ArtMaze, 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.
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 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.
• 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.
• 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.
Interesting signage at the hospital. One wonders what kind of sign permit you need to have a backlit photo of your late mother on a building. No, seriously. Too bad Warhol wasn’t still alive so they could have made into a pop art icon image.
A South DaCola foot soldier sent me this the other day;
I had to send this pic to you. This past weekend – there was a tournament at the Iceplex with over 20 teams and the tennis center, at one point, had a woman standing out there guarding their parking lot with six cars in it. I call this picture Poetic Justice 🙂
So we give the Huether tennis machine shed $500K of taxpayer dollars, let them build at a facility that has received millions in TIF money, then they guard the parking lot from the public. Elitists.
I recently wrote a post about the council candidates favorite buzz word this election season, ‘Transparency’. A word that almost all of them are embracing except John Paulson. He likes the word ‘Positive’ better. So much that when he spoke at Democratic Forum this past Friday he said his only weakness is being ‘too positive’. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, puke or tell Mike Huether to sit down.
Either way, I would like to talk about Paulson’s record on transparency so far in this race.
So a foot soldier says to me, “Did you know John’s office was in Vermillion?” I told them I was unaware of his working situation, but it seems odd to me that an executive with Sanford Health (based out of Sioux Falls) would have to drive to Verm town everyday to his office when he lived in Sioux Falls. Hope he drove a Prius. But I did find this bit of information when his retirement in 2015 was announced;
John Paulson, vice president for corporate administration, will retire after 4o years of experience in health care administration. Paulson joined the health system in 1987 as a system vice president. During the past three decades, he has served in a variety of roles for the organization, including foundation director, chief executive officer for Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and executive chief of staff. Most recently, Paulson has worked closely with the organization’s governing board of trustees.
Apparently John and his boss needed several miles between their cubicles. But my googles did find some other interesting ‘resume’ information, and the many hats he wore with Sioux Valley/Sanford over the years. In his announcement to the Argus he was running in October, he said this;
Paulson, who recently retired after 40 years in the health industry and most recently served as vice president for corporate administration at Sanford Health,
The core of corporate activities that provide day to day support to the organization will remain under Kelby Krabbenhoft including: the Legal Department, Finance, Compliance and Human Resources. John Paulson will become Executive Chief of Staff to Mr. Krabbenhoft (2007) while Mark Johnston will assume the job of Vice President of Administration and coordinate the activities of Marketing, Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.
So is Paulson NOT being transparent about his resume? Not at all, he did retire as VP of Administration, that much is true. But doesn’t it seem odd that a guy who started his career 30 years ago with SV/Sanford as a VP had to take another 26 years to get promoted to a similar position within the organization? Talk about coming full circle.
Maybe I’m just being either to transparent, negative, or both. Good thing I’m not running for city council.
No other parking lot at the Sanford Sports complex has this sign, of course, the other lots are full of participants vehicles to. I wonder if this is what they meant by letting people from the public use their facility when they were begging for that $500,000.00 from the city’s taxpayers?
I guess we are one step closer to be re-named Sanfordville. Not sure what John brings to the plate, but I guarantee his campaign will be very well-funded by the swishy-tishy in town.
And if you think a former Sanford executive will be looking out for the best interest of Joe Six-Pack in Sioux Falls, I have some rental property to sell you next to a Sanford Hospital parking lot.
Enough of former ‘executives’ in city government. They have only one mission, to butter the bread of their friends.
I heard Paulson was considering the run last week, but wasn’t sure when he would announce. But I also suspect that Staggers will have several challengers (I have heard two other names thrown out there considering the run).
. . . Wanted to let you know that you’re invited to our kick off Saturday celebration that is taking place at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning prior to the game is beginning, Sanford helicopter will be landing on field two and dropping off the balls. Mayor Huether will be in the helicopter and also get out and have a little bit of a speech about mission accomplished because our fields are now finished up in Sioux Falls . . .
Looks like a little Deja Vu to me. I thought the Junior Football fields were completed a long time ago?
After more than 12 years on the job, Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel has announced his retirement.
Barthel made the announcement Wednesday at the police’s daily media briefing, with Mayor Mike Huether by his side.
Barthel has served as a police officer more than 30 years. He has spent 12 years as Chief, making him the second-longest serving Police Chief in the history of Sioux Falls.
Huether credits Barthel with making the department more transparent, as well as improving community relations.
Barthel says he has accepted a position with Sanford Health as director of community relations.
I missed the press conference, but I guess the mayor gave Barthel credit for basically covering up the increase in crime rates in our city during the last mayoral election campaign. I guess Huether’s version of transparency is being able to sucker the public about statistics to help his re-election campaign. Oh, and we also don’t have access to any evidence from the night of the Tuthill shooting incident. Thanks.
I had heard rumors that Barthel was considering this retirement after assistant chief Lyons announced hers, which is no surprise after 30 years of service, but I’m surprised he is getting such a high profile job. I’m sure his pension from the city is very nice, and I don’t have an issue with him working after retirement, but it almost seems like a golden parachute handed to him from the mayor and his buddies at Sanford and First Premier for being a good soldier (Huether likes to reward his loyalist boot lickers with substantial raises and other perks (on our dime), it’s evident who follows orders and who rocks the boat when you look at the salary increases for management over the past 5 years) Well at least this time, Sanford will be footing the bill.
It also gives Sanford an edge over Avera when dealing with city police issues having an insider on their team, smart move by them, ethically questionable move by Barthel, but hey, we don’t have any ethics rules for public service in this state so what can we do about it? Also, to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t even know what ethics he would be violating? (I guess it is kind of hard to come up with something when no standards exist to begin with).
My thumb is going to start hurting this week, but this is what these foundations are supposed to do;
The biotechnology industry is about to get a whole lot stronger. Tuesday, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation announced it’s investing $3 million in SAB Biotheraputics which uses genetically-engineered cattle to produce antibodies all in an effort to fight infectious diseases.
I think this will be great for jobs and growth in our community and state and a perfect fit for our development foundation.
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