Entries Tagged 'Mike Huether' ↓

Huether ties with dead guy in Chamber straw poll

And the winner is . . . Not Mike (Full Doc: Business Caucus Results)

strawbull

Where was City Councilor Huether last night?

I’m not the only one asking the question. Several public officials asked me if I had any insight :) Besides Mike, Commissioner Bender was the only one that was not present with the two boards. Jean had a conflict of interest because her husband’s company has an appeal pending with the solar farm land, or something like that, ironically something I warned the Commission about when they were considering her for the commission, but hey, what do I know, I’m just a cranky blogger.

The mayor often calls himself a city councilor, and he should be available for tie-break votes. So why was he a no-show? Did he have a conflict of interest also? Bender fessed up with her conflict, will the mayor?

Americans for Prosperity opposed to 3rd penny for municipalities

I don’t often agree with the right wing boloney coming from Americans for Prosperity, but I do agree that raising another penny for municipalities is certainly a horrible idea. They have their reasons to oppose the tax increase, which are the usual choking of economic development, etc., etc. and just being opposed to taxes in general. My reasons are a little different, sales taxes are a regressive tax, and South Dakotan’s impoverished and middle class are already paying too much.

I can see why this will get broad support from both sides of the aisle in our state legislature. Democrats like extra tax money to spend on play things, this is why our mayor is just in love with the idea. Republicans in the state most likely support it, because any increase on sales taxes means a shift away from a corporate or income tax, something that scares the crap out of them.

Let’s face it, there are many things wrong with the proposal. First off, even if I supported the legislation, which I don’t, I would require a 60% majority for passage of the tax increase. I would also eliminate the ‘sunset’ clause, because let’s face it, they are just a myth sold to voters.

But I guess one of the reasons I vehemently oppose the tax increase, especially in Sioux Falls, is because we seem to have a bad habit already of spending our CIP 2nd Penny on playthings, I can’t imagine the out of control spending we would have for projects for the special interest groups if a 3rd penny ensued. You think indoor pools and tennis centers are an unneeded expense now, give the city another $100 million plus a year and you will see them on every corner.

We need responsible taxing, and this is where Americans for Prosperity and I disagree. We need to eliminate the sales taxes on food, clothing and utilities and we need to implement a corporate income tax to foster economic development, or even better yet fund indoor tennis facilities that 99.9% of us sales tax paying peeps will never use.

Besides, the CEOs and their children need something to do during the winter besides counting their frozen moldy money.

 

Mayor Huether talks transparency

When people have to tell you and remind you that they don’t keep secrets, it usually means they keep secrets.

In the latest ‘Ask the Mayor’ episode, Huether talks about his policies of transparency with the city council (FF: 14:00).

While I could find several instances where the mayor HAS not been transparent with the public and council, I will focus on some recent instances.

– The city council and public still have not received a contractor list of who built the Events Center. The council has been asking directors and the mayor for this list for over 16 months.

-The city council and public still have not seen the consultants recommendations on the EC siding issue. In fact, the only one talking is a private contractor.

-The city council was asked to vote on the ambulance contract without seeing the scoring procedures or criteria.

-We have NO idea what is going on with the RR relocation project, a project that will potentially cost Federal taxpayers $30 million dollars.

Is the mayor transparent? You be the judge.

Speaking of (the lack of) transparency, the city council takes a shot at it in the latest Inside Town Hall. The host claims that voters overwhelmingly approved an indoor pool at Spellerberg (ah, no they didn’t). Rolfing actually corrects her, but then says that by people voting against the outdoor pool that means they want an indoor pool. Erpenbach takes it a step further and claims that the council’s vote last year approving the budget for the indoor pool is the actual approval vote. You mean when approved the $13 million and change expenditure? Now we are at $23 million.

STRRRREEEETCHHHH!

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.

Could Mayor Huether serve a 3rd term?

huether-happy

I know, I had to swallow a little throw-up when I re-read that above title to. But what are his options?

There has been a lot of back room talk that the mayor may not be able to secure governorship in 2018. As I have have often noted, don’t underestimate the guy. I think the Republicans are going to have a brutal primary and with Mike’s money and influence, he could convince the dough heads in power of the SD Democratic Party he’s their man, but let’s consider for a moment that he may want the mayorship again. How can he accomplish this?

• He could convince a buddy to run in 2018 and only serve one term (conveniently) and reappear in 2022, OR

• Even easier, he could convince the Charter Revision Commission to offer an amendment to allow mayors in Sioux Falls to serve 3 terms.

The 2nd option would be easier.

What do I think? I hope that in 2018 when Huether exits city hall there is a U-Haul outside with his belongings in it headed to Texas, California or even Mars.

Mayor Huether at the Rotary 1/12/15

hot-chocolate

The mayor graced the SF DT Rotary with a Q & A session where he covered many topics today. (argusleader video). Towards the end he said something I agree with 100%. He asked audience members to call his office so that they could clarify any ‘rumors’ they may have heard about the city while talking to their grandma (who reads SouthDacola). I couldn’t agree more, I encourage people to call the mayor’s office and ask him about anything you may read on my site. I know I have been asking those questions for a long time, and fail to get answers. Heck, during the Q & A someone asked him about the EC siding, and he answered it by saying he was advised not to talk about it.

He also touched on;

• The Railroad Relocation project, where he admitted that it may not be finished by the time he leaves office. The first time I have ever seen the mayor kick the can down the road.

• Plans for the new Spellerberg Indoor Aquatic Center will be presented to the public in 2 weeks. He gave a hint about some of the ammenities, you will be able to have a hot chocolate there.

• He referred to the City Attorney as ‘His’ attorney, then corrected himself by saying it was ‘Our’ attorney to, but admitted he uses him to. The city attorney’s main job actually is defending the city charter, the State and US constitution, not particular elected officials.

God Bless and Make it great Jesus Snowplow Day – And don’t forget, dispel those rumors!

Thumbs Up to Mayor Huether

A Positive Thumbs Up Sign

I was glad to see the mayor do a proclamation about stalking awareness last night at the city council meeting. As ALL of our local media has been focusing on the string of domestic violence related murders this past year in Sioux Falls, we must ALL remain vigilant about domestic violence in our community. If you suspect something is going on with a friend, a relative or a neighbor – DO SOMETHING and encourage them to seek help before it is too late.

 

GM of KELO-TV says trip with Mayor Huether to NFL game was ‘Personal’

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“Hey, thanks for those tickets to the Greenbay game, now for some (softball) questions.”

So last week I was shown some photos of Mayor Huether attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party doing photo-ops with employees. Maybe he was the keynote speaker or the entertainment for the night. Thank Snowplows my work just sets up banquet tables in the warehouse and feeds us fried chicken for about 45 minutes for our Christmas party.

I was also shown photos of the mayor attending a Greenbay game at Lambeau with the general manager of KELO-TV, Jay Huizenga. I guess it didn’t shock me too much (the Christmas party I find stranger then the game trip).

So I sent this email off to Jay;

Jay, I recently was given a couple of photos of Mayor Huether attending the KELO-TV employee Christmas party and you and him attending an NFL football game in Greenbay. No big deal. What concerns me is that the General Manager of a local news organization is crossing the line of journalistic integrity. I don’t think I have to remind you of the 4th estate, and their duties. Sometimes that means you can’t be friends with certain people. Before I post anything on my blog, I would like to hear an explanation from you.

Thank You, Scott L. Ehrisman

southdacola.com

Jay replied;

Thank you for the email.  I have no comment on my personal life.

No Jay, thank you for not answering any of my questions. I did think about sending the mayor an email, but I’m sure his ‘personal’ friend Jay probably already made him aware there are photos of Santa Cheesehead Mayor floating around on the Facebooks. C’mon Mike, didn’t you learn anything from the Lamb Chislic incident?

Though I responded to Jay that ‘I understood’ I really didn’t know what to think, but the more I thought about them, the more it frustrated me that our local news media would be this cozy with an elected official.

Like I said at first, didn’t surprise me. But then I started thinking about all the very (soft) stories this organization has done about the city, especially when it comes to this mayor or the Events Center (remember, KELO is a sponsor), and it started adding up, that the relationship is way too cozy.

First off, I don’t think there is anything wrong with people in the news industry being friends with local elected officials. Hey, if you want to go for a jog together, meet up for drinks, or even have dinner at each other’s homes, I think it is perfectly within reason. I think the more cordial journalists are to elected officials and vice versa, the easier it may be to get a story. I know my cordial relationships with public officials have yielded me many leads and information. But I certainly don’t take them to NFL games, and I am certainly not a full-time, for profit, news organization. I think more importantly I share a common interest in transparency, and integrity in government with these officials. I don’t need to scratch their backs, and they don’t need to scratch mine to get truthful information out there.

What makes this situation different is, who invited who? And who paid for the tickets and travel expenses to the game? This is where it gets complicated, and NO longer ‘personal.’ Someone indicated to me that KELO may have supplied the tickets since that particular game was broadcast on CBS, and the mayor or others in the party paid for travel expenses to make it appear more 50/50. Either way, it’s one thing for an elected official to buy you lunch or even a beer, but a trip to an NFL game? I also find it ironic that a Mayor and an Events Center sponsor would have to travel a couple of states away to ‘entertain’ themselves when they told us we needed to build the Events Center so we can see world class entertainment here instead of traveling. So which is it? Isn’t Stampede Hockey entertaining enough for you guys?

I want to know what you think. Do you agree with Mr. Huizenga that this has to do with his ‘personal life’ only? While (political) business may or may not have been discussed on the trip, it seems this kind of cozy relationship may affect the kind of news we hear about this political figure. AND I think it has. But you know what they say at these media organizations, the sales department never dictates to the news department what to broadcast. So I guess the General Manager never talks to the news department either, you know, similar to the relationship Huether has with the city council.

Though Jay did say the football game trip was personal, he failed to say anything about the Christmas party, which leads me to believe Huether was invited.

Like I mentioned above, I have often felt that this news organization has done light hearted and non-controversial stories about the city, mayor and others (I’m convinced that Thune has a staffer with a desk in their studios), and after seeing and hearing the latest about the relationship they share, I have ZERO confidence in this organization ever doing anything investigative or controversial about Huether, or even giving us the full story.

So much for Doug Lund’s post about how much better KELO is at NEWS then the Argus Leader.

I get angry when people I know in the broadcast news business, who work every bit as hard at their craft and are as dedicated to journalistic excellence as anyone at the Argus.

More like working on craft beers at an NFL game with the mayor. Speaking of the ‘100 Eyed Spaghetti Monster’ I told them about the situation and encouraged them to do a real story about it, instead of just my farting around stuff on my blog. I don’t have much confidence in that happening after reading Whitney’s column on Sunday about the mayor smiling a lot and beating up on Kermit over a wishing well. Stu, was that supposed to be a parody column? You know, parodies are supposed to make people laugh, right? At least you didn’t mention Dan Scott, and well, Janklow is dead anyway.

So much for the 4th Estate in Sioux Falls being the watchdog of local government, more like the lapdog.

I guess it is good to be King, and it only cost a couple of football tickets. I suspect to see another story about evil bloggers after this post gets published. Hey Jay, wanna join me for a Storm game? I’ll even drive, of course we would have to see it in our lousy stadium, be careful not to trip on any of the cracks in the floor and watch out for flying siding.

Rapid City Mayor helps collect signatures to put Civic Center on ballot

Mayor Kooiker continues to surprise me every day;

Kooiker, who estimated he personally collected about 400 signatures, said he was pleased that the City Council’s decision to approve $180 million in bonds for a new civic center arena will be put to a public vote.

What I find amazing about what Sam did, is that not only did he support a public vote, he helped collect signatures. This is in stark reality to our mayor who told everyone he supported snow gates, but when asked to sign the petition to put them on the ballot, he refused, as did many local politicians, including our Secretary of State elect Shantel Krebs, who told petition gathers after refusing to sign, “Initiatives/referendums should be illegal in South Dakota.” Interesting statement from the person that is now in charge of our elections :(

I want to commend Mayor Kooiker for standing up for democracy in South Dakota and setting an example for other elected officials who don’t really understand the process that well.