Entries Tagged 'Mayor Hubris' ↓

Sioux Falls Mayor proposes city flag design

The City of Sioux Falls ‘OFFICIAL’ Flag?

I’m sure you have seen it around town, especially hanging from downtown businesses store fronts, the tri-colored ‘unofficial’ flag of Sioux Falls. The city council and Mayor’s office has been pressured several times to make the flag the ‘official’ flag of the city, with NO luck.

The group pushing for the design had essentially gave up and just started selling the flag as the ‘unofficial’ flag of Sioux Falls.

Mayor Huether realizing there really hasn’t been a resolution on the issue put his staff at central and media services to work to come up with an ‘official design’. After they compiled about 10 different designs he shared it with directors, family and close friends.

This was ultimately the design the Mayor picked. It still has to go through city council approval.

Mayor Huether had this say about the new design.

“I think it reflects the passive, plain, artistic ignorance of the ruling class in our city while also representing the bare bones uneventful lives of the working class of our city. I have NO doubt our city council will pass this POSITIVE design, and if they don’t, I will just veto their NO votes. I think I can do that.”

The mayor has promised to get things done his last year in office, and here is yet another example of his leadership and vision if only this article wasn’t a big joke.

Shooting Holes in the Mayor’s argument against districting the parks board

My responses are in Italics. Funny how it only took me 10 minutes to shoot holes in the mayor’s opposition.

City Administration Does Not Support Districting Parks and Recreation Board Members

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Mayor Mike Huether and the City administration team do not support the proposal to require Parks and Recreation Board members to be appointed according to City Council district. Reasons include:

• The current process allows the City to select the most qualified or best of all of the applicants, based on such things as skills, knowledge, available time, and passion for the role. Anything less than the best applicant denigrates the quality of the board and the work they do on behalf of the entire city.

There are over 178,000 residents in Sioux Falls. This provides a sufficient number of candidates in each district with any or all of these qualifications.

• The Parks and Recreation Board members already represent a diverse selection of the city’s citizens. Board members, past and present, have different backgrounds, skill sets, ages, genders, home and work locations, employment histories, educational backgrounds, goals, and interests.

There are currently NO minorities that serve on the Parks Board, and I’m not sure if there ever have been any that have served.

• The Parks and Recreation Board role is to make decisions based on the City of Sioux Falls and the park system as a whole, versus a specific neighborhood or area of Sioux Falls. This proposal could create a “turf war” environment in our park system versus making the best decisions on behalf of the entire city, regardless of location.

Under Stehly’s proposal there would be At-Large members that would prevent this supposed ‘turf-war’. It would also force the districted members to work together to make the parks system more equal.

• History proves that park investments in Sioux Falls are made all across the city based on need and benefit, not on location. Every park, the entire bike trail, and other park amenities are maintained and improved regardless of location. One great example is the Midco® Aquatic Center, which was purposefully constructed in a centralized location for easy access to public transportation and other services.

Actually the Aquatic Center location has been proven to be a very poor choice due to traffic, parking and the lack of space needed for expansion, while being built on land deeded to the Federal Government. If Spellerberg Park would have had some kind of district representation some of these problems could have been avoided.

• South Dakota law, as also written into the board’s bylaws, clearly states that the Parks and Recreation Board only has an advisory role, providing recommendations to the Administration and City Council. The Parks and Recreation budget, fees, and contracts ultimately are considered and approved by the City Council. Considerable checks and balances are in place regarding the Parks and Recreation Board.

None of these things would change one iota under Stehly’s proposal.

• This proposal is a solution without a problem. There have been no instances provided or proven by the proponents where the existing policy was a deterrent to effective governing of Parks and Recreation in Sioux Falls.

And that is why NO current Parks Board member would lose their seats under Stehly’s proposal. This was never about the status quo, this is about moving forward in a growing diverse city, something called ‘progress’.

• What is broken? On the most recent citizen survey (January 2017), 89 percent of Sioux Falls residents rated the city’s parks positively, and 88 percent rated the overall quality of life in Sioux Falls as positive. Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). Less than 1 percent of agencies have earned this national accreditation.

So why not strive for 100%? Stehly’s proposal would only strengthen that satisfaction by having district representatives.

• The proposed ordinance sets a bad precedent. The City of Sioux Falls has 42 volunteer citizen boards and committees serving the entire city. Which volunteer committee will be negatively impacted next by the proposal?

This is about the Parks Board only, not OTHER boards because the parks are spread throughout all the districts of the city. A bad precedent would be sent by voting NO to this proposal and once again accepting a status quo that has lasted for 102 years.

• Filling City board vacancies is challenging enough today and this will be compounded if additional criteria are placed on appointments. Citizen boards and committee vacancies are heavily marketed, yet the City still struggles to find qualified people willing to serve. Remember, these are unpaid volunteers on the Parks and Recreation Board, along with the other committees and boards.

These appointments are hard to fill because they are picked by ONE person. If the city council was more involved maybe the makeup would be more diverse. Unfortunately the mayor chooses the members than asks the city council to rubber-stamp his decision based on no public testimony or interview process by the city council.

• The Parks and Recreation Board holds its meetings in various parks, community centers, and other park facilities across the city in an effort to encourage public input from the entire city and also to familiarize board members with the park system.

They hold these meeting during the work day and at the SAME TIME as the city council informational meetings which not only makes it difficult for citizens to attend but city councilors. Adding insult to injury the meetings ARE not video recorded or live streamed due to a VETO from the mayor.

• Board members do occasionally move while serving their terms. Reconsidering board positions each time a member moves to a new area of the community would not serve the board or the community in a productive fashion.

There is a provision in Stehly’s ordinance that would prevent these supposed problems.

DaCola Prediction; Huether will NOT run for higher office, yet

I have been saying if MMM doesn’t make an announcement by this week, he probably won’t run for higher office (governor).

I am NOT basing my prediction on any chatter I have heard. In fact I have heard NOTHING. I just think when it comes to campaign finances and organization he is really behind the 8-Ball at this point.

I also think he wants to help with the transition of a new mayor in Sioux Falls and hopes his candidate Entenman wins.

I’m not saying Huether will never run for anything again, but may sit it out for two years. I also think there is a lot of things he wants to get done before he leaves office in 9 months, and running a governor campaign could get in the way of those plans. Expect Mike to be hammering the legacy hammer hard until he leaves.

Huether’s Subsidy Rant; A Stinking, Steaming Pile of Hypocrisy

Yesterday the Mayor was on the B-N-B show crying about kids swimming for free and riding the city bus. Today on the show, Bad Neighbor Belfrage decided to take calls on it.

I’ve known for a long time the mayor is a gigantic hypocrite, especially when it comes to his faux Christian beliefs and fake crying and emotions.

Now with one foot out the door, he wants to cut subsidies, mostly to little things most of us don’t even think about, but apparently he loses sleep over.

Where were these cuts seven years ago when you rolled into office? You had a prime opportunity to stop the government waste, reduce or even eliminate the debt Munson created, rebuild the infrastructure from the ground up (this means the back streets in some of the middle income areas) and get ahead of the drug and crime wave. You did not. You pulled out the city’s credit card statement, saw you had a credit line from here to Jupiter and started spending like a stripper addicted to meth.

While the mayor seems concerned about programs that cost a couple grand a piece he doesn’t seem very concerned about all the corporate welfare in the city that hasn’t done the one thing we were promised it would; bring in living wage, high quality jobs. In fact the millions we have thrown at ‘job creation’ in Sioux Falls has been a total failure, except for Sanford bringing in a handful of east coast doctors that build pastel yellow mansions in McKennan Park (which are costing taxpayers in the courtroom to with a possible lawsuit against the city’s building services department).

I agree with him, it is not government’s job to teach kids how to sing in our parks, but his concern wreaks of hypocrisy when you think about;

$500K to a tennis center that provides little to no public access, not even to the parking lot

Millions to the Development Foundation for Want Ad Welfare to corporations

Tens of Millions to the Development Foundation for infrastructure to Flopdation Park for about 12 fork lift driver positions

A proposed $18 million dollar parking ramp to a private developer connected to a construction company whose horrible safety record caused the death of a worker.

A $25 million dollar administration building (to fix a $100K lease problem-that wasn’t a problem) that a majority of the council opposed and 6,500 petition signing citizens.

I could continue on about the probably over $100 million the mayor has WASTED subsidizing corporations and developers over the past seven years, but don’t we have more important things to worry about, like those darn poor kids cheating the system by getting to swim for free.

Give me a break!

Mayor Huether weighs in on the Garth shows

Mike was on his favorite softball throwing show, B-N-B this morning. Besides weighing in on Garth (we will get to that shortly) he got some other things out of his craw.

Besides saying he will cut subsidies to non-profits (still waiting for him to return the $500K from a tennis center he named after himself) he talked about the districting of the Parks Board.

He said that the current board is not broken. I think most would agree, that is why Stehly’s proposed legislation wouldn’t eliminate any of the current members, this is about moving forward in a growing diverse community.

He said while he understood we need laws and regulations he sometimes feels like there are ‘too many’ and he thinks this change is an unneeded regulation. So I guess when it comes to smoking outdoors, long grass, trimming the city trees, etc. those are worthwhile regulations? Why? Because they keep the minions inline, but when we want to regulate the ruling class, there seems to be too many rules. Admit it Mike, you love the status quo when it protects you and your ruling class, but when it comes to the peasants, RULES, RULES, RULES! Heck, your biggest fan, Joe Kirby was on the Good Ship Lalley Pop show yesterday bragging about how well the home rule charter (he helped create) is working and said Mike was doing a fabulous job as our city’s King.

Mike also weighed in on Garth Brooks.

Some say that I need to get over the EC being passed and deal with it. Oh, I have, but I also feel we can DO BETTER when it comes to the way the building is run, and it would take very minor adjustments to make the building more profitable and make access to affordable tickets to Sioux Falls citizens and others in the region.

Ironically, the mayor points out some of these simple solutions in his interview this morning.

He said he was ‘impressed’ with how Brooks handles his ticket sales, especially with the controls he has in place to make sure his fans get tickets without being gouged.

I would agree, so why doesn’t the mayor’s office and the city council pass ordinances to put those controls in place for all ticket sales? Many other municipalities across the country have done just that. It’s not like the Mayor and Council are not aware of the problems. Citizens have been begging since the place opened to put some regulations in place to make tickets more available locally without being subjected to ticket brokers outrageous prices. Sit down with Ticketmaster and the Brooks camp and ask them how they do it, and duplicate some of those procedures in Sioux Falls. Want to add something positive to your legacy before leaving office? Here is your opportunity.

Huether also made the claim that probably over half of the people who attend events at the EC are from out of town. The problem with this claim is that there is no statistical way to prove this claim. As I mentioned above, with the interference of ticket brokers, we have NO idea who is purchasing tickets locally. A ticket broker in Kansas City, for example could buy 20 tickets and turn around and sell those tickets to people all over the region including in Sioux Falls. If we put more controls on purchases we would know who is purchasing the tickets and if they are attending. We could also be promoting our own shows which not only would give us more control of ticket sales it would give the taxpayers a bigger cut of the profits. It’s not some new concept in Sioux Falls. The Pavilion promotes a ton of it’s own events and controls their ticket sales. Rumor has it, that the city gave a short term loan last year to the Pavilion to promote a kid’s musical that did five shows. It’s doable, we would just do it on a larger scale at the EC.

He also talked about the economic impact of Garth’s seven shows (and counting) which I don’t deny, but you also have to take into account that the EC will be closed for 3 months over the summer (A quarter of the year). How many sold out shows could we have had over that 3 month period? Seven? Ten? We will never know. IMO, we will just be playing catch-up with the Garth shows for the 3 months we were closed. The lights and full time staff still have to be paid whether the facility is being used or not, those operational costs have to be absorbed somewhere.

I hope the mayor listens to the replay of his interview today and really thinks about some of the POSITIVE changes we could make to the EC to make it truly a great and profitable facility (for the city NOT just SMG).

Heuther encourages the Council to help him vet possible public board members

Stehly says, Bring it on!

The city put out this press release today;

Mayor Mike Huether has announced a vacancy to the Public Parking Advisory Board (PPAB).

The PPAB is composed of seven members that are appointed for a five-year term by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council. Interested persons should have a strong commitment to public service and to downtown Sioux Falls

Recently the Mayor has asked the council to get more involved with the vetting process. Stehly responded to the press release today, sending this email to the media, the Mayor’s staff and city employees;

Good afternoon Julie (Wilson – Administrative Assistant to the Mayor).

I have a request. It would be helpful if you could include the names of the current board members when these vacancies come up. And  also if you could tell us the name/ names of the board member who is vacating the position.

I would also request that we see the names of all the applicants for the vacancy.

There has been community discussion lately about the City Council’s need to do more vetting of nominees before we vote them in. I would love to have more input into the selection process, similar to what was done for the Redistricting Commission. Knowing who is applying would be a first step in helping us to in make an informed decision for the citizens.

Again, I would be grateful for the names of the board members, the member not returning and the applicants for the position.

Thanks, Theresa Stehly

I have often thought the council should be more involved with these decisions. Sometimes they may have special knowledge of an applicant the mayor does not, whether that is positive or negative.

Big Announcement coming soon?

Cameraman Bruce weighs in

An open Note to Mayor Mike Huether

Nice try trying to snow us on a hot July day as the roads are blowing apart from your poor planning. The heat buckles caused by doing superficial street repair in an effort to save money for your precious play palaces. Many have warned you for years to reconsider wasting the second penny sales tax on bond payments.

The 6,500 who signed our petitions in 2016 were trying to warn you about wasting money on the Romantix Annex Administration Building because sales tax revenue was already faltering.

The arrogance of taking the refunded levee bond money and saying it was free cash to spend on a swimming pool so you could do a cannonball on our dreams of smoother roads.

You started out by deceitfully planning to be open about contracts and plans for Sioux Falls’ future. The Events Center is a case in point. We have been witness to your backroom deals and special arrangements to suck money out of Sioux Falls, never to be seen again. I can’t even imagine the millions that will be flying out the door with 6 sold out Garth shows.

What could Sioux Falls do with the $20 – $30 million per year now being spent on bond payments for your vanity projects?

Your vanity projects have cost many areas of Sioux Falls their future. As Rex Rolfing said at the recent Informational, projects have been moved to the 41st legislative day, effectively killing them.

What a legacy. Only you cast the deciding votes to create your vision of a boom town and as all boom towns go, there is a bust to follow. A new mayoral style coming not soon enough will be saddled with your poor decisions.

Billie Sutton’s Campaign

I’ve got friends in LOW PLACES called the Dem Party and their EX FACES in the executive office . . .

After all the Democratic party policy rejections by Billie Sutton over the years why would he run as a Democrat? The meetings I have been in where he has spoken he comes across as a west river hick who uses the FOX news Rush Limbaugh terminology at every stop. If you are claiming to be something, be it.

His decision to bring in Susie as his campaign pro is a sure sign of defeat.

Huether repeats the EC ‘Running in Black’ lie during Budget Address

Wouldn’t it be great if you wouldn’t have to consider your mortgage payment on your house as debt? Or affecting your monthly income by making that payment?

That is the philosophy of Mayor Huether when it comes to the Events Center. During the budget address he said the place was running in black ($4.5 million net operating profit), and went on to say the same about the Indoor Pool which operating almost even revenue/expenses.

He of course leaves out the mortgage payments on both facilities which are close to $10 million a year.

Nice try though Mike.

Huether agrees to transparency with data as he has one foot out the door

“I’m all for opening the books of the city, and I will make sure that happens, in May of 2018. Think of it as my parting gift.”

Well he has told us he is the ‘most transparent’ mayor ever, he just never mentioned it would happen as he was leaving;

As part of the What Works Cities initiative, Sioux Falls will improve open data practices to make public information more accessible and to engage residents around government priorities and services. The project will include creating an inventory of the City’s data resources; developing a plan for data governance; making data available to the public and City staff in a more useful and responsive way; and helping City staff to maximize the use of data in their daily work. The first area of municipal government to undergo the work will be neighborhood services, including code enforcement, with the goal of making the process replicable for other departments and divisions.

“Over the past seven years, we have worked hard to make Sioux Falls City government more productive and efficient, and this partnership will take us to even greater heights. We are proud to be selected as part of this initiative,” says Mayor Huether.

For the past 7 years the only thing Huether has been dedicated to is keeping government as closed as possible, so this 180 turn by him is laughable, especially since he only has 10 months left in his tenure.

Trust me, I support this 100% and think it is a fantastic program, we should have implemented it 20 years ago, but better late than never.