Entries Tagged 'Mike Huether' ↓

Kudos to 1/2 the council and mayor for voting down casino loophole

Sioux Falls City council meeting, 10/10/17 (FF: 45:00)

Bravo to councilors Erpenbach (who led the charge), Starr, Rolfing, Stehly and Mayor Huether (breaking tie) for voting NO on the casino common space ordinance.

I was actually surprised it tied, but wasn’t surprised Mike voted NO. It is well known in certain circles he doesn’t like VL casinos. I think he called them once ‘junky’ looking.

It was a stupid ordinance for a couple of reasons. While it probably makes sense to have adjoining casinos who have the same owner sharing a beer cooler, that really was only the minor intent. While the separate casinos would have their own set of machines, name, signage and their own entrances and bathrooms, the casino owners wanted them to ‘share’ ONE employee. Besides the fact that the casino owner is being a tight wad when it comes to labor, he is actually endangering his ONE employee more and making BOTH sides of the casino more vulnerable to robberies. Stand alone VL casinos are already burglar magnets, how does this make them anymore safe? Fortunately at least half of them saw that this was very bad idea when it comes to crime and safety. What was strange was that Kiley said he agreed with the NO voters, but voted for it anyway. Now that’s leadership Rick.

The City of Sioux Falls Million Dollar Crack Legal team can’t figure out how to make a phone call

How much does the city spend on stupid stuff? The world may never know.

This is the kind of government waste that goes on behind the scenes of the Huether administration;

Meanwhile, offline, City Hall hired an attorney for work related to the Twitter account at a cost of $483.58 to taxpayers, according to an invoice obtained by Argus Leader Media in an open records request for attorney billings after the event center settlement.

An invoice from Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith, P.C. shows the city was billed for 3.1 hours of work related to the Twitter prank at $150 an hour.

It looks like to me the only thing outside counsel did was research Westlaw and put in a phone call to Twitter. Nobody on the city’s legal team could figure this out? It reminds me of when the mayor gifted the council each a copy of his favorite book then billed the city for it. The mayor cries about prudence when it comes to homeless shelters, prisoner rehab centers, and free bus rides for youth than blows money on something his internal team could have handled.

I wonder how much money the city has spent on researching DaCola?

BTW, I have never figured out who the fake mayor was, but he/she certainly didn’t harm the mayor’s reputation. Mike takes care of that all on his own.

Ask the Mayor . . . What is wrong with the Siding

During the latest episode of ‘Watch the Mayor Lie’ (notice all the flies around him. What are flies attracted to?) he gave his newest version of the siding settlement. While discussing the issue the video flips to shots of the events center siding (I assumed shot by citylink) (see below).

Notice the water stains already starting to accumulate under the siding. Not sure if this is from water flowing over the top of it, or seeping out of the bottom. I just found it interesting that these are the (unflattering) shots they decided to show of the siding.

UPDATE: Greg Belfrage Nails it!

The Great Oz of Sioux Falls?

While Greg and I don’t see eye to eye on a myriad of topics, I feel sometimes Greg and I share a common belief; if you lie to me, and I catch you, there will be Hell to pay.

Greg discovered something (finally) that I have known about the mayor before he was even elected; he’s a carnival barker snakeoil salesman. He proved this with his time as VP of Marketing for one of the most infamous subprime credit cards in the world. So horrible was their marketing scams the FEDS changed credit card laws to reign them in. THE FEDS! I mean wow! When DC thinks you are corrupt, that is a whole new level. And make no mistake, while Mike likes to call himself a ‘banker’ he was really just the chief huckster. He took his experience (business acumen) straight with him to city hall.

I’m glad Greg has finally seen the light;

The big lie was actually a lie of omission. Not once did the mayor make it clear that the one million dollars was in VALUE. He never even hinted at it.

And that’s the game he has always played. You wait, on Tuesday, you will probably see him in the wings at Carnegie (if he even has the balls to show up) watching his pitiful administration team fall on the sword for this guy. I just hope at least one of them has the integrity to point the finger at the man behind the curtain.

The Argus Leader also weighs in on the matter;

According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, such negotiated government secrecy violates state open record laws. That’s a huge victory for the citizens of Sioux Falls, whose tax dollars underwrote the most expensive project in city history.

I know it has been easy over the past week to get in the weeds on this, especially with all the confusing numbers. But remember, most importantly this is about transparency, and can be summed up with one sentence; The mayor lied to us about the settlement amount.

“I’m not the expert on metal siding, . . . Mayor Huether

Yeah, we have been gathering that over the past couple of years.

You are also not an expert on construction contract settlement negotiations, general math, and telling the truth.

Stormland TV had to track down the mayor at an elementary school, where apparently he has been hiding out for the past couple of days. When asked if a forensic engineering report existed, Mike said this;

Don:  That study by Judd Allen Group, is that complete have we seen anything on that?

Mayor:  Nice try Don, Karen Leonard would be the best one to answer that question,”

Karen Leonard is the assistant city attorney.  KELOLAND News reached out to her and  did get an email from her late Wednesday afternoon.  She says she’s going to do some checking on that forensic study and get back to me.

I will be shocked if the report still exists.

But the Mayor’s Chislic Feeding Buddy wasn’t the only one trying to keep track of Mike’s lies. I guess Greg Belfrage was playing clips of the Mayor this morning on his show talking about the ‘million dollars we have in our pocket’ shortly after the settlement was secured a year ago. We hope to have a ‘best hits’ video up soon about what the loser said.

Mayor throws councilor Stehly under the bus at water summit

If he is not flat out lying, he sure knows how to twist a story to make himself look good. (FF:57:20). During the Mayor’s water summit (in which he talks 90% of the time) they were talking about investing in water and sewer infrastructure and it’s importance. Hey, who wouldn’t agree? Then he proceeds to say a councilor the night before (It was Stehly) chastised him for raising water rates. Oh the tangled web you weave Mike just to get your jollies. Stehly as well as myself during public input were voicing our concerns that our water rates were hiked NOT because we were upgrading CURRENT infrastructure but that the city used the additional funds to build up a $36 million dollar reserve fund (savings account). Stehly was concerned we are building up large reserves in the enterprise funds instead of actually SPENDING the money on it’s intent; upgrading infrastructure.

The man takes no shame in using Stehly to sell his snakeoil. What a loser.

Huether went on to say he was proud of the council to allow him to raise rates (taxes). He felt those rate increases were needed for upgrades. Not true. If mayor Huether was really fiscally responsible he would have spent our CIP money on infrastructure upgrades instead of mortgage debt for playthings.

He finished the forum by ripping on the ‘loud minority voices’ and how the media gives them a platform. It’s funny, because these ‘loud minority voices’ actually have quite a few of followers. 6,500 of them signed a petition against the City Administration Building (the $25 million dollar bond was implemented by a super minority, the mayor). Oh, and that other minority that approved snow gates by over 70% of the vote. But please, don’t listen to them.

UPDATE: Belfrage’s studio turns into a septic tank this morning

UPDATE II: You will have to watch the open discussion of the Sioux Falls city council today during the INFORMATIONAL meeting. They were all in agreement (Kiley & Rolfing were absent) that there needs to be a presentation about the settlement from the administration. Council Co-chair Erickson said that she already had one in the works. Councilor Starr requested to see the consultant’s report about the stability of the siding. He also requested that a forensic audit be done on the EC’s construction costs. Stehly talked about moving forward that all the RFP’s need to be shared with the council, even if that was in executive session. She felt the city was moving in the wrong direction by keeping RFPs secret from the public and legislative branch.

Mayor Huether was on Greg Belfrage this morning telling more lies (ARTICLE) (PODCAST) to cover up his already mountain of lies from the siding settlement. He takes the opportunity to rip the messengers to pieces, the Argus is liars, Bruce is a liar (doesn’t use his name), etc. etc. The same old typical game Mike plays when he gets caught lying, “Everyone else is lying besides me.”

UPDATE: City Councilors Pat Starr & Theresa Stehly are going to be on Belfrage, Wednesday at 8 AM.

He even tries to ignore the elephant in the room by doing this ‘Shut Up and Listen’ show a day after the settlement is revealed. He doesn’t realize this is about the ‘LIE’ not about the siding or the Events Center itself. The lie about the settlement has absolutely NOTHING to do with the 9 sold out Garth shows. It is about an elected official LYING to the public, doesn’t matter if this was about siding on a building or misappropriated funds for a snow plow. It is about the LIE.

Oh, but it gets better. Watch this city council informational meeting from July 22, 2014 (FF 25:30);

Notice that they promised to hire a private forensic consultant that got ‘highly recomended’ to them and is ‘independent’ from all the parties involved. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth, the consultant is an ex-employee of Mortenson, and probably recommended by Mortenson. Ironically, it doesn’t matter, because everything that was promised in this meeting was a LIE. No report was ever made public, in fact the council never even got to see it. We are not even sure if it was finished. No mockups were ever made, and ultimately the siding was never fixed or replaced. It all got swept under the rug to receive a secret settlement of about $444K.

Graphic from meeting.

Stormland-TV asked the city attorney some questions about the matter;

KELOLAND News reached out to the mayor to get some answers.  His office directed us to the City Attorney’s office.  You can read the responses below.

1)      How much money did the city actually clear in the PREMIER settlement once the bills were all paid?

“The city received $1 million. That amount consisted of cash, forgiveness of debt, and a transfer of contingency dollars contained within the Mortenson contract (established for the benefit of Mortenson and within the Mortenson contract price) back to the City, which in turn resulted in a reduction of the Guaranteed Maximum Price set forth in Mortenson’s contract.   Note that if the City had demanded replacement of the wall system, Mortenson would have had the right to expend the first $514,996 out of its construction manager’s contingency fund that was within its Guaranteed Maximum Price. Pursuant to this Settlement Agreement, that amount was released back to the City, and the city’s total financial obligation to Mortenson as set forth in the guaranteed maximum price was reduced by $514,996,”  Karen Leonard, Deputy City Attorney said.

“The city paid out no “new money” pursuant to the Settlement Agreement. The City previously withheld certain funds that were due and owing to Dalsin for the Premier Center and Convention Center projects pending resolution of the Metal Wall Panel Issues, and release of liens placed on those projects by Dalsin. With the resolution of this dispute, the city released those funds that were due and owing to Dalsin pursuant to its contracts on those two projects. The amounts paid out were actually less than the amounts claimed to be due and owing by Dalsin for those projects.”

2)      Why did the city not want to disclose the details of the settlement?

“There are times, during settlement negotiations, where a settlement can only be achieved through a confidentiality provision,” Leonard said.

3)      Will the siding ever get fixed?

“The exterior metal siding is functionally and structurally sound with no need of replacement. The exterior metal siding is doing what it was designed to do, act as the weather barrier. The water-tight materials are installed behind the siding.  Its appearance, while questioned, is not inconsistent with the features of other commercial buildings across the U.S.  The 20-year finish warranty on the siding remains in effect,” Leonard said.

4)      If the city actually cleared any money from the settlement, where will that be spent?

“As of August 31, 2017, the cash balance in the Events Center Construction Fund was $2,918,799.  This amount includes funds that remain from bond proceeds, interest earnings, other project contributions and cash received as part of the settlement.  Once deposited into the Events Center Construction Fund, the dollars that originated from these various sources are not individually tracked.  All dollars in the Events Center Construction Fund are considered project funds and are fungible.  Since September of 2015, many expenditures have been made from the Events Center Construction Fund on improvements to the Events Center.  Some of the improvements have been completed, some are in progress and others are just getting underway.  Some of the larger ticket items include the addition of a cooler and expanded storage space on the concourse level, kitchen expansion and improvements, security system improvements, parking lot lighting improvements, and the addition of more premium seating,” Leonard said.

“The 2018 City Budget adopted last week by the City Council provides for any unspent dollars remaining in the Events Center Construction Fund upon project close-out to be transferred to the City’s Sales Tax Fund to be used for the ensuing debt service payment on the Events Center sales tax bonds.”

Yet the mayor doesn’t think he has ‘mis-led’ anyone. What a loser.

My REAL feelings on the Siding Settlement? A SAD EVENT.

You would think with all the contradictions in the contract and what we were told, Mayor Huether would have had better things to do yesterday besides dressing like Howdy Doody.

I have to be honest with you, when the city released the settlement yesterday, I was a little surprised. I was also surprised by how bad it was.

When I present my theories I usually give ‘worst case’ scenario. So when the truth comes out and it is worse, I’m not sure what to think. I’m still in shock.

Bruce and I have been pursuing this for over two years, and quite honestly I never expected the AL to win their case in the SD Supreme court. But I still wasn’t going to give up. Over a month ago, I reminded Bruce we need to do some more siding videos (we have lots of footage that has never been published).

I still think someday it will need to be repaired, sooner rather than later.

But in some ways, this wasn’t about the siding (or the roof) it was about the administration, lying again. I have been pointing out for over seven years the lies that come from the administration, so when you have vindication like this, it’s shocking, like I have already mentioned.

But I still am not in ‘celebration’ mode. Even when Bruce shook my hand last night congratulating us on this, I still have a lump in my stomach over it. Over the past three days I have had a sense of sadness. Pity not only for the taxpayers of Sioux Falls, the Media and the Council, but for the mayor. I don’t take much joy in this. I just wish at least our local elected officials and the public employees who work for them would use a little integrity, honesty and common sense. This did not take place. It is a very low point in Sioux Falls city government, and I’m sure once the contractors start talking, this is going to get a whole lot messier.

So what do I think should happen? Well barring the mayor is not willing to admit guilt and apologize, I think he should resign and take any public employee involved with this with him. As we know, his head is so large, it probably won’t happen.

But that won’t stop ethics complaints. Either way, any political capital the Mayor thinks he might have all got flushed down the toilet on Thursday. It’s probably best if he just holed himself up at his swamp cabin until May.

Mayor Mike is NOW giving out parenting advice

When I first saw Mike’s press conference I just laughed and said, typical Mike, armchair expert on everything. Than I started getting texts and emails from friends who are ‘Parents’ questioning his intentions.

I will say this, after watching the spectacle, I really think Mike was sincere, I also think he was spot on with a lot of his advice. Parents need to know where their kids are. Kids need to follow curfew and listen to what their parents tell them. All golly gee, gosh darn it, good advice.

But some in the media were not buying it.

Todd Epp from KELO AM asked if this advice would do much good for parents who are meth heads?

On a similar note, would this advice do much good for parents who have 2-3 jobs?

There is also a little hypocrisy with this message of good parenting coming from Mike. This is a mayor that was opposed to free youth bus rides & swimming. He also tried to cut YMCA after school program funding in next year’s budget (the council restored it). All programs that help keep latch key kids out of trouble when their parents are working.

And it really comes down to that. A lot of kids in our community are living in poverty. Ironically the mayor and the city council have the power to change that. They could require new employers coming to SF to pay living wages. They could implement a city minimum wage of $10-11 an hour. They could implement a city wide job training program. And lastly the health department clinic could supply FREE birth control to women (not just condoms) and make LSS aware of the program.

The mayor can blame ‘bad parents’ until the cows come home, but some of these parents aren’t bad, they just are too busy working to pay much attention to their kids.

As I have said in the past, we don’t have an affordable housing or food supply problem in Sioux Falls, we have a wage problem. Poverty breeds crime that trickles down to the kids.

Mayor’s Lack of Transparency is Astounding

As you can see, the council meeting was almost 3-1/2 hours long. You can watch the 3-Ring circus yourself,  it was a doozy.

I find it ironic the mayor likes to whine about how long the meetings are and tries to limit public input, even taunting us and making off-hand remarks after we testify. But guess who comes up with the agenda? Yup, the mayor’s office. The meeting could have been shorter.

Throughout the meeting, all the agenda items I commented on encompassed the same message, transparency, anti-corruption, working openly with the council and keeping taxes and fees low.

The mayor just doesn’t get it. I have often wondered if in his early professional career he was very truthful and open with his superior and that superior used his honesty and transparency against him. It only takes ONE good burn to have lifelong scars.

Transparency and Openness is the Hallmark of Good Government and a Healthy Democracy. Mike doesn’t get, he still thinks he works in the very dark world of schlumping subprime credit cards.