYTHING ELSE?! Nothing!?

While I could comment on a host of things in his final propaganda show, the one thing that sticks out is he never really mentions that being an elected official is really about SERVING the PUBLIC. You will notice it was all about HIM and GETTING THINGS DONE. I’m glad he will go back to ‘Being Fun Again’ for his daughter.

40 days left folks. 40 days!

Wonder what is up Mike’s sleeve now? (H/T – BW)

He reactivated his FB and Twitter account today. I also heard he has put applications in at several places for a new job. Rumor has it one of them was with USD for President. That’s all we need, one of our public universities ran by a subprime credit card salesman.

UPDATE: Brekke – Government Secrecy Press Conference

UPDATE: I guess my initial takeaway is that this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I think people are getting so used to the games with transparency it just seems par for the course.

I think the biggest thing here is the confidentiality EO. As Janet pointed out words like ‘sensitive’ don’t really mean anything, and can be interpreted however. For example, if a maintenance employee told the Argus that the city spent $2 million dollars last year on toilet paper, and the mayor found out who told them, they technically could tell this employee that it was ‘sensitive’ information and terminate them. Basically a scare tactic to keep city employees from saying anything. While these kind of ‘rules’ exist in the corporate world, they have NO place in city government. Records should be open (besides litigation and personnel). City employees should not have to fear losing their job over it.

There is also a question of violating Federal whistle blower laws. Since the city receives Federal funds, those laws apply to city employees. City employees should have the right, Federally to report any misuse of Federal money or fraud. Federal Law almost always trumps state and local laws and ordinances.

As for the city clerk, I will say what I said when they hired Mr. Greco. They should not have hired him. The clerks office has two certified city clerks, one of them applied for the job after Lorie quit, she should have gotten it, instead, the HR department, controlled by the mayor not city council, picked someone with no certification, Greco wasn’t even registered to vote. We could go back and forth all we want about the lack of certification, the truth is, it should have never been an issue. Some would say that we would have lost one of the assistant clerks. Oh well, I think one main clerk and an assistant is enough. I would even go further and say we also should terminate the budget analyst since nobody knows what he really does, besides openly mocking councilors during public meetings like he did last Tuesday. Any duties he has could be easily handled by the Operations Manager. After they fired Debra it seems the office has gone to Hell in a handbasket, we had to hire 3 people to replace her, and they have less duties, and they take orders from the mayor.

It is also important to note that the city clerk is the responsibility of the city council, not the administration. He could have been sent to certification school on day one if they wanted to send him. I will be curious to hear what his excuse is, I’m sure it is some obscure rule pulled from the rear of Bill TheToole, the HR Director.

Another day of secrecy, what’s new?

You can the replay here;

Transcript and Index of Press Conference; Brekke-PC-transcript, Brekke-PC-Index

Below is a copy of the Executive Order by Mayor Huether on employee confidentiality. Signed in February of 2016;

These documents show the stripping the city clerk of the duties of official city record keeping; Clerk-Record-Keeping

These documents show samples of executive orders by the mayor; Example-Exec-Orders

These documents show an index of where executive orders are now stored; Exec-Order-Index

Entenman, “Mayor Huether wants to be King.”

I about spit out my green tea this morning while I was watching the replay of DT Rotary Mayoral Debate from yesterday when Entenman said this during the debate. (You can find the debate by going to Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary FB page).

In all fairness Jim read a statement about how he will NOT be like Huether, is NOT a placeholder for Huether in 4 years and WILL NOT hire him as chief of staff, then later saying because Mike “Wants to be King.” The crowd erupted in laughter.

The funny part about the ‘rumors’ that I have posted about here didn’t come from my ass, they came from the horse’s mouth, or at least one of the show ponies. I heard about the placeholder/COS probability from someone who is actually helping Entenman with his campaign.

Depending on what place Jim comes in, that ranking won’t be the affect of some rumor, it will be the affect of either an affective or ineffective campaign team. According to the ‘King’ he is still popular with the voters, and I would think that association with him would help Jim.

GAG ORDER

Another interesting moment in the Rotary debate was when candidate Mike Gunn said that the mayor has put a ‘Gag Order’ on all city employees. I’m not sure if this is true, but let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me. I am also not sure how that would even work? Executive order? And if that is even legal by state law standards. I would like to hear more about this, hopefully Gunn will be sharing the details.

SAFETY REPORT DENIED

I had a couple of people call me last night up in arms over the latest cover up by city hall;

Sioux Falls city officials are declining to release a copy of a 2016 safety audit of Falls Park, saying it belongs to the city’s insurance company.

First off, like the Gag Order revelation, does this surprise us? This guy will do anything to cover up information, and now that Fiddle-Faddle paddled his way over the Public Assurance Alliance, good luck getting any information out of them, even though both the city and the PAA are taxpayer funded.

My guess is that there were recommendations in the report the city didn’t follow thru with. Just like the rumor I heard that either the EPA or the State DENR told the city to put up a sign at Falls Park warning people about the high levels of E-Coli in the water, and did not.

Hold tight folks, this nightmare is soon coming to an end.

Mayor Chickensh*t gets mad about a mayoral candidate trying to fix something he should have

I just want to let Greg Belfrage know that he should sell all that precious chicken manure that was dispersed in his studio this morning, it makes fantastic fertilizer.

Hizzoner has been on his departing tour now for what seems like eternity, this morning he came on the B-N-B show and couldn’t resist to continue to talk about how he is the greatest mayor ever and how none of the candidates know what they are talking about.

He of course has been using these opportunities to go after Greg Jamison (without saying his name). While I wish the mayor would stay out of the race completely, if he is going to throw certain candidates under the bus at least have the balls to say their name instead of calling them Candidate #1 or whatever.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

Ironically, the issue he railed about that Jamison brought up, quiet zones for train traffic through town, is something our mayor SHOULD HAVE negotiated with BNSF when we handed them $27 million of Federal taxdollars. That apparently did not occur to MMM when he had to make his secret middle of the night chartered flight to Minneapolis.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

‘Ask the Delusional Mayor’ Second to last episode

If the Mayor’s latest episode is any insight of his last episode, it ought to be good.

In his latest softball game with Reed Holsen, he spends half the show talking about how great the Denty is. Ironically they filmed in the nosebleed seats and not outside by the beautiful siding job.

Than he goes into fictional story time about how crime is down in Sioux Falls in 2017 from 2016 (yes, he really says that!). While most crimes were down from the year before, there were many more incident calls, murders were up by 4, simple assaults were up and Narcotic Cases jumped by 200. So just the violent and drug crimes were up, so no worries. He also brings up the fact he is the most transparent Mayor there has ever been. He even goes as far to say that the reason he doesn’t seem transparent is because a ‘certain’ media source (than without saying their name) says newspaper, doesn’t have the space and time to give the whole story, but he reassures us he gives them all the information. He must have forgotten about the SD Supreme Court ruling and the secret settlement.

Than, once again, informs the future mayor and councilors on what their separate duties are. While he gets the explanation correct, he certainly did not follow his own instructions. He said that some people on the council want to act like they are mayor. NOT TRUE. They are tired of their mayor acting like he is a policy maker, but ironically his rubberstamp council for 8 years allowed him to do just that.

The last episode ought to be good. I’m predicting he will anoint himself as King.

Mayor Bimbo, “Nobody knows who is running for mayor.”

He goes on to say on the B-N-B show that most people probably think he is running for a 3rd term and don’t know he can’t. He basically accuses the mayoral candidates of not getting their message out there.

While I will agree with Mike partially that voter turnout will be low again, I think he is sadly mistaken about messaging. I think the normal municipal voter turnout will be there on election day and have been listening. In fact when I attended the YPN mayoral forum, it was the largest crowd I have ever seen at a mayoral forum.

Ironically, one of the main reasons why nobody knows about the municipal election is because the city refuses to do a PSA either on CityLink or in a water bill insert. There are many things to discuss; absentee voting, precincts, voter registration, dates of election and run-off, who is running, etc, etc. While we will be spending well over $100K on both elections we are spending zilch on promoting the election. Go Figure. Heck, why don’t we just skip the election and give the money to the Huether Tennis Center?

Besides the fact that he is in a state of denial that he is finished on May 15 and a new person is taken over, he continues to think the RR redevelopment project was one of the best projects he negotiated. LMFAO! Burlington Northern certainly got what they wanted. They sold $62 a square foot dirty land to Federal taxpayers, they continue to run the trains through the same area, more frequently, and still store and switch cars only a couple of blocks from the redevelopment land. They literally got their cake and ate it too. We got hosed! Big time! You can’t even build housing in the area, because the first time a train whistle blows some stinky rich empty nester will be crying to the SFPD about the noise. I would have been extremely embarrassed to have negotiated such a deal. But that is what happens folks when you do these kind of deals in the dark of the night. If that plan would have been negotiated in the public I guarantee the train traffic would be moving differently. Probably one of MMM’s biggest failures of his administration (but that list is pretty long).

STILL TAKING CREDIT FOR REVITALIZING DOWNTOWN

While Mike deserves some credit for revitalizing downtown in his past 8 years, that train left the station in the early 1990’s, I know, because I was working downtown. Than the downtown folks put a boot up Munson’s butt and it really started moving. The mayor claimed on the show this morning that downtown in 2009 was a ‘ghost town’. Puhleezze! as I have told people, Munson dropped the snowball at the top of the hill and Huether is now standing at the bottom of the hill claiming he created the snow boulder. All Mike did (with mostly action by the city council) was continue the progress that was already set in motion.

While they were discussing that matter the mayor referenced transforming DT into a place where you can Live, Work & Play. A caller reminded the mayor that ‘HE’ doesn’t live that way. That was hilarious. The mayor lives in a very sleepy neighborhood over by Paisley Park and has a lake home on a swamp nobody else has a house on.

He was also asked about the noise levels downtown in reference to having entertainment facilities mixed in with residential in reference to the ICON / Jones building kerfuffle. He said there are some issues that need to be ‘worked on’. In other words, next mayor’s problem that our city’s building department does whatever they want. Don’t believe me? Here’s a short list; Events Center buckling siding, Copper Lounge collapse, McKennan Park Monster House, etc, etc.