Entries Tagged 'Mayor Hubris' ↓

Sioux Falls Mayor Huether and crew blew a lot of smoke over the past week

Forget about the straight winds pelting us with snow today. The smoke flying from city administration buildings is a whole lot harmful.

Yesterday during the SF city council informational meeting, during the indoor pool update, councilor Erpenbach pre-arranged a little theater with the admin’s staff. She had to get her gripe in about Cameraman Bruce (without using his name) talking about secret change orders and costing more money for the lobby. Michelle is probably partially correct. While the entire project may not go up in cost, certainly money was diverted from other parts of the facility to put the luxurious fireplace in the expanded lobby. But where the theater gets good is when Michelle has an exchange with the project manager, Kendra, about change orders. Michelle asks is anyone can see the change orders, and Kendra says they can, they just need to request them from her.

It’s the normal Huether bait and switch, tell you one thing in public, do the opposite when the rubber hits the road. We will see if requests are responded to.

But let’s go back to last Thursday when the old steam engine Huether was huffing and puffing about 2015’s TOP TEN WINS & SINS. Towards the end of his blustering, he couldn’t resist to mention that the city has won ALL of the court cases against the SON neighborhood in reference to the zoning and building of the Southside Walmart. He wasn’t lying, they have won them all, no thanks to a bias judge and the mayor pulling a surprise colonoscopy the day he was supposed to testify in court. In fact, his testimony would have been the lynchpin of SON’s case, but apparently his hemorrhoids were acting up so badly he had to setup (demand) and emergency procedure, in which I heard the only thing they found was a ‘perfect asshole’.

What Huether is not mentioning (which technically isn’t lying) is that the case has been appealed to the SD Supreme Court. Not sure how the high court will rule, but the city has a really bad track record when it comes to winning there. Really bad. So I wouldn’t be pulling a GW Bush ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner out just yet.

I have no doubt if the SC rules against the city and Walmart, the store will remain. I think the bigger repercussions will be against the city. If the mayor thinks he had a butt emergency a few months ago, he will quickly learn what a real pain in the ass feels like.

 

Huether’s Hypocrisy of Audits

After listening to Mike’s temper tantrums this week, especially about monitoring these numbers like a hawk, and the lies from his finance office, his hypocrisy is beginning to show.

His comments yesterday about audits and the CVB Bid tax weren’t even close to reality. He wants to audit a $2.9 million dollar tax so he can get a million of it for what? Cheerleading & Dart tournaments?

This is were his hypocrisy kicks in. He wants to audit such a minute amount of money (that is apparently working as it should) but hasn’t let the public see any expenses or audits when it comes to the Events Center. Finance Director Tracy Turbak even admitted on Tuesday that he doesn’t even know if he has change order files but knows what the subcontractors were paid, maybe. How is that? You don’t know what the change orders are, and you have no idea how much money Mortenson made, but he can get you that information, as long as the Argus wasn’t suing for it.

I agree with you Mayor Huether, let’s audit the CVB, and let’s release that audit the same day as the EC building expense and siding settlement audits get released. We could throw one big audit party. I’ll drive the black Mariah.
But all this audit and tax talk has also got me thinking about the mayor’s possible opposition to the car rental fees for the development foundation. While we may both agree on this, I have a feeling the Mayor opposes it for two reasons. First off because he wants it all for the city and secondly he was pretty much left out of the negotiations when it came to Foundation Park and the GOED. As the rumor goes, “Foundation Park is moving forward in spite of Mayor Huether”.

Seems there is a lot of things that are moving forward these days ‘in spite’ of Mayor Huether

Mayor Huether says ‘The Status Quo is our Nemesis’ when it comes to the bid tax

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“Just a few things the mayor wants to spend hotel tax on.”

As I have often said, if the Status Quo is working, you don’t need to fix it. In some bizarro world where Huether lives he seems to think people are mis-spending money if he can’t have it. Makes you wonder how bad of financial shape the city is in if he needs to get his hands on a portion of the $2.9 million.

Thumbs up to Mayor Huether!

choose-lose

What are we going to lose? I’m confused.

Towards the end of the council meeting tonight (not where councilor Rolfing talks about doing homework, you have gone to far) the mayor shuts down public input on a 1st reading by a private citizen on the car rental fee increase (ironically a citizen that used to own a private airport in town).

It quickly gets pushed to a 2nd reading. But before that, the mayor points out that the rules don’t allow those from the public to make a pitch for or against an agenda item during the 1st reading. He is right. Yet, Rolfing claims that is allowable because others came forward during public input, in which Mayor Huether once again reminds Rolfing that is within the rules because it is within public input, not agenda input.

You can speak about anything during public input. You cannot, however, speak about specific first readings at the time of the first reading, only at the second.

You would think Hat Hater would know the rules, how embarrassing he had to be reminded of the rules by chief rule breaker himself. I think my head exploded.

That wasn’t the highlight of the day though, Finance Director Turbak was on the SuFu show today shooting out one lie after another, telling Stu and Lalley that they could see what the subcontractors of the EC got paid, but didn’t have record of change orders or how many subcontractors were under Mortenson. So we get to see a partial list? When asked about receiving a public pay check and supporting secrecy in finances, Turbak suddenly became silent, and reminded the Argus they were suing him, so he couldn’t talk. But the best was towards the end of the show when he said he was unfamiliar with South DaCola. Might as well end the show with a final lie . . . pop, pop, pop, pop!

The real fireworks though were at that Council Meeting public input, where the public ripped into the councilors and administration about the lack of transparency. Erpenbach responded by saying they were hurtful and Rolfing read off a piece of paper at the end of the meeting about his son who died in the line of duty.

Godspeed.

As I have told others, Freedom is free, speak out! Guns don’t preserve our society, liberty and free speech does.

Not sure who is turning into former city councilor De Knudson sooner, Erpenbach or Rolfing?

Sioux Falls has Jobs! (Part-time with no benefits)

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Let’s see who answers the city’s latest help wanted ad. There seems to be a sense of panic at 9th & Main the wrong type of people are interested or no one is interested in joining the Sioux Falls City Council.

We crashed the this city press conference uninvited because the administration has decided our readers and viewers don’t deserve to be properly notified of press conferences. So we show up anyway on January 12. 2016 thinking, why not?

We still need more candidates for northeast and southwest districts to express an interest in our process of reining in the abuses of this administration.

UPDATE: Is Mayor Huether using his ‘business acumen’ to hand out corporate like raises and salaries to his favorite directors?

Update: Here are the parts in the city charter that refer to pay discretion and directors, seems the mayor has a lot of control over the ‘salary steps’pay-discretion

Earlier in the year I was able to acquire the salary records for all of the city employees since 2010. All of my data comes from the city website either directly or indirectly. I possessed data for 2014-2015, while another South DaCola foot soldier who frequently downloads city information had the other records, and one of the years was supplied to me by a city official.

I was also able to get the information verified. When I provided it to a local news agency, they of course wanted to double check the information so they asked for the same data from the city finance office. We compared the files they provided and they matchup. There was some debate from the finance office that the information I acquired may be inaccurate because the city uses a different kind of accounting system now then what they used in 2010. This of course doesn’t change what people are being paid by any means, as was proven when we cross referenced the files.

As you will see by the list below of the closest directors, managers and assistants to the mayor, it’s good to keep a little brown on your nose if you want a little extra green in your wallet. While, I by no means, am opposed to raises for public employees, in no way do I think they deserve raises that are four times the COLA. In the private sector, especially in Sioux Falls, you would be hard pressed to see increases like these, especially when you take into account the kind of pension and benefits plan these public employees receive on top of their pay. There is also the argument of retention and lack of bonus pay for public employees.

Some say these large increases come from promotions or achieving goals, while that is a great argument in the private sector, I question if that should be the case in the public sector. Many of these managers DID not receive any promotions over the 4-5 year period and hold the same position. And most of the managers that did get a change, it usually was in name (title) only, essentially their job did not really change. It seems to me that employees are being rewarded for doing the mayor’s bidding (he signs off on the wage increases and salaries) instead of the work they are doing, or for that matter NOT DOING.

Take SIRE for instance. It was broken before Mayor Huether even took office, and with a new appointment in Central Services, and 5 years later, it still doesn’t work. It reminds me of what a former city employee said to me about the forestry manager a couple of weeks ago when we were discussing Project Trim, He said, “He works 80 hours a week trying to get out of work.”

Three managers, that you WILL not see listed below, Mike Cooper (Director of Planning), Jeff Schmitt and Kevin Smith received very small COLA like raises over the past 5 years. In fact, Kevin Smith quit this past year. You have to question why someone like Mike was only receiving small 2% raises while his peers were receiving large 10-12% every other year? What’s that saying about playing the reindeer games? Mike Cooper has been under a lot of pressure this past year due to his internal zoning and the Walmart hearings. He recently spent $30K for a study of a neighborhood that the neighborhood did not ask for. I will let you speculate whether or not Huether was rewarding his good soldiers with significant wage increases for doing his bidding or for performance, or a combination of both. Either way, the numbers don’t lie, a city management job looks like a pretty good gig, if you don’t mind the smell.

What is even more troubling is that you will not find these kind of salary increases in the hourly employees over the past five years. Those stayed stable at 2-3% a year, in fact in the SFPD several officers received NO increase in some years. Notice in the list below you will find NO ONE from the SFPD listed, not even the former chief of police, with one exception, the city attorney who is charge of advising them, KEITH ALLENSTEIN.

Here’s a chart showing the hourly rate increases over the same time period;

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DOCUMENT OF 25 DIRECTORSCORPORATE-SALARIES-CITY

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Mayor Huether treats ‘Compassion’ like he treats ‘Transparency’. Do as I say, not as I do.

After I got off the floor from laughing, I was better able to evaluate this press release;

“Sioux Falls is made up of diverse backgrounds, abilities, economic status, and beliefs, and all of us deserve to live in a compassionate community,” says Mayor Mike Huether. “Our citizens regularly demonstrate compassion by sharing their time, talent and treasure, but even more can be done.”

This coming from a guy who preyed on the poor and financially inept, selling them credit cards they could never pay off.

Becoming a compassionate city will encourage Sioux Falls residents to work together to alleviate the problems of inequality and disrespectful behavior, which will end fear and ignorance that creates distrust and division.

You want to know what creates distrust and division? A city government that is not only neither transparent with it’s citizens, but with it’s councilors and employees. A police department that can’t be forthright about when officers screw up. A mayor who continually lies about the process with the backing of a city attorney, who should be looking out for the best interest of the citizens and protecting the city charter and US constitution, not the mayor’s lies.

Oh, but the ‘compassionate’ advice keeps a coming;

• Connect with individuals, organizations, and local government.

Yes, and when you get to involved, you are labeled as a ‘gadfly’ and told you are ‘tiresome’. Another ‘feel good’ initiative like the ‘Sioux Falls Has Jobs’ campaign that doesn’t really solve the issues at hand.

Should the Sioux Falls City Council ask for an update on the Huether Match Pointe?

It’s been over 6 months since the indoor tennis center has opened, a place that has received $500,000.00 in tax dollars (not sure for what) and tried to get CVB monies for marketing. Isn’t it time the director of the facility, the mayor or his wife give us and update on how many people have used the facility, how many members are enrolled and if the place is in the black? I firmly believe if the place is flailing we should ask for our $500,000.00 back and use it on something else like para transit.

As you can see from the initial Argus story on the facility, it was pretty pie in the sky;

A consultant hired by the Sioux Falls Tennis Association has recommended charging $22 per hour to play at the seven-court Community Indoor Tennis Center. To be guaranteed court time, players would have to sign up for memberships that cost $30 a month per person or $50 for families; nonmembers would pay $10 per visit in addition to the court rental and could not reserve permanent court time.

As you can see from their current rate sheet, they are not quite meeting ALL of the fee goals;

Courts are available for rent on a daily basis, at a rate of $5/person/hour.

Five types of patron membership exist:

  • Junior – An individual between the ages of 3 and 18; $20/month

  • Senior – An individual 62 years of age & older; $20/month

  • Individual – An individual 19 years of age & older; $30/month

  • Dual – Two committed adults living at the same address OR a parent & one dependent child through the age of 24; $40/month

  • Family – All members of one household including all dependent children through the age of 24; $50/month

As you continue reading though, you will see they tack on the extra fees as if you were getting a subprime credit card. Wonder where they cooked up those ideas?

I urge the city council to ask for a presentation on the status of the facility, and to also ask if other attendees can use their parking lot when they don’t have tournaments going on.

Mayor Mike’s Photo Bomb Page

sweet-treats

Imagine that, Mike with his hands in the cookie jar.

We gave him his own photo album page on the city website. More tax dollars being spent on his upcoming campaign for higher office. Keep it classy cookie monster.

Strange Bedfellows? Only if you are not a Packers fan.

Here we go again, another fun South DaCola conspiracy theory.

So a few weeks ago a foot soldier and I are having a convo about the sudden investigative reporting by Angie Stormland, and how peculiar it was.

Why all of a sudden she (they) were so concerned about government conspiracy when they have more important things to report, like a sprinkle and a rainbow in Yankton Trail Park?

Then we started thinking about how Stormland’s media owner totally ignored my complaints about the station’s GM going on a Green Bay Packer’s game trip with our mayor. They still have not responded.

So the question was thrown out there, “Is Stormland and Angie suddenly concerned about (Republican) corruption in the state (referring to Gear Up) because a certain mayor may or may not be running for governor who just happens to be a Democrat?”

Not sure, but for the record, he is just as if not more corrupt then any bottom feeder in Pierre.

All that aside, it gets even more interesting, especially with this question posed to me today from a foot soldier;

It would be great if Angela Kenneke would ask Kyle what year he audited the books for Mid Dakota. The poor guy would fill his pants (with crap)”.

So who is this Kyle dude, I will let Cory explain (partially);

Schoenfish and Company of Parkston (which employs Rep. Kyle Schoenfish, R-19/Scotland) audited Mid-Central’s FY2014 operations and found material weaknesses but no compliance issues. The report noted that “Errors and omissions were noted in the annual financial statements prepared by cooperative officials. This is the eighth consecutive audit in which similar deficiencies have occurred.”

See, Kyle is Mayor Huether’s favorite nephew, who he has donated to when he ran  as a Dem and a Republican. No Biggee. Make your own assumptions.

But isn’t it interesting that Angie isn’t running in her high heels down the main street of Parkston trying to get an interview with a key player in this investigation who just happens to be the favorite nephew of mayor Huether who may or may not be running for governor and is besty Packer Fan buddies with the GM of Stormland News?

My head hurts.