Wendy McDonnel, petition circulator, will be on Viewpoint University today (Good Friday) Around 5:30(?).
The Sioux Falls School Board has voted on the school calendar for the next three years. Some folks are not happy with the results and are circulating petitions on the subject. Wendy McDonnel will tell us why they don’t like the calendar and what they want to put in its place.
Viewpoint University from 4-7 today on this website and 1140 KSOO.
In the wee hours of Tuesday night, I will be starting a long overdue blog break. South DaCola will remain up, but commenting will be turned off to prepare for changes. Not sure what the new format of DaCola will be, but a (small) team of South DaCola foot soldiers and associates have been weighing our options. I can tell you this, it will no longer be a bitch session but a proactive community activism website and news source (what many don’t realize is the activism my site inspires that doesn’t grace the pages of the interwebs, they are numerous, and often). Not sure how long this transition will take, but I am guessing about a month. Some of the things we will be doing will be definitely ground breaking and ‘different’ to the Sioux Falls market (yes, I will be selling advertising), and different then any traditional media source that currently exists in the Greatest Little City in the country. I am looking forward to it, but I am also looking forward to the break from my tireless obsession with city government.
While I volunteer my activism on this site, it hasn’t always been ‘fun’. I have lost sleep and good friends over it, and the friends that still talk to me, don’t do it as often. It’s been rough emotionally for me, because my personal (recreational) life is almost nonexistent, and if that is going to change, for the better, I need to make this transition. It’s time I get back to things I enjoy, like BBQ’in with my friends, bike riding, firepits and camping, playing yard games, painting and going to live music shows and dancing with the ladies (love dancing with the ladies). Stuff that has almost dwindled to nothing, especially over the past four years.
There has been some positives though, and I am grateful for them every day. I have met some pretty amazing people in our community on this journey, who have made me laugh, made me cry, and pulled the inner fight out of me. Candidates, citizen advocates, city & county employees, elected city and county officials, attorneys, campaign consultants and a whole host of other citizens disenfranchised by city government that have a legitimate beef and axe to grind. They are fantastic, intelligent, thoughtful, fascinating people that are not apathetic or ignorant and have hearts the size of the T Denny Sanford Premier Center. I love the NEW friendships I have attained. Some of these people will probably be my friends for a very, very long time, and I love it (a lot of them like to dance also
This is the most important city election this city has ever had since I moved here in 1991. Ballot issues on quality of life, public services, home owner property rights, etc. I have been diligent and obsessive for a reason, maybe it’s the bleeding heart Liberal in me that just wants to see fairness for EVERYONE from government, especially on a local level. Transparency and anti-censorship are my two biggest issues. I have often had the belief that democracies can only be fair to the citizenry if that citizenry is informed. Ethical and open government is tantamount to a vibrant and strong local government, unfortunately, that has not happened over the last 8-10 years in Sioux Falls (Huether and Erpenbach have been public enemy #1 in this arena). I’ve seen good people chopped down, I’ve watched public employees terminated and publicly disgraced unfairly, I have seen citizens put through the wringer and watched the very people we elect allow it to happen, with no remorse. As the chair to ‘Citizens for Integrity’ said the other night about the ballot language at the city council meeting, “It’s bad!”
We can however make a change on Tuesday, remember to VOTE at any vote center and VOTE for a change and progress;
Ballot Measures: YES on the first Five, No on the last Two!
In closing; I have become familiar with defeat and victory in municipal elections, but the voters are the ultimate deciders, and while I will not be able to personally accept some of their decisions on Tuesday, I can deal with it, move on, and work with the positive results of that night. I hate to sound like a candidate, but I Love Sioux Falls, it took me a long time to get to that point, but I think we have so many things we can improve on. I think we can do that no matter the results Tuesday night, and I hope the NEW DaCola will be a part of that.
HELP! The chat room has been shut off, and I am drowning in questions.
I waited a few days before posting about this. (100 Eyes show 1/30/14) I was pretty hot at the time, I have cooled a bit since Wednesday. A nice brisk walk in the February weather probably helped.
For full disclosure, I like Pat Lalley, like myself, Pat has an opinion and likes to share it. Good for him. In fact I met Pat when he worked at the lowly (but always entertaining) TEMPEST magazine. Heck, I have known him longer then my dog.
But sometimes, like myself, he can be tragically hypocritical. Snowgates come to mind (he hires a contractor to clean out his driveway).
While his employer launches lawsuit after lawsuit for open government, he certainly doesn’t like to practice what he preaches.
On Thursday, for instance, he had the pool ‘Indoorers’ on his show, 100 Eyes. The program is simple, you tune in, and you can leave questions for the guests. In fact, Pat started the chat by saying ‘Fire Away’. I will admit, I recruited many people who support an outdoor pool at Spellerberg to ask questions. Good questions. We fired away like machine guns.
Not one single question was asked (or at least in OUR context), heck they were not even posted in the chat room. We were CENSORED. That’s fine, the Argus is a private news organization, they can do what they want. The obvious bias towards the ‘Indoorers’ was clear.
So what’s my beef? Don’t talk about transparency and sunshine in government, and shut the lights off.
To say I am disappointed is putting it mildly.
Here’s a list of questions I helped compile that were never posted in the chat:
• The SF Hockey Association and Indoor Tennis Association was able to raise money privately to go towards a public/private partnership with the city. It has been over 6 years since the Drake Springs vote. Why hasn’t Community Swim raised any money to go towards a similar partnership?
• Unlike Rapid City’s Indoor public pool, if an indoor public pool is built at Spellerberg, it will not be able to be expandable in the future. Isn’t this an issue, or more of a bigger plan by SF Parks and Rec to build more indoor pools?
• How much will the public be able to use the 50-meter pool if the special interest swim teams have it tied up?
• If an indoor public pool is truly NEEDED, why will it have to subsidized up to $700,000 a year? Will the swim teams be willing to close that gap through putting club memberships towards that subsidy?
• What are your feelings on the city using taxdollars to ‘educate’ the public on a citizen driven ballot initiative, like the indoor pool, which clearly leans towards an indoor facility? The city attorney claims it is not against state law, but it certainly comes close.
• Why hasn’t the indoor pool supporters done their own petition drive to have citizens approve an indoor pool? If the outdoor pool vote fails at Spellerberg, the council still has to approve the Indoor pool budget and bonds to build it. So a NO vote doesn’t make the indoor pool a done deal but a ballot initiative would have.
• I support an indoor pool but through a public/private partnership with the school district. Your feelings?
I have also heard that Sanford really wanted a public pool at the Sports Complex, and they are not happy about the Spellerberg plan. Don’t know how much of that is true, but it makes sense, especially since EVERYTHING else is there and there would be room for expansion. Hopefully Sanford will come out against an indoor pool at Spellerberg. But I’m not holding my breath, unless of course I am choking on a Papa John’s pizza slice.
Mayor Huether to Announce Sioux Falls’ Top 10 Wins of 2013
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Mayor Mike Huether will hold a news conference on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 1 p.m. to present what he considers to be the top 10 wins that Sioux Falls City government captured in 2013. The news conference will take place in the Commission Room in City Hall, 224 West Ninth Street.
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.
Wonder how MMM will walk this tight rope? He’ll probably have City Attorney Fiddle-Faddle dig up some loophole in the ordinance about ‘educating’ the public instead of ‘campaigning’.
Randell Beck, former publisher of the Argus-Leader, is on mission. He is leading an effort to enlist 500 more mentors for students in our elementary, middle, and high schools. Currently there are about 1000 people investing an hour a week in helping a child succeed. The list of students needing mentors is long. Mr. Beck will talk about a new effort to attract people like you to help.
I did not hear the program, so I still need to get the following information confirmed, but a listener told me that Beck has a new job at Avera in community relations. Not sure if this has something to do with his mentoring and is a volunteer position, or a paid position? BUT if it is a paid gig, it makes you wonder why Beck ‘retired’ early from GANNETT if he still wanted to continue to work? It’s one thing to want to make a career change when you are 30, 40 or even 50 but to jump the publishing industry when you are close to retirement seems a bit odd.
So did Beck ‘retire’? I’m sure we will get the answer to that question the same day we find out what Gannett paid Dan Scott to settle out of court.
Letter: Find new audience for ‘leftist liberal writings’
Written by G. Malcolm Jameson, M.D., Yankton
I’m not quite sure what the Argus Leader’s Jonathan Ellis might have been puffing on, but his continuous leftist liberal writings suggest some obscure mind-bending malady.
He seems to find impartial discussion, supposed insider disclosures, political fairy tales and terse comments much easier to do.
Perhaps Iowa might be a more fertile field for his politics.
Okay, Doctor ‘G’, we get it, you are a Right Wing Wacko that hates liberals, but could you give us a clue as to what these ‘liberal’ writings were about? I know that Ellis has claimed to be a bit Libertarian on some issues, and I haven’t always agreed with him, but ‘Liberal’? Hardly. I wonder if Ellis crapped his pants laughing when he read this. Hopefully the letter was written on a piece of toilet paper.
If you really want to rant about a political reporter at the AL, I would have to point towards Montgomery, while he is very talented and in depth in his reporting, he tends to lean a bit right.