Here are some leading questions after the collapse;
• Will Downtown businesses be reimbursed for lost business by the construction company’s insurance? Most of these businesses are family owned, they don’t have a lot of buffer like national franchises especially during one of the busiest shopping times of the year.
• Will the city be reimbursed for the enormous cost of the rescue and security efforts? While most would argue this is part of paying taxes, sometimes those costs go above and beyond.
• What is the signifigance of the meeting on Monday between the city, OSHA, Hultgren and the families affected? Will they be talking about a private settlement?
• Since Legacy Development was one of the companies to bid on the future parking ramp, were they chosen? And if so, will the city pull the contract? Will the public ever be told? Do we have a right to know?
Who are the private investors in Legacy Development?
One of the biggest questions that has been boiling to the top all week – did any of the city councilors, county commissioners or even the Mayor have investments with Legacy, Hultgren or with the PAVE or Lewis project? And if so, isn’t this a conflict of interest, especially since the construction company has gotten quite a few ‘passes’ from the city’s planning/building services office? This speculation comes from the city’s decision to launch NO investigation of their own and a desire to not press charges unless OSHA finds serious fault. Think about it, Cameraman Bruce was arrested and taken to court over a stack of shingles and the possibility of a couple of mice, something the city called a health/public nuisance. Doesn’t it seem silly the city is worried about a couple of mice, but not that a man died in a construction accident? It just doesn’t add up.
I will tell you folks, this goes deeper, and I think some people with some serious connections are involved. Notice the rancor coming from the city lately about the media stirring the pot, they are trying to squelch the message and kill the messenger.
It will be interesting to see who is holding the bag when the smoke clears . . . it may just be one of the biggest scandals this city has ever seen, it will make the secret million dollar settlement on the EC look like vandalism under the 10th Street bridge.
As he was gloating over the ‘Ask the Mayor’ show Holsen produces and his great service of informing the public (because the local media does not) he mentioned that the Midco Aquatic Center will never operate in the black ‘Like the Events Center does.’
Give it up Mike. While the sponsorships and rental fees at the EC make SMG a profit and probably cover operating fees, the over $10 million in mortgage payments and normal maintenance is NOT covered by the profits of the Events Center, that comes out of our road funds. If anyone ran their business like we run the EC, they would be bankrupt in 6 months.
For seven years I have watched the mayor push ‘HIS’ agenda, using his city directors to implement legislation. It is NOT his job, it is the job of the city’s legislative body, the city council. The new council so far has been ‘mildy’ successful tamping out some of his ideas, and implementing their own. Youth bus rides for example, and their recent attempt to either sell or gift the old ice plex to the Glory House.
Councilor Theresa Stehly has been more rigid, maintaining throughout the ban’s debate she wouldn’t be supporting any added prohibitions on tobacco use.
“Smokers are taxpayers as well and I’m not going to support anything that is going to impose a fine on a tobacco user. I think our police have much more important matters to attend to than arresting a smoker,” she said. “And the public needs to be aware that this was initiated by bureaucrats in the health department – it did not come out of the City Council.”
The Mayor’s job, as the executive branch, is to run the day to day operations of the city, you know like, making sure building permits are issued correctly . . .
I hope the council votes this down, or at least eliminates the fine portion.
I guess I was a little surprised by the numbers being low at first, but then I started looking at the reality of the pool;
The pool was sold to us on a pack of lies from the beginning. Just go back and watch the advocational videos. I mildly believe in something called ‘Karma’ and I think when you sell something to people based on one lie after another, that karma will kick in.
The pool was built at a horrible location, lack of parking, poor access and no room for expansion. I suggested that city team up with Sanford and build it at the sports complex, or with the school district and build it at one of the high schools. I even think a location near the mall would have been better.
There was no public vote on the pool and it incurred debt. As much as the mayor says that is not true, it goes back to lying to the public. The mayor alone decided to build this pool. It wasn’t based on any study (only a site study) that there was a true need for the facility. As I have argued for years, there are tons of indoor pools in town, and a lot of them come with fitness centers. Is there really a need? Did the public truly support THIS PLAN or did they vote against the outdoor pool because they wanted to see options? We will never know, because the public never weighed in on an actual election.
The hours of operation are not reasonable. I think the pool should be opened later at night on the weekdays, closed on Mondays and opened longer on Saturday and Sundays, you know, when families actually spend time with each other.
When you build a facility based solely on the wants of one person, problems arise.
As for blaming the media . . .
It seems whenever the mayor gets caught standing in his own pile of BS he is quick to blame the media. Both Stormland TV and the AL did stories about the parent who was upset. It was newsworthy. This wasn’t just any parent, this was a parent who donated $10,000 of his own money towards a public facility. Why? Because he helped purchase equipment to assist in swim meets. He had a right to be pissed. The Parks Department could have easily told him that they plan on doing/scheduling swim meets after the first of the year once they evaluate numbers, but instead, as I understand the situation, he was totally ignored when asking about swim meets.
I was glad to see Joe Sneve calling mayor Huether out on his BS yesterday day with an online video.
Q: What are you most proud of as mayor of Sioux Falls?
A: It is all about confidence whether it be a sporting event, running a business or nonprofit or running a city. One of the things I’m incredibly proud of in Sioux Falls is our confidence level is as high as it’s ever been and we don’t believe there’s anything we can’t tackle as a city. We are kicking tail and getting things done in government in Sioux Falls.
Maybe he ought to hand some of that high level of confidence over to the SFPD so they can ‘tackle’ our out of control drug and violent crime problem. Or maybe he needs to hand some of that confidence over to employers so they can start paying living wages so that our food banks don’t keep growing.
How would I have answered that question? I would have said “Our Citizens, I’m most proud of our citizens.” But as Mike recently said in a meeting with other city officials, “We didn’t need them (citizens) to weigh in. We got it handled.”
Rumor has it that Mike recently dropped the ‘H’ word (House) when asked if he was running for governor. I guess he almost jumped out of his chair to point out he was interested in the seat. Now that he has maxed out our city’s credit card, I wonder when he will announce he is running for Congress or if all we will hear is ‘Aflac’!
After Noemless announced just minutes ago that she will run for governor, does this mean Mayor Huether will decide to run for congress? Not sure, but let’s setup the scenario. Though the 2018 race for governor won’t have an incumbent challenger, the Dems have had zero luck for almost 40 years taking that seat. Take also into account that Kristi is very, very, very popular. I am even guessing that Jackley will back out so Noem doesn’t have a Republican challenger in the primary, or some crazy weak teabagger. I also speculated days ago she would be running after Mark bowed out.
What is unfortunate is that Noem will spend the next two years running for governor instead of being a congress person, but that’s not all so bad. She can’t take her fortune from her congressional campaign purse to use for the governor’s race, so she will have to run from scratch;
Although she didn’t say it, Noem’s decision to run for governor was forced by a ballot issue that voters approved last week. Initiated Measure 22, which becomes law on Wednesday, contains a provision barring candidates for governor from collecting more than $4,000 a year from any person or political committee.
Once effective, the language would mean that Noem couldn’t transfer more than $4,000 from her congressional campaign account to an account for a governor’s run. Under current law, federal office holders can transfer all of their money into a state account.
For Noem, that would mean forfeiting a huge advantage: Prior to Tuesday’s election, her congressional campaign was reporting nearly $1.9 million in the bank, an amount that would make her a formidable candidate in the Republican primary.
UPDATE: Now let’s move to Mr. Huether. He is a determined man who likes to win, but like running for mayor instead of governor to begin with, he took the path of least resistance. Congress would be that path, maybe. I do know that there has been a strong desire for Dusty Johnson to throw his hat in the ring. A Johnson vs. Huether matchup would be interesting to watch, they have many similarities when it comes to campaigning. South Dakotans, while they lean pretty much right, they do elect moderate Democrats to Washington, Huether could easily sell himself that way with no incumbent to run against. Not to mention, he would love Washington. I have often contended that he really doesn’t like Sioux Falls because he has been so persistent to change it into other places like San Antonio.
If I was advising Huether I would recommend he run for congress instead of governor, but hey when you have a bucket list, you have a bucket list. But Noem would cream him.
I will say this though, no matter what he decides, don’t under estimate him, because that is when he bites you in the ass.
First, I will start by saying people who are upset about the election results to stop crying and get involved on a local level to make change. Change doesn’t come from the top, it starts locally.
I say this because the similarities between Trump and Huether are a bit startling when you start looking at it. Huether became our mayor almost 7 years ago on the promise to run the city like a business and to ‘get things done’. Sounds like a familiar stump speech by Trump.
So how has this business acumen attitude worked out for our city?
• Huether has grown our economy and population
• Huether has grown development (mostly thru annexation and urban sprawl)
• Huether has improved infrastructure and quality of life amenities.
But what has been the cost?
• By the time Huether leaves office, he will have bonded more then any previous mayor, even crushing Munson’s record. We will most likely be a half-billon in debt by the time he leaves office. His total credit card bill during his administration will be well over $200 million in 8 short years. To put that in perspective, when Hanson became mayor our city debt was $90 million, 23 years ago.
• The rapid growth has caused two major problems. Not enough jobs for medium skilled workers and violent crime increase. Huether himself has even blamed rapid growth on the crime increase, so you ask, ‘Why did you promote it, and what are you doing to fix it?’
• Corporate like salary increases for city management and crumbs to support staff.
• Transparency at an all time low. Secret development deals, secret settlements, secret firings, behind the scene bullying and intimidation, and the list goes on.
• Lack of a diversity coordinator. Two people have already stepped down from the position.
So if you think Huether’s business acumen has worked out for the city, you certainly won’t have a problem with how Trump will run our country.