Entries Tagged 'Munson' ↓

The Non-Communicator Endorses the Communicator

Just when you thought the toddler donations, the church endorsements, and selfies were enough, he gets Dave’s endorsement. This quote had me in stitches;

“Paul is a strong communicator as well as a good listener.”

Whether that is true or not, I’m not sure. But Dave is the last person to talk about strong communicators. This guy signed off on a 100% cost overrun on Phillips to the Falls without a peep to the council, the media, or his Tuesday afternoon Ice Tea drinking pinnacle club.

Go Paul! Let’s communicate!

Reducing Rail Traffic was part of Munson’s 2005 RR redevelopment plan

There seems to be some detractors when it comes to what I have been saying about reducing the rail traffic downtown after we took possession of the RR redevelopment land. I will apologize on one level where I was wrong. First off, I was unaware that two tracks would remain under Munson’s plan and secondly that this was mostly about the redevelopment. Those two items did not change under Huether’s plan. But Munson did want the rail traffic to reduce, substantially under his 2005 plan;

Sioux Falls Mayor David Munson says, “For any development we want to do moving those tracks is very important.”

Plus, the mayor says moving the tracks is an issue of safety. Traffic wouldn’t be backed up nearly as much anymore. And if a train were to derail while carrying hazardous material, it wouldn’t happen in the center of a growing city.

Munson says, “We’ve seen recently trains that have leaked, they’ve had to evacuate areas so we’re trying to stay ahead of that here.”

Ironically, these hazardous train cars are still parked several days a week next to Nelson Park only hundreds of feet from the Sioux River on the South and a kid’s skate park and swimming pool to the North.

In fact the RR has stated that rail traffic would NOT be reduced under Huether’s plan. They have stated that the trains will become shorter BUT more frequent. They were not kidding. As I have noted they have become a lot more frequent over Cliff Avenue next to Avera Hospital during noon and rush hour times. One of the factors that I can see is instead of using the old switch yard that is gone now, they are re-hooking and switching train cars in the area just North of Avera’s employee/overflow parking lot. They are also parking a lot more train cars in that area.

Also, under Munson’s 2005 plan, Mark Cotter felt that rail traffic and switching would reduce so much they could eventually tear down the 10th street viaduct;

But getting the switching yard moved could dramatically reduce the size of the 10th Street viaduct in years to come. “Twenty-five years down the road, when the viaduct needs to be reconstructed, we can bring in dirt,” Cotter says, because the viaduct no longer would have to span an entire switching yard. “Roads are cheaper to repair than bridges,” Cotter says.

I wonder if that is still the plan to tear down the viaducts in 2030?

As you can see, the original vision did include the redevelopment of the banana land and leaving two RR tracks, BUT it also envisioned reducing rail traffic significantly throughout downtown which apparently was left out of Huether’s plan.


Tis the season


King of Debt; Munson vs. Huether


So who will win the battle of the most borrowing, debt creating Mayor in the History of Sioux Falls?

In eight years Munson racked up $158 Million approximately. To his credit, most went to infrastructure projects like Lewis and Clark, that had a single price tag of $70 million.

Conservatively, Huether has racked up $150 million and some change, with the biggest expenditure being the Events Center ($114 million) which will end up costing us $180 million after interest is paid.

Many have argued that Mayor Huether has accomplished a lot since he has been mayor, but when you steal your parents credit card anything is possible.

Who wants to go to the indoor pool? It’s on the rents!

Seven years ago


On June 4, 2007 the city council had a controversial item before them. (Video: FF: 9:00 – Public Input, Actual item #54 FF: 2:50 ) Whether or not to place a plaque on to the entry of Phillips to the Falls. It was controversial for a few reasons. First off, as the story goes, the plaque was purchased by several private developers and friends of Dave Munson, they wanted to honor him for getting Phillips to the Falls finished (it only took another 7 years to get something actually built on it, an ugly faceless apartment building with virtually no front footage). The plaque actually hung out in Dave’s office for awhile, then after pressure from his friends, he had it placed without any fanfare. That didn’t sit well with the media, myself, and some councilors and they asked for a review by the Visual Arts Commission. They were to determine whether it was considered ‘art’ because if it was, they would first have to approve the placement. Ultimately, the battle came down to quite a few different scenarios. First off, Dave didn’t get permission from anyone to put up the plaque, he just had it done by the parks department. Others were concerned that not others were honored. Councilor Brown pointed out that many city officials were involved in getting the project done. And who can forget Dave breaking city ordinance by not getting council approval for the 100% cost overrun.

To tell you the truth, I look back on it now, and am glad his face is the only one to the entrance, he concocted this stupid street that is finally seeing development, to the cost of taxpayers in TIF handouts. I started thinking about this incident because of the recent Ethics commission approval of Huether putting his name on the tennis facility, a facility that has received $500K in public funds. Instead of going through a process with a naming rights committee and the city council, the very board that was appointed by Huether said “It’s okay, go for it.”

Wow, a lot of things have changed in 7 years, and a lot remains the same.


Sioux Falls municipal campaign rules

This Munson dude who was our previous mayor surprises me every day lately.
Apparently when he was mayor he signed an executive order that any incumbent mayor (and maybe city councilors) cannot use Channel 16 (CityLink) to campaign in anyway 90 days before an election.
In other words, Huether (or Jamison) can no longer appear on city shows (besides official bizzo) until after the election.
This will be a fun one to watch. How will MMM resist press conferences, etc.?
I found this out by accident. During the last Listening and Learning session, an audience member said, “So this is your last L & L session until after the election?”(sic)
Before MMM could respond, and explain why, he asked the lady how she knew this? she said, “He (the cameraman) told me.”
Of course MMM went into accolades about how great his cameraman is, and how great Munson is, and how great the Minney Mouse pancakes are at Rollin’ Pin.
Campaign Rules? We’ll see.

. . . and the KeloAcademy Award goes to? Write your own caption.

This KELO piece is priceless (well actually, it cost us several million), starring the two actors who cooked up this plan behind closed doors. Love the color coordination in their shirts. Do you think they called each other before the interview? 🙂

UPDATE: Is former SF Mayor considering another run for political office?

UPDATE: As I have heard from others over the past couple of weeks, Munson is considering a run for the legislature and NOT the city council.

A South DaCola foot soldier tipped me off tonight that Munson has been hinting at ‘getting back into politics’. (I think one of the TV stations broke the news at 10 PM) I always assumed he would run for the legislature again, but it seems he is considering challenging Staggers. This would be an interesting matchup, for several reasons. For one, they are completely different kinds of Republicans. Munson is a big government, big spender Republican and not real keen on transparency. In fact he had to drop out of his 2nd term mayoral race at one point because of a middle of the night deal with Phillips to the Falls, which has been a complete failure. Staggers on the other hand is a fiscal conservative who is a strong believer of open and transparent government. I hope if Munson runs, Staggers takes off the kid gloves and shows Munson for who he was as a mayor, a backdoor salesman who blew millions of taxpayer dollars on unneeded quality of life projects while failing to upgrade our sewer system and roads. Munson may think his second term legacy is all that and a bag of chips, but he really wasn’t that good of a mayor, and I don’t see him being a much better city councilor. I’m just saying.

I also think it is odd that Munson would be stepping backwards from being mayor to being a city councilor, he wasn’t one previously, and I think he would struggle with how powerless the job can be sometimes.

I guess we will know more soon enough. February 24, is the filing deadline.

Former mayor Munson finally speaks

like it matters . . . Too little, too late.

It sorta reminds me of his silent endorsement of Staggers for mayor. What’s the point?

This part made me shoot vodka thru my nose;

But Munson is worried that other economic factors are getting lost along the way.

“I applaud the Mayor for continuing on with the process because I think it’s important,” Munson said. “But what it’s going to get down to at the end of the day is money.”

Munson says not a lot is known about how Sioux Falls will pay for the $100 million dollar proposal, and that too much of the focus has been on the debate between the arena site and downtown.

“Not only do you build it, but after you build it, you’ve got to pay for the operating of the facilities,” Munson said.

Dave, Dave, Dave, I rattled your balls about this numerous times when you were mayor, just like I said on Tuesday night, now all of sudden the torch has been passed to you to champion these issues? Go away. Please. This is no longer your fight, like it ever was to begin with.

I don’t really know what to say about this video, except that is it worthless, typical, Perry Groten reporting. Get a bunch of random people that don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground and ask them about economic impact etc. It reminds of when Perry did a story about luxury backyard BBQ’s and a guy spent over 10 grand on his, and when the Stormland TV crew showed up, he was cooking hot dogs on it. I wish I could dig up the email I sent Groten that day.

Munson’s Golden Parachute? SE Tech?

Dave! Say it ain’t sooooooo!

Rumor has it he is working for the trustees or something at SE Tech. Anybody have info? Would love to know.

UPDATE: Josh @ the AL sent me this (it was page 5 news);

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ex-mayor to head tech school foundation

Dave Munson is going back to school.

The 68-year-old former mayor was hired Monday to serve as interim director of the Southeast Technical Institute Foundation through the end of the year.

With about $750,000 in net assets, the foundation primarily pays for student scholarships and short-term loans. It will be Munson’s job to raise money from corporate and individual donors.

“I’m a strong advocate of Southeast Tech Institute,” Munson said. “What I want to do is build corporate awareness of what the value of STI is to Sioux Falls.”

Munson said Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Pam Homan first approached him about the job about the time he left office. He toured STI’s facilities and liked what he saw.

He starts Sept. 1 and will make $33,400 for four months of work. Munson and STI President Jeff Holcomb agree that it’s a temporary arrangement.

The position has been open since May, but Holcomb has found it difficult to find experienced fundraisers during a recession. Munson will help maintain continuity in STI’s fundraising efforts while Holcomb continues to search for a permanent director.

“I didn’t want to rush that process,” Holcomb said. “I want to get as good a pool (of applicants) as possible.”

In the meantime, he expects that Munson will be a good fit. Holcomb said Munson knows the community and the businesses and individuals to contact to “keep those connections moving.”

“He truly is an engaged member of the Sioux Falls community,” Holcomb said of the former mayor. “This was truly an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

For Munson, it’s a chance for the former teacher to get back into the education field and get out of the house. He said he has spent the past few months cleaning out things that he has accumulated during 32 years of elected office.

“I really spent a lot of time boxing things, throwing things away that aren’t relevant anymore,” he said.

Reach reporter Josh Verges at 331-2335.