Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Minnehaha County has budget hearings with the cameras off

Minnehaha County is always asking for more money for criminal justice and a new jail. I get it. It takes tax dollars to fund these things. What I don’t get is the lack of transparency.

Besides the fact that the Tuesday regular meeting still hasn’t reached the internets 3 days later, the county didn’t bother recording the budget hearings that take place on a weekday in the AM. The county upgraded their video equipment at a cost of $40K, but they don’t seem to know how to turn it on.

It is continually frustrating that the county, the city and the school district ask for more money from us, but do it in the dark. If you want my money, you need to ask for it in the open. This lack of Sunshine by our local government is becoming frustrating.

County Votes against opt-out

Of course, my tax and spend liberal friend Jeff Barth voted for it (just ribbing you Jeff);

In a four to one vote, the Minnehaha County Commission voted not to increase property taxes in the county for next year.

Most of the county commissioners agreed Tuesday afternoon that the 2019 balanced budget is already set in stone, so there’s no need to worry taxpayers for now.

Commissioner Jeff Barth voted in favor of the opt out. Barth said the city needs to plan for the future and to keep up with inflation.

Just for the record, I’m sure Jeff said ‘COUNTY’ because, well, that’s who he works for, but either way I do appreciate the fiscal responsibility of the county. As I have stated several times, the commissioners need to have better control of the State’s Attorney’s office and control some of that spending. It was also a big win for the ACLU who opposed increased spending for locking up low-risk offenders which saves taxpayers money.

ACLU of SD opposes Minnehaha County OPT-OUT

In response to the county commission’s consideration of an opt-out of property tax limits, Heather Smith, the executive director of the ACLU of South Dakota, sent the attached letter to the Minnehaha County Commissioners this afternoon.  She’s also planning to attend the meeting on July 10.

DOC: ACLU SD ltr to Minnehaha County Commission PDF

Please take a look at the attached letter, but in brief, the ACLU of South Dakota is asking Minnehaha County Commissioners to shift away from funding incarceration and raising property taxes to find new approaches to our current criminal justice system. Our “tough-on-crime” policies have led to more arrests and increased costs, but don’t actually do anything to address the underlying causes of crime. Though the Commission may not have direct control over things such as who is charged with a crime and how many people are incarcerated in the county’s jail, it certainly has influence. There are myriad reforms that could be made on the local and state level that would keep our communities safe while also cutting costs.

In light of this proposed property tax opt-out and the school board’s proposal for its own opt-out, surely we could be looking at some alternatives so that the burden on Sioux Falls taxpayers/property owners isn’t so great.

Janna Farley, Communications Director, American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota

DaCola Notes: In my conversation with commissioner Barth about the matter, I told him that the CC needs to have more control over the State’s Attorney’s Office when it comes to expenditures with certain prosecution cases.




Water Rates going up? That’s news to me.

Apparently Councilor Rick Kiley has a crystal ball, because he is predicting our water and sewer rates are going up;

“They foresee a possible increase of about $2 per month for a family of five,” city councilor Rick Kiley said.

Kiley says the city knew this day was coming.

“You never want to raise rates, but in a situation like this where we are at 82% capacity today, we have a community that’s growing by 5,000 people every year and we are bringing on regional customers in addition to that it’s the prudent thing to do now is to expand our existing facilities,” Kiley said.

The city council will be voting on the funding this project when it passes the city budget in October.

While I agree we need to fix up a 1980’s water treatment plant, if we didn’t switch the rates over to enterprise funds we could easily pay the bonds with 2nd penny CIP revenue without raising fees. But see, former mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut wanted to free up the 2nd penny from paying for silly old water pipes, and use it for paying down bonds for monument building.

So now our taxes are going up for a new jail, and Minnehaha county admitted at their Tuesday meeting (Commissioner Barth) that there will likely be another opt out, put that on top of a 25 year around $300 million dollar new school bond and our already existing $300 million city debt, and things are going to get a lot more expensive in Sioux Falls, including taking a dump.

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission Special meeting this morning

UPDATE: Watch the video of the meeting today;


Apparently this meeting was posted on Saturday. I guess auditor Litz found a sealed box of uncounted ballots and had to re-count. Not sure how many or what district(s). I’m waiting to hear the details after the meeting.

Monday, June 11, 2018 8:30 a.m.

Pledge of Allegiance


1) Consider Motion to Certify the Results of the June 5, 2018 Primary Election Canvass – Bob Litz


Minnehaha County Auditor Litz blames old election workers

Screenshot KELO-TV

Bob has said that his poll workers are elderly, but isn’t he in charge of training them?

“A lot of my election workers, they’re retired, they’re getting older, they don’t always make the right choice out there. There’s human error. I loathe to throw them under the bus, because it’s difficult to get them,” Litz said.

He also didn’t seem to concerned that election results may have been altered because of the mistakes;

Bender: “I just want to see if you can give me some comfort, if you feel like the error did not affect that race.”
Litz: “That one there is troublesome. I don’t know what to tell you. Like you said, the margin of error was five votes. It could’ve been affected, yes.”

He than tries to blame partisan politics. Wasn’t it just REPUBLICANS on the ballot?

“At the end of the day, I’m sitting here holding a bag. You, you, are up here playing a political ploy. Okay, I’m republican, you’re democrat. I get that. That’s the way the game is played. Don’t act like you’re not playing that game, Mr. Barth,” Litz said.

We have already had a volunteer election committee that pointed out the issues with the Auditors office and the SOS office, yet the problems still exist.

Already issues with Primary Election

A South DaCola foot soldier told me there have been a couple of reports that the precinct at Hayward Elementary is supposed to allow voters from either District 9 OR 11 to vote there, but they only have ballots for ONE of the precincts (not sure which one).

I will keep you updated once I learn more.

City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County Triage Meeting, 5/23/18

So many areas of the Sioux Falls Minnehaha County healthcare industry have nothing to do with healthcare. What does a farm store have to do with healthcare? Nothing. What does hoarding, than parking a liquor license have to do with good healthcare? Nothing. Sports complexes? Nothing. Taking away affordable housing? Well on this one a lot because it adds to a community’s downward spiral.

The reason for this meeting held on May 23, 2018 in the Sioux Falls Minnesota Ave HyVee store was to bring the county, city and school district up to date on the Triage Center progress. A Triage Center will be a way to bring the local governments into a partnership with the local healthcare community to remove the criminal aspect out of helping people with problems. It also takes the burden off the taxpayers for arresting and booking someone who might have emotional or drug problems more easily handled with caring and understanding.

A Triage Center is a safe place to help people when they are in trouble and then direct them on to services able to assist them into the future.

As Cameraman Bruce has followed these meetings and discussions, a thought becomes more clear. If this process could save the two main hospital systems in Sioux Falls millions of dollars per year in bad debt billings, why don’t they subsidize the operation of this center? As you watch the video, listen to the benefits the hospitals will realize by working together on this.

Instead of spending millions of dollars on vanity projects having nothing to do with good healthcare, our medical industry could actually do something to pay for their place here

TenHaken already breaks a Former Mayor’s record in first week

During the Minnehaha County Commission meeting, Jeff Barth cracks a funny after Mayor TenHaken addresses the commission on ‘working together’. TenHaken mentions he already has had lunch with Chair Heiberger and wants to meet with the rest of the commissioners and promises to come to joint meetings.

After his testimony, Barth says, “You have already tied the previous mayor’s record for such a (lunch) meeting (with Cindy).” In which the crowd busts up in laughter, and Cindy replies, “He has already broken the record by one.”

Remember Former Mayor Coors Light & Olives stopped going to joint county/council meetings early in his 1st term after he realized he wasn’t in charge at the meetings.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, April 23-24, 2018

Audit Committee Meeting, 4 PM Monday

External Audit Results from Eide Bailly

2018 Audit Plan

RFP Auditing Plan

Joint SF City Council/Minnehaha County Commission Meeting, 4 PM Tuesday

Update on Siouxland Museums Enterprise Funds

Change orders for archive building

Helpline Center Community Program Trends

City Council Informational Meeting, 4:30 Tuesday

Wastewater agreements with Tea and Harrisburg

Public Facility Consultant study. Honestly, I read this 90 page report and I am more confused now than before I read it. A lot of mumbo jumbo about population and attendance. I wonder how much we paid for that monstrosity; DOC: SF-Facility-Study

Executive Session. I have no clue what this is about.