Entries Tagged 'Paul Ten Haken' ↓

What should Mayor TenHaken work on that was neglected by his predecessor?

Obviously, Paul has a pretty big agenda of his own that he needs to work on. But besides what he wants to accomplish (which we will include in the following list) what else should he focus on?

Transparency. This is a given that Paul promises to work on. It WAS the #1 issue in the last campaign. As I have mentioned besides more communication with the council and public, he must also focus on opening more contracts up to the public for review. This includes anyone applying for TIFs or other government grants and partnerships.

Crime/Meth epidemic. Paul will get a little help in this department from the counties with the triage center. But he will also have to look at how our police department is handling arrests. With an overcrowded jail and a new one a couple of years away, the SFPD needs to focus on handling situations in the field, like I said, the triage center will help with this. Paul also MUST have a better relationship with the police union.

Reducing Homelessness/Hunger. I was impressed with what TenHaken said in a Million Cups debate, he said in 8 years he wants to put the Banquet and Bishop Dudley house out of business. While he may not attain that goal, he should really focus on getting more people off of assistance and on their own feet, this starts with . . .

Workforce development. This is a sticky issue for city government. They can’t really force local businesses to pay living wages, BUT moving forward when attracting new business to Sioux Falls they can ask, very forcefully to provide good wages. The council can even go as far as to shape policy around it.

Public Ambulance Service. While Paul hasn’t really taken a stand on it, that may be a good thing. I think the council could move forward with exploring the possibility and the costs involved. I think it would pay off in the end and would make our community much safer.

Improving Public Transit. This was virtually ignored by the last administration. Not only do we need to make regular service better and more frequent, we need to get costs under control and look at privatizing Paratransit while keeping it affordable.

Revitalizing core neighborhoods. This can be done through revamping community development. One of those hurdles took care of itself yesterday when the director quit. Not only will this help to clean up our core neighborhoods it will help with the affordable housing issues we have.

Updating the city website. This could include a whole host of changes including being able to download city documents, improving transparency and having all the city board meetings available for review with at least audio recordings.

Public Art Funding. I really think the city is missing out on a huge opportunity by not tapping into the entertainment tax fund to use towards public art. Public art promotes tourism and really defines a city’s quality of life. It also promotes local business by using local artists, artisans and contractors to work on the projects. And if nothing else, it makes our city more beautiful and cultural.

Build a Skatepark with a public/private partnership!

UPDATE: TenHaken’s transition team includes Executive from Lloyd Companies

I will admit I was impressed by the people on Paul’s transition team, all very smart and talented, including this curious selection;

former economic development manager and Lloyd Companies executive Erica Beck

While Erica will certainly bring a lot to the table when it comes to urban planning, I think Paul should know better considering this is a HUGE conflict of interest having an executive from a private developer that has reaped millions in TIF’s and special land deals from the city helping with his transition. It doesn’t look good, you know, kind of like getting campaign contributions from toddlers.

As I understand it, Erica was NOT terminated from the city as an urban planner but quit after being forced to write the Sanford Sports Complex TIF after her initial objections. Not only did the TIF set precedent because it was the largest the city had ever issued (I believe around $9 million) it was given to a project that had NO blight. I would also guess that she took issue with her former boss’s incompetence, Darrin Smith. A guy who went from running a non-profit to running the parking ramps in the city to becoming the director of community development. At least Erica will be able to recommend what NOT TO DO.

At least Paul is being transparent about the team.

UPDATE: The story this morning is that Beck is leaving Lloyd companies to work for TenHaken and the city. Not sure if that is the case, but if it is true, I would predict she would either be his Chief of Staff or more likely run Community Development with Ketchum either being terminated or demoted. This would also setup Beck running the Planning Department once Cooper retired. I will say this, Beck is a very talented urban planner and very capable of running any of these departments. If  Paul does bring her on, it shows he wants to surround himself with talented, independent voices, unlike our current King who only wants yes men and liars.

I have also heard from another reporter that Paul’s campaign manager, TJ Nelson will become his deputy chief of staff.

Now that the ‘Dirty’ campaigning is thru, it’s time for the ‘Tool’ to gloat

Pitty just couldn’t wait to take some kind of credit. We will see how long it takes for Paul to ask him to take it down. Remember to put all of your ‘tools’ away after you finish the job.

Congrats to TenHaken and Soehl

Before I go into my congratulatory mode, I want to talk about what went wrong for the two candidates that lost yesterday.

First, Mr. DeBoer. I have to be truly honest with you, I don’t think there was much more that Zach could have done to beat Soehl. I know that he attempted to get Tom Hurlbert’s endorsement, but that was sticky situation for Tom, and probably the reason why he declined. Tom has a successful architecture business and I think it would have been difficult for him to throw his weight behind either Curt or Zach because of those business connections. Hurlbert did the right thing by staying out of the endorsement game. I think where Curt succeeded was garnering the Union support. While he did raise a lot more money than Zach, I didn’t really see where he spent that money in a productive manner.

While Paul claimed he ran a ‘clean campaign’ from all appearances he did. Nothing came negative directly from him or his inner circle. Where the ‘dirty’ campaigning came from was NOT from his ‘tool box’. It came from the Sioux Falls GOP. They sent out nasty emails painting Jolene as a crazy liberal. Also, the endorsement from the Family Heritage Alliance should have been declined by TenHaken, as well as taking money from toddlers. While Paul may claim he personally kept it clean, that is really a fine line considering he could have informed the GOP to stay out of the race. By allowing them to throw the ‘dirt’ and letting the AG put out a misleading press release (the investigation is NOT done yet folks) Paul really did participate in ‘dirty campaigning’ even if he tries to distance himself from it.

Loetscher’s campaign certainly had it’s flaws. From the beginning of the runoff campaign I felt like Jo’s work was cut out for her. After the Argus put out a map showing where the TenHaken support was coming from it was clear to me she needed to put an army of volunteers together knocking on doors in ‘the red hook’ talking about bread and butter issues like infrastructure, property taxes and business experience. She also needed to reassure the people who voted for her to stay the course, and she needed to massage Anderson’s supporters a little bit.

She also reacted poorly to accusations. She should have just ignored them and never brought up the hacking or voicemail. I still think she was ‘framed’. I don’t think the tone of the VM was the issue, it was the fact that Paul left it to begin with. She also should have called the AG’s office and politely ripped them a new one about the premature press release and demanded a retraction. I think it would have just been best if Jo didn’t respond at all to the tricks, but she walked right into the GOP’s trap, hook, line and sinker. This comes from the inexperience of running for such a big position. She should have also hired an independent campaign advisor with NO ties to either political party or just ran the campaign herself with her husband. If she would have I think a lot of the rhetoric coming from the Right would have fallen on deaf ears. I have often encouraged friends who run for city, county or school board positions to register independent before doing so. If you are running for a non-partisan position, you should do it as a non-partisan.

Tenhaken and Soehl ran strong campaigns and deflected criticism well

 I will have to hand it to both of them, the dirt didn’t stick.

Besides the fact that the only dirt on Soehl was his business huckster donor list, which most people don’t pay attention to. He really didn’t have any barbs thrown his way. Besides, what would they have been anyway? As a retired firefighter he had a good resume and image. I do think Soehl can do the job, and it will be interesting to see if he will join the rubberstamp club or be his own voice. I do know that Soehl was NOT afraid to share his opinion during campaigning, and I hope he stays an independent voice moving forward though I still do worry about his donor list. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he votes on the big things concerning our city. I think he is an intelligent person and will give a different perspective, or least I hope he does.

TenHaken has a knack of just brushing things off. That is NOT a bad quality, strong leaders need this appeal. I can also say in my 45 minute conversation with Paul, he intently listened, rarely interrupting, I also hope he continues to listen to the public not just bloggers or the media. This is an area where Huether failed, big time. He had no time for the public’s opinion. Huether is the reason Public input is such a mess, his resistance to the public’s opinion is deplorable and disrespectful. I also think Paul can build a good team, I’m hoping it is not to partisan or religious. He must be the mayor to all people, not just the ones that voted for him or didn’t vote at all. I hope he understands that.

Paul has also made a lot of promises about transparency and embracing diversity, he needs to stick to those promises. I believe that transparency was the #1 issue in this municipal election cycle and if Paul fails on that level I think the council and the public with push back on him hard, and it won’t be a pretty site.

There are many things in Paul’s past that concern me, and like I have said before, people don’t automatically change after they take the oath, we saw that with 8 years of Mr. Nightmare himself. They might even get worse once the power goes to their head. I also hope that Paul works side by side with the council and the media to let the sunshine in, and if he does uncover misdeeds in the previous administration he shares that with the public. You can’t fix mistakes of the past by covering them up, that will just blow up in your face. We only have to look to the siding settlement fiasco as proof. I hope Paul and the council take a good hard look at the city’s finances before moving forward with any major budget decisions.

I will also say this in closing about Paul, I think he is prepared for the job, I think he enjoys challenges and I also genuinely think he cares about people, not sure what the scope of those people are though.

I wish him and Curt well moving forward, 2018 is going to be an exciting time to watch the new administration and council take shape, and as I understand it, lines in the sand are already being drawn on the council before the two new members are even sworn in. Detroit Lewis is going to be a very busy guy over the next couple of months, I’m going to try to embrace the journey and bitch a little less. I know, good luck with that.

The 5 foot branch excuse works every time

Vote for anybody but TenHaken

I guess if you want to take that as an endorsement for Loetscher, so be it.

Even with all the missteps by the Loetscher campaign over the past couple of weeks (which has more to do with HOW she responded, NOT what she was responding to) I just can’t bring myself to vote for Paul.

I have heard many voters tell me they are so disgusted with both campaigns they are not voting for either.

I try to remind them of my Banana VS. Raisin argument, you have to pick one.

Let’s face it, there really isn’t many differences between Jo and Paul in their professional lives. Both young business professionals that have been very successful. Neither has elected government experience, but both have been involved with boards and legislation and both have worked on political campaigns with their agencies.

So what separates Jo and Paul?

Some of those things are obvious. While Paul has been a little wishy-washy about diversity, Jo has made it a part of her campaign platform. And while Jo has been beat up a little about not having a 100-day strategy or plans for a transition team, unlike Paul, Jo understands that this is all new to her, and those plans have to be made carefully. I also think Jo understands the separation of power between the council and mayor.

Jo has made many missteps along the way, but she has never lost my trust and she has always continued to show a genuine passion for people.

Jo has also not lined her campaign chest with the business elite in Sioux Falls (or their toddler children) who will be the first to be asking for corporate welfare if a TenHaken administration rolls in.

Besides the fact that Paul has been involved with some pretty shady political hackery in his past, thinks it is OK to troll your employees on Facebook and tends to take an authoritarian approach to government the thing that has bothered me the most about Paul is that he has never really has had a consistent platform from day one. Jolene has never waivered from her platform.

Like I said, the inexperience of both of them is worrisome, but you gotta pick one. I pick the Banana.

TenHaken doesn’t do ‘Negative’ campaigning, he leaves that up to his minions

It was quite comical when Paul said he has ‘tools’ to negative campaign, but won’t use them. It seems his biggest ‘TOOL’ over at the DWC has been quite busy smearing Loetscher. Here are a few of his headlines and posts about Jolene;

Loetscher Campaign going into this weekend… see definitions for “quicksand,” “death spiral,” “free fall”

Dakota Posts shoveling a load this AM on Jolene Loetscher

And here Jo goes again – SD Biotech association says they “have no idea” what Loetcher business is, despite biotech claims

Argus takes Jolene Loetscher to task for lack of transparency. Is she channeling Mayor Mike Huether?

Candidate for Mayor Jolene Loetscher twists opponents words when he says he wants to keep race positive

Uh oh, Jo. Fraternal Order of Police slams Loetscher campaign ads as “misleading”

KELO-TV boosting former reporter’s negative camapign smears against opponent in mayor’s race.

Loetscher campaign seems to be getting a bit desperate as Sioux Falls mayoral campaign winds down to run off

I know what you are thinking, I have been posting stuff about Paul. First off, everything I have said except for parodies has been the truth. Secondly, I have not received one single penny from the Loetscher campaign. Have I talked to Jolene and her campaign manager? Yes I have, but they have never asked me to post anything about Paul. Every post about Paul has been on my own fruition or at the advice of my readers who have tipped me off about several things.

Either way, I think Paul’s claim he has kept it clean is a bit of a stretch, considering there have many people behind the scenes stirring the pot and throwing the mud for him.

The similarities are striking.

Listen to Jackboots get his ass handed to him by the Supreme Court, it is hilarious. Funny how none of the audio from this hearing has showed up in his campaign materials.

I also find it kind of strange that TenHaken looks like ‘Perry’ (Alexander Skarsgård) from ‘Big Little Lies’.

Public Input belongs to the Public, not the mayor or council

So if Paul becomes mayor he thinks he is going to make some changes;

TenHaken said establishing a sign-up sheet for those wishing to address the City Council, potentially reducing the five minute time allotment, enforcing a code of conduct for everyone at meetings and designating seats in the Council chamber for those who’ve signed up to speak.

First off, Public Input belongs to the public. Secondly, the mayor has ZERO power in changing the rules at public input, that is the council’s job.

I will not sign a sign up sheet, and I will not sit in a designated area. Public input belongs to the public. We own this government and the agenda, not the mayor or council. I will not have goofy rules put on my 1st Amendment rights.

When people are acting up, you gavel them and ask them to leave or escort them out by security.

It is already intimidating enough for people to come and speak, we don’t need to make that process harder for EVERYONE because a few bad apples called the mayor names when HE wasn’t following his own rules of conduct.

I refuse to take a number and be called on like a person waiting at the DMV. And if Paul or the Council think they are going to thru with these changes there will be the biggest revolt they have ever seen, and it won’t involve respect or decorum.

UPDATE III: FORMER Argus’ ED Board member Co-Chairs TenHaken’s Campaign

UPDATE III: Ding! Ding! Ding! And the winner is . . .

As the May 1 election approaches, those distinctions have been drawn. It is our conclusion that TenHaken’s experience and leadership qualities make him the best choice to succeed Mike Huether as the city’s next mayor.

Shocker!!! Oh, but the Argus wanted to reassure us no funny business is going on;

Editor’s note: Though community at-large members are a key part of the mission of the Argus Leader editorial board, such members were not part of the discussions involving this endorsement.

So Stu Whitney and Cory Myers endorsed Paul. That makes me feel comfortable.

UPDATE II: From Cory Myers;

Hi Scott, all – Michelle is a former community member of the Argus editorial board. She was not part of any editorial board discussions concerning the mayoral candidates, nor any board discussions since December of 2017.

How fun it was for Cory Myers to cry about transparency yesterday;

But specifically for a campaign so focused on transparency, I see no reason why Loetscher won’t release this voicemail.

You mean like when you (didn’t) release this information before the general election when your editorial board endoresed TenHaken and Loetscher;

Oh, that’s right, you didn’t bother telling your readers.

Ironically, TenHaken is the one that scooped this on his FB page. So the Argus ED Board, who has a FORMER member that is assisting TenHaken’s campaign, was endorsing TenHaken.

WOW! Let’s talk ‘transparency’ Cory.

Can’t wait to see if the Argus endorses TenHaken before Tuesday. Cory might have to do a lot of explaining to his far away boss in Denver and the execs at Gannet. Or maybe this is just par for course?

Why not endorse Donald Duck? It would seem less ridiculous.