Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

UPDATE: TenHaken comes up short . . .

UPDATE: What is even more scary is the Emergency Declaration clause (not the clause itself) but what it permits. It gives the executive/legal branch the authority to hire contractors without going thru the RFP process or ‘lowest bid’. In other words contractors will be coming in and probably charging their ’emergency rates’ you know, like they do for our 100 buildings 🙂

I told a councilor last night if I were mayor, a couple of things I would do is ASK some of the big contractors in town to do the right thing and be fair in their rates, especially with an emergency. We are all in this together. I would have also asked ALL eight city councilors for ideas or references of people that can help. When you have something that could potentially be this big of an issue, you need as many people at the table as possible, good leaders rely on others for expert advice and frankly any advice that is helpful. I’m glad to see they are warning the public in advance, if you do the math, this has the potential to close down the entire city whether your neighborhood is in the flood plain or not. After watching the press conference, I have a feeling they are not telling us everything YET. Everyone was pretty nervous, including the State Hydrologist.

As I have already said, I have tempered my remarks about PTH’s leadership skills in this whole mess, from how Yankton Trail looks like the film set of the Titanic or how it should be renamed ‘Glacial Trail Park’. Or how they finally decided today to close Falls Park (sometime tomorrow – you still have a few more hours to get in your risky behavior). PTH kindly reminds us in this FB video that it is a misdemeanor to cross barriers. Ohhh, a misdemeanor, so baddddd! I’m also wondering why he is wringing his hands so much, reminds me of that scene where Lady MacBeth is washing her hands or is it Mr. Burns at the board table? I’m still debating that one. Fortunately I could not find any Seinfeld references.

But the kicker of this week is the below picture of Mayor TenHaken standing on his tippy toes during this very uncomfortable photo op. And people call me a weird little man. Stay safe Sioux Falls, we may all end up on Giligan’s Island. And for those who will rip me apart for this post, I always remind myself what has gotten me through difficult times is laughter and humor. I only PRAY I don’t split my pants.

Who are the Score Keepers? (Guest Post, Bruce Danielson)

Of course they don’t want to acknowledge they keep score.

“As public servants, we don’t keep score. It’s about doing what’s right. We do what is best for the public and the community as a whole to move our great city forward and care for its citizenry,” TenHaken said Thursday after seeing Starr’s Facebook post.

It is always interesting how shallow the 5 and mayor are. There is no ability to see past their winner takes all attitude. This is not a football game. This is government where the people elect representatives to work together to craft solutions good for as many as possible without trampling the rights of the less powerful. Why is it when the public wins, sore heads like the six work so hard to make it seem like the public didn’t win anything.

The classic line from Vince Lombardi “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” just isn’t supposed to apply to government.  

“TenHaken’s deputy chief of staff T.J. Nelson said none of the three councilors who opposed the street vacation were involved in crafting the compromise proposal.”

Those of us who have worked for years to open the doors to Sioux Falls city government find humor in the following statement.

“Kiley said Starr’s role in finding compromise was minimal at best and his response to it isn’t productive for Lifescape or the community.”

Of course they were not involved, the doors of power have been locked to keep the three councilors out. If the doors had been open to any of the three to contribute, it would have validated their concerns. The way this has been handled including not informing the whole council before the media shows this administration does not understand the importance of or care to give respect to the Council.  This process shows the way the simple moronic authoritarian ways of city hall are perpetuated post-Huether.

The compromise was hatched by citizens during the September street vacation public input. The compromise proposal was cultivated by neighbors. The ill-conceived second vacation vote did not address the neighbor’s concerns or the mismatched and ill-fitting proposal being forced on the Council during the last vote. The legal process was followed and the voting showed the vacation was legally rejected by the Council.

“I wish the effort and energy it requires to take credit for things he has little if any invovlement would be placed in a more positive and constructive fashion for citizens, especially those who struggle with disabilities,” he said.

Mr. Kiley in speaking for the losing majority seems to forget his hours of lectures he and a few others on the Council have forced us to listen to as they have crafted their demands for the three to be subservient to the majority’s wishes. The March 5, 2019 Council meeting incident where Mr. Kiley cried out to the mayor about an audience member laughing at his pompous buffoonery just shows how weak he really is when faced with opposition.

Just think how much more could be accomplished if the leader of the administration and his followers on the Council tried to compromise?

Start link:  https://youtu.be/Dopk4WwAW7Q?t=6192

See how easy a compromise can be

Of course Mayor TenHaken and his staff will try to take credit for this;

The City’s proposal would convert Elmwood Avenue between 26th and 28th Streets into a northbound one-way street, add 42 diagonal public parking spots on the west side of Elmwood Avenue, add 10 parallel parking spots at the north end of east Elmwood Avenue, and a dedicated bus parking lane for students to load and unload in a safe manner.

This proposal preserves access to 26th Street and the pedestrian sidewalk, which was mentioned by neighbors who previously opposed the full vacation of Elmwood Avenue. The elimination of southbound traffic on Elmwood will help alleviate neighborhood safety concerns of congested traffic due to non-neighborhood traffic. Additionally, street parking congestion complaints should be quelled with the addition of the diagonal on-street parking.

This is the proposal that should have been suggested in the first place. It provides safe parking, safe drop-offs, and the one-way makes the now useable street safer. I hope the residents agree. While the council was not obviously involved in this compromise, the 3 that voted down the vacation need to be given the credit for forcing the city administration to create a compromise between the institution and it’s neighbors. I haven’t taken the temperature of the council yet on this new approach, but I am sure it will pass the council no problem. Better solutions come from negotiating with both parties.

No more breaking kids piggy banks for campaign donations

Looks like the kiddos can only donate to candidates with there parent’s limits (if Noem signs it);

A bill to close a “loophole” in South Dakota’s campaign finance laws is headed to Gov. Kristi Noem’s desk.

Sioux Falls’ last mayoral election caught the attention of state lawmakers when a local business owner wrote a series of checks on behalf of his school-age children as gifts to then-candidate Paul TenHaken.

Docutap founder and owner Eric McDonald and his five children — ages 6 to 15 at the time — are each listed as contributors to TenHaken’s 2018 campaign, all six giving the maximum $1,000 donation.

That spurred action by the South Dakota Legislature, which overwhelmingly approved legislation this week that will require donations to political candidates from minors go toward their parents’ giving limits.

That means if a child gives, say, $100 to a candidate pursuing a municipal office, their parent would only be allowed to give $900 to the same campaign. For statewide races, the cap is $4,000.

“It seemed like a giant loophole in our campaign finance law that could be very easily fixed,” said Sen. Reynold Nesiba (D-Sioux Falls), the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 114.

Nesiba said he didn’t want to ban children under a certain age from participating in South Dakota elections as is the case in some other states. So he wrote SB 114 as a compromise.

If signed by the governor, South Dakota will join 19 other states that prohibit or restrict minor donations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

TenHaken said the Nesiba and co-sponsor Rep. Kelly Sullivan (D-Sioux Falls) alerted him of their intentions with SB 114 prior to introducing it.

A story I broke on DaCola. I always thought it was a little ‘sneaky’ to take donations from kids. I just joked the other day that maybe the reason PTH hosts kids in his home when their parents are having trouble is so he can ask for campaign donations.

Shocker; Mayor TenHaken Supports Corporate Welfare of Anti-Union corporations

We have been saying it for years to our local government, we want new business coming to Sioux Falls, but we want those businesses to be sold on our reliable workforce, we want them to pay a decent living wage, and ENOUGH of the corporate welfare.

Mayor TenHaken thought giving billions to Amazon in NY without the promise of union scale jobs was a missed opportunity. Somehow I am NOT surprised. This is the same guy that let the telecoms and Feds tell us what to do with 5G (an issue that is getting tons of pushback across the nation, of course in PROGRESSIVE communities).We want new businesses in Sioux Falls to INVEST in our community (that means their money) not DIVEST (that means taking our tax dollars for a handful of token pallet humper jobs).

Progressives ‘Get It’ when it comes to creating REAL jobs through REAL investments. Supposed conservatives like PTH just want to give away the farm. Once again, another reason we can’t allow partisans to run our supposed non-partisan city government.

Mayor TenHaken apologizes for ‘Whipping the Vote’ comment

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting Mayor TenHaken asked councilor Brekke to ‘Whip the Vote’ (FF: 1:02). It didn’t go over well with Brekke. She made it clear to him that’s not how things work (in municipal government). The council has the right to bring legislation forward before the meeting or to ask for a reconsideration during the meeting. Brekke had already talked to her fellow councilors about the plurality ordinance in advance, when it failed she tried to amend it. This happens on the fly.

While it is a positive thing that PTH realized he was in the wrong and apologized to Brekke (I guess in a public setting) it still doesn’t change the fact that we have a very partisan City Administrator. City government doesn’t work like Washington, there are distinct differences. It is a non-partisan form of government set up to serve all involved, the taxpayers of our city. We don’t want them to vote on ‘party lines’ because there isn’t any, but seems for the last several years the councilors belong to either the Developer Class Party or the Citizen Party – a terrible divide.

This goes back to the mayor not knowing his roles and duties under charter. He is the city administrator in charge of making sure the city operates smoothly within the budget set forth. In other words, he is the employee manager. It is NOT his job to set policy. He should not even have voted on the ordinance. It should have just failed on a tie. I think if the mayor wants to get involved in policy votes he needs to explain his vote. He knew well in advance that he might have to break the tie, he also expressed to the media he would probably vote NO if the opportunity did arise. So tell us why? I don’t think he knew why, because it was just another vengeance vote with the other 4 councilors. A horrible way to set policy, I’m sorry to say.

Mayor TenHaken on BNB show this morning

Unlike the last Mayor who made outrageous statements, and ramrodded outrageous projects, it seems the current Hizzoner doesn’t seem to know what he is talking about, or at least how to communicate his plans.

He talked about how he went to Haiti to learn about refugees in their country so he has a better understanding of the refugees we have in Sioux Falls. Here’s a concept Paul, why not go down to the Multi-cultural center and have some meetings with them? He feels we need to get the refugees to assimilate into Americans, okay Donald Trump. Also, though I have asked several councilors and city officials to get back to me about Public Works Director Cotter going with Paul on the missionary trip to ‘study the infrastructure’ and whether the taxpayers paid for the trip and if he used vacation time, I have heard NOTHING. I guess it would be safe to assume it was a junket for Cotter, spreading the good news of Jesus and running water on the taxpayer dime.

When Greg asked Paul about the Events Center Campus Study Book Club he told Greg that sometimes secret meetings get more things done, “Sometimes you need to shut the door to get the work done.” Which was ironic, because right after saying that he told Greg exactly what he wanted the EC Book Club to accomplish, solving the parking problems at the site by shuttling people from Downtown on concert nights. While this is a great idea, who is going to pay for it? Will this come from ticket fees? Will the artists be paying for it? Will SMG? Will the shuttles cost the concert goers as they get on the shuttle? Or will this just be ANOTHER 2nd penny subsidy to the Events Center? These are why these discussions need to be opened to the public, but on the other hand, I ask the question, what is so secretive about parking and shuttle buses? At the beginning of this topic though, Paul said it wasn’t worth discussing new development around the EC campus, because it has never worked. Well, that’s no secret.

He finished by talking about snow removal, and the wet panties it seems the last couple of mayors including Paul gets by saving snow removal money. We don’t pay our taxes so you can put it in a savings account, we pay them to PLOW SNOW!

He also talked about the Elmwood street vacation vote. He thinks the neighborhood lost by not allowing the street vacation of Elmwood. I still struggle with how taking a viable street away from a residential neighborhood is a ‘win’ for them. It’s not. I think by not closing the street both the neighborhood and Lifescape won. Lifescape can still build their parking lot, and they can still devise a safety plan. This was about GIVING taxpayer owned property worth well over a quarter million to a private organization at NO cost so they could increase the value of the property when they sell in a couple of years. I have argued for a long time that if these businesses or non-profits are requesting a street vacation they should have to pay us at least HALF of the appraised value. When we closed the street by Billion Auto we essentially GAVE a private for profit car dealership about a million dollars in property. It’s not right or fair. Enough with the corporate welfare to developers and private non-profits.

Mayor TenHaken’s office sends out bizarre photo to advocate for the closure of Elmwood Ave.

You can’t make this stuff up. The mayor’s office sends out the above photo to the city councilors to advocate for the closure of Elmwood Avenue. Saying this;

02-08-19 Update: Mayor Paul TenHaken stated that Erica Beck, Chief of Staff had sent an email to council outlining the administration’s analysis of the street vacation request. The administration supports the vacation, and is not obligated to be neutral. The Crippled Children’s Hospital and School was built in a corn field and predated the neighborhood.

Their argument that they were their first is ridiculous. First off, zoning laws have changed numerous times since the hospital was built. The neighborhood has also changed. The hospital and it’s ownership has changed names at least 4 times since it was built. On top of the that, the current facility plans to sell within 5 years with no idea who will move into the facility (though the rumor is Sanford wants to snatch it up).

While I disagree with some things in our current zoning laws, street closures should NOT occur because someone or some entity with the most money wants it closed. It should be based on what is best for the neighborhood, which is obvious, keeping the street since Elmwood is the only street in that neighborhood that goes all the way through.

But I have an even bigger issue with the Mayor’s office trying to advocate for a private business and influencing the council’s vote before they have the appropriate hearing. This is what happens when your Deputy COS comes from a right-wing partisan-hack background that doesn’t understand how non-partisan, municipal government works. If PTH wants to veto it after the fact, fine, but him and his staff are not acting ethically in this matter, and it’s a damn shame.

Could an ethics complaint be filed against the Mayor for appointing a secret study group

I guess the lawyers have looked over whether or not Mayor TenHaken is violating city charter by appointing a secret task force without the consent of the city council. One of the more memorable comments was, “While the mayor’s appointment of the task force doesn’t violate the law, I can’t speak on the ethics of the decision.”

Well, that’s fine, because it seems the city charter has the ‘ethical’ answer to that question;

34.007  CANON FIVE.

   (a)   A city council member should conduct the affairs of the city council in an open and public manner.
   (b)   City council members should be aware of the letter and intent of the state’s open meetings law, should conduct the affairs of the city council consistent with the letter and spirit of that law and consistent with the need to inspire and maintain public confidence in the integrity and fairness of city government and the office of city council member. Consistent with this goal of preserving public trust, city council members should be aware of the need for discretion in deliberations involving resources of the city, the reputation of people and the integrity of the governmental processes.
   (c)   All actions, decisions and votes by city council members should be made on their merits, objectively, and without party, regional or ideological partisanship.
(1992 Code , App. E)  (Ord. 34-00, passed 4-11-2000)
According to city charter, as the former mayor would point out all the time, the mayor is a member of the city council. I know this is a fine line, but purposely appointing a study group that will meet in secret could be a violation of the ethics code. Maybe a citizen needs to file and complaint against Paul and find out.

Did Bloomberg help Mayor TenHaken cook up a ‘Innovation & Technology’ Director?

It seemed kind of weird that a town that is ran by a liberal, openly gay, Democrat would have a similar position as the city of Sioux Falls;

A month after the City of South Bend’s first Chief Innovation Officer stepped down, the city has named Denise Linn Riedl to fill the position.

Riedl previously worked at the City Tech Collaborative in Chicago and also held positions at the Smart Chicago Collaborative and the Federal Communications Commission.

She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Notice she has ‘degrees’, but that’s a story for a different day. So where does this ‘Innovation’ director concept come from? Did Mayor Buttigieg cook this up himself? He has been very successful turning around South Bend and he is looking at running for President. The ideas ‘may’ have ties to Bloomberg;

Last year the Office of Innovation spearheaded applications to the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge, which saw the city win $1 million to expand pilot programs connecting low-income residents with affordable rides to work.

As you may or may not know, PTH has been getting a lot of advice from Bloomberg. This may not be a bad thing, but I find it a little ironic that after attending his ‘how to be a mayor’ Bloomberg classes in NY he created this new position. Now if he can just get Reisdorfer to take some night courses. Maybe they could share the expense of getting city clerk Greco actually certified to be a City Clerk? Hey, what an INNOVATIVE concept!