Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Feb 27, 2018

The big news of the agenda is that the city finance office has finally released the December 2017 financial report (DOC:DEC-2017). The city ended up only 1.9% from the year before, with lodging having the highest gains of 2.2%.

City Council Informational Meeting

Two Audit reports, a review of end of the year financials AND a proposed renewal of Great Bear’s 5-year contract.

City Council Joint Minnehaha County Meeting

They will only be approving a change order for the archives building.

Beninga lets opponents have it over Hope Harbor PUD

Looks like Gerald filled in for Jeff Barth, schooling folks about ‘change’. I haven’t seen Beninga this on fire in a long time.

Whole meeting below;

Minnehaha County Commission talks worker turnover

There is a really interesting presentation about employee turnover with the county.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Gerald Beninga doesn’t seem to concerned about security of ballots during an election

As we have suspected, we are only a few months away from an election and the wheels are starting to come off. This is what happens when you have a person who never has been registered to even vote (what is up with these veterans and not voting anyway?) become city clerk and put in charge of our elections.

Luckily County Auditor Bob Litz identified the problem and when he makes the county commission aware of it, they just tell Bob to deal with it. Beninga was worthless on the city council, and he is proving to be the same on the county commission. How does this guy keep getting elected?

A few years ago they gave Bob some secure office space to count ballots, but once all the murdering drug dealers decided to move to BOOMTOWN they took the space away for more state’s attorneys.

Ballots must be counted in a secure area, not in some hallway. Maybe they will find space in the restrooms come April 10.

If Mayor Huether considers himself a councilor, why doesn’t he attend and vote at joint county meetings?

To tell you the truth, I can’t remember the last time Huether has attended a joint county/city meeting. Someone told me it hasn’t been since 2010, but I can’t verify that. Let’s just say it has been awhile.

I also don’t know why he doesn’t attend anymore. Some have speculated it is because he doesn’t get to chair the meetings. They are usually ran by the chairs of the council and commission.

I find it ironic that he calls himself a ‘councilor’ and cites the charter, breaks ties during regular council meetings and uses his veto pen, but he doesn’t fulfill that duty during the joint meetings. I also find it ironic that he would chastise councilor Pat Starr for abstaining from voting ONCE while Huether has been ‘abstaining’ from the joint meetings for several years.

Sioux Falls Chamber caves to Republican Pouting – Punishes Dems

* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *

Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce won’t allow Minnehaha County Democrats to sponsor annual legislative coffees

January 15, 2018

On Thursday, January tenth the Minnehaha County Democratic Party (MCDP) was notified they won’t be allowed to sponsor the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (SFACC) Legislative Coffees as they have for years.

The Minnehaha County Republican Party (MCRP), the Minnehaha-Lincoln Republican Women, and Americans for Prosperity all pulled their sponsorship from the SFACC Legislative Coffees for 2018. Speculation is the conservative organizations didn’t like a recent article (Argus Leader, Sept. 20, 2017) in which SFACC President and CEO, Jason Ball expressed concern over events that are “antagonistic to immigrants and new demographic groups in Sioux Falls,” and “legislation and policies that negatively target specific populations …”

“We believe the Republicans are trying to punish the Chamber for a stance that they don’t agree with. Unfortunately, that resulted in the Chamber trying to smooth things over by removing us, the opposition party, from the event,” said Heather Halverson, Minnehaha County Democratic Party Chairwoman “We see this as an effort to appease the Republicans, while removing our voice. From our perspective, this is undemocratic.”

This year’s events will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre from 10:00 am to 11:45 am on February 3rd, 10th, and 24th. The SFACC Legislative Coffees include legislators from area districts and allow the public to ask timely questions related to the 2018 legislative session. The Republican legislators that attend the coffees outnumber the Democrats twenty-six to four.

“We have been a longtime sponsor of the Legislative Coffees. As the minority party in the state, it is very important for us to have a table at the event, and allow local residents to stop by and ask us questions about our platform, legislative matters and our upcoming events,” said Halverson. “We aren’t the party that picked up our ball and went home because we didn’t like the way the game was going.”

Heather Halverson, Chair

Minnehaha County Democratic Party
SouthDaCola Notes; While I could care less what either party is up to in our state, I think this is pretty crappy to treat the MCDP this way because the Republicans are a bunch of whiny crybabies that want to continue to push their racist and homophobic views on the rest of us. The sad part is that the Chamber should NOT have to apologize for Jason’s comments, he is right, being a racist is bad for business.

Its time to allow micro-breweries in SD to distribute their own beer, and, time to raise the alcohol tax

I know what you are thinking, a few contradictions there, but not really. I have often believed a tax hike in alcohol would actually help the bar business and give property tax payers a little relief from paying for criminals.

First the distribution issue. Distributors are clearly fighting this because of greed. But they have their excuses;

Distributors, meanwhile, said allowing craft breweries to work as producer, distributor and retailer in some capacity could create problems for the state in collecting tax revenue and for consumers in ensuring their beer meets quality standards.

Breweries would still be paying taxes and as for the quality issue, that is silly. Distributors ARE NOT testing the quality of the product, if they were Coors Light would no longer be available 🙂 This is clearly a way for distributors to reap a commission for basically doing nothing but acting like a keg taxi. Distributors would still be in the picture anyway for mass distribution. All brewers are asking is to brew more beer and sell it from their locations.

As for increasing the alcohol tax, I agree 100% with Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth that it is silly that property tax payers are footing the bill for crimes related to alcohol. I think if alcohol taxes increase, liquor stores and bars will charge more, which in turn could mean bigger profits and less consumption, which means less crime. MPR has a great story about this.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the cost of excessive alcohol use is $2.05 per drink — costs that create financial burdens for federal, state and local governments.

“Currently, federal and state taxes do not even come close to covering those costs,” said Dr. Timothy Naimi, author of a recent article study on state alcohol excise taxes. “Public health is a strong rationale for alcohol taxation. … If we don’t recover the costs related to alcohol sales, then it amounts to a subsidy for people who drink, and who drink excessively.”

I don’t think the habits of casual drinkers would change with a tax increase, but I do think it would help to curb reckless drinking.

Minnehaha County Commission Chair must be going for a new look in 2018

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission continues to deny Barth a chairmanship

Not sure if Jeff has fought to be chair or not, but it seems a bit odd that as long as he has been there they won’t give him a chair position. They had their chair election yesterday and re-appointed Heiberger as Chair (she was chair before Beninga) and Bender as Vice-Chair.

Unlike the city council, the commission is a partisan position, and since Jeff isn’t a part of the majority party on the commission, I believe they continue to deny him a chair position. Sad really, since he has the most experience.

Barth also voted against using the Argus Leader as the official designated paper for the county in Sioux Falls. State law really doesn’t give them much of a choice on the matter, but it was a good protest vote. Barth has been critical of the paper for not covering county business very well. While I will agree to some extent, I will say it again, the meetings are at a very bad time, they need to be moved to after 5 PM.

UPDATE: I’m awaiting to see the actual meeting (apparently it takes two days, again, to see the video) but I guess Barth also chastised the city for not telling the county about the asbestos dumping since the county gives permission to the city to use the landfill.

Minnehaha County has better credit rating than the City of Sioux Falls

So I get a call from a county official yesterday, and they say something like,

“Did you hear? The county has a better credit rating than the city. But you might not have heard because we didn’t hold a press conference.”

Bob Litz actually made the brief announcement at the county commission meeting on Tuesday. I even said to the official that I didn’t even get a press release from the county on it. The good rating will SAVE taxpayers money on interest with the bond sale for the new jail.