Entries Tagged 'Mike Huether' ↓

UPDATE: Disgraceful

Tonight before the city council meeting councilor Stehly talked to a boy scout troop about city government, neighborhood watch and than asked the troop to pay close attention to public input as it was an important part of city government.

Shortly after a usually long public input that the mayor tried to ignore, he ran after the Boy Scout troop to see them on their way in the outer room.

Joe Sneve from the Argus tweeted this about the encounter;

So while Stehly seems to see the importance of the 1st Amendment and citizens petitioning their government during public input, the Mayor turns around and tells a Boy Scout troop that it is a ‘circus’. You wonder just how confused they must have been. Leave it to the mayor to call a constitutional right a circus. What a putz.

UPDATE: Joe corrected me today, the mayor didn’t use the word ‘circus’ but something along that sentiment when apologizing to the Boy Scouts.

Reducing Rail Traffic was part of Munson’s 2005 RR redevelopment plan

There seems to be some detractors when it comes to what I have been saying about reducing the rail traffic downtown after we took possession of the RR redevelopment land. I will apologize on one level where I was wrong. First off, I was unaware that two tracks would remain under Munson’s plan and secondly that this was mostly about the redevelopment. Those two items did not change under Huether’s plan. But Munson did want the rail traffic to reduce, substantially under his 2005 plan;

Sioux Falls Mayor David Munson says, “For any development we want to do moving those tracks is very important.”

Plus, the mayor says moving the tracks is an issue of safety. Traffic wouldn’t be backed up nearly as much anymore. And if a train were to derail while carrying hazardous material, it wouldn’t happen in the center of a growing city.

Munson says, “We’ve seen recently trains that have leaked, they’ve had to evacuate areas so we’re trying to stay ahead of that here.”

Ironically, these hazardous train cars are still parked several days a week next to Nelson Park only hundreds of feet from the Sioux River on the South and a kid’s skate park and swimming pool to the North.

In fact the RR has stated that rail traffic would NOT be reduced under Huether’s plan. They have stated that the trains will become shorter BUT more frequent. They were not kidding. As I have noted they have become a lot more frequent over Cliff Avenue next to Avera Hospital during noon and rush hour times. One of the factors that I can see is instead of using the old switch yard that is gone now, they are re-hooking and switching train cars in the area just North of Avera’s employee/overflow parking lot. They are also parking a lot more train cars in that area.

Also, under Munson’s 2005 plan, Mark Cotter felt that rail traffic and switching would reduce so much they could eventually tear down the 10th street viaduct;

But getting the switching yard moved could dramatically reduce the size of the 10th Street viaduct in years to come. “Twenty-five years down the road, when the viaduct needs to be reconstructed, we can bring in dirt,” Cotter says, because the viaduct no longer would have to span an entire switching yard. “Roads are cheaper to repair than bridges,” Cotter says.

I wonder if that is still the plan to tear down the viaducts in 2030?

As you can see, the original vision did include the redevelopment of the banana land and leaving two RR tracks, BUT it also envisioned reducing rail traffic significantly throughout downtown which apparently was left out of Huether’s plan.

 

UPDATE: Mayor Grump Toad presides over the city council meeting

After several homeless advocates and homeless people showed up for public input tonight, it seemed MMM was not in the mood for Bruce and I. After cutting off one of the homeless fellars he introduced Bruce (seen above) in a cocky manner and later cut him off before the time was up. When a couple of us in the crowd protested councilor Kiley motioned to the security.

They never did anything, but I have a feeling they have been talked to.

The mayor wants to destroy public input before leaving office.

The battle lines were drawn tonight.

UPDATE: KELO AM even noticed the drama last night;

The vitriol did end there. Scott Ehrisman ended his input by saying, “a lot of us come up here and talk every week, we don’t come up here to entertain you, we come up here to inform you.” That comment was a reference to another comment made by Huether during a previous public input session, when in between speakers the Mayor asked “would anyone else like to entertain the Council?”

Mayor justifies $25 million dollar admin building by overcharging us on water rates

Boy, the man can spin.

Recently the city re-financed the Lewis & Clark bonds with a supposed $25 million in interest savings. But how this was accomplished was under the guise we were paying higher water/sewer rates for infrastructure upgrades.

We have been told over the past 7-10 years that we had to increase these rates and turn them into their own fund (enterprise) so we could upgrade our aging water & sewer infrastructure.

Sounds reasonable . . . if the city was telling the truth.

They actually have been putting the money in a savings account, $25 million to be exact. In order to save the $25 million in interest for the L & C bonds we had to make a $25 million principal payment. That money came from the ‘savings’ account.

During the Listening and Learning session the mayor justifies the $25 million dollar admin building because we saved $25 million on the L & C bonds. What a stretch.

Okay, let’s break down his illogical argument;

• We never needed the $80 million dollar hookup to L & C. In fact we only get about 10% of our water from the pipe (contract requirement) while we continue to buy land for more wells. I believe all along that we bailed out L & C and if they would not have gotten the $80 million from us they would have struggled to stay afloat. How was that the responsibility of Sioux Falls taxpayers? Our genius DC reps should have stepped up, I guess they were busy trying to get $27 million for Warren Buffet.

• We were lied to about increasing water rates. We were told this was for fixing infrastructure. It was never mentioned to us at ANY TIME over past 7 years that this money was going into a savings account, let alone a savings account to pay for an administration building.

• We didn’t need an administration building. In fact it would be more fiscally responsible to continue to lease property instead of adding more capital that we have to pay off and maintain. We essentially traded a $100K a year lease payment for $1 million dollar a year mortgage payment. There is nothing in the charter that says the city needs to own it’s own office space for employees. Even our finance director said over 2 years ago it made more sense to lease. The city should also concentrate on using more technology to reduce the number of city employees. They should also work on home work spaces.

Like paying for the indoor pool with a Federal levee bond repayment the mayor has justified an unneeded city building by overcharging us on water rates.

Always on the spin cycle.

 

What’s going on with the Siding Inspection RFP?

Well that’s the Million dollar question isn’t it? Or is $444K, I get confused.

As I predicted, the only reason MMM rolled over like an old dog on agreeing to this inspection was if HE could control it. My Man Mikromanager wouldn’t have it any other way.

So has the RFP committee even been chosen yet? Who is on it if it has? If they have met already, what is the criteria of the inspection?

One councilor has asked these questions several times from leadership and the public works office. They have received NO answers.

So the public and the city council has asked for this inspection and the mayor agreed to it, so why isn’t the council being let in on the process?

As I said, if the mayor or anyone in his administration gets to see this report first, it negates the reason for the report to begin with. WE DON’T TRUST THE MAYOR WHEN IT COMES TO THE SIDING ON THE EVENTS CENTER. HE IS A LIAR.

The council must have have first dibs on this report and be the contact for the contractor. The mayor and his administration shouldn’t be able to see it until the council has fully reviewed the report, otherwise this process isn’t worth the toilet paper MMM wipes his butt with in his private morning parks bathroom.

Pink Flamingos

Is it time for Mayor Huether to suffer the consequences of his lies?

Mark Twain once famously said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mayor Huether must have one heckuva a memory.

Recently at an October city council informational meeting, Sioux Falls City Councilor Rex Rolfing asked why some people on the council mistrust the administration. Was this a trick question or one of his bad jokes?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know mayor Huether lied to us about the siding settlement. Not only about the actual settlement amount, but many details of what the settlement was really about (a roof, not siding).

Transparency in government has become a hot topic in municipal government with a pending Spring election. The candidates are plastering their Facebook pages with catchy quotes and memes. But this shouldn’t be a fleeting affair.

The mayor and his directors claim that secrecy saves taxpayers money. Oh, really? In 2012 the New York Times reported that Federal Government secrecy costs national taxpayers $13 billion a year. I’m guessing with Trump in charge that has probably doubled.

Locally, we have no idea what it has been costing us, because they have been keeping that secret also. The city’s insurance provider, The South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance (funded by taxpayers across the state) paid the legal counsel defending the secret settlement in court. The amount they spent on that? Like I said, sorry, that’s a secret.

Recently the city used another secret RFP (Request for Proposal) Committee to pick the new golf management contract. The administration has argued if the process would have been opened to the public nothing would have gotten accomplished. We will never know, because the process was secret.

Are you detecting a trend here?

Many of us in the community have been speaking out against closed government and head way has been slow going. I have argued it is because elected officials who used secrecy and lies against us are rarely or ever punished. EB-5 & Gear Up are great examples of this. In fact one of the main players in the EB-5 scandal was rewarded with a US Senate seat.

So what about our Mayor lying to us? Should there be repercussions? Definitely. I have suggested to several councilors that he should be AT least censured by them. I could care less if he has 7 months, 7 days or 7 hours left in his term. He lied to the public, it cost us money, and he should expect the consequences. Why is this such a difficult hurdle to jump over?

Many have defended the mayor and his lies because he ‘got things done’. Yes, by lying to us, using secret negotiations and incurring enormous debt while raising fees at a record rate. Even Larry the Cable Guy would say this ain’t right.

I call this the ‘Janklow Mentality’ someone Huether has compared himself to. The ‘Janklow Mentality’ is it’s okay to do bad things to some of the people, some of the time, as long as you do good things for most of the people, most of the time. Did I mention I really don’t miss Bill’s leadership(?). Elected officials should always try doing what’s best for 100% the people 100% of the time. Citizens are not winners and losers in some kind of perverted game cooked up in Pierre or at Sioux Falls city hall. We fund this government, we own it, it’s ours and we demand you hand the keys to the castle over and all of it’s secrets.

The worst part about this is that the mayor has never apologized for his lies, in fact he denies he even lied, on a multitude of policy decisions. I will refrain giving my analysis of that, this rant is getting long enough.

So will the secrecy ever end in city government? Only if the public and the mayor’s elected peers are willing to make him pay for his misdeeds. I fear we lack the courage to do that though.

UPDATE: Property values affected by new Aquatic Center?

UPDATE: I spoke with a local realtor in SF who specializes in home sales. They told me that overall average in home values in Sioux Falls has risen 7-10% over the past year, but neighborhoods in individual homes obviously vary. I asked specifically about Spellerberg Park area, and they said that the mayor would have had to really dig into stats to back up that claim and that would have taken a realtor with that kind of expertise. In other words, once again, he was blowing smoke.

During the press conference for the 1st Anniversary of the Aquatic Center, mayor Huether claims this (FF: 2:20);

‘Property values around this aquatic center have gone up.’

He of course doesn’t reference any real estate study or statistics, he just lets the BS spew standing at the microphone. While, you could argue he is correct, because property values ACROSS the city have gone up over the past year, I find it hard to be able to measure property value increasing dramatically since the pool was built only a year ago.

Any realtors want to challenge me or the mayor on this? Can anyone show me that property values have increased MORE around Spellerberg Park than the normal rate across the city or a comparable central/proper neighborhood.

Would love to see the actual numbers since Mike couldn’t produce his sources.

Just imagine, it was only a year ago when the mayor filled the pool with his tears.

A member of the Sioux Falls Millionaire club comes out to defend the mayor

It’s good to see the mayor still has a few millionaire friends in town willing to defend him and their club. Mr. Byrne, a man who made millions himself (and has seminars to tell other people how to make millions) Thinks a few million here and few million there lost is ‘worth the risk’;

We’ve been making some fuss about $1 million of the $118 million investment we made to build our great new entertainment venue. Whatever we might think about that $1 million we’re fussing about, perhaps many of us can agree the other $117 million was a great investment. Maybe many of us can also agree that $117 million out of $118 million isn’t bad.

A couple million doesn’t seem to mean much to Mr. Byrne, but tell that to the poor stiff in Sioux Falls who is working 3 jobs to support his family and never will get to see some clown in a cowboy hat perform at the Denty, because he can’t afford it, but every time he purchases something in this fine community, he is helping to pay the mortgage so you can be entertained (around $10 million a year + maintenance and operations). But let’s look past the million dollars for a moment (we actually only got about $336K after legal fees – which doesn’t include the secret amount spent in the legal fight against the Argus) and look at all the lies told to the public, that actually cost us more in the end. 

How can you defend such corruption while pretending a million dollars (of our money) isn’t a big deal? Maybe if it isn’t such a big deal, why don’t you give half that ($500K) to the Huether Tennis Center so the mayor can pay back the taxpayers, I mean, if a million isn’t anything to you Bill, what’s half that?

And in conclusion;

Thanks to Mayor Mike Huether, Councilor Jim Entenman, . . .

Yes, please continue to mention these two as the dynamic duo attached at the hip who allowed this fiasco take place and continue to play the denial game. Diamond Jim as our next mayor would look no different than the current administration, except for moving city hall to Mexico for an entire month in Winter.

UPDATE: Could Mike Huether be the next president of USD?

UPDATE: I’ve been told from a USD alum that there are possibly two requirements Huether does not have to be the president of USD. You have to be alumni and you have to have a post graduate degree. So I guess he’s out.

Many have been ‘speculating’ for awhile what Huether’s next political move could be, with the recent kerfuffle over transparency and the secret siding settlement, Mike may have to sit out 2018.

But what if he wants to run in the future, what could he do while he waits? Someone suggested to me he could be seeking the Presidential position at USD. Jim Abbot will be retiring the same time Mike walks out of city hall, so the timing makes sense. It’s also an executive position, something Huether would desire. There is also the Sanford connection and a possibility that he would be allowed to commute from Sioux Falls.

The only thing that I think might hold him back is the fact he is a SDSU alum. Not sure if this matters in the selection process, heck it might even help his cause.

Something to ponder.