Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Rex, admit it, you are the only one that gives a rip about hats

Look at that, two presenters at the Minnehaha County Meeting never removed their hats. In fact, during the presentation, not one single commissioner asked them to remove their hats. Why? Because it’s petty, just like the city councilor who constantly asks people to take off their hats.

There is a difference between ‘Readership’ and ‘Circulation’

circ

At the Minnehaha County Commission Meeting on Tuesday (FF:9:40), Carol Muller presented this chart when talking about choosing the county’s legal notice newspapers. She seemed to have confused ‘circulation’ with ‘readership’. But throughout the discussion, a couple of commissioners and even an Argus reporter got confused about circulation and readership. Eventually, the reporter, Mr. Walker did clarify that the circulation was different and made an estimate (that was close). According to the SD Newspaper Association website, the AL’s circulation is 26,137 daily and 36,000 on Sundays. Circulation means ‘printed and delivered’ papers. Readership is in reference to basically an assumption that more then one person reads a single printed paper. In other words, the number isn’t based on crap and is made up.

It’s unfortunate that Carol presented the wrong description to the commissioners. Hopefully Walker was abled to clear it up. Either way, a circulation of between 26-36,000 is pretty bad considering a metro area of over 250,000 residents.

New Siouxland Library Director admits being a 30 year resident of Minnesota with no intentions of moving to SD.

Well, I would have to give Jodi Fick a gold star for honesty. After being voted in by the Sioux Falls city council tonight she freely admits she is a 30 year resident of Minnesota, though she calls Sioux Falls her home, she will gladly keep commuting. She gave this information freely without anyone asking. (Go to last item on agenda).

I suggested a couple of months ago to a city councilor that SFPD and SFFD and all city managers and directors should be Sioux Falls residents (mainly for safety reasons and being on call). But you could also probably say that about most city employees. It would be a simple ordinance change, and you could grandfather in current out-of-town employees, and only apply to new employees that would be willing to move to SF within 90 days of their hire date.

In Fick’s defense, she very well could live anywhere in Minnehaha County because she is also a county employee, but at least SD.

Why do I think this important? Besides the safety of having city employees close to their work, it has to do with tax base. Do you think it is fair for someone making 6 figures a year from our tax dollars isn’t contributing to her own wage and tax base?

Maybe I am making mountains out of mole hills, what do you think?

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

Copper Lounge Collapse, lots of questions little answers

Here are some leading questions after the collapse;

• Will Downtown businesses be reimbursed for lost business by the construction company’s insurance? Most of these businesses are family owned, they don’t have a lot of buffer like national franchises especially during one of the busiest shopping times of the year.

• Will the city be reimbursed for the enormous cost of the rescue and security efforts? While most would argue this is part of paying taxes, sometimes those costs go above and beyond.

• If the city was aware of construction issues with Hultgren, why wasn’t the Lewis project monitored more carefully, especially after complaints?

• What is the signifigance of the meeting on Monday between the city, OSHA, Hultgren and the families affected? Will they be talking about a private settlement?

• Since Legacy Development was one of the companies to bid on the future parking ramp, were they chosen? And if so, will the city pull the contract? Will the public ever be told? Do we have a right to know?

Who are the private investors in Legacy Development?

One of the biggest questions that has been boiling to the top all week – did any of the city councilors, county commissioners or even the Mayor have investments with Legacy, Hultgren or with the PAVE or Lewis project? And if so, isn’t this a conflict of interest, especially since the construction company has gotten quite a few ‘passes’ from the city’s planning/building services office? This speculation comes from the city’s decision to launch NO investigation of their own and a desire to not press charges unless OSHA finds serious fault. Think about it, Cameraman Bruce was arrested and taken to court over a stack of shingles and the possibility of a couple of mice, something the city called a health/public nuisance. Doesn’t it seem silly the city is worried about a couple of mice, but not that a man died in a construction accident? It just doesn’t add up.

I will tell you folks, this goes deeper, and I think some people with some serious connections are involved. Notice the rancor coming from the city lately about the media stirring the pot, they are trying to squelch the message and kill the messenger.

It will be interesting to see who is holding the bag when the smoke clears . . . it may just be one of the biggest scandals this city has ever seen, it will make the secret million dollar settlement on the EC look like vandalism under the 10th Street bridge.

Should the Minnehaha County Commission Meetings be held at Night?

I know I have been told a reason why the meetings are held in the morning, but I can’t recall why, and quite honestly, don’t care.

I have often thought that government should be accessible to all, not just government folks and their convenience. A more transparent government would do the public’s work when a majority of the public can show up. 9:30 on a Tuesday morning is a poor time to conduct a public meeting. I do understand the conflict with the city council meetings, but I do think they could hold their public meeting at night on a Monday and I wouldn’t even be opposed to 5:30 PM. I do watch the meetings online after they are recorded, but that usually takes 2-3 days before they are put online (still puzzled why it takes between 24-72 hours to rasterize a video for YouTube?)

I hope the county commission would consider a change.

Picture This

BOB

I hope Bob can get it together before election night

bob

Not sure why KSFY decided to include this shot of Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz adjusting himself, but you have to grin a little. I guess this is how Bridget and KSFY won best weekend news cast – the ‘candid’ shots.

Now Citylink is screwing up Minnehaha County’s meetings

minn-meet

I reported a few months ago that the county spent around $40K for new video equipment (at the advice of the city’s media department, that record the meetings) and one of the meetings had no audio. So now Tuesday, the meeting is totally defunct. According to a county official there was a problem with a camera that resulted in malfunctioning the other cameras, but they thought the audio was fine. I guess that is defunct also now.

I find it ironic that the meeting that had ‘technical problems’ was the one where the commission approved the contract with Fitch to do consulting for ambulance service and the President of Med-Star came to testify against it.

Where is that audio . . . maybe REMSA filed it with Paramedics Plus call performance reports.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth asks for an explanation from REMSA

2009 Ford E-Series Super Duty Ambulance Prep Package.  (03/03/09)

Recently Jeff told me that the secretive nature of REMSA and there ‘experiment’ with Paramedics Plus is one of the top transparency issues in our community right now. I would agree. He expressed that concern at Tuesday’s county meeting (FF: 1:06). He asked REMSA to come and explain to the commission what the plan is. Chair Heiberger felt it wasn’t the county’s concern, Barth disagreed. Cindy also went on to say that their are rumors being spread, Barth responded that is why they need to come and explain what is going on.

Jay Masur of Med Star also spoke at public input at the city council meeting essentially asking for the same thing.

I agree, the lack of transparency is troubling on this issue. This isn’t about bent up siding or stalling tactics of a petition drive, this has to do with people’s health and lives, the public deserves to know. As Masur also pointed out, many members of REMSA are paid by the county and city tax payers including Doctor Luther who hides more then works, and city health director Jill Franken, who hasn’t given a straight answer since we chose Paramedics plus.

It’s time the county commission and the city council demands answers, even if it is in executive session. Our elected officials, if not the public, deserves to know what this ‘complicated’ plan is.