In their disdain for Councilor Staggers (at one point, Rolfing told councilor Staggers to go sit down who was presenting his resolution from the podium, let’s talk about decorum Rex, that was a real classy move) in reference to Kermit’s resolution to allow councilors to be committee members in their respective parties.
Rex seemed angry when reading his statement, which he should be, but it was entirely misdirected towards Kermit’s resolution. I joked not to long ago, Erpenbach and Rolfing would vote against a promoting World Peace resolution if it was Kermit’s resolution.
Rolfing was angry about conflicts, but not once mentioned the obvious and blatant conflict Dean Karsky has with the Chamber of Commerce, which does do business with the city, unlike the party committees. He also didn’t even bring up the mayor representing Obama as a Democratic Party delegate. That apparently wasn’t on the radar. Nope, because Karsky and Huether are not Staggers, and let’s admit it, that’s all their NO votes against the resolution by Erpenbach and Rolfing were about (they were the only two to vote against it, because you know, the rest of the councilors used common sense instead of angst while voting).
To be honest with you, they looked like fools singling out Staggers and Erickson last night, when every single one of the councilors and mayor have numerous conflicts of interest that are more detrimental to governance in this city then going to a convention for your party every couple of years.
Some people on the council need to grow up, or at least grow a brain.
Michelle (a Democrat) Erpenbach seems to be concerned about councilors serving as party precinct peeps (mainly because they are not serving in her respective party), she says it is a matter of ‘council ethics’.
But the city’s Board of Ethics has determined, along with City Attorney Dave Pfeifle, that while the courts have held that the exercise of sovereign power generally refers to someone serving in some legislative or policy-making capacity for a sovereign government, a precinct officer in a political party wouldn’t meet that definition.
So it doesn’t violate the letter of the city charter.
But there’s this Canon of Ethics created by the council that is meant to govern members’ conduct. Right now that canon says councilors have a civil responsibility to support good government by all ethical and legal means.
For Erpenbach, that means staying clear of any hint of political involvement.
“Our charter says we run as nonpartisan candidates,” she said. “When I go door to door, and people ask me if I’m Republican or Democrat, I tell them I am running for a nonpartisan seat.
“Now we’re having this discussion. I do not understand how you can be so active in your political party politics and still be nonpartisan.”
Where does that line ‘Hint’ at political party involvement? Basically what she is saying is that if you are a registered Democrat or Republican and you vote in your respective party’s primaries, you are practicing partisanship as a sitting council member. I know, laughable at best.
Erpenbach isn’t going to vote for it. “Our Canon of Ethics gets to the idea of service,” she said. “It’s really about citizens’ expectations about what they want from the people on the council. … and that is providing equal access to everyone.”
She ‘howls’ about partisanship and ethics but says nothing about the MONSTER conflict of interest Karsky has with the Chamber, and the ethics of him sitting as a board member that does mountains of business with the city. Let’s talk about the equal access of citizens and NON-Chamber members when it comes to councilor Karsky, that is a discussion I would LOVE to have.
Kermit of course blows off Michelle’s silliness, confessing it really isn’t a big deal;
“A precinct committee member, at least in the Republican Party, we don’t do a whole lot but go to conventions. We select people to run for constitutional offices. It’s a nice time,” he said.
Kermit, kind of sounds like your Republicans are ‘Rock’in It’!
Like the Drake Springs pool vote, it seems some on the city council just can’t stand the fact that citizens passed snow gates. Like Drake Springs*, they need to get over it and move on. Like I told a person yesterday, I didn’t vote for the Events Center, but the citizens said they wanted it, so it is what it is, all I can do now is make sure the facility is ran properly, and the councilors should do the same about snow gates. Huber put on a great presentation that was factual, positive and forthright, and all Rolfing and Erpenbach did was grasp at straws about snow gates usefulness. Michelle even went as far as saying it might potentially affect real estate values. She mentioned that people on the end of the block may not get as good of service as people in the middle, and somehow in her crazy reasoning, this would affect home prices on corner lots. (Actual Presentation, starts at 1:04)
WOW. Michelle has said some pretty ridiculous things, but this takes the cake. It also shows how little she knows about real estate and should concern us that she is voting on affordable housing issues and planning and zoning.
First thing I was told when I was looking for my first home, “Don’t buy a corner lot.” They are notorious for more sidewalk to scoop, more yard to mow, more trees to trim, and you are responsible for scooping the sidewalk ends. Some people like corner lots, but they are known for more maintenance, this isn’t some real estate secret, and certainly, snowgates are not going to change these facts.
Michelle and Rex need to accept the vote of the people, and move on, snow gates are a part of city ordinance passed by the citizenry by over 70% of the vote. Stop crying about them.
*Actually, ironically, it is good thing citizens voted for an outdoor pool at Nelson Park, since the Aquatics Consultant the city hired said due to groundwater issues at the park, an indoor pool at that location would have had maintenance issues.
Our Sioux Falls City Council met on a Monday this past week so the members could attend the Chamber of Commerce yearly get together at the T Denny Sanford Premier Events Center (wow want a mouthful). There were concerns expressed by the public about changing the weekly meetings to accommodate the event at a recent Council meeting. Of course these were completely ignored. Going to the Chicago concert was more important. (I felt a little throw-up in my throat)
But back to the point of this video. While we have concerns regarding many invocations given at the council meetings, council member Michelle Erpenbach made a few points we needed to address.
Michelle tells us, we the public must OBEY our leaders or authorities. Huh? Blindly following? Without question? Are we supposed to jump off a cliff just because? Allow profiteering leaders take us to war so they can make money? Allow multinational corporations to destroy our very communities so they can suck money out us then leave? Just because? We don’t think so.
Our system of government is designed to check the assumption of powers not expressly given temporarily to our fellow citizens who become officeholders. We do not stand in front of our fellow citizens and force them to accept commands in the name of a deity. Like painting the snowplows, there should be a separation of your religious views in publicly owned property, places and spaces. Just being in the majority doesn’t trump the rights of a minority.
We have heard excellent invocations at the city council. We often hoped council members would actually listen to and then act on the words of wisdom. The words given were based on the moral values gained by their faith. Not preachy.
So to the people who give invocations, do not force us to listen to words selling your latest projector church. Do not insult us by forcing us to attend your church sermon. But give inspirational words to cause the listeners to pause. Allow the listeners to consider what they are about to do affects people they may never meet.
This invocation gave us an insight into core beliefs of the speaker and we must remember it forever. It’s not good.
Besides the fact that the council ramrodded every agenda item through without much discussion at last night’s city council meeting (Kermit was absent and attending a conference – which was also ironic that they scheduled an executive session in his absence).
They also approved the transit board recommendations. Two things were missing from that discussion; NO transfers and NO free ridership under a certain age. They also didn’t address the poorly managed dispatch of Paratransit which is probably very costly to the system, but oh well, when councilor Staggers is out of town, questions don’t get asked and we rumberstamp much faster.
Speaking of the rubber stamp, councilors Karsky and Erpenbach seemed to have lost theirs for a moment last night when the council proposed an amendment to overstep the Parks Board. It’s really a simple argument, the city council is an elected board and should always supersede any appointed board, like the Parks Board.
But councilor Erpenbach (a former Parks Board member) felt that the council should not be allowed to overstep their recommendations. Once again, Michelle couldn’t be more wrong. Remember, they are appointed by the Mayor, and they aren’t your average Joe Six-Pack sitting at Van Eps Park drinking a cold one on a Wednesday morning. One of the members for example is the wife of mega-super-TIF-sucking developer Craig Lloyd.
So I ask Michelle, if this board is so precious and powerful, why aren’t the decisions they are making being recorded on video at Carnegie? I suggest the next resolution the city council proposes is that ALL appointed board meetings be recorded at Carnegie, including Ethics board and city council working sessions. If they are so important, they can show their importance by being transparent.
Also, you can’t miss public input from last night, the mayor was ‘forgiven’ for being a jerk by a citizen.
No big surprises. It looks like Walmart threw in only an additional $33,000 in the last week before the election. Some interesting notes to point out in the candidate races were that Kiley received only ONE individual contributions right before the election, $250 from Cindy Huether. Cindy also gave $250 to Tex Golfing & Michelle Erpenbach. How convenient that she gave this late in the game, knowing her name wouldn’t appear on a financial report until after the election. I guess she learned well from her sneaky husband.
Mayor Huether also had some interesting contributors. From PAC’s he got $1500 from two separate Unions, Citigroup gave $500, John Morrell’s (Smithfield) gave $1000, and one of the more interesting of his PAC contributors was HDR Engineering, which gave $500. HDR does a boatload of consulting for the city planning office. A very strange donation to Christine Erickson was from Kyle Schoenfish (used to be a Democrat, and is the son of Mayor Huether’s first cousin) who gave $125. Still trying to figure that one out.
Councilor Erpenbach recently had this reply to a citizen’s email asking about the polling evidence that people want the indoor pool at Spellerberg;
Thanks, —–. I appreciate your input but I seriously disagree with your analysis.
Three separate polls (including the April 8 election) indicate people in Sioux Falls overwhelmingly support an indoor aquatics facility at the Spellerberg location. Those votes include amazing numbers from all of the precincts that touch Spellerberg Park. Your neighbors want this.
And I disagree that no other locations were studied. Many sites were studied extensively. Frankly, if we need to expand our indoor aquatics program, future leaders won’t be adding to Spellerberg, they will be building another site.
The people have spoken. Let’s please move on.
More indoor pools?! We can’t even afford the one, and she is planning on building more?! The indoor pool will only be used to capacity during swim meets and on the weekends.
Remember the April vote was for a NEW outdoor pool at Spellerberg. The only poll we know about at this point are the city voters voting against replacing the pool with another outdoor pool. CS365 and Nielson did polls BEFORE the vote, but I have no clue who did an exit poll.
In the informational meeting video (FF: 7:20) Michelle actually states “They have been privy to a poll”. She says they have a public poll but we have never heard about it before this informational. Was this a top secret poll? Who conducted it? CS365? Another private entity? Or the city?
Informational Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Council Member Michelle Erpenbach responded that polling done illustrated 70% of the voters (who voted against an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park) assumed they were voting for an indoor pool at this same location. She recommended listening to the citizens that support this location. Erpenbach noted that the indoor pool project has been a project for this City Council. She recommended allowing the two outgoing Council Members the right to vote on this item.
In a document handed out at the informational meeting (Spellerberg Scan 042814) there were no attributions as to who conducted the exit poll, not even a mention of this mysterious exit poll, just previous polling and election results. Is councilor Erpenbach just making up this mysterious exit poll? And even if she isn’t, why did voters ‘think’ they were voting on an indoor pool at Spellerberg when it was not on the ballot? And why is councilor Erpenbach bragging about how the city & CS365 used taxpayer and private money to mislead voters?
My bigger concern is that documents are being handed out at public meetings that are claiming a 70% approval of an indoor pool at Spellerberg, and have no attributions as to ‘who’ conducted the poll. Could care less if it was true or not, my bigger question is whether it was actually conducted, or construed and concocted with polling previous to the election?
Looks like something is being pulled from someone’s butt.
More ‘strange’ campaign materials by Erpenbach. Even if she is suggesting the RR development area will be considered a ‘quiet’ development, she fails to mention that the area will still be surrounded by RR tracks, the landing path airspace for the airport, and when those two things are not rattling the dishes in the kitchen cabinet (I should know, I live about 5 blocks South of the area) there is the pleasant Avera chopper flying over. So once again, thanks for baffling us Michelle with your made up ‘issues’.
Someone asked me the other day what has been Michelle’s biggest weakness as councilor, and I said, “That’s easy, she rarely responds to constituents when they call on her.”
Hey, peeps, Michelle knows who butters her bread, and it ain’t the lowly whiners of the Central District (snark).