Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

South Dakota Dems working on the ‘Important Things’

I only stayed at the Minnehaha County Dems meeting last night for a few minutes. I showed up right when they were deciding what new protest signs to pick out. I think the favorite was. ‘We Shall Overcomb’.

 

Good thing we picked the ‘Most Qualified’ ambulance service

Looks like we enjoyed the ambulance vetting process so much, we MIGHT get to go through it again, soon;

South Dakota is not listed in the government’s lawsuit. Sioux Falls Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority says there was no profit cap for Paramedics Plus here.

However, when it got the contract in Sioux Falls, Paramedics Plus said it was making a $1.7 million investment into the REMSA system.

Meanwhile, East Texas Medical Center will merge its two ambulance services, EMS and Paramedics Plus, and spin off the division as a separate entity and is looking for a new partner to run it.

Paramedics Plus President Ron Schwartz says he it doesn’t anticipate any change in the ambulance workforce or management structure.

So what does that mean? Well if new partners join PP, that that may mean the contract has to be renewed with the new company. Not sure.

I found this comment attached to the story;

I worked at 9-1-1 for many years and it wasn’t until Paramedica Plus got the contract that I had ever heard of a level zero for ambulance response. For who ever it was on the city council to say that Paramedics Plus is living up to their contract and the responses are within the guidelines of the contract is abhorent. It is only acceptable when it’s not you or family. Get rid of Paramedics plus and get rid of what ever politicians who thinks that this contract is acceptable.

I guess we will never know what they are doing to eliminate the issue. The ‘Pilot’ program was performed under a cloak of secrecy.

Fitch did an analysis of Minnehaha County’s ambulance service, yesterday at the CC meeting (starts at 14:00)

Sioux Falls Thrive paints a grim picture of a ‘Low Wage’ community

Well it is something we have known for quite awhile, but I guess the business community now is screaming for labor. Well guess what, you need to pay better. This is what happens when you invite people to a supposed ‘Boomtown’ that pays the wages of a town going ‘Bust’.

Candy Hanson(sp?) does a presentation for the Minnehaha County Commission (starts at 19:00-54:00)

Here is the full report. It is very comprehensive; (DOC: Affordable_Housing_Needs_Assessment_2016) I plan to start reading the report and see what I can dig up in terms of solutions for our community.

What was I saying about suspension when it comes to the Copper Lounge building collapse?

Here we go again, a daycare provider under the suspect for a death, and what does the city do?

Her daycare license was suspended immediately pending an investigation.

LuAnn Ford with the Sioux Falls Health Department said, “Suspension generally happens very quickly because if children are at risk we want to put the daycare out of business as fast as we can.”

Yet a building collapses on a worker and kills him and the city and state’s attorney’s office does no investigation of the construction company.

I have been told by a county official that the State’s Attorney is watching the OSHA investigation closely and ‘may’ respond once that investigation is complete.

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.