Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Worth watching

This Minnehaha county commission meeting is worth watching, FF to about 37 minutes, the fight over money and how the city of SF is crapping on the county is astounding. 600K in lost TIF revenue, WOW!;

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Sioux Falls City Council DRAFT Provisional Legislative Priorities

A quick guide and review of this year’s city council ‘priorities’

1) That the Sioux Falls City Council, in conjunction with the South Dakota Municipal League, opposes any legislation which would inhibit municipalities from providing services requested by citizens in whatever form the citizens approve and opposes any legislation that restricts local control over taxation and spending.

Ah, nice wording Fiddle-Faddle. This is a ‘sticky’ one. What does it mean? Well since the days of councilor Quen Be De the city(s) have been trying to get permission from the state to raise our own sales taxes so they can build ‘things’. Of course, they always bring up that the voters will have to approve it and the tax will only be temporary (so when is the entertainment tax going away now that we have paid off the Pavilion?). I think it is wise that the state regulates this, it protects citizens in any community from municipalities to become ‘tax happy’. The city already ‘fees (taxes)’ the crap out of us. They continually raise property taxes, and every year, like clockwork, the city increases revenue. We don’t need any ‘special taxes’ what we need is a corporate income tax to pay for special projects. Corporations are always crying there needs to be more quality of life projects to attract ‘professional’ workers. Well then, pony up.

2) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation allowing municipalities alternative publication options.

This was a battle councilor Bob Litz begun, he thinks the Argus charges too much (and they do) and that public notices, etc. should be published in ‘other papers’ like the Shopping News. Even though the SN is only a weekly paper, it is FREE and is distributed to more homes then the Argus. Maybe it is time.

3) The Sioux Falls City Council opposes any legislation that would reduce, remove, repeal or reallocate the municipal sales tax, liquor tax reversion or any other municipal revenues to any other unit of government or that would expand the power to impose a sale or use tax to any other unit of government.

This is a blatant pissing match with the County Commission. When commissioner Jeff Barth suggested the county needed more of this tax income, I kinda balked. But now when I look at it, it makes sense. Barth’s proposal is simple; Alcohol related crimes are about 90%+ of related crimes in our county, why not use that tax to combat those crimes in our court system? Who funds the court system? The county. It’s one thing to quietly not support the county getting more of this tax base, it’s a whole other ball of wax calling on the legislature to oppose giving them more money. But doesn’t surprise me. Not that I’m not a local government nerdy enough, I started watching the County Commission meetings a few months back. They conduct business so much more professionally then the city council, and while they don’t always agree with each other and the public, they have sincere conversations about the people they govern. The best was when they were questioning the purchase of new vehicles when the old ones ran just fine. I thought I was looking at room full of Staggers. It was refreshing. The city could learn a lot from how these folks govern. ALOT!

4) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation extending owner occupied status to income based rental housing for property tax purposes.

5) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation to raise the threshold for requiring a performance bond to $50,000.

While I am a little murky on these two, I kind of understand them and support them. But maybe I am missing something? Help me out soldiers.

6) The Sioux Falls City Council strongly encourages the legislature to direct that any available water development funds be used to support completion of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in South Dakota.

7) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation appropriating funds from the general fund for the purpose of providing advance federal funds on a zero interest reimbursable basis for construction for Lewis & Clark Rural Water System facilities in South Dakota.

I have never been a fan of Lewis & Clark, and while the $80 million we have spent is already a done deal, I am suspect as to why SF should care when or if this project gets done? We already got snookered by these folks, why encourage more snookering? While it is true other communities NEED this project, Sioux Falls only uses our required amount (around 11% a day) and as told by Public Works director Mark Cotter that it is an ‘emergency backup’. I kind of wonder if the $80 million would have came from the feds instead–if more smaller communities would be hooked up instead of SF, which doesn’t really need it, especially in light of the great conservation numbers we have been having lately.

In conclusion, we had to hire a full-time council staffer to come up with these awesome seven priorities. I wonder how many consultants we had to hire to come up with the wooden dog fence at the council podium and the self-locking security doors at Carnegie?

Water, uh, I mean, money under the bridge.

Who says local government doesn’t do some things right?

solar-cell

Well, I guess, mostly me. HA! Well not today, Minnehaha County and the City of SF are considering changing the zoning usage of solar panels. The County Commission has already approved this on their end, but they have to have a joint agreement with the city. Can’t wait to see if there will be any detractors to this. I wouldn’t think so, but who knows, especially after reading about those anti-winders in the Canton and Beresford area. Renewable energy is hazardous to our health, didn’t you know?

So is it Gant or Litz that messed up? Makes you wonder?

Interesting the letter is dated June 6, then he spoke before the county commission on June 10 about still trying to resolve this.

Postmarked June 11.

and he didn’t even bother to sign the letter

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Still issues with voting

As I have pointed out several times after the municipal election and the run up to it, there were many issues with voting.

Besides the musical polling places every time there is an election, there are still problems with registration.

Last Friday someone told me that him and his wife recently moved into a new home and checked their voter registration to make sure it would be current. They are supposed to be registered in District 11, but were told they were in District 9 and voting at MariCar. This person pointed the problem out to Bob Litz and nothing was really done about it except they were told to still vote in District 9.

Last night they checked online, and they were still listed in District 9. So they went to vote at 7:30am this morning.  Fortunately, all the precinct workers knew him because his name (and his wife’s) was not listed on the voting roster!

They called the Auditor’s office to confirm that he was registered, but couldn’t explain the omission.  He had to fill out an Emergency Voting Card in order to vote.  He told me he felt sorry for the precinct workers as all the power – except lights – was shut off in there … no AC and the clock was stuck on 11:10.  He shared his story at public input this morning at the county commission meeting. (The video is not up yet, but I hear the CC was not to happy).

My conclusion all along after the municipal election fiasco is that heads need to roll on these mishaps, saying an election went ‘smoothly’ when it was an absolute disaster is just sugar coating the problem. We’ll see how things go tonight. Let’s just say, if Bosworth wins the Republican Senate ticket spot, we know something isn’t working correctly in the auditor’s office.

Dean Karsky for County Commission 2016

karsky-and-hutch-goats

I would be great on the County Commission, especially for the goat farmers in rural Minnehaha county.

I read in the Argus Leader today that Karsky is considering a run for County Commission. I have been watching the Commission meetings lately, and I can tell you they conduct business quite differently then the city council, they also have a tighter budget. First off, the commissioners sit on a bunch of committees and put in a lot more time then councilors do (they also get paid more). The discussions on the commission are also more in depth and issues and agenda items are vetted pretty thorough before the commission votes.

If Karsky thinks that first off, he has the time to serve on the commission, and secondly thinks his rubberstamping style on the council is going to roll on the commission, he is in for a big surprise.

Good luck Dean.

Citizens for Integrity Statement

By Bruce Danielson

Citizens for Integrity is a good government mission. Spending a life fighting battles for equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunities for all forms a compass to move forward in the darkness of greed.

Citizens for Integrity is not a NIMBY project. Many of those who have come together in this effort do not live close to any of the neighborhoods in question. We have nothing to personally / financially gain from these issues. My personally work will never intersect with any of the parties to these issues.

There are those who criticize what we are doing in order to expedite the ability to get a construction bid or some other favor.

The goal of Citizens for Integrity is only good government. The Ballot is Sacred. How hard is it to understand?

Just imagine any of you were running for election, supporting a measure to say make green the new purple, you would want to make sure every vote counts. You would wish the ballot reflected the hard work you put in to get the Initiative on the ballot so your neighbors could vote on it.

We have processes in place to make it happen. We have problems with the current cobbled up mess our city government is showing. We have a mayor who has shown no bounds for breaking long established customs and rules. He has fired (or arranged for) quality personnel, appointed replacements to do his work and then gets upset when someone finds out what is going on.

We are pointing to problems with an election and the system. The leaders of the four petition efforts are not driving this effort, I am.

This is not a NIMBY effort, this is a moral and legal effort. When will you get off your computers and fight for something good on behalf of your least able neighbors in the name of good government? If you sit at your computers and complain all day, you are doing nothing to improve the system for all of us.

So to those who only want building projects so they can sell materials to it, sell land, have their kids going swimming or sneak a special code into a big complicated document, we are sorry for you. You have lost the value of our system and ways. This is not a greed movement, this is a good government movement.

The next few days will tell a lot about our system and the way we move into the future. Hang on, it could be a bumpy ride.

SIDENOTE (Detroit Lewis): I watched the Minnehaha County Commission meeting it shows why the County Commission differs from the City Council. Bruce receives praise from the commission for finding errors and asking them to get resolved and even the county auditor, Litz attests to Bruce’s diligence. Walk over to Carnegie Town hall, and all he receives is scorn for finding mistakes. The tale of two cities I guess.

And now onto the Council meeting. Crickets. No explanations, no apologies, no remorse.

Is there Competitive Bids in the county and city?

This is something I have been suspicious about ever since the middle-of-the-night 100% cost overrun on the Phillips to the Falls project, and the $200,000 lower secondary bid for the Pavilion windows (VIDEO);

Hoyer said his question was grounded simply in a desire to see consistency in the bidding process.

“I would have made the same statement for concrete pipe,” a product not offered by his company, he said. Bidding instructions uniformly call for bid guarantees, he said, and if the county wants to waive them, “let’s not make some of us jump through the hoops and others not.”

Buthe, however, took the question as a sign of discord between the county and Myrl & Roy’s. When he became superintendent three years ago, Buthe said he found the county’s practice was to accept a low bid for asphalt and then to purchase from both Concrete Materials and Myrl & Roy’s at that price.

“My interpretation was that is not a legal way to do business,” Buthe said. He brought the matter to the deputy state’s attorney at the time, Gordy Swanson, who agreed.

“We decided the following year we would only award to the lowest bidder,” Buthe said. That was Concrete Materials. “There was some severe backlash” from Myrl & Roy’s, he added.

Since then, Myrl & Roy’s has not supplied the county. Last year, the county piggybacked on the city of Sioux Falls contract to buy asphalt from Concrete Materials because its plant was closer to where the county was doing highway work, and the savings in transportation costs exceeded the difference in Myrl & Roy’s slightly lower bid.

“That made them angry,” Buthe said.

Makes you wonder how often this happens with the city and county? Giving a bid to the ‘Preferred Contractor’ compared to the ‘lowest bidder’? Or just tweaking the RFP so that only one contractor can bid it. Would love to see the amount of tax dollars that are wasted on these types of ‘deals’.

How has Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz’s attendance been?

bobby

I can’t speak for Mr. Litz, because I don’t work in the county administration office. But several people who do, say that they don’t see much ‘office time’ by Mr. Litz. There are plans for the auditor’s office to hire another employee. I can’t find the specifics of that position, but I was told that it was a ‘finance’ manager.

Now, I am not going to rail on Litz about perfect attendance, because I don’t know all the details (but if someone does, please forward it to me) but I would like to give some advice;

1) When you are you are an elected official who manages a very important department for the county, my advice would to at least put in 40 hours a week in that office. With the long lines in the department across the hall from you, can you imagine if our county treasurer didn’t show up very often? You would have a VERY irate public.

2) Why are we considering hiring another manager for the auditor’s office when we can’t get it’s head honcho to show up?

If his attendance is an issue, Mr. Litz needs to realize that this isn’t like his private business, he works for the taxpayers now. Show up. Work. Thank You.

I would also like to give a H/T to the county for posting their meeting videos online. Not sure how long they have been doing this, but I have been doing catchup. The videos are a little grainy, but the audio is perfect, and unlike SIRE, when you push play, the meeting starts immediately. BRAVO!

DEM Candidate Corinna Robinson IS running for the US Congress

meet-corinna2

I have been noticing several reader comments on media websites (that I assume are plants by Republicant’s trying to dis-credit Robinson’s campaign). So I set the record straight tonight while attending a Minnehaha County Democratic fundraiser at the Falls Overlook Cafe. Sorry, I am a little hazy, I had a couple of glasses of Moscato at the event (and I thought they only served kool-aid at Republican events, my bad).

I asked Corinna if she was running (after telling her the rumors swirling around). She said definately, in fact she already has a West River and an East River director working for her (I met the East River fella tonight) and she plans to make the big announcement in January sometime.

So detractors, knock it off already.

While I am not sure if I am totally sold on Corinna, I will say that the BS smear campaign on her is uncalled for. We know the real reason the SD GOP is swinging low and early, because when you match Corinna’s credentials with Noem’s, Noem’s campaign is quickly distracting the electorate with Mitchell hair, barrel roping stories, hoop earrings and mail order college degrees. If Noem is dumb enough to debate Robinson, Corinna will pound her into submission, I can’t wait for this matchup.

Other highlights of the event was meeting Democratic Candidate for Governor, Joe Lowe.

WOW!

I am usually hard to impress when I first meet a political candidate, but not only is Joe intelligent, and has great economic, public safety, and leadership skills, he is very funny, incredibly funny. He shared many personal ‘war stories’ with GP and I about his employment with the state.

Rick Weiland also talked about the benefits of a buy-in to Medicare being offered to all citizens (woot-woot).

In other news, county commissioner Jeff Barth confessed to me he is NOT running for mayor.

And a chuckle for the night, I was looking for Mayor Huether to be at the event tonight. Not only Minnehaha county’s most powerful Democrat but the state’s most powerful Democrat, according to some peeps (sorry Bernie Hunhoff). But he was a no show. I didn’t ask anyone about it, but was offered the information from an attendee. I guess he didn’t attend because he believes the Jamison campaign has a ‘tracker’ on him. Luckily I wasn’t drinking my Moscato Kool-aid, because the person telling me would have been splattered with it. I do know that in Huether’s final ‘Listening and Learning’ session before the election that someone was doing an audio recording of the session, like it matters because you can listen to it here. But if that is what Paranoid Mike considers a tracker, I want to tell him there are bigger turds and tracks in the forrest to worry about.

And the final word on Jarding, get ready for this, No one knows what the heck he is running for. He is scheduled to teach classes next Spring at Harvard, so many are puzzled as to what he is up to.