Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Minnehaha County Commission has interesting meeting

In one of the longest meetings of the year, the MCC discusses rural ambulance services and paving a popular county road.

Stehly endorses Barth & Heiberger on MCC

Stehly says,

“Jeff Barth and Cindy Heiberger care about the average Minnehaha County residents. I have enjoyed working with both of them and appreciate their respectful attitude toward those they serve.”

Minnehaha County Commission allows 23 minutes of public input and No one got hurt

I found it a little ironic that the MCC allowed public input for over 23 minutes without incident, no gaveling, and not cutting off after a certain ‘time limit’. In fact the MCC engaged them in conversation (GET OUT!).

First at regular public input, Jay Masur from MedStar talked for 9 minutes about fees. He even apologized for going 9 minutes, in which none of the commissioners responded. In fact during his testimony they had a conversation about his concerns (imagine that).

After Masur, a couple of rural residents did a planned presentation on a rural trail system (14 Minutes);

The MCC also engaged them on something that is important to the constituents.

The Sioux Falls City Council needs to take a page from the MCC on how important public input is, and that meetings don’t have time limits and to engage the public in conversation. Instead they get angry about talking to long, chastise them for being repetitive and don’t ask questions or engage them.

If the SFCC wants to learn something from the MCC it is about the proper procedure of taking public input, which in most cases should be unlimited.

Sioux Falls city council plays ‘Chicken’ over joint jurisdiction

Had to chuckle watching the city employees (mostly) and the city council approving the wedding barn. We all know they were scared the Minnehaha County Commission was prepared to pull the joint jurisdiction ‘polite’ agreement, so they chose to pull out on the game of ‘chicken’. Neitzert’s ‘NO’ vote was ‘taking one for the team.’ They know they have no power in rural districts to predict future growth. But they ‘Think’ they do. LOL.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 23, 2018

City Council Informational Meeting • 2 PM

I guess they are going to start the meeting off with a shotgun and go into executive session right away, than onto more planned city initiated annexations (they just won’t give up).

City Council Joint meeting with Minnehaha County Commission • 5 PM

The ‘Wedding Barn’ zoning is back (ironically so close to Halloween) and it looks like there is more sidewalk changes to county property. (click to enlarge)

Baltic Mayor resigns then becomes PAID administrator

So I’ve seen some weird things in small town SD government, but this takes the cake. In one short meeting in August in the little town of Baltic, Mayor Weldland calls the meeting to order, resigns, swears in a new mayor than takes a PAID position of city administrator for $65K a year.

No I didn’t make this stuff up (DOC: 081418_Baltic)

THE BALTIC CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON AUGUST 14, 2018. Mayor Wendland called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM.

g. Mayor Wendland presented his letter of resignation as Mayor effective immediately. Grunewaldt made a motion to accept his resignation and thanked him for his service. Second by Drayer. All Ayes.

h. Jenks made a motion to appoint Scott Grunewaldt as Mayor to serve a term of 10 months until the next regular election. Second by Hotzler. All Ayes. Hoefert gave Grunewaldt the Oath of Office.

i. Grunewaldt nominated Tracy Petersen of Baltic for appointment as Alderman Ward 2. Drayer made a motion to appoint Tracy Petersen as Alderman Ward 2 for a term of 10 months until the next general election. Second by Hotzler. All Ayes. Hoefert administered the Oath of Office.

j. Personnel – deferred until after Executive Session.

Personnel – Jenks made a motion to appoint Mike Wendland as City Administrator/Economic Development Coordinator at an annual salary of $65,000 with a start date of September 4, 2018. Second by Hotzler. All Ayes.

Oh, and the rumors get even better. Mr. Wendland is said to be the preferred candidate to be appointed to the Minnehaha County Commission if one of the elected Republican incumbents chooses to resign shortly after being re-elected.

Weird Sh*t indeed.

City News, Rumors, Odds & Ends

The Glory House rehabilitation apartments are one step closer to opening with the tearing down of the old ice rec center.

BLACK IRON PUTS RAILROAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT ON HOLD

I kind of saw this coming;

The couple deferred the final vote to review costs.

Power’s say the Billion’s are revising their plan and changes will be made.

As I understand it, it was going to be very costly to provide underground parking due to quartzite issues, so I’m sure they are trying to revise the parking situation to include it above ground in the planned structure. But I’m not sure. I do know that the city requested the building be a certain amount of stories (6?) due to density and there may me a disagreement on just how that may be done with including above ground parking. I never understand why developers want to get involved with private/public partnerships with the city.

SHOULD THE SIOUX STEEL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT GET A TIF?

There has been rumor floating around from city hall that a TIF may be applied to this project. Now while you may argue that the land Sioux Steel currently sits on is probably contaminated due to decades of manufacturing and this would be classified as ‘blight’ do you think it is fair to give a tax rebate to developers who contributed to that blight to begin with? Kind of a philosophical/ethical question. While we know clean up will have to occur before redeveloping the site I suggest applying for EPA grants and NOT taking away money from public education in the form of TIFs.

PLANNING DIRECTOR MIKE COOPER PLANS PRESENTATION ON JOINT JURISDICTION

Mike is going to address the Sioux Falls City Council about the purpose of joint jurisdiction after the recent fluff up over the wedding barn. The city must be getting nervous that the Minnehaha County Commission may be planning to withdraw from the ‘Polite’ agreement.

AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH SIRE TO WORK PROPERLY, CITY DECIDES TO RENEW CONTRACT WITH THE CRAPPY SERVICE

Not sure why the City Clerk decided to renew this contract with all the problems with the service?

PARKS DEPARTMENT MOVES AHEAD WITH $200K CONTROVERSIAL CONSULTING CONTRACT AFTER ALL

Even after the city council told them to explore other options the Parks Department (director) convinced the TenHaken administration they still needed the studies done. So much for the legislative body’s input on this one. I also find it ironic we are seeking a parks accreditation but don’t seek the similar credentials for our police department. Because you know, green grass is far more important than public safety . . .

GENERAL PUBLIC INPUT RETURNS TO PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS AFTER CHIDING FROM DETROIT LEWIS

I posed this question to Head City Attorney Stacy Kooistra this week in an email;

Stacy,

I noticed after state law changed concerning public input that the planning commission started having public ‘general’ input at the end of the meeting. They did it for a couple of meetings than in last week’s meeting they did not do it (only on agenda items).

While I understand that maybe NO ONE came and spoke that doesn’t mean it can be eliminated. In fact in my 12 years or more of attending city council meetings there were several meetings in which people did not speak, but it still is offered.

I am wondering why they ended offering this at the planning meetings?

Stacy responded to me that he would meet with planning staff to discuss. I got this response today from Jason Bieber, Urban Planner in the Planning department;

Scott,

Thank you for the email regarding the agenda item for Public Input at the monthly Planning Commission meeting.    As indicated in SDCL 1-25-1, “The Chair of the body shall reserve at every official meeting by the public body a period for public comment, limited at the chair’s discretion, but not so limited as to provide for no public comment.”  Therefore, our Planning Commission Chairman made the decision to remove the agenda item for Public Input on non-agenda items at our monthly Planning Commission meeting for the simple fact that it had not been utilized by citizens so far.  He also felt that we allow public input at our 12:00pm Planning Commission Briefing the day (Tuesday) before the Planning Commission meeting and that may be a better opportunity for Citizens to provide public input.  In doing public input this way we do comply with SDCL 1-25-1.

This meeting of course, while open to the public, is at city hall with limited parking in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. The meeting is also NOT recorded or live streamed.

After receiving your comments as well as those from Councilmember Stehly, Planning Staff and the Planning Commission Chair have decided to add the Public Input Agenda item back on the Planning Commission Meeting agenda.  Our intent was not to limit Citizen Involvement at our Planning Commission Meetings, but to provide the best avenue for Public Input.

As I mentioned in my original email, doesn’t matter whether anybody shows up or not, as long as an opportunity is provided. The irony is even if NO ONE speaks it only takes a matter of seconds to ask if anyone is present to speak and is little inconvenience to the Planning Commission or their chair.

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention and we look forward to Citizen Public Input at the November 7th Planning Commission Meeting.

That kind of sounds like an invitation to me. I’ll keep my calendar open that night. I always have plenty to say about planning in this community.

*I would also like to thank Councilor Stehly for looking into this for me initially. We kind of tag teamed this effort.

Is a Minnehaha County Commissioner Candidate Incumbent planning to resign after being elected?

There is a rumor going around that one of the Republican incumbent Minnehaha County commissioners plans to resign if/after they are re-elected. While I have a pretty good guess who that may be, I have NO idea if they plan to resign soon after the election (so someone can be appointed) or wait two years (when the next election is held for the county commission).

If this is true, my guess is they will put in a couple of months and resign after January so they can appoint another Republican and create a FAKE incumbent like they did with Jean Bender.

It’s a little trick the Republican’s pull all the time in the legislature and now it seems they are getting used to the practice on the County Commission.

Like I said, at this point it is a rumor, but had a pretty reliable source tell me about it.

Was the fire at the Work Release jail preventable with a simple policy change?

After talking to a Minnehaha County official yesterday, I’m starting to wonder if the fire at the jail could have been prevented if they were following the city’s policy on tobacco free zones?

There is a presentation on Tuesday about the policy at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting. I found this slide interesting;

City-owned buildings; Smoking prohibited 25 feet from the entrance.

So even if the jail is county property it does lie within in the city limits of Sioux Falls. So why was this butt holder SO close to the building? Public property IMO is any Public property within the city limits, whether the county owns it or not. Shouldn’t they be following the city’s rule? Or should the county be setting their own rules?

We now know the cause of the fire at the Minnehaha County Correction Center last month. Fire officials say it was accidentally started by a cigarette butt in a holder in the corner of the building.

“It sat, it smoldered for quite a few minutes and then started the fire,” Dean Lanier with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.

It also brings up another question. Was this an employee’s butt holder? It seems the location of the holder would suggest that it was. So why doesn’t the county implement a similar policy? It seems like this could be a very expensive lesson to the taxpayers of the county.

Minnehaha County Commission & Sioux Falls City Council fight over joint jurisdiction

The CC and CC just can’t agree on whether or not to allow a wedding barn to be built in the middle of a corn field. Yes. You heard me right. You would think with all the big decisions to make, that a wedding barn (outside of the city limits) would be the last thing to debate about. Oh, and it’s painful.

Ironically the Sioux Falls Planning Commission and Minnehaha Planning Commission both agreed it was ok. The kicker? Jeff Schmidt with the city’s planning office is concerned that in 12-30 years from now a housing development may be built around the wedding barn, and it may hurt the growth of the development because of the ‘noise’ from a wedding barn.

Are wedding barns noisy? Hmm.

The biggest problem with this is that the city and county agreed on joint jurisdiction in the growth area of Sioux Falls. In other words, land that is still not annexed into city limits but could be in the future. Most of the time it’s fine, but Schmidt with the help of councilor Neitzert decided to nitpick about streets, drainage and commercial/residential development 12-30 years down the road. Right now the land is a corn field and zoned ag in the county, they need to re-zone so the barn can be built.

County Chair Heiberger reminded the bodies on the dais that the joint jurisdiction is a more or less a ‘polite’ agreement, and if the city continues to nitpick about stupid crap, the county may get rid of the agreement (well she really didn’t say that, but you get the feeling).

Towards the end of the meeting during public input I told both bodies to try to remember to bring legal counsel to these meetings (neither side had one present) and that they need to stop cooking up their legislative priorities in private with only leadership in the room.