Entries Tagged 'Rapid City' ↓

What are Sioux Falls taxpayers paying in legal fees? Good question.

As you know, the Argus Leader is embroiled in a Supreme Court case with the city over a secret settlement involving the siding on the Events Center. The city has also been involved with class action suits in recent years which involved millions in settlements, but for some reason, we as taxpayers have no idea how much the city spends on these lawsuits, yet in Rapid City, they not only give us the numbers, they even conclude they may lose the case.

Over that time, the city has spent $374,200 on legal fees. Now, after deciding to appeal a Jan. 27 ruling by a Pennington County jury that absolved Big Sky LLC of any responsibility for the roads, the city expects to sink another $10,000 to $20,000 into a legal battle with an uncertain outcome against a development company that its owner says has no money.

And I think this is a good comparison. Rapid City is a SD city, and the second largest in the State. So why do they see no problem and no legal ramifications with offering this information to their fine citizens, but for some reason we won’t do it in Sioux Falls?

Can you imagine if this Mural was painted in Sioux Falls?

This mural was recently painted in Arts Alley in Rapid City.

If Sioux Falls had an ‘Arts Alley’ how do you think locals would have reacted?

It’s actually pretty nicely done.

2016 Budget comparisons between Sioux Falls & Rapid City

This is strictly informational. I noticed that Rapid City approved their 2016 budget the other night, so I decided to crunch a few numbers.

I will admit, I would much rather live in SF then RC, but I have friends that live in RC and they love it. They say there is far more recreational opportunities. I still think quality of life is probably better in SF, but that is a matter of opinion.

Now for the numbers;

Sioux Falls proposed 2016 budget; $471 Million, 170K residents, $2,770 per person.

Rapid City’s implemented 2016 budget; $156 Million, 72K residents, $2,167 per person.

I have no doubt there will be some cutting and shuffling going on with the SF budget, but I doubt it will sway to far from the proposed amount.

The difference between Rapid City and Sioux Falls, well at least in perspective

Stormland TV gives me one thing, stark irony. First the new mayor of Rapid City comments on The Summer Nights Music Festival;

Despite some problems, Allender likes the way Summer Nights builds community.

“You can have a homeless person standing three feet away from a millionaire and they’re both enjoying the music and tapping their foot and maybe even talking,” he said. “I’ve never been to an event anywhere near that, that closeness and that bringing people together.”

Then there is Rob Joyce’s comments on JazzFest (he is the leader of SF Jazz & Blues Society);

“I step up on stage and I see young people, teenagers, young kids sitting with grandparents or sitting with people who are much older. And they’re all enjoying the same afternoon. They’re all enjoying the same music,” said Joyce.

Hey, but if you go walk along the Big Poo after dark to take a hit on a left-handed cigarette, you might find some homeless dancing (or sleeping). Millionaires not welcome.


Columnist should learn the basics of municipal government before writing about it

Yes, municipal governments work with the school districts in their respective territories and often school and municipal elections share a ballot like they will next Tuesday in Rapid City, BUT . . . (Stu Whitney column)

Building a new sports and entertainment complex. Working to improve race relations. Finding ways to ensure schools are properly funded. Forging relationships with businesses to spark growth.

This is what you get when you take a sports writer and turn him into a city columnist overnight. Lack of understanding.

Municipal governments have NO control over School District funding, and vice versa.

While it is nice for the mayoral candidates to weigh in on the school district opt-out in Rapid City or school start dates in Sioux Falls (as our mayor thought appropriate) they really have no control over it. That is NOT a leadership issue, it is a governing/jurisdiction issue.

Please, do us all a favor and do a little research on the basic tenants of local government. After all, it is where the big decisions are made, not in publicly supplemented indoor tennis courts.

RC Mayoral Candidate, Allender struggles with the Constitution

While I agree with Allender on the ban of certain kinds of ammo and firearms, he seems to be struggling a little with the US Constitution (From his FB page);


Good thing Sam cleared it up for him;

The chief and I are in serious disagreement here. Defending the Constitution is everyone’s job, especially elected public officials. It may interest the chief to know that the first line of the Oath of Office for the mayor of Rapid City reads as follows:

“I solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States…”

Hey! Sam, you might want to pass that little tidbit of civic advice onto our police department, city attorney’s office, mayor’s office and the city council, some of them don’t seem to get that whole ‘oath’ thingy.

Why doesn’t Allender just apologize?

I have been watching the Rapid City mayoral race closely (or somewhat closely) and the first thing I say to my West River brothers is “Why in the Hell would you elect a former Police Chief as mayor?”

Then there is the Landfill issue . . .

Either way, I would think that the good people of Rapid City would be smart enough to NOT elect someone who might be a supposed racist, but what is more troublesome, can’t say “Sorry.”

Not that I would compare our mayor to Allender, but MMM often makes weird statements around minorities (including women), but not in a racist way but more out of ignorance. He told a kid clearly of either Pakistanian or Indian decent (8th grader) at a school in one of his ‘Shut Up and Listen’ sessions that “Just because you are a different color then me, doesn’t mean you can’t be mayor of Sioux Falls.” The kid looked at him like ‘what planet did this guy come from?’

Then he spoke at First Baptist and the crowd was mostly African immigrants, he said to them about code enforcement, “Not only do white people need to be good neighbors, but colored people need to also.”
I know South Dakota is mostly behind the times, but when are we going to get with the program with race relations or at least understanding other cultures? Heck, we had the first Black president of the United States visit our state yesterday (I watched the entire commencement LIVE) and he gave a moving and inspiring message, while our NON-education governor in the background stared at the arena lights.
Pretty amazing that a BLACK man can come to South Dakota and make such an inspiring speech . . . I guess colored folk know how to make speeches to, who knew? 😉

Rapid City Civic Center predictions

Not following this as close as I should, but I’m going to say it fails


I think it is too expensive, too large and having five former mayors against the project isn’t good. I have a feeling though even if it fails, they will bring back a scaled down package within the year to vote on again.

Su Fu Stu Pu Pu’s the Rapid City Civic Center expansion

I can't even say how stupid I think NASA is...

When taxpayers mortgage ‘play things’

Today during the indoor aquatic center naming rights press conference our esteemed leader of Sioux Falls said that when the city uses private dollars on public facilities the taxpayers win.

Yeah, I laughed to.

He brought up all the grand things that T Denny has done for the EC. Actually, taxpayers win if we don’t spend the money on play things to begin with, and let Sanford build the entire indoor pool complex at the Sports Center, on their dime. And as for the Events Center, let’s look at who is ‘winning’. As I have mentioned recently, the taxpayers are having trouble getting tickets without being raped by ticket scalpers and we still are responsible for the mortgage and maintenance on the facility, even if it is profitable and runs in the black. As taxpayers we really are the losers when it comes to the EC.

Which brings us to Mr. Whitney’s story in the Argus today. Stu says it would be a very bad investment for Rapid City to build the current plan of the new civic center in Rapid City. But he goes a step further and says we did it right in Sioux Falls by only incurring a possible $173 million dollar debt. Trust me, it will be a lot more, once you figure in maintenance and unforeseen problems.

Let’s say for a moment I supported the Events Center, I think one of the things I would have been vocal about as a supporter before the vote is that we don’t build it on the cheap. Apparently we didn’t learn the lesson from the Washington Pavilion which was slated as a $20 million dollar remodel that has probably surpassed $50 million in just 14 years. If you think for a moment that there will be NO more additional costs to the Events Center over the next 20 years besides a mortgage, you are eating some good Colorado Brownies.

I will commend Rapid City on one element of their civic center plan, they are building it for the future, and they are not afraid to spend the money to get it right the first time. Or at least that is their argument.

I think five years from now we will all be scratching our heads as to why the EC wasn’t built bigger and why the place is in a constant state of repair. Heck the place just opened and the siding is inferior (which was brought to the city’s attention before it opened) and flooring on the second floor has so many cracks in it if you were a superstitious person your mother would have a broken back.

So while I will agree with Su Fu’s new superstar journalist that RC should nix the plan, I just wish Stu was this vocal about our ‘on the cheap’ EC plan instead of cheerleading like a 14 year old girl behind the mayor. But I guess we all don’t have wet dreams over HS basketball tournaments.

Rapid City council votes to build new Arena without a vote of the people

Well, I hope they don’t hire Mortenson to handle the project, besides we have them tied up fixing our siding, on site and probably in a court room.

It looks like it will still probably go to a public vote though;

Rapid City officials have approved spending $180 million to build a new civic center arena.

The city council voted 7-3 on Monday in favor of the project after more than three hours of testimony and debate. Local sales tax money would repay the $180 million the city would seek in bonds for the arena, which could seat up to 19,000 people.

A resident started distributing a petition for a binding public vote on the expansion just moments after the council’s vote. The campaign needs roughly 2,000 signatures to force a referendum on the council’s decision.

I know that the mayor of RC said yesterday he would like to see it go to a vote. I hope they are successful in their referendum in getting it on the ballot. If that happens it will be interesting to see how the vote comes down.