Entries Tagged 'Rick Kiley' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilors Kiley and Erickson need opponents

 

It’s time to wipe these two faces from the city website after May 2018.

After the recent votes on the golf contract and parking ramp it is becoming more and more obvious councilors Christine Erickson (at-large) and Rick Kiley (SE) need opponents.

Kiley has always been a strong supporter of the mayor and his policies of secret government. But it seems Erickson has lost her way. It all seem to have happened when her and the mayor had their ‘special’ meeting when she became elected vice-chair. Some kind of handshake deal was made because a lot of people are wondering what happened to the old Christine that supported things like FREE bus rides for kids and opposed the city administration building. That ship has apparently sailed after signing a deal with the devil, or should I say dictator.

Unfortunately NO one has stepped up to run against these two. Clara Hart has decided to stay in the already crowded at-large position that Rolfing is leaving vacant (Paulson and Brekke are also running in that race).

There has been some talk about a possible challenger to Kiley (if not two) but I am still waiting for a challenger to Erickson.

We truly need a significant change in city government coming May, and I think we not only need to replace the mayor and any candidates with his philosophies (Entenman and TenHaken) we need four new fresh faces on the city council.

I encourage people to oppose Kiley and Erickson, they are beatable, you just have to expose their voting records that support a more closed and non-transparent government. Step up, your city needs you!

Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr did the right thing

Sure, we can discuss the minute details about how Pat handled this (did he walk out at the right time? Was it professional? etc., etc.) but when you look at the BIG PICTURE something I reminded the council to do when looking at the parking ramp project to begin with, I think Pat walking out was the right thing to do, especially since he had no other options. The Mayor and Kiley already said there would be no more input, could Pat really have gotten the rest of the council to overturn it? Probably not.

As Tim Stanga brought up during the meeting (and Belfrage discussed it on his show today) the council’s minds were already made up before the meeting even started.

What was disappointing the most about the input about the ramp itself was the fact that we heard NO testimony from the developers, we also had NO testimony from the city’s legal counsel about the liability of Hultgren and Drake.

It was obvious that the mayor wanted to bury the hatchet as quick as possible, it was obvious when he was acting like a restless child when Stehly brought forward amendments.

But what is more troubling is that Kiley and Huether reaction to Starr’s statement that he is the one being ‘unprofessional’. The entire council and mayor BESIDES Starr acted like complete children throughout the meeting, as I have pointed out earlier. I don’t blame Starr for not wanting to be a part of it. I also applaud him that his name will not appear on any of the documents or votes on the project (that I think will never happen due to lawsuits, lack of investors, bankruptcy OR all of the above – remember, the developers have already said they have no investors yet, or a hotel franchise).

Huether and Kiley were acting like jackasses when it comes to public input, as they normally do, and they finally got called out on it. If anyone should be embarrassed it should be them. Honestly Starr looks like a Star in this manner.

Keep selling the wage collusion in town

I will at least give Mr. Nasser props for trying to encourage professional careers but the argument is lost with Kiley and the Chamber with the constant push for affordable housing instead of higher wages.

Sioux Falls City Council Race mash-up

The city council races are starting to come together, but there are still some unknowns and variables.

Currently the Central District has three running in the race. I won’t rule out that more could get in that race, but probably unlikely.

Retired Firefighter and Insurance Salesman, Curt Soehl. I don’t know a whole lot about Curt, but what I have read on his FB page is that he was very pro-Huether and approved of his accomplishments and leadership style, which is unfortunate.

Thor Bardon. I believe Thor works in banking. Thor’s platform is workforce development and other social issues in our community.

Local art promoter and business owner, Zach DeBoer. Zach is heavily involved with the downtown culture and development.

At-Large has 3 candidates, but that could change.

John Paulson, former Sanford Executive and Planning Commission member who lost to Theresa Stehly in the last election will probably run the same ‘everything is wonderful and great in Sioux Falls’ campaign.

Janet Brekke, who is a former city attorney and currently a private attorney is challenging Paulson. I don’t know a lot about Janet, but I think we will learn more in the coming weeks since she has formerly announced.

Clara Hart has said she will run in the At-Large, but she could just as easily challenge Rick Kiley to get out of a crowded At-Large race (which may get more crowded). Clara lives in his SE district and may have a better chance in a two person race, and avoid a run-off.

As I said, Kiley has announced he will run for a 2nd term and has no challengers currently, I hope that changes.

Erickson hasn’t announced whether she is running for a 2nd term or not, she has said she will probably NOT run for mayor. But currently if Erickson did announce, she doesn’t have a challenger. I’m wondering if someone is waiting in the wings until Erickson announces. One of the bigger questions I have been asked over the past couple of weeks has been, “Will Erickson run for a 2nd term to begin with or is she busy trying to recruit someone to run for the seat?”

As you can see, we have about 5-1/2 months until the city election and the council races are still shaping up. Anything could change at this point.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Kiley staunch supporter of government secrecy

SE District Councilor Kiley has announced today he is running for a 2nd term.

That’s too bad.

At this point he has no challengers though there have been a couple of people who have seemed interested.

Kiley will try to paint a rosy picture of his first 4 years which couldn’t be further from the truth;

During his first term, Kiley, 64, fought to maintain free and reduced pool passes for Sioux Falls most needy, reformed door-to-door sales regulations in the name of consumer protection and voted against raising paratransit fares on multiple occasions.

And that is about as good as it gets for Rick. He has fought hard to protect secretive government in Sioux Falls and has backed the mayor almost 99.9% of the time when it comes to his agenda, including an unneeded administration building & change in council elections requiring a majority.

Kiley has also done very little in being an advocate for citizens and often defends city directors over citizens. He also helped lead the charge to concoct bogus ethics charges against Stehly basically throwing one of his peers under the bus under false pretenses under the direction of one of the most unqualified city attorneys we have ever had.

Kiley is bad news, especially if we get a mayor truly committed to open and transparent government, he will find himself in a very lonely place over the next 4 years.

Hopefully we can find a good challenger and someone who can paint a real picture of Kiley’s true anti-citizen government views.

Looks like the council election of Chair and Vice- Chair may be a done deal

It seems once Councilor Kiley knew he may be on the chopping block he started playing nice with his fellow councilors and citizens. Also, since the administration realized that councilor Erickson may be vice-chair, the mayor has appointed her his new BFF.

Starr said barring any unforeseen council fireworks, Kiley’s the favorite to be elected chairman next Tuesday, with Councilor Christine Erickson the likely pick for vice chair.

Their ascension to the top leadership spots isn’t without some consternation. Councilor Theresa Stehly hasn’t ruled out voting for Kiley and Erickson as Council leadership, but she is toying with the idea of nominating Starr or Councilor Greg Neitzert as vice chair.

I personally would have liked to see Erickson as chair and Starr as vice-chair. Oh well, looks like the administration may win again.

Building Collapse Video disappearing act

Friday afternoon I noticed that a new episode of Inside Town Hall appeared on the City of Sioux Falls You Tube page. It was the normal setup. City councilor Kiley had on the Director of 911, Matt Burns (SFPD) and the chief of the fire department to talk about their working relationships. The one thing I noticed when I started viewing the video was that it was 44 minutes long (most episodes are 30 minutes). While there was nothing revealing in the show itself, right at the 30 minute mark it went into a 14 minute (muted) video of the building collapse rescue efforts. There were several breaks in the video and it looked professionally shot, at one point it seemed also a drone was used (or shot from a fire truck ladder).

I gathered that this video was probably shot by City Link crew. While I commend them for doing this, it also got me thinking about a lot of other angles.

• What did it cost to have a city film crew on site for that long?

• While we won’t film parks board meetings, somehow the city found it necessary to film this event?

• Why would the city not do an investigation when they had this kind of crucial footage, which included them marking the cracks in PAVE’s wall, a crane holding up the wall, and pulling away the damaged car?

• Was the footage turned over to the insurance companies and OSHA?

• Why shoot this video (which included the rescue of the apartment dweller being pulled from the wreckage) when we don’t send a film crew to every fire rescue event?

• Were they planning on using this video as some kind of propaganda?

• And lastly, why was this posted to YouTube and now has disappeared from the site?

After watching the video, I talked openly about watching it to a group of friends at Drinking Liberally Friday night at the Taphouse. Did someone in the group (or near the table) report this back to the city?

It’s funny how transparency works in this town.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Kiley may get the boot due to his relationship with the executive branch

Trust me, the councilors have been discussing this for awhile, and Kiley may get a May surprise;

In Kiley’s case, it’s his relationship with City Hall that shows signs of hurting his ascent on a council that’s increasingly asserting its independence from the mayor.

“Are you working for us or the mayor?” Councilor Greg Neitzert asked Monday during a discussion on whether to overturn the mayor’s veto of a Council measure to require the Parks Board to post recordings of its meetings on the city website. “This vote, in my mind, is going to answer that question.”

Neitzert in an interview hinted that the Council could deviate from the traditional power transfer order when deciding who next to hand the gavel to in May.

“I want somebody who is going to represent the Council and our best interest. My vote will be predicated on that thought,” Neitzert said. “Are they going to stand up for the Council? Are they going to be open with us? Are you a little too cozy with the mayor’s office at the expense of the council?”

I’ve told councilors to change it up a bit and pick two new leaders (Chair and Vice-Chair). Ideally, I would like to see Erickson as Chair and Selberg as Vice-Chair, but any arrangement that doesn’t involve Kiley would be preferable. Of course, he is painting a different picture;

“If I cast a vote based on what I think could be political fallout … even if it may impact my opportunity to one day serve as chairman of the City Council, the only person I would be serving would be myself,” he said. “The day I base a decision or vote on an election is the day I should resign. That day will never come.”

That’s unfortunate.

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.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Karsky & Kiley approve of inefficiency and poor customer service in city government

During the December edition of ‘Inside Town Hall’ four city councilors had a discussion about Project TRIM (Or as we call it Project Tree Tax). Councilor Staggers of course believes like many cities throughout the Midwest (Brandon, Brookings & Kansas City for example) that the city of Sioux Falls should trim the trees in the boulevard. As a Brandon city councilor brought up in a joint meeting with SF city councilors, “It’s just more efficient and accurate.” then policing homeowners to do it. Councilor Erickson believes the way the city goes about policing the policy is cumbersome and could use improvement.

But councilors Karsky and Kiley think it works just fine (mailing out vague letters about the trees that need to be trimmed, sending out city employees to tag those properties but not identify the actual branches). Kiley goes on to say that it would cost to much for the city to trim the trees. That statement in itself is ridiculous. As the Brandon city councilor pointed out, they discovered it was cheaper to contract out a licensed arborist to just go out and trim those trees then to go through the ridiculous process of paying city employees to drive around and tag properties then send out letters when the time could be better spent at just trimming the violating trees to begin with. Then there is the matter of the adjoining property owners not owning those trees anyway because they sit on city property.

No surprise to me that Kiley and Karsky would find the process A’ OK as is.