Entries Tagged 'Michelle Erpenbach' ↓

Mayor Huether really doesn’t understand the city’s relationship with the two sharing counties


“I only attend the important meetings. Now who wants a banana?”

Well you have to laugh when Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth says this;

A few of the county commissioners say they cannot remember the last time a sitting mayor spoke at one of their meetings.

He actually went on to say it has been NINE years since they have seen a sitting mayor of Sioux Falls at their meeting.

Commissioner Barth also asked the mayor about the growing crime rate in the city.

But that isn’t the only meetings the mayor has been missing out on. During the Sioux Falls city council informational councilors hammered the mayor about his absence at the county/city coffees the city council has each month with Lincoln and Minnehaha county commissioners and Erpenbach asked why the mayor hasn’t attended the joint meetings lately at Carnegie. After he danced around the question for about 2 minutes he told Erpenbach he has a “Busy Schedule”. You know, it’s hard to pencil in a meeting when you are flying all over the state campaigning(?) for governor. Funny how he has time to go to Yankton, the Black Hills and next week to Brookings, but he can’t drive 10 minutes across town to attend an EVENING meeting at Carnegie. Councilor Erickson also reiterated that the mayor needs to attend the meetings and that they have been very productive. Councilor Jamison went as far to tell the mayor he is a “year behind” when it comes to negotiations with the counties about partnerships because he doesn’t attend the meetings. Huether said he has “got his staff on it.” So now the taxpayers are paying staffers to do the Mayor’s job so he can hop scotch around the state. Nice. Maybe if the mayor wants to spend more time campaigning then actually doing his job, someone can teach him how to teleconference using Skype. Let’s face it, he doesn’t attend these meetings because he is not in charge.

The Minnehaha County Commission also wondered if there could be any (financial) partnerships with the city;

Commissioner Jeff Barth hopes the county sees more benefits from whatever partnerships are in the future.

“The fact is that our revenues are growing at 30-percent of the revenues of the city and the state, and yet our responsibilities are increasing at a greater level,” Barth said.

Ironically, Huether talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. The city could easily give the county a lot more of the kitty by simply cutting them a check for ‘services rendered’. I would much more prefer $24 million dollars of my tax money going to the county for services then purchasing an indoor pool that will only cost us millions each year in operations and maintenance.

Dick Kelly also scrutinizes the city’s use of TIF’s;

Development in the city continues to grow every year, with Huether saying Sioux Falls has doubled its number of TIFs in the last five and a half years. Commissioner Dick Kelly says those impact the county city immediately with sales and property tax dollars.

“We don’t see anything for generally 20 years when that property tax growth comes.  Yet our expenses continue to rise and rise and rise.  I just ask you continue to be very selective in what you do with the TIF programs,” Kelly said.

“You should demand that we scrutinize these TIFs and I will assure you we are,” Huether said.

LOL! We are already past the $500 million mark on building permits for the year and we are setting up to be another record year for them, yet somehow we need TIF’s? Boloney. Developers ask for TIF’s because they can. A great example is when the Lloyd companies asked for a TIF on the School for the Deaf property, then bailed on it when they couldn’t get one, yet another investor came in, didn’t ask for a TIF and has tons of interest in the property from other investors And it’s not like this guy is the wealthiest developer in town, it’s ‘Uncle Bruce’ who owns used car lots. TIF’s are not needed in Sioux Falls, they only have an adverse effect on county and school funding, they need to be eliminated.

Maybe our Mayor would understand the county relationship better if he attended a lot more government meetings instead jumping out of helicopters like he is a monkey.

One more reason the SF Parks Board should be more transparent

As I have been reviewing salary changes since 2011-2015 (post to come soon) I came across a ‘little’ nepotism. Seems former Parks Board member and City Councilor, Erpenbach was able to get her son a part-time job in 2011.


That’s our tax dollars hard at work, paying city councilor’s kids to mow grass.

Events Center receives permanent occupancy permit last week, and more pointless ordinances

The man in charge of building permits for Sioux Falls announced yesterday at the Public Services meeting that the EC got its permit (starts in the middle of the meeting). Councilor Staggers questioned the siding issue. Bell told him that even though it may not be asthetically correct he said it is structurally sound. Kermit questioned the gaps and holes in the siding, and Bell said the insulation was also sound and would prevent any issues.

What does this mean? My guess is it will probably never be fixed, and if it is, it will just be a quick patch job. My assumption all along is that someone signed off on the cheaper method to apply the siding and that person/entity (I have no clue who it is) is covering their tracks. Once again, it seems the public will be left in the dark.

At the beginning of the meeting, councilor Erpenbach seemed to want to have more control over what food vendor trucks are doing in our city (they are mostly monitored by the state). I found her statements ironic and hypocritical after she just recently scolded the rest of the council about micro-managing the Events Center when it comes to ticket sales. She doesn’t seem to be concerned about citizens getting ripped off at a building that they are paying the mortgage on, but seems to be concerned about people dropping napkins around food trucks and being able to eat at 3 AM. Go figure.

I find her arguments about limiting the food trucks hours of operation completely ignorant. The whole point of being open at 3 AM is so they can serve food to people leaving the bar. If you limit their hours of operation, they just won’t be operating at all.

SF City Councilor Erpenbach feels citizens who want transparency are ‘picky’


It’s only an extra $4 million, why is everyone being so picky about it?

Well, I have came to expect these kind of comments from Michelle;

“The whole idea that everything is already set over there is so wrong,” she (Erpenbach) said. “I don’t even like to give it any credence. It just comes from folks who look for something to pick at.”

Yeah how dare several citizens and councilors have questioned the transparency and funding of this project! I often wonder what closed government Lah-Lah land Michelle lives in.

What will the next Mayor’s race look like

Last week I posted about how our current mayor could pull off running a 3rd term. He had two options on the table, he could somehow convince the Charter Revision Commission (which currently has NO members) to introduce it on the ballot, then convince the voters to approve it, OR he could have a fill-in for 4 years then run again after that.

Well the second part sparked quite a few speculators as to who could be that fill-in, or at least, who was asked.

The possible prospects who are serious about running for mayor could be anyone of these folks;

Rick Knobe, Michelle Erpenbach, Dean Karsky, Darrin Smith and possibly even Greg Jamison.

But one name kept popping up last week like the popping sound of a loud piped Harley, Jim Entenman.

I find it odd that Jim would even consider it, first off, the mayor just can’t leave for a month to Mexico in the middle of the winter, well of course GW Bush was always on vacation while president, so maybe he can. Jim also didn’t run for a second term as councilor wanting to get back to transitioning his family business. He’s a busy man, running a mega-motorcycle empire in Sioux Falls is a tough job.

Do I think Jim was asked to run? Sure. Do I think he will run? Not a chance.

Councilors Erpenbach & Rolfing riding the pine today

Councilors Erpenbach and Rolfing missed the whole point of ‘conflicts of interest’ when it comes to the ethics of councilors last night (FF: 7:40).

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.

The Erpenbach hits just keep coming . . .


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’!


Councilor Erpenbach grasping at straws over snowgates

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.

We ‘MUST’ obey who?

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We do not live in an authoritarian society.

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 project or 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.

Is it time for Parks Board meetings to be Video taped at Carnegie?

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.