Entries Tagged 'Mayor Pants on Fire' ↓

Unions in Sioux Falls continue to get suckered by this guy

This picture appeared on FB with this tagline;

Achut Deng, UFCW Member, rallies the crowd of 2500 people in support of The Labor Movement. And Union Workers march together at the Sioux Falls Women’s March.

The last thing ANY union member in Sioux Falls wants is to be pictured with this man rallying for unions. Not only did he take advantage of the unions by posing as a fake Democrat to get elected to his first term, he has fought hard as mayor to work against the unions when it comes to benefits, pension and raises.

The next time Mike climbs on stage with a union member, they need to politely ask him to leave.

It’s not up to Mayor Huether to determine who is a journalist or media

Even though both Bruce and I have been cleared by the Secret Service to cover presidential campaign events, that’s NOT good enough for Hizzoner;

Mayor Mike Huether doesn’t think a having a blog and a Youtube channel makes someone a legitimate journalist, but industry professionals say it’s not his place to decide.

There is NO licensing process or test to become a journalist. The rules are pretty simple;

While the mayor doesn’t take questions from Danielson at press conferences, South Dakota Newspaper Association Dave Bordewyk said Danielson and anyone seeking information from their government have just as much right to attend press conferences and make any inquiries as reporters from established media sources. And if a citizen plans to convey the information they gather to others, they’re a journalist.

“Thankfully we don’t live in a country where the journalists have to be licensed, you don’t have to apply to be a journalist in America still,” he said.

Bordewyk said public officials can pick and choose which media members and citizens they acknowledge, but, ideally, no member of a community would be shunned from participating.

“You would hope those in government would error on the side of casting a wide net in terms of allowing anyone to ask questions,” he said. “Press conferences are a pretty public event after all.”

I don’t think the mayor looks at it as a ‘public event’ he looks at it as ‘his event’ and a time to spread his ‘positive’ propaganda.

Huether’s Legacy of Leadership; Getting Things Done by spending other people’s money

You can accomplish anything when you have your parents credit card.

I often hear it from friends and enemies,

“Why do you pick on the mayor so much Scott? He has gotten a lot of things done.”

I often agree, he has accomplished a lot. And if you don’t believe me or them, just ask the mayor himself. But when you really look at what has been ‘done’ it was done using other people’s money or borrowing other people’s money. The problem with that is that it’s the taxpayer’s money, OUR money, not the little dictator’s at 9th & Main.

These ‘accomplishments’ or ‘WINS’ as the mayor likes to call them, are not really wins at all, but just expenditures that I believe could have been done in other ways to save taxpayers millions while providing those services better. They were nothing more than playthings built to attract more overpaid doctors to town.

But when it comes to Huether really expanding services to ALL of our residents, what really has he done in 7.5 years?

Sure the streets have been maintained, and I will give him credit that they are better than before. He also did a good job cleaning up after the ice storm, but that was a natural disaster that had to be cleaned up and FEMA gave us $10 million to do so.

The massive annexation Huether has implemented has only pissed off neighborhoods, cost millions in infrastructure upgrades (handouts to the corporations that asked for these annexations) and caused a riff with un-annexed islands that were created after the intentional urban sprawl while our core has become a meth crime haven.

Speaking of that, Huether has done little to combat crime. He hired an un-experienced police chief, a fire chief who lives in Canton (because, as he says, it is safer to raise his kids) fired the former fire chief for allegations of child pornography (but let him keep his pension). Screwed the Police union on raises while giving corporate like raises to directors who have followed marching orders.

He has done little to improve project trim to become either free or more affordable to taxpayers. Has cut back street cleaning and snow removal, cut bus and paratransit routes while insisting on charging more.

He has cost us AND the citizens of SD (Public Assurance Alliance) millions in legal battles that we didn’t have to fight because of the incompetent and non-transparent administration he runs.

Water rates and regulations have only gone up in numbers while sales tax revenue has tumbled, only to take this extra money and put it in a savings account.

But besides the ‘WINS’ he decided to pass up, as I said above, let’s look at the things he called accomplishments by spending our money and borrowing in our good name;

The Denty. This project started on a bad note to begin with. Instead of bonding the entire building we had other options. I think we should have used a combination of private investors, cash reserves and state revolving funds to bond remainder. The vote was also a sham. It was an advisory vote which wasn’t legally binding, ultimately the council had to approve the bonds. In reality, with that much bonding it should have been a legal bond vote which would have required a 60% threshold from voters. It was also built in the wrong place. While Downtown would have been more ideal, I think anyplace but next to the Arena would have been better. The location has only contributed to the money vacuum the Denty has become, sending millions out of town. Than there was the cost saving measure to put flat siding on a curved building that caused a SD Supreme Court case and troublesome siding that will cost us millions to replace over the years. I think we could have built an Events Center, but Huether’s plan has been a complete disaster because of several bad decisions by hizzoner.

The Railroad Redevelopment project has cost Federal Taxpayers (and local taxpayers) well over $27 million. In return we got dirty land for $62 a square foot. The trains are still switching downtown and running more frequent. This boondoggle, while expensive, has done nothing to improve downtown. I consider this one of the biggest failed negotiations of the Huether administration.

The city administration building was a gigantic middle finger to the taxpayers of Sioux Falls that was decided by one person who manipulated his executive powers and crapped on 6,400 petition signers. The irony is this $25 million building wasn’t needed. We exchanged a $100K a year lease payment for a $1 million a year mortgage that doesn’t include maintenance costs. There is nothing in city charter that requires the city to invest in office space capital. In fact, the city’s finance director Turbak said it was more equitable to lease space.

The indoor aquatic center was poorly planned and based on a campaign of lies and confusing ballot language. The location can not be expanded and built on land the Federal government has the quit claim deed on. We also robbed millions from a repayment of Federal levee bonds that should have been used to repay the bonds. We could have built a larger facility at the Sanford Sports Complex with a public/private partnership with Sanford. It would have also been located by all the other special interest sports clubs. We now have a facility we will have to subsidize up to $400k a year or more in a bad location.

Huether allowed the city to go into a parking ramp agreement with a developer that is facing Federal criminal charges and that has illegally dumped asbestos into our landfill with a penalty that was waived. But even if we picked a good developer, the deal doesn’t add up. We are paying over twice as much for fewer parking spots. This deal should have never been penned.

Choosing Paramedics Plus for our ambulance contractor was troublesome for many reasons. Not only their pending legal issues nationally, conflicts of interest with the consultant that recommended them and the ‘Phantom’ ambulances, we could have saved consumers $$ while helping to fund our Fire Department. Since the Fire Department already shows up to medical emergencies, sometimes faster than PP, I think a more prudent decision would have been implementing a public ambulance service. While the initial up front costs would be expensive, the fees charged to consumers would help pay for itself, and help to subsidize the Fire Department. As taxpayers we are already paying for the FD to respond to these emergencies, why not get reimbursed for it?

As you can see, the Mayor likes to talk about ‘dreaming big’ and ‘getting things done’ but he has done all this recklessly and by racking up our credit card. The next mayor and city council will be battling these bad fiscal decisions for years to come, and at the end of the day the taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Mayor Huether refuses to take responsibility for flat panels on Events Center

It’s not a lie if you don’t answer the question

When I addressed the Sioux Falls city council last night about the EC siding report, I asked who authorized putting the flat panels instead of curved panels on the EC.

At the press conference, Argus Leader reporter, Joe Sneve asked the same question of the mayor. Mayor Huether said it has already been addressed several years ago, yet still would not answer the question. Not sure ‘what’ was addressed?

The authorization would have had to be signed off by somebody, most likely the mayor or Public Works director Mark Cotter or one of the city project managers involved with the EC. Even if it wasn’t the mayor, it would have been under his directive. As I said last night, the panels didn’t just magically appear on the building.

It is pretty clear from reading the report that oil-canning of flat panels on a curved surface is causing thermal buckling due to heat which will cost the city a lot of money in maintenance replacing panels and rivets.

I also asked why the weather barrier part of study was taken out of the report and why the council can’t see the draft of a report they commissioned and taxpayers paid for.

I guess we will find out more on January 16th, hopefully.

Mike Huether’s Future Plans?

I know, I know, I know. I have completely failed in all my predictions about Huether’s future. I truly believe though that he did want to run for governor, but I think he did some internal polling on support ($$$) and saw there wasn’t a lot out there for him. I also think the siding settlement LIE has caused the public to lose all trust in him. While he may deny he lied or that people don’t trust him, I think he knows deep down inside that losing in Supreme Court didn’t look good.

So what will he really be doing?

Sure, he will probably take a few weeks off for a little R & R, but he will be right back at it as soon as he can, guaranteed.

I suggested a few months ago there has always been a Plan B, while I don’t know the deets of that plan, I do know this;

He encouraged Jim Entenman to run for mayor, not only to continue the developer boondoggle on the city, but to open up an opportunity for Huether to run in 4 years, or sooner. While he hasn’t ‘endorsed’ anyone, it is NO secret that Jim and Mike are good friends. As I understand it, Mike officiated Jim’s daughter’s wedding last year.

Jim barely showed up to meetings when he was a ONE-TERM city councilor, spending a entire month in Mexico each winter. I really don’t think Jim wants the job or wants to do it for 4 years. He simply wants to reap the insider information the mayor has on development deals.

I think Entenman will either resign in 2 years (he’ll have some strange family reason) which would open up a special election for mayor and put Huether in the running, OR he will appoint Huether as his Chief of Staff and just have him continue to run the city.

This of course means Entenman would have to win Mayor, a scary, dreadful scenario. It would be bad enough as Entenman as Mayor, imagine Entenman and Huether running the city together as a team?

I think this LETTER would tell us what kind of TEAM that would be;

If his (Huether’s) administration knew and didn’t reveal to the citizens what they knew, that’s corruption. If they didn’t know, that’s incompetence.

Oh, I think it was a little bit of both.

Suckered Again; Huether’s NON Announcement

That will probably be the last presser the Mayor calls about his ‘future’ that anyone shows up to. In fact, I would even go so far to say, that I’m not sure if the press will ever show up to another mayoral press conference no matter what it is about. The wolf is dead.

I guess there should be a bit of celebration here, as of right now, the mayor has NO plans to run for higher office in 2018.

But to throw a press conference to show us you read the bible, you have family members, you still know how to fake cry and you have to tell your dead father’s story, just one more time would have been no different than me throwing a press conference to tell people a took a crap today.

There were a few moments that were laughable though;

I find it ironic that a deist like my self knows more about the teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament than Mike does. His actions as a policy maker have been anything but Christian or Jesus ‘LIKE’.

Shortly after reading his Bible passages he decides to take a shot at a mayoral candidate. He of course doesn’t name Greg Jamison, but it was obvious who he was talking about.

And the one that I found intriguing is that he wants to write a couple of books, one about himself. I find this interesting because I also plan to write something similar about Mike from my over 8 years of following him on my blog. It will basically be a condensed version of all the things I have blogged about him.

As you know, I have nothing personal against the mayor, I wish him luck with his bucket list, and am very, very, very happy that after May 2018 he will no longer be making policy decisions for our city, as long as the new mayor doesn’t hire him as a director . . . God help us, because if that happens we all will be reading the Bible a lot more.

Watered Down the Siding Presser (GP-Danielson)

First let it be said, we never found the siding on the Events Center to be unsound structurally. What we did say was the siding job was “stupid looking” or “goofy” or “ugly” or “comical“ or “unprofessional” but never unsound. Until the soffit blew off the north side on Christmas 2016, we only dreamed it could be caught by the wind and blow off. The Vikings playground in Minneapolis had many panels blow off the same day, who would have thunk?

Remember when the City Council recently decided to pay for a consultant to look at the Events Center siding? The way the administration was handling the siding problems (among other things) was creating a lack of trust with their secrecy. So a Chicago vendor was hired after another secret RFP process was put together to make the wounded citizens and Council feel better. We wonder if da mayor understood the optics of another secret RFP / RFQ? Probably not.

This led to the urgently called mayoral presser called on January 5, 2017 at the Events Center to take credit for things having nothing to do with the moisture issues we have been concerned about. He decided to remind us how we bought a building with many flaws we aren’t supposed to know about. We have witnessed issues over the past few years but he does not care. He brought along Mark Cotter to make it look legit. As Mark finished his review of the City Council’s report, the mayor decided to take a turn using his spin machine. What a waste of time. For 16 minutes we were reminded of his greatest success as mayor, spending $180 million in infrastructure money to satisfy his ego (A $10 million dollar mortgage, per year, that comes directly out of our roads fund, the 2nd penny).

The press was then able to ask questions and get less than satisfactory answers for another 30 minutes. Cameraman Bruce was there to pick up a report and attempt to ask a question

Da mayor brought back his “you’re not media crap again” when Bruce was speaking. KELO Radio’s Todd Epp decided Bruce’s question deserved an answer so he repeated it to get the speakers to answer it.

As you view the video playback, remember how little this mayor cares about the truth. Consider these questions:

• The walls have had water inside them, the rust proves it.

• There  are gaps all over the building needing to be fixed, to slow down the water flow into the walls. When will these be fixed?

• The poorly designed flashing has rivets popping. How did they manage this? The expansion and contraction of the 16 foot long panels will continue to rip the rivets out, how do we stop it?

• Why didn’t we hear about reverse flashing issues which let water into the walls and around windows?

• We did not find out about heat buildup issues caused by the poor ventilation. Oh yes, it’s Winter in South Dakota so no hot temperature to measure.

• We did find out the siding needs to be looked at every ten years but how bad will it be by then?

• We did find out the Imetco siding used cheaper butyl (oil based) caulking which melts in hot weather causing it to leak down the walls and collect dirt. Do we have a big enough pressure washer to clean it off every year?

• There is more we did not hear about because the consultants would have had to pay to remove siding to look at the Tyvek air filtration barrier being used as a water barrier. But they could have went from the backside.

• No mention was made of the lack of a water barrier like the Vikings playhouse has. As the siding moves and Tyvek breaks down, how do we know when to rip off all the siding and replace all of it?

• We did find out the siding was placed on the building according to the engineers and architects plans. This just proved MJ Dalsin did what they were instructed to do. There were no problems with their work, only with the way the Construction Manager at Risk cheapened the Events Center project with the mayor’s likely blessing? A question he has refused to answer for several years and again refused to answer yesterday.

BTW, when we will we ever see the $5,000 Judd Allen report?

Is Huether being tapped to run the Sioux Falls Development Foundation?

Ok, my DaCola contacts have been spit-balling tonight what Mike’s BIG announcement will be on Monday. Announcing a political race is probably unlikely.

Some think he will run some non-profit, or give tennis lessons, etc.

But one of them said to me, “You think he might run the development foundation?”

Hmmm. That’s an organization that loves secrecy and bilking taxpayers. Seems right up his alley.

Briggs, can you get some BINGO cards put together for Monday?

Watch his latest ‘Ask the Mayor’ where he pats himself on the back so many times he might have to re-commission his robotic arm.

MayorCam & RexCam photos (H/T – Cameraman Bruce)

Last Tuesday night I decided to join the many fellow citizens of Sioux Falls who opposed the golf course RFP / RFQ process. As someone who does not play golf anymore, my input was on process, not because I would have anything to gain. When Detroit Lewis left the podium, I went up with my trusty clipboard.

Recently the city started blocking my exhibits during my input time so I decided to bring my exhibits on the back of a clipboard. This one seems to bother a couple of the members of the dais:

Rex Rolfing seems to get upset by hats and other things, did not like my clipboard and asked the mayor to force me to take it down.  When the mayor shook his head and refused to do it,

but the camera changed to a close-up without the “offending” clipboard.

As I tried to conclude my thoughts about federal crime and city government Rex continued to interrupt mentioning to the dais I was at least not getting a one finger salute while speaking.

See the entire show with MayorCam and RexCam running. This whole process has been delayed by not posting the CityLink / SIRE video immediately as usual and then a strange flaw at the 37% point, approximately where my input was. I was next thinking I would see a frozen video or floating Wizard of Kiley head again.

Is Mayor Huether Private messaging people about the Copper Lounge collapse?

I’m not sure if he is messaging people, but if he is, this collapse and investigation must really be hitting a nerve. It makes you wonder what he knows and how deep this investigation goes? The mayor has already admitted on Belfrage’s show on Wednesday that the city had to turn over video (and as I understand it email correspondence and copies of building permits).

Things that make you go hmmmm.