I will be the first to say I don’t always agree with decisions commissioner Heiberger makes, and sometimes she isn’t real big on transparency, BUT what I can see, as chair of the commission, she runs a tight ship when it comes to meetings.
If you ever watch the meetings, as I do, one thing that often stands out is that Cindy runs the meetings with a high level of decorum and professionalism. She is often polite, respectful and thankful of input, whether that comes from her peers, directors or the public. In fact she often disagrees and weighs in just as much as her peers.
Besides the fact that Cindy runs a smooth ship, most of the time, it is not an easy feat, there is a Hell of a lot more ruckus that goes on at these meetings then the city council meetings. Many of the commissioners ask tough questions of their directors and staff, and if those answers are not kosher, they let them have it. Barth and Kelly are the most vocal, but Beninga, Bender and Heiberger have also chimed in when they think they are being buffaloed by staff or the public.
Cindy lets them rant, she also thanks them when they are done, even if she doesn’t agree. That’s called ‘decorum’ folks. Cindy understands that in government not everything is a rubber stamp and a bed of roses, there has to be uncomfortable discussion, there has to be debate and sometimes that is ruffling feathers. She allows it at her meetings, because I believe she knows it is important. I have been watching the meetings regularly over the past two years, while Cindy has raised her voice a few times and has asked people to calm down, she has NEVER gaveled her fellow peers and freaked out like a monkey banging a drum, and trust me I have seen over 20 rants between Barth and Kelly over the past couple of years that were way more uncomfortable and controversial then a prepared statement by Stehly. But guess what, they haven’t had ethics violations lobbed at them, because they have a right as elected officials to have these rants, we expect it from them.
As I have said, if Rolfing would have just let Stehly speak, it would have all been over in a few minutes, with practically no drama. Maybe Rex could mentor Cindy for a few meetings and learn something about representative government and how to run a meeting.
Seems the Minnehaha County Commission is taking some moves from Councilor Erpenbach, bitching and complaining about an agenda item that is not working, costing us to much or both, then voting for it anyway. While they all admitted that Dr. Luther isn’t really doing anything for the $30K a year he has received over the past decade, they let him have it again;
All five members of the County Commission raised or acknowledge questions about Luther’s responsibilities at a 2017 budget hearing Wednesday, but Barth was the only member who voted to eliminate the position.
The commission moved instead to extend Luther’s contract one more year as the county pursues a broader study of how rural ambulance services are assigned and regulated.
And let’s talk about duplicity, the city pays over $100K a year for the same service. Why are the taxpayers paying for a service that a private ambulance company is making a profit from? Shouldn’t they be paying fees that supplement his inspection and quality assurance?
Either way, this further proves why we have such a fiasco with our city provided ambulance, why does the city continue to fund this joke of quality assurance;
“It’s our fault we didn’t get more of that money,” Barth said. “It’s our fault we didn’t demand more, it’s our fault that we continue to pay him for this fruitless endeavor.”
Consider Motion to Authorize Appointment of Johnson, Janklow, Reiter & Parsons to Represent Minnehaha County in Civ 16-1275, the Appeal of the Denial of a Bridge Improvement Grant by the State of SD Transportation Commission – Robert Wilson
I guess the commission budgeted for the money and the state pulled it without notice. It’s funny because Minnehaha County and Sioux Falls are the cash cows for the state, and then they turn around and stick it to us.
A few months ago, the county upgraded their recording equipment to record the county commission meetings. They spent thousands of dollars to do it. They contract with the city’s central services and media department to record and post the meetings in YouTube. If you watch the two past meetings you will see issues.
Hey everyone, Rex wants you to take donuts and get out of here until at least next time, whenever that is. So ended the July 13, 2016, 7 AM Breakfast meeting of the Regional Cooperative Government Committee otherwise know as the three Sioux Falls area city and county governmental units.
As Cameraman Bruce showed up to the Hy-Vee Club Room, there were weird hand signals and blank stares from a few members to greet his cameras. At least he did not hear the resounding phrase from the chair, “No Bruce not (today or tonight or anytime).
It was an interesting meeting as members attempted to lay a groundwork for further cooperation which could lead to an eventual metro area gobernment. So you might as well find donuts and orange juice to join in all the fun.
I often tell people that the things that go on in DC and Pierre are mostly silliness, but locally you can make a difference, I have seen it first hand;
Local Government leaders have more of an impact on our daily life than the Federal ones.
I encourage you to speak out, we have several city councilors that will listen, and act. When I see the stupid sh*t on Facebook about gun violence and the presidential election, I think about how fortunate I am to have one-on-one conversations about policy with my city councilors and county commissioners. They put on the same shoes you do everyday, engage them, you will be pleasently surprised.
More than 30 percent of registered voters in Pennington County went to the polls last week for the primary election. But not all of them voted when they got there.
It was a bit of a silent project according to Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson, who said more than ten times the typical number of blank ballots were turned in.
“Yes, we received a lot of un-voted or blank ballots we counted this election versus the big elections in the fall where we might have five or ten of those out of 40 or 50,000 ballots cast,” Pearson said. “Out of 20,000, we had well over 100 ballots that were completely blank.”
Something called an ‘undervote’. A county worker here told me the same occurred here. Lot’s of foul things written on the ballots and several blank. Julie says it best;
One voter did explain in a scribbled message on the ballot.
“Some are specific. One that we can repeat is that no one is worth voting for in 2016,” Pearson said. “We even had somebody sign their ballot to that effect. We had them crossed out and there are those we can’t repeat.”
We really are in a deep hole in this country with our National and State elected officials. They are clueless.
I won’t ramble about Hillary vs. Trump, that will just make my head spin, but some interesting things did happen last night locally in the primary races.
For the first time since she was elected 12 years ago, Minnehaha County Treasurer, Pam Nelson will have a challenger in November. Kris Swanson won the Republican nomination against Pam’s Nephew in-law, Marlin something or another, even though Marlin didn’t live in Minnehaha county.
Pam has proven to be an advocate her 12 years as treasurer for the low-income elderly trying to stay in their homes and not being over burdened with the atrocious property tax increases over the last decade. Pam will also help anyone else who needs it, Pam has a couple of rules though, follow the law and don’t lie to her.
Speaking of people who don’t seem to know what county they live in, Dick Kelly lost by 13 votes to Dean Karsky in the Republican primary for Minnehaha county commission. This means Dick will not be up for re-election this November. I could go on a monster rant about how it is time for Dick to retire, but I will let his fellow county commissioners tell you their feelings on that. Besides Dick suffering through a heart transplant and being hard of hearing, it seems his time has come. It is also rumored he spends a majority of his time in his retirement residence in rural Spink county and not his voter registration residence in Sioux Falls. Maybe it’s time to say good bye to Mr. Kelly, it’s just unfortunate that he may be replaced by Dean Karsky, the do nothing city councilor, who I will predict will do the same nothingness on the county commission. Dean and Jean Bender will be up against Democrats Feinstein and Rust in November. The top two vote getters when the two open commission seats.
And something I refrained from talking about until after the election was the battle royale in District 15 between democrats Nesiba and Kirschman (Nesiba won). The Democratic party in SD can hardly get enough people together to play a game of solitaire let alone two challengers in a the same district for a primary. Instead settling this over a cup of coffee and a donut and saving funds for a November run they decided to hack it out in a primary.
Don’t get me wrong, I like both guys. Patrick has been an advocate for labor, and Reynold has been a strong advocate against government corruption (Round’s airplane kerfuffle) and pay day lending.
But it wasn’t about their common threads that had these two at each other. It was about abortion and gay rights. Ironic really, considering neither of them could choose to have an abortion, or are gay.
Tuesday mornings are heating up at Minnehaha (SD) County Commission Public Input. Bob Kolbe and Dick Kelly are sparring again about history on May 31, 2016. Questions is, is it the county’s or theirs? And if you don’t like it, you can depart.