Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

After the fact

Oh, Paul, who you fooling? The mayor’s office, directors and council leadership have been meeting for months sculpting the 2020 budget. Were there some crumbs left over that you want to share with the public? The truth is the budget should really be planned by the council, it’s kind of in the charter. And they should be planning that budget with the help of public input and public meetings or online comments thru the city website.

So when is Paul going to break the news to the public that this is just a nice gesture after the fact? It reminds me of a friend I go out to eat with frequently who always asks the server to make a suggestion and usually orders something completely opposite. He usually says something like, “Thanks, but I was kinda in the mood for pasta.” I hope the citizens are only asking for ramen noodles.

Next Generation Leadership PAC

I guess one of the reasons the PAC cannot be found is because somehow the filings for the PAC have disappeared off the city’s website. I was able to get a screenshot of the last page of the PAC’s July 3rd filing thru a city contact. Curious that city employees have access to this document but citizens don’t. But I don’t have time to go into that rant and how our new innovation department is finding ways to hide information from citizens unless you have a traceable login.

You will see below in PTH’s July 3rd filing he received an almost $25K donation from the PAC. The same day, the PAC filed itself. It seems they are on a mission to recruit more candidates like Paul. God help us all!

(The rumor in political circles, and the reason Dusty Johnson had a freakout on a fellow Republican in RC recently is because they believe Rounds will not run again for senate, leaving Johnson to run for that seat and TenHaken to run for Dusty’s current seat, but like I said,  just gossip at this point.)

I also find it interesting that Joel Dykstra was not only the treasurer of PTH’s campaign but also the PAC’s. Well isn’t that convenient? You may know Joel who got his rear end kicked by Tim Johnson. But Joel is also a well known developer around town that likes any developer welfare and zoning breaks he can get from Sioux Falls taxpayers. I guess this is what they mean by ‘Next Generation’. Republican elected officials taking money from the working poor and turning into big profits for his ilk.

Joel also gave money to Alex Jensen. This must be their first ‘recruit’ in the PTH Next Gen movement. I expect more recruits from this PAC that has seemed to slide under the radar up until this point. I guess it helps when public officials conveniently hide your filings (if someone can provide a link, I will gladly retract that statement).

At least we have cleared the air on who they are so far, it will be interesting to watch them dump bundles of money into ineffective campaigns and lose. (PTH’s full report: 20180703-TenHaken-CFDRT (1)

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Is Mayor TenHaken avoiding the LGTBQ community?

First in Memorial Day news, I had one of my ‘older’ foot soldiers call me today, J. Troy, to tell me he drove down the boulevard in McKennan Park and was disappointed that there was 3 city flags, 1 rainbow flag (gay pride) and no American flags.

I’m not sure about those hoity-toity McKennan Park folks, but I drove down 26th street today and there was well over a dozen American flags flying.

Also, as a reminder, Memorial Day is a holiday to remember not only our citizens that died in war, but all those who made our country great. Veteran’s day is in honor of those who survived war, and Armed Services day is for those who currently serve.

In Mexico they have a celebration of the dead at the end of October called ‘Day of the Dead’ in which they celebrate and honor all those who have died.

I was always brought up that Memorial Day was not only about our brave service people who made the ultimate sacrifice, but about all Americans who have contributed and passed on. Flags and Flowers for all.

Speaking of flowers . . .

Is Mayor Paul Homophobic?

He was kind of asked this during a Democratic Forum during the mayoral campaign, and he denied it. I was willing to take his word on it, but he has conveniently side stepped the subject since then.

Until now.

The ‘LGBee-ers‘ as I call them, are up in arms because they asked PTH, in his official capacity of mayor (not king of the SF selfie) to read a proclamation at the gay pride parade on June 15. Paul had a convenient out, Father’s Day weekend. Just like when he was asked to do the proclamation at gay pride last year, he once again used his children as an excuse. Paul reminds me of all the moms I have worked with over the years that use their kids as an excuse to get out of work early or to take a day off. It’s lame when they do it, and it is lame when you do it Paul. You can’t take 30 minutes out of your Father’s Day weekend (the day before BTW) to put a rest to whether you are homophobic or not? Besides, you will fit right in, there will plenty of flashy costumes and selfies galore!

I challenge Paul to put an end to the salacious rumors once and for all, and read the proclamation at the gay pride festival. As I tell my conservative friends, ‘Gay people are just like us,  just more fun . . . and better dancers.’

City Hall needs some better dancers these days.

Interesting Sponsor on Mayor TenHaken’s FB page

Who the heck is this organization? Do a search, good luck finding such a thing. 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . Pull . . . from . . . ASS.

Open Video System (OVS) proposal by City of Sioux Falls Innovation Department needs to be stopped

There isn’t a lot of research out there about OVS even though it has essentially been around since the mid-90’s. It essentially gives broadband and telecoms the right to stream videos online without a franchise license like major cable companies. There are some other details involved, but you get the gist.

A lot of us use these services, and hopefully if you are ‘subscribed’ to them you understand the terms. The companies most likely have a lot of data on you. Besides knowing some financial information, they know when you watch videos and what kind of videos you like. They use these ‘cookies’ to know what to advertise to you. It works similar when you purchase products from an online company. If they see you like buying crime novels, they most likely send you emails about books available.

For instance I’m subscribed to Expedia, it knows when I am searching for certain deals and alerts me.

While all of this is done in the private sector, and you willfully agree to it, then I guess you don’t mind that these private companies are collecting massive amounts of data on you to help make themselves more money.

When government does it, well, that’s just creepy.

The city is exploring using OVS. I don’t know any details on what they intend to do, but they will have a presentation on Tuesday at the informational and are looking to appropriate money for the system during the regular city council meeting.

This is what I do know. If the city buys into this kind of system, you will essentially have to ‘subscribe’ to the service to use it (even if it is FREE). This will allow the city to ‘data mine’ on you like the online retailers do. They will be able to know when you watch the videos, how often and when. They will be able to take your subscriber data and compare it to voter data and then be able to establish a profile.

So why does the city want to do this? Well there are several reasons, and none of them are good for the citizenry. The city is already collecting data on several fronts. If you downloaded the city app to report problems, watch videos on the city’s FB page while logged in, or use the data portal to search data from the city’s GIS site, you have to be logged in. They are collecting data on you NOW and this will be one more tool for them.

You must understand this the world Mayor Paul TenHaken comes from as well as his Innovation Director who ran a successful online retailer. They both ran successful businesses through helping themselves and their clients collect massive amounts of data on their clients. Paul has been busted a couple times before digging around in the dark resources of the internet. We all heard about his assistance of former Deputy Secretary of State, Powers and the doxing he did for the Rounds Campaign. This is PTH’s bag of tricks from the private sector and now he wants to take it to the next level and see if he can pull it off in government. Last I checked, the City of Sioux Falls wasn’t a fascist regime or communist state, but Paul is quickly likening himself to a Dictator.

Oh, we will hear all the excuses, “These apps and sites are there to make government more accessible for you.” Bullsh*t! They are there to allow government to have more access of YOU and what you are thinking, contemplating or even voting on.

Besides the fact the city should not be collecting this kind of data on it’s citizens, it is a waste of money. Citizens should be able to watch and respond to their government for FREE, they should also NOT be monitored when they are doing these things. They especially shouldn’t be required to ‘LOG IN’ to get information from the city. The city already monitors it’s citizens in several ways from property taxes to their water meters. Using technology to data mine on citizens unknowingly is just plain wrong and it needs to be stopped.

Mayor TenHaken misses the point of open government

PTH was on Belfrage yesterday talking about a bunch of things. Belfrage brought up the ‘dysfunction’ of the city council. It of course came back to trying to blame ‘ONE’ person on the council. While Stehly’s name was never brought up, it was clear who he was talking about.

PTH thought it was a waste of time to discuss a $20 fee for the housing summit instead of spending more time talking about supplemental appropriations during a council meeting.

As for the supplemental appropriations, the council and the public, I believe were in agreement. What discussion did you need? (PTH even admitted to that). But to say having a ‘wasted’ discussion about the $20 fee just shows (as I have suspected) he knows little about open government and transparency. This wasn’t about the $20 this was about charging the public to come to a PUBLIC event. Ironically, the administration changed their tune and said they would waive the fee and film the event (I encourage people to watch the over 5 hours, it is fascinating, especially the tiny homes for vets discussion). So was the discussion really a waste? Open and transparent government SHOULD be priority over everything else.

I think we need to have a longer public discussion about how the citizens own this government and they shouldn’t be ‘charged’ to participate in it.

UPDATE: TenHaken could have killed Village on the River before it got this far

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the bonds were sold before PTH came into office. So if he would have killed the project, it likely would have cost us in fines. I think I predicted about $2 million at the time. But in hindsight it would have saved us in the long run, because now we have a structure without a private partner.

Over on the WussCollege chief talking mouth, Pitty, is trying to defend the mayor’s position on the parking ramp. But early on PTH could have killed the project, and did not. As one commenter said;

When Mayor TenHaken took office, he announced his administration was vetting the project and development agreement and subsequently endorsed the project during a press conference in July 2018

I also find it a bit ironic that while Pitty likes to throw Stehly under the bus, she is the only one (with Starr) who has tried to stop this project while Pitty’s buddies Neitzert and Erickson steamed forward.

VIDEO BELOW is last night’s CC meeting;

So why didn’t PTH stop the project before it got this far? As someone put it to me last night, he didn’t have a legal team in place at that time that knew their heads from a hole in the ground. While I commended PTH last night for killing the project, he really could have stopped it much sooner. While real leaders do get things done, they also get things done right and know how to say NO when necessary. It seems the only two leaders we have right now in city government is Stehly and Starr who had the vision and foresight to know this was doomed from the very beginning.

Was Mayor TenHaken handed a turd sandwich?

While there are many things the PTH administration needs to work on within their own philosophies of leadership, I think Paul was handed a lot of problems caused by the last mayor and rubber stamp city council. Unfortunately he seems to be eating the sandwich and liking it. Here is a list of things Paul is battling on those fronts;

ROADS. Let’s face it, while the weather hasn’t been the best for our pothole situation, some question what progress was done over the past 9 years? When Munson left office, our roads rated 7 out of 10, when the last guy left, the rating was identical. There was NO progress made (I’ve even argued that neighborhood streets in central SF have gotten much worse). I have contended that it’s not just a matter of money, it’s a matter of engineering the streets better.

THE BIRDCAGE. This facility has been losing money for well over a decade, and it really is just a money pit. It’s time we bulldoze the facility and find a better use for the property. I think another hotel with retail center surrounding it would be the best use. As for a new baseball stadium, I think the big wheels in town can fund that on their own or they can play at Harmadon Park.

THE EVENTS CENTER MONEY VACUUM/CAMPUS CASASM. As I mentioned above with SF stadium, we have issues with the area, it simply was built in the wrong location. It’s easy for visitors to pop off the interstate, go straight to the show, and leave right afterwards. The approximately $55 million in sales at the facility last year go straight out the door to promoters, artists and other vendors without recirculating in our community. This needs to be addressed.

DOWNTOWN PARKING RAMP. This project is the mother load of sh*t sandwiches. Paul had the chance to halt the project before ground was even broken, but moved forward anyway. Now we are faced with the unknown of a possible lawsuit, a new developer and RFP and Gawd knows what else. The administration should really be OPEN and TRANSPARENT about the process. I know they are acting like they don’t want to scare off the developer, but last I checked that may not be such a bad idea. If someone doesn’t have the money, that means they don’t have the money. It would be like feeling guilty for NOT giving a lazy panhandler money.

BUILDING COLLAPSE. The city really should have done their own investigation of this disaster. Furthermore, PTH doesn’t seem to concerned about it either. Not only should there have been an independent investigation by the State’s Attorney’s office, but there should have been a full audit of the building services department for ignoring repeated complaints about what was going on there. The illegal asbestos removable should have been the first red flag.

TRANSPARENCY. Speaking of the DT Parking Ramp fiasco, the last administration ran city hall like a cold war dictatorship. While Paul has been trying different things with getting more information out to the public, it’s very select, and the important things are still done behind closed doors, something we like to call ‘smoke and mirrors’. Sorry, Paul, we learned all the tricks from Bowlcut, they are NOT going to work this time around.

RAILROAD REDEVELOPMENT. This of course was the worst negotiated deal in the history of the city. Just the other day, after giving BNSF millions for land that Federal taxpayers essentially owned anyway in easements and reversion rights, the State has to take them to court over a $50K piece of land. Paul needs to cut the city’s losses on this banana shaped plot and sell it to the highest bidder ASAP.

ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. What did we say all along? We didn’t need the extra space. In fact, after building the new City Center we are finding out we have so much space that we are putting the IT department there and clearing out an entire city building for the Triage Center. Don’t get me wrong, the Triage Center is a worthy cause, but the taxpayers are really being taken to the cleaners on the city center and we still haven’t heard whether or not we are footing the bill for the defunct HVAC system.

MIDCO AQUATIC CENTER. Still not really at capacity, and worse yet, customer service reports from the facility are less then favorable. This will be another money pit for years to come. If I was PTH I would try to sell the facility to a private organization and wash our hands of it. Maybe the VA would be interested, they already own the land . . .

MASSIVE FLOODING. We know how the last guy thought about massive growth and development. If it was up to him he would have paved the entire city including all the public parks. Paul needs to slow this down, it is resulting in a lot of pavement and very little runoff and drainage. The action they are taking in the Rose/Lotta neighborhood is a good move, but more needs to be done by dedicating more of the 2nd Penny to drainage upgrades.

Like I said, Paul was really handed a plate of poo, but besides trying to re-polish it, he really isn’t tamping out the fires of closed government and corruption, but if you looked at his campaign donor list, you would know why. Follow the money folks.

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken ‘slipped in’ the State Theatre in his SOC address

He didn’t mention any numbers, but he made it clear he wanted it to open within the year. I’m sure it will buried in his proposed budget and the city council will have no choice but to pull it and amend it if they don’t want it. I call it ‘sneaky budgeting’.

He did have some other important things in his presentation. Not sure what a ‘Dream’ website is all about? Just more web marketing mumble jumble.

I’m not sure how this it was any different then having it at Carnegie. The crowd actually looked a little light. Bowlcut used to have PP presentations also and managed just fine. I guess I would also start doing the SOC at 6 or 7 PM so working people can tune in.

UPDATE: PTH also said he wants to rebrand the city’s logo so that all the different organizations associated with the city like the Chamber, Forward SF, Development foundation, etc, have a similar ‘Sioux Falls’ moniker. I think this is a great idea and a long time coming. I often said there is confusion just with the different city departments. But I disagree with the process. First I would ask graphic designers/artists to submit a design and have the citizens vote on it online (like the flag competition). Then whoever wins give them some kind of prize package with gift cards of local businesses etc. Then I would hire a media company to refine it and match it up with the participating orgs. I also don’t think the taxpayers should be paying for this. I think the other organizations involved have plenty of money to foot the bill, or better yet a local media company can donate their time.

Mayor TenHaken proposes new budgeting process

At first glance I like the direction of this new process, especially the first tier;

It’s a two-page summary of the request that is then scored by committees of city staff from all 11 departments based on five criteria:

  • Does it meet the goals of the city?
  • Is it innovative?
  • Is it sustainable?
  • Does it foster partnerships with other organizations and agencies?
  • Is it measurable?

After scoring about 50 of those “RFRs,” which Pritchett declined to share details about, the ones with the highest score are prioritized. That’s when the public engagement aspect of TenHaken’s budgeting process comes in.

This is really how department heads SHOULD be submitting their budgets through a scoring process. I also like the 5 questions, but where it gets wobbly is the 2nd tier where they say the ‘public’ would be involved;

“We want to engage people that may not have been engaged in the process in the past,” said Pritchett, who this month will bring the highest-scored proposals to a citizen group of Leadership Sioux Falls members to get even more feedback.

While having the public leadership group involved is also a great idea, I would apply it a little differently. As I have mentioned in the past, the City Council, the legislative body of the city should really be putting the budget together after the 1st tier is implemented and the leadership group weighs in. After that I think the COUNCIL not the MAYOR should introduce a preliminary budget that is presented to citizens in at least 2-3 public meetings/open houses where citizens can tell councilors what they like and don’t like. And during the process there should be an online participatory budgeting website that people can leave comments (an idea council candidate Weiland suggested). After that process is finished the council can present there final budget to the mayor and public.

Why shouldn’t the mayor be involved? First off, under charter, the council controls the purse strings, and secondly the mayor’s office is really just another department that can put in it’s requests like the other departments.

The city needs to get back to having our citizen representatives draw up a budget that reflects citizens instead of corporate welfare and play palaces.