Entries Tagged 'Mayor Hubris' ↓

The city clerk’s ‘Double Standard’ when it comes to financial disclosures

This is what Huether submitted for his financial disclosure. City Clerk approved it saying it was ‘unintentional’ that he did not file everything. Heck, he doesn’t even list his mayoral salary.

huththt

 

This is what council candidate Bonita Schwan filed from the advice of city clerk Lorie Hogstad (Doc:  bonita-schwan_SFI)

It’s been known for a long time that city clerk, Lorie Hogstad, singled out Bonita Schwan in misleading her on her financial disclosure. Instead of just telling Bonita she could be ‘vague’ and ‘general’ in her disclosure, she asked for a detailed report. I won’t speculate why this was done, I could have a million reasons, but read the email transcripts for yourself (starting with the earliest);

From: Bonita Schwan
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:37 AM
To: Hogstad, Lorie
Subject: Re: City Council Meeting Calendar

Good Morning Lorie it is Bonita Schwan.  I was reviewing the forms in my Election Packet this weekend and had a question regarding the Statement of Financial Interest Candidate for Public Office form.  My question is specifically in regards to question number seven (on page 1) and the definition of “Nature of your association”(page 2, 3.) and “Close economic interest” (page 2, 4.(2)) and “Enterprise” (page 2,4.(3)).  For example, do I need to list municipal bond income that I received in 2013 from St.Paul Minnesota that is in excess of $2,000?  Thank you for your help
Lorie.  Bonita Schwan.

E-Mail Dated 1/29/14

Hi Bonita – My apologies for the delay in responding to your question. The answer to your question would be yes, that you would need to report the municipal bond income.  Please let me know if I can furnish any additional information.

Sincerely, Lorie Hogstad, CMC

So why wasn’t this important piece of information given to all of the other candidates? Why is it that Bonita was the only candidate that needed to be ‘unintentional’ in her disclosure?

This shows us a couple of different things. Huether plays by his own rules and the city clerk and city attorney allow him to do so. It also shows that the clerk’s office lacks consistency on implementing the rules. But they also don’t know how to write a simple ballot correctly, go figure.

I want to see a copy of his Birth Certificate also

obamamike

I love this picture of Huether in DC as a delegate, his wife is happy to be front and center, but where is the State’s #1 Democrat hanging out? In the back row, hiding his T-Shirt. Good stuff.

image001

Is the mayor or his wife investing in ANOTHER development recommended by the planning commission and planning department

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Only one week from a municipal election and the mayor suspiciously steps out on Item#35 (FF: 1:18) without explanation;

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY PLAN OF PINEWOOD ADDITION.

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD:

That the preliminary plan of Pinewood Addition to the City of Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, SD, is hereby approved, and the City Clerk of the City of Sioux Falls is hereby directed to endorse on such plan a copy of this resolution and certify the same thereon.

Date adopted:

Mayor __________________

ATTEST:

City Clerk________________

Notice that the mayor is required to sign this document. Will he? That all depends if he is investing in this development. Even after many in the media, his mayoral opponent and many people in the public have said they prefer the mayor and his wife DO NOT invest in developments that have to be approved by his staff members, the council and planning commission.

He is hard of hearing I guess.

Since he didn’t explain why he stepped out on the vote and discussion, I guess we will have to see if this document gets signed before the election, and if so, by who?

Citizens for Integrity ‘Ethics complaint’ against the Mayor’s State of the city address thrown out due to frivolousness

 

citizens-for-integrity

Actually it was thrown out because the ethics board and the city attorney that advises them are appointed by the mayor, but why get into semantics?

Since I was the closest thing to a journalist covering this meeting (maybe some AL person was in a closet), here is my rendition of events (hopefully Mr. Danielson will chime in).

It all occurred today at the old city council chambers at city hall at 4 PM. Basically, Mr. Danielson filed an ethics complaint a few days ago that the mayor was in violation for using the State of the City address as a campaign stump speech.

The meeting started with a decision whether or not to have the meeting in open or in executive session. I will commend the Ethics Board for their ONLY good decision today, they decided to leave it in the open (probably since there was no media there).

Reasons they considered throwing out the complaint;

• Danielson filed the complaint one minute after the address started.

• Other mayors have had the address before an election (Munson) which inferred precedent.

• It is against ordinance to submit a press release to the media about an ethics complaint you have filed.

While the ethics commission mulled over all of the reasons, they ultimately threw out the complaint because of #1. Which is bogus, because part of the reason the complaint was issued was because of the timing of the address (which we will get into) not just the content (which we predicted would be a stump political speech, and it was).

Bruce made his case as to why this was a political speech, and not an address. The commission tried to defend the timing of the address, and said past mayors have done the same thing before an election (Munson) but this was not about Munson. While this discussion was going on, I pulled those minutes that were provided to the public before the meeting started. I noticed that in the first 3 years of Huether’s reign that he did his addresses in mid April and May, not in March, I quickly walked up to Bruce and handed him the evidence.

The commission didn’t have much to say about this except that the Mayor has full discretion as to when he wants to make the address.

Then we went into the Power Point presentation that the mayor used during his address. A city employee witness testified that it was common to use a PP during one of these addresses, and he was correct. Then the commission argued that nothing in the address was anymore then typical ‘happenings’ in the city. One of the members (Gregory LaFollette) even said that anything elected officials do is political (I guess he doesn’t understand the difference between ‘political’ and ‘campaigning’).

At this point, a motion had already been made, and Bruce’s testimony was over, so I asked Bruce to request public testimony. They approved his request.

I approached the bench and informed the commission that an address by either a mayor, governor or president not only talks about achievements but states where we can improve. I said besides road construction nothing in the PP presentation talked about improvements in our community (I referenced crime, hungry school kids and low wages). I told them it was a blatant ‘Stump Speech’ specifically timed before an election because of the lack of mentioning ‘improvements’ to our community and the several slides that included the mayor’s rosy opinions about this town.

They had no choice but to throw out the complaint based on the timing of Bruce’s complaint (which as I said above, really doesn’t matter, because the timing of the Mayor’s address is the real reason for the complaint, not just the content).

It ended as I suspected. And I laughed. Another predictable day in SF city politics.

The Events Center will operate in the Black? Oh really?

The mayor has been tooting his horn lately that the EC will operate in the black, he even mentioned it in his State of the City address yesterday.

Do I believe him?

I don’t think it is far-fetched, I think if we have enough private sponsorships subsidizing the operating costs, it is possible. But how much truth is in the word ‘black’. The Pavilion has tooted this horn in the past (without mentioning there entertainment tax subsidy and building maintenance CIP subsidy).

The same goes for the EC. While the EC may have their operating costs covered and probably even some bonuses for the facility manager, what about the bond payment taxpayers will be responsible for each year?

I think if there are any surpluses (profits) at the EC it should go directly towards the bond payment. DIRECTLY.

See, because if the EC does well and operates in the black, the facility manager will wallow in the financial bonuses BUT if it comes up short it will expect the taxpayers to bail it out.

So the mayor can talk ‘black’ all he wants, taxpayers will still have to pay the mortgage each year for the next 30 years (around $180 million) no matter how successful the operations are.

Mr. Ethical, Props and all

Huether with sign

Two things. Most of the year it is too cold to walk anywhere, and when it is warm, it is the only option for the working poor.

City Hall at 9th and Main was a bit empty at 1:30pm Wednesday. The City Attorney’s office was pretty quiet also. Where were they? Try Carnegie Townhall, the mayor was giving a political speech on the City’s dime and time, again. I walked into the Council Chamber and hizonor was giving his standard campaign stump speech with a room full of city employees in attendance. I wonder how much money wasted on this political event? Wait, it’s tax money being wasted, yours and mine. On top of this, the city’s website was being used. Channel 16 CityLink was also being utilized. This looks a lot like a major waste of taxpayer money being used to help hizonor have some publicity for his campaign.

It is an amazing process for the average citizen to file an ethics complaint in the City of Sioux Falls. Try and find a brave attorney to assist you in the research, then the filing. I have a great deal of respect for many attorneys and always will. It takes a great deal of patience and persistence to find code close to what is needed to make officials stop, then take notice, then correct their course. We have been attempting to help City Hall and the annexes personnel understand limits instilled in the US Constitution, State of South Dakota Constitution and the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter.

This city government constantly rules by loophole. We have had to stand back and watch this action for too long. The Mayor’s Learning & Listening sessions are filled with his political views until he is reminded not to be political during city sponsored events. Since I prepared this complaint, word is reaching me, a double, super-secret, buried in the basement floor, under the rug in the back corner rule was broken in this submission process. We are trying to make changes to the way this government is operated and it is time to make them accountable.

If this complaint is rejected because we did not do all the steps exactly right, I guess we will have to keep trying until we do get it right. You know come to think of it, there are so many ethics issues we are uncovering with the current administration, each will need to be ranked in descending order of importance. This has been a great lesson in City Charter rules and lack thereof. With this new found knowledge, it looks like we could keep the city attorney’s office quite busy. Oh wait, a few of these might require outside legal counsel.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT: Citizens for Integrity Press Release 2014-03-26.pdf – Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended

Press Release • March 26, 2014 • Bruce Danielson, Citizens for Integrity

Today I have filed on behalf of Citizens for Integrity an ethics complaint based on:

Sioux Falls Code § 38.021 EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO INFLUENCE ELECTION OUTCOME PROHIBITED

Established Sioux Falls Code, South Dakota law, Administrative rules, Executive Orders and customs have restricted the use of Sioux Falls City resources to enhance a political campaign. Mayor Mike Huether today is violating these long standing guidelines.

From the city website:  < http://www.siouxfalls.org/central-services/multimedia-support/citylink/programs/regular-programs/ask-the-mayor.aspx >

According to City policy (Executive Order 12-24), candidates for any elective public office are not eligible to appear on CityLink for 90 days prior to the next municipal election (April 8, 2014). This City policy ensures candidates do not use public funds for their own personal promotion. The policy states that candidates may appear on CityLink “if the appearance of the candidate is incidental to presentation of the subject matter or in coverage of official City meetings such as City Council or Council Informational Meetings.” These types of incidental appearances also may include events like news conferences and ribbon cuttings.

After January 7, 2014:

  • The “Mayor’s Listening and Learning Sessions” will continue to be held at various locations across the city but will not be recorded or televised on CityLink.
  • “Ask the Mayor” programs will not be recorded or televised on CityLink.
  • “Inside Town Hall” will continue to be recorded and televised but will not include candidates for any elective public office.

Today we once again have our Mayor abusing his office for personal gain. The circumventing the established nonpolitical

“If people believe it, is it still a lie?”

Wright1stFlight

Not only did Huether bring lower air fares to Sioux Falls, I heard he is a direct decendent of the Wright Brothers.

Oh, KELO, how you make us chuckle, with your funny weather gadgets and your cozy relationships with the mayor, T. Denny and anybody else that is ‘Sanfordish’. A blantant 3 minute info-commercial for the Mayor and the Airport, even after Ellis wrote an article (based on factual information from Airport Board minutes) to prove that Huether is blatantly lying about his role in getting lower airfares in Sioux Falls;

When he was elected in 2010, Mayor Mike Huether said one of his top priorities was to bring down the price of airfare out of Sioux Falls.

Four years later, that’s happened, for some destinations.

The airline business has changed considerably since Mayor Mike Huether took office calling for lower fares.

And that is about all he did. The airport and it’s board are ultimately responsible for the success of lower fares, but if Huether wants to take credit by making a couple of phone calls, and KELO airs it, hook, line and sinker, so be it. Welcome to another propaganda filled election cycle in Sioux Falls, where elections are won by the highest bidder. Unless you are De Knudson . . . ouch.

Can Huether fill Janklow’s shoes?

Unknown

South Dakota’s original A-Hole politician

Scathing. I told a person this afternoon that I haven’t read a column like this in the Argus since Randell Beck wrote the Dan Scott parody (and they had to settle out of court on that one).

Amazingly, while I have known Mr. Ellis for several years, we don’t exactly ‘hang’ but I was surprised by some of the same observations we have, this one particularly got my gander up;

He isn’t the first politician in South Dakota to exercise politics with brute force. Another guy was Bill Janklow. They come from different backgrounds, but they share similar governing styles. Get in their way, and you’re going to be a victim of blunt force.

It’s something I have coined as the ‘Janklow Complex’ I often tell people that Huether possesses it. It’s this notion that it is okay to treat 50% of the public like dirt as an elected official as long as you are charitable to the other 50%.

It’s the policy of a person weak at heart. Someone who must justify their bad behavior by being good to others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect. But this isn’t about me, it is about those asked to serve the public.

Don’t believe this most obvious comparison? Take Huether’s financial interests in local development, then think Janklow. Isn’t it amazing how a person (Billy Bob Janks) who worked in public service most of his life became a millionaire? In SOUTH DAKOTA!

Wow. Huether is 2 for 2 in the last couple of days being compared to corrupt Republican politicians. First Mundt, now Janklow.

But let’s get on to the finer points of the article;

It took a little more than a year for Huether to lead a successful effort to build a $115 million events center. It took the council just as long or longer to decide how many chickens residents should be allowed to own.

I busted out laughing on this one, just yesterday at the Listening and Learning session I told people in attendance that our city council was more concerned about chickens then barking dogs, and it took them a year to figure out how many we can own. To which Huether agreed, saying, “That’s true.”

I would not be surprised to one day see a picture of Huether screaming at street crews at a construction site to move a pile of dirt,

Just to note, there is a video floating around of Huether dropping F-Bombs at a street crew on 6th street. Trust me, Detroit Lewis has tried to obtain this elusive video, but no success yet. but I hear it competes with the original South Park movie, except no one is screwing any uncles.

So now our city clerk is the judge of what is ‘intentional’ or ‘unintentional’?

reviseagain8

The city clerk’s new decision making aid

Curious story in the AL today about campaign finance disclosures;

City Clerk Lorie Hogstad said there’s no penalty for errors in the disclosure form as long as they’re not intentional. Candidates can file updates that are placed online alongside the originals, Hogstad said by email.

So Lorie, please explain how you know if it is intentional or not? Did you use a magic 8-Ball? So you are telling me, let’s take the mayor for example, that a man who marketed a subprime credit card doesn’t understand disclosures? There are pages and pages of disclosures on those applications. He clearly understands them, and not listing his revenue was very INTENTIONAL.

Now let’s compare him to a candidate who did file their disclosures;

State law requires all candidates to disclose any enterprise that provided at least $2,000 in income or more than 10 percent of their family income during the past year.

On one end of that spectrum, Schwan included a three-page list of 57 different individual municipal bonds she owns. On the other end is Huether, who listed general categories of investments: “mutual funds, stocks, bonds, investment property, ethanol, municipal bonds, money markets, annuities, IRAs.” In each of those, Huether said he is a “common shareholder” with no “advisory, consulting or voting role.”

Schwan asked Hogstad for guidance and was told she should list each bond. Gathering all that took several days.

“I wanted to make sure I was in complete compliance with the statement of financial interest,” Schwan said.

I know for a fact that Schwan’s question about what to disclose was probably brought before the city attorney. So why wasn’t this same advice granted to Huether, the city attorney’s boss? And if it was, why did it differ from what Schwan was told. Apparently if you ‘Play Stupid’ you don’t have to comply with the rules. Ignorance of the law is not excuse, and I am sure any judge in this county would agree with me.

I will give Schwan props for following the rules and for having the common sense to know ignorance, or pretend ignorance is no excuse. The mayor, not so much.

Laugh of the day, Huether gets accused of acting like Karl Mundt

At the Shut up and Listen session today, a rather rambunctious older gentleman got quite upset with the mayor accusing him of not answering direct questions. At one point the man put his hand to his ear and said “ANSWER THE QUESTION!” Then he says, “You remind me of Karl Mundt, just spinning your wheels.” I laughed out loud. If there is one thing a SD Democrat does not want is to be compared to, it is Karl Mundt, one of the most corrupt and controversial senators SD has ever had.

I also intervened and suggested to the crowd they should vote NO on Shape Places so the council has a chance to fix it. I also told the mayor that comparing the EC and Indoor Pool expense to taxpayers to the bike trail isn’t an ‘Apples to Apples’ comparison, because one is FREE and one you have to pay an admission to and to remember that when voting. I also questioned him about the RR relocation and this supposed ‘Quiet Zone’ an audience member said he questioned Erpenbach about it, and her idea is to have the trains stop using their whistles DT and instead have gates that come down when trains pass over roads. While I understand her idea, I ask, “Who is going to pay for that?”

The mayor also went on a Drake Springs bashing tirade, and talked about how an indoor pool should have been built there (even though the aquatic consultant said that there is ground water issues at the site and would not be a good spot for an indoor pool). Most of the tirade was about how by voting for that site was bad because of the poor design of the existing pool. Well guess what Mike, talk to your Parks Department about that, because while I attended a public meeting about input for what the residents wanted, the city went and built what they wanted to without listening to the residents. They wanted a lap pool and never got it. Ask Stehly, she has said several times she had ZERO input on that facility and was never contacted by the city. Hopefully if Spellerberg wins, and they get another outdoor pool, the public will be able to suggest an appropriate pool for the area. I still like the natural filtration pool.

I will also have to give props to Commissioner Gerald Beniga, who runs Active Generations, where the event took place. He was watching from the front desk, and a question about the county safe house came up. The mayor asked if he would like to comment and Gerald said, “I’ll pass.”