Entries Tagged 'Mayor Hubris' ↓

Where was Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether on Meth crime during the last mayoral campaign?

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He was silent and blew off competitor Greg Jamison that violent crime was rising in Sioux Falls. In fact he got the now Corvette convertible driving retired police chief Barthel to agree with him.

He said it wasn’t an issue.

It was an issue. Mike ignored it, but now all of sudden with a Wednesday hearing on petition drives is looming, Mike wants to change the dialog that he is being tough on crime and meth.

Bahahaha!

Violent crime has been increasing in Sioux Falls for the past 4 years at least, so now why all of sudden, you care. Empty suit. Blowheart. Also, if you care so much why give the FOP a lousy raise? (you know, the people who have to actually battle this issue)

Want to fight meth use? Fight poverty! Promote living wages, promote good jobs. Pay and train our police force well.

So what are you doing Mike? Holding press conferences like you care, pretending to cry. Thats it.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Rolfing goes on junket to support the F-35 lemon

I don’t support the F-35 project, not because I don’t want our air base to do well, it’s because the old F-16’s we currently have already fly circles around the Lemon the US military has been ‘developing’ called the F-35. Many military experts have contended that they pretty much tried to pack 2 pounds of sh*t into a 1 pound bag while developing the F-35. They want it to dogfight, be a harrier and drop big bombs. It can’t do all three. Don’t believe me, google the project and read all the pros and cons, not to mention it is a gigantic waste of money.

Either way, speaking of wasting taxpayer money, Rolfing recently told the press that spending $72K on a special election for an administration building is a waste, I agree. Where we don’t agree is that he thinks flying to DC to hand deliver a letter (from our prestigious mayor) to our Washington delegation (who already support the F-35 coming to Sioux Falls) is a great expenditure of tax payer money. Apparently Rex and Mike have never heard of the US Postal service, a FAX machine or an email;

Mayor Huether sent a letter to Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds and Congresswoman Kristi Noem, that highlighted the history of 114th Fighter Wing and pledges Sioux Falls’ unwavering support to ensure the city is a selected basing site for the F-35.

Sioux Falls City Council chair Rex Rolfing and Community Development Director Daren Ketchum hand-delivered the letters to Thune, Rounds and Noem.

When you refer to a government trip as a ‘junket’ it usually means it is an unneeded trip. I wonder if he also attended any music award shows while in DC?

Whether you support the F-35 (you shouldn’t) or not, there is absolutely NO reason we needed to send our Council Chair and Community Development Director to hand deliver letters. The next time Huether or Rolfing want to spout off about being prudent and saving tax dollars, I will gladly point to this ludicrous trip (and that worthless Tennis Center).

If it saves us money in law enforcement, it makes sense

Councilor Erpenbach must have had a cup of coffee and calculator at last week’s working session;

“The Bishop Dudley is open as an emergency shelter year round and the numbers of people that are using the facility are far and away what we thought they would be,” said Councilor Michelle Erpenbach, who along with Greg Neitzert wants to amend Mayor Mike Huether’s proposed budget to bolster the shelter’s funding to $120,000 next year.

Neitzert said increasing Bishop Dudley’s funding will allow the non-profit to serve even more than the 1,500 guests that used the facility last year, which he thinks will create organic costs savings in future years.

“They save us money by helping people who otherwise would be on the streets and left to all of our social services and police to deal with,” Neitzert said. “I believe they run a very wonderful and efficient service and they require accountability by making them work. … It’s not just a permanent hotel. They’re giving them a hand up, not a handout.”

I would agree with Greg, like the Safehome the county runs, taxpayers save money by housing the chronically homeless alcoholics because they no longer are draining emergency resources and filling up the jail. Of course, Mr. 500K to his private tennis club disagrees;

Huether, who did not attend the work session*, said he’s apprehensive about dedicating resources beyond traditional functions of municipal government.

“We really have to be cautious in spending dollars on programs that are outside of regular government operations or facilities, even though they may be doing good things,” he wrote. “It is so incredibly hard to have to say ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ to good folks and organizations, but it is also absolutely necessary if you are going to have good city government on solid financial ground.”

Trust me, I would much rather see my money spent on something else, but this facility is helping to keep people off the streets, so it is money well spent. Unlike $500K to Huether’s private tennis machine shed that has done ZERO to reduce crime and homelessness in Sioux Falls. What is going on out there anyway? We have never gotten a report.

*I wonder why the mayor didn’t go to the work session? According to B-n-B he is a council member, shouldn’t he be at these meetings?

Shoveling thru the workday

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B-n-B lays it on thick today

I almost had to chug a beer after listening to Greg’s show this morning to calm my nerves, so many half-truths I don’t know where to begin (we will get to that shortly).

I am often amazed when I hear local pundits talk ‘local’ politics and how little they know, or maybe they do know and just choose to tell a different story. For instance when they call city councilors, commissioners. They haven’t been commissioners for over a decade, get it straight already.

But today’s show was extra special, it’s like B-n-B (Bad Neighbor Belfrage) has become an extension of Channel 16 and the Reid Holsen school of advocational interviews.

You can listen for yourself some of the bull that was dispensed, here is the TRUTH;

  1. There has been NO city administration building built in 83 years (city hall). Actually there have been dozens, even if you don’t count the multiple parks garages that have been built (they include offices) there has been a rehab of a Raven building on 6th and Phillips for Parks offices, there is the light and power building, there is the rehab of Carnegie Hall for the city clerks and community development, there has been the public works garage and recycling center (all include offices) and the recent rental of the city attorney offices (because rumor has it they feared the FBI was listening in on their convos at city hall. Even if that isn’t true, it’s still a little funny).
  2. The mayor is a member of the city council. This is ‘partially’ true. By charter he is a member, but ONLY to break ties. If the mayor was a true member of the council he would vote on every item (he does not) he would attend all council meetings (informational, committees, work sessions, joint county meetings, etc) he does not. He is the executive branch of city government and the council is the legislative branch, he is only a ‘tie-breaking’ member of the council. It is a similar situation with the county, Bob Litz, the county auditor is asked to break ties with the county commission and to run meetings when ‘needed’. He is NOT a regular member of the commission in that sense.
  3. 6,400 signatures is ‘NOT A LOT’. This really is a matter of opinion, but by LAW only 5% is required to get a measure on a ballot. Stop the Funding has followed those rules, if you disagree with them, ask the legislature and city council to change them. Either way, I’m pretty sure that Danielson broke records in the time it took him to gather the signatures, this tells me that people are very concerned about the building and want a vote. By law, they deserve one, whether you agree or not. Actually, B-n-B had to admit today that he signed the petition also. I asked Bruce about it, he told me that at the time Greg signed it, he agreed with Bruce it was about the process, less than a couple of weeks later it seems Greg isn’t too concerned about the process, claiming he should not have signed it.
  4. B-n-B has questioned the funding of the petition drive and the filing of a ballot committee. Bruce actually attempted to file the paperwork earlier, but since the city put up the new website design, all the downloadable documents to do this disappeared, to which the city clerk was made aware. Bruce has filed the necessary paperwork. The financials are due later. Did Bruce raise money? He did, and the money comes from multiple sources and all income brackets and sectors of the community, this initiative has broad support.
  5. B-n-B had to admit today that the building (the bonds) will be $25 million. The mayor, yesterday, was telling people the building is $21.9 million, while true, he fails to mention the total after commissions and sale of the bonds the TOTAL cost is $25 million. The initiative is to stop the bond sale NOT to stop a building, Bruce has been VERY clear about this, that amount is $25 million, no lies have been told.
  6. The claim that the building has been ‘fully vetted’. This may be true internally with the administration and council leadership, but the rest of the council and the public was left in the dark until last April. It was sprung on us. The other argument is that if this building has been supposedly talked about since 2007, why not build it before an events center and indoor pool? Notice the mayor has refused to answer this question, even when asked on Greg’s show and at council meetings. The need is NOT great. If it they were concerned about morale of city employees, why are they not getting decent raises this year? As for the public showing up to voice their concerns, we have, several times, and each time the mayor has shut us down, breaking two ties and veto (which he laughed about). The council has listened and TRIED to stop this, but the mayor’s attitude to ‘win at any cost’ has taken over the debate. We could have had 100 people show up to these meetings and protest, wouldn’t matter, the mayor has had his mind made up on this before it was even presented to the whole council. Just like the EC and the Indoor Pool, full steam ahead.
  7. This has nothing to do with the 300 building. As I said above, Stop the Funding has been VERY CLEAR, this initiative has been about stopping the $25 million dollar bond sale. If the council decides at a later date to build a scaled back building, or remodel an existing building or continue to rent, that is another issue. The 300 building owners have been very gracious in letting us use office space. We thank them as they did this as an in-kind donation.
  8. It IS cheaper to rent. You don’t have to take my word on it, city finance director Tracy Turbak has already admitted in a public meeting it would be more cost effective to rent. There is no bond repayment, interest or use of capital outlay. It just makes more sense to rent financially. This one is a no-brainer that even the city finance director agrees with.

Some people and the mayor have said this petition drive has been fueled by animosity towards the mayor. I would have to partially agree. ANY elected official who will go on a media show and lie bald faced to the public most likely will have well deserved animosity towards them, you reap what you sew. Personally I could care less about him, I have gotten used to wearing 5-Buckle over-boots while following him around.

I’m sure tomorrow B-n-B will have a whole new set of lies and half-truths to tell the public. We will be waiting to dispel them. Now if Greg would go do something more productive with his time, like mow his lawn.

Fiddle tries to Faddle with the process. But will his ‘Cracker Jack’ law stand up?

I will give David an ‘A’ for effort on this one;

• Approximately 5,750 valid signatures (5 percent of registered voters) are required to send an issue to a vote.
• The City Clerk will conduct a random sampling process to validate the petition. Five percent of the signatures must be reviewed according to South Dakota Administrative Rule. This entire process can take up to two weeks or longer, depending on various factors. Even if a petition is validated, any interested person could then challenge the petition, alleging specific deficiencies in the petition. If so, the City Clerk would need to review each of the specific deficiencies and make a determination regarding the validity of each of the signatures in question.
• Assuming the petition contains sufficient valid signatures, the City Clerk would then deem the petition “filed” with his office. The City Clerk would then present the petition to the City Council for further action. The City Council can either place the item on the April 2018 ballot or order a special election by ordinance.
• An election ordinance requires two separate readings at least five days apart.
• State law requires any special election to be at least 30 days from the effective date of the order calling for a special election.
• Election results must also be canvassed before any proposed measure would become effective, if approved by the voters.

The City is authorized to sell bonds for the proposed City Administration building effective October 1, 2016. The existence of this possible initiative effort does not prevent the already authorized bond sale from taking place. SDCL 9-20-3 prohibits the use of the initiative process to nullify the purpose for which bonds have been sold.

We don’t care if it it takes a decade to verify the signatures, that’s neither here nor there (realistically it should only take a couple of hours, since they only have to make sure about 288 sigs are valid), the real clencher here is Fiddle’s interpretation of election and petition law.

The existence of this possible initiative effort does not prevent the already authorized bond sale from taking place.

Problem is, the bonds haven’t been sold yet.

Will Mike Huether run for governor as an Independent?

Well he isn’t a Democrat, that has been clear for awhile. During this morning’s show on Belfrage (where he lies about calling other people liars, and claims to know election law). B-n-B (Bad Neighbor Belfrage) and MMM get into a discussion about his political leanings. At first MMM says he is a libertarian then switches gears and says he’s more of an independent then anything, and may be switching to that soon. Well, he would be able to avoid a primary in the governor’s race. I wonder if he told his cohorts over at the SDDP office who depend on his founder’s donation each month to help make payroll?

As for his ramblings about (personal) animosity towards him over the administration building, that is not the case at all. This discussion has always been about spending too much money on a building we don’t need, that is why people sign the petition, Dems, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents. Mike, some things are not about you.

Now it is up to the Council, Mayor and Clerk’s office to make this election happen

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Stop the Funding signatures will most likely be turned in this week. The final roundup and petition gathering will be occurring over the next couple of days (in other words, if you have sheets GET THEM TURNED IN ASAP!)

The collection process has been anything but uneventful. Co-Chair Bruce Danielson has told me along the way that approximately only 1 out of 8 or 10 refuse to sign. Most can’t wait to sign, and others usually don’t need much convincing. Bruce has always kept the argument simple, keeping politics and personal feelings for politicians out of it. He basically says that if we spend $25 million on a building we don’t need, that is $25 million over the next 20 years we won’t be spending on roads or other infrastructure. That usually convinces them to sign.

There has been road bumps along the way to the democratic process, ones you wouldn’t expect. For instance Bruce has been asked to stop taking signatures at the VFW and the VA (he was actually on the public sidewalk at the VA) he was threatened with arrest by the VA rent-a-cops Federal Law Enforcement agents. But an interesting thing happened yesterday at the Backpack handout event. He was on the public sidewalk getting signatures (and registering people to vote) when he was accosted by a city contractor who hosts public affair shows on channel 16. Of all the people that should understand the democratic process, it should be her? Right? Well she didn’t. Bruce held his ground and said he had a 1st amendment right to be their on public property collecting signatures and wasn’t leaving. She sent out another person (we assumed a city employee) and after a picture of him was taken, he had a change of heart. He said something like, “That better not end up on the internet!” LOL. You never know.

The Argus wrote an editorial today supporting the petition drive and election (but it is not posted online yet) but it wasn’t to nice to councilor Erpenbach.

So what happens next?

Well first the petitions need to be verified using a sampling, this should only take a day or two (actually a couple of hours) there is NO reason these signatures shouldn’t be verified by Friday.

If and when the sigs are verified they need to be presented to the council. By law, they must set a special election date. Ideally, this should be before the bond sale. But the mayor can stop or delay the bond sale.

So now it is in the council’s hands. They need to call a special meeting and get it done. We will be watching and waiting.

Should we really be ‘celebrating’ the expansion of a food bank?

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You know my feelings on this. While the (business) community bands together to help a food bank charity, wouldn’t it just be better if these businesses paid their employees enough so they can buy their own food? I know we will never totally eliminate hunger. There will always be people who can’t afford food, such as those on disability or the elderly that can’t work anymore. But it is a sad when a working family can’t afford to buy their own food.

On top of that, the ignorance of our governor and state legislature raising taxes on food so we can pay ONE sector of public employees more (a program that is running into snags and not really working the way it intended).

It is time our lawmakers get serious about the minimum wage in our state and raising the wages of ALL workers in this state to compete with other states. Enough of selling us as a low wage state.

Of course some lawmakers still think it is all just a big joke. Our esteemed mayor took that opportunity when he jokingly said this during the above press conference about the administration building (about 6 minutes in);

“I like new and big buildings to . . . I do. Did I just say that? I think building new is better then remodeling.”

The poor and the hungry seem to be just a big joke to some people. Make sure the developers and contractors in this town stay well fed. And while we are planning to bond for a $22 million dollar administration building, we are proposing no wage increases for city employees in 2017. Better funnel some more money through the development foundation so they can give it to the food bank. Now that’s workforce development at it’s best!

Mayor Huether; Tone Deaf

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I guess during a Friday meeting the mayor said something similar to this;

Mike wants citizens with grievances to give city employees a chance to fix their problems before bringing them to light at public input during the city council meetings. He also said his office and other departments respond to complaints within 24 hours.

Okay, I think I just got carpet burns I was laughing so hard. But seriously? What meetings has he been going to over the past 6 years? The Red Hat society?

The one thing I have noticed about public input (besides my pointed rants) is that most citizens complain during that time period as a last resort. Take the landlords that had their laundry room destroyed by the SWAT team, or recently the missing parking lot at the Vietnamese restaurant. Most citizens don’t want to come to public input, it is intimidating, and if you sit in the back row, you may just get hit in the head by a flailing elbow. Most use it, because they have tried all other avenues to solve a problem with the city.

Maybe the mayor is coming around. But I am not holding my breath.