Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Fun times at the Sioux Falls city council meeting 7/7/2015

Lots of odds and ends going on at the city council meeting this next Tuesday.

• In item #1, approval of contracts, we are paying about $71K for a land purchase agreement. That’s a whole lot of cashola to draw up a purchase agreement.

• Items #15-17, Badlands Pawn is asking for a malt beverage license, a liquor license and, you guessed it, video lottery terminals. BIG SURPRISE!

• Item #33, zoning signs have to be bigger. It’s about time.

• Item #40, exemptions to inspection fees. While I agree totally with the list of entities, I’m curious about one of them;


Habitat For Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls, Incorporated; Make-A-Wish Foundation; Repair Affair Projects of the Home Builders Association of Sioux Falls; and the Home Modification Wheelchair Ramp Program of Independent Living Choices; South Eastern Development Foundation; and Community Development Department Neighborhood Revitalization Program projects are exempt from payment of fees for plat and/or plan reviews, permits and inspections from the following major organization units:

(a) Planning and building services; (b) Public works; (c) Fire prevention division; and (d) Police.

Am I missing something? Why would the Make-A-wish foundation need this exemption? Just curious.

• Item #41. Approving ‘complete streets’ in a resolution. While I support this proposal, I am curious why this did not go through an ordinance process instead of just a ramrod resolution process? Let’s pray about it.

• Item #43-44, oddball annexations.

• Item #44, Notice the overbid on the re-roofing of the Pavilion took over $400K from other projects planned at the Pavilion (this does not come out of the Pavilion operating subsidy, this comes out of our CIP).

• Item #45, the beat down of Councilor Dr. Kermit Staggers. Each year when Kermit wants to go to a conservative municipal government conference, he gets scrutiny. Yet none of the other councilor trips get this kind of scrutiny. As I told Kermit today, while I don’t agree with every aspect of this conference, it is always good to get different perspectives on municipal governing. I have often said, maybe he will learn ‘what not to do’ at this conference?

The Mayor’s ‘Shut Up & Listen’ session, June 29, 2015

(FF: 26:50) A resident of Prince of Peace asks a question about better education funding in rural Minnehaha county. The mayor says it is out of his control, which is NOT true. The more TIF’s the city approves, the more it affects education funding. Also, the recent vote with school boundaries at West Central was very much a city issue. Some very close Huether supporters were VERY involved with the campaign to uphold the school board’s decision to allow SF to suckup West Central school boundaries. Mike might want to say he isn’t involved, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The interesting part of the West Central campaign is that they didn’t need to financially report their donors. I would be curious to see how much Hizzoner donated to the campaign?

(FF: 43:40) A resident says she is dismayed about eliminating the free pool passes. The mayor blames no fee increases, and then blames the poor (52% swim for free). He also is troubled about the program ‘growing to large’. Then he starts to talk about the indoor aquatic center, and how ‘we’ need to pay for it. Then he brings up being the beer can collecting poor kid from Yankton. He calls the 52% free passes as an ‘imbalance’. DAMN RIGHT IT IS! People are broke in this town, we don’t have a jobs issue, we have a WAGE issue.

He ends the discussion by saying ‘Nothing is for FREE’. Hypocrite. You mean like the $500K of public dollars that went to a tennis club that bares your name for 102 members? You did not pass up that ‘freebie’. He talks about ‘working for it’. What amount of ‘work’ did you do to swindle the taxpayers of Sioux Falls out of $500K for your ultra-wealthy membership of the Huether Matche Pointe? It’s good to be King.

UPDATE: One resident gets up and chews his ass about the importance of FREE swimming for the poor children and learning how to swim.

Should the City of Sioux Falls raise it’s minimum wage to $10 an hour

Commissioner Barth thinks so;

Under the Sioux Falls Charter Form of Government, the city can do anything not forbidden by state statute. Thus, Sioux Falls can and should raise the minimum wage within its municipal boundaries. There would be fewer families and kids depending on taxpayer and charitable assistance. Yes, it would cause a stir, but the free publicity would help send forth the word that “Sioux Falls has jobs” and that these jobs pay a living wage. Many employers are already paying $10 and up for entry-level-positions, so the effect on local employers would be minimal.

When Jeff first proposed this to me over a month ago, I kind of laughed to myself. But is it that far-fetched? I called Jeff the other day while driving past Mickey D’s? What did the marquee say? “Do you want to make $10 an hour?” WOW! Even the famous fast food joint is paying that as a starting wage in Sioux Falls. (for full disclosure I was making that much in 1989 at a McDonalds in Everett, WA as the summer night maintenance person – 25 years ago – and I got to wear some cool coveralls!).

It seems our city council has pulled up their boot straps lately. Wrangling in pool rates, a texting ban even free youth bus rides. Is it time for our legislative body to send a message to employers in this town? How about a message to Pierre? While we are quick to give away free things to the ‘poor kids’ how about giving them a ‘hand up’ instead.

I at least encourage the city council to look at the measure.

A little ‘Old Time Religion’ at the Sioux Falls council informational meeting


“. . .  and please Jesus, make our streets safe for Patrick Lalley when he is riding his bike on them.”

I attended the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting today where they talked about ‘Complete Streets’ (yawn). One of the presenters decided to throw a little old time religion into the presentation where she said;

“Live, work, play and PRAY.”

Pretty soon we can expect ‘praying lanes’ on our streets, and trust me, we will need them to endure the next 3 years of this mayor.

SIRE still a mess, and more creative editing

Over the weekend, several South DaCola foot soldiers were trying to get SIRE to work. We heard it all – I guess Nationally SIRE is making changes. We finally figured out if you are using a Microsoft Platform you can watch the videos in Explorer (ONLY). No other browsers work. On top of that, we see they have edited (again) the famous Kenny Anderson/Mayoral ass chew session, this time they have replaced the paused video frame of Councilor Erickson with the floating head of Rick Kiley. Here’s an idea, instead continuing to try to cover up something that happened, why not just post it as the original video? What are we trying to hide?



Why is our local newspaper endorsing a TIF?

How does that old saying go about ‘Fair and Balanced’ reporting? The Argus Leader Editorial Board and columnist Jodi Schwan both have endorsed using a TIF for the Washington Square project, something I would expect out of Stormland TV news (who is always sucking up to city subsidized projects) but I found it to be a little strange for our local newspaper.

Then there is the tired old argument that TIF’s are needed for any of these projects to succeed;

But it all comes down to public-private partnerships.

They’re not important. They’re absolute. They’re critical. You can’t do it without them,” he said. “If you’re setting out to do something transformational for your city, it’s impossible to do it with only private money. You need at least a third of the money … to come from the public sector.”

Let’s think about that. The Houwmans are looking for less than 15 percent of their financing from TIF with no other public funding. Stark is saying one-third is justifiable.

While I am all out opposed to TIF’s, especially when big developers make ridiculous statements about them being the lifeblood of redevelopment, let’s say for a moment I supported them. I think a TIF would be fine for the utility work and cleaning up the alley between Main and Phillips Avenue, but 15% of the total cost? I don’t think so. There seems to be this movement by developers (and investors) in Sioux Falls (who have already seen record growth over the past several years) to feed at government’s trough. While a TIF is certainly not a handout, it is a rebate on property taxes (and they are requesting the rebate for 10 years). While the County struggles to make ends meet (they are considering another opt-out) we want to give another private development millions in tax rebates.

Worst of all, they have suckered our local paper into believing that somehow we need more parking in that area (that can only be used at night and weekends).

I think this project should sink or swim on it’s own. No pulling strings behind closed doors in City Hall or at our local paper. If we really want Downtown to be successful in development we need a stronger concerted effort of helping private homeowners and apartment owners surrounding downtown with fixing streets, infrastructure and community development grants and loans. Neighborhoods and districts are built by individuals helping each other. A couple more condos at 12th & Main in no way should be funded partially through property tax rebates, and shame on the Argus for getting in the middle of the fight that is between the developers and our local government.

But does the mayor ‘Value’ his street improvements?

More street improvements in Hizzoner’s hood.

There’s been rumors that the street he lives on has been worked on several times since he has been mayor.

It’s good to be King.


The ‘contentious’ Sioux Falls City Council?

There has been some talk lately about the council taking charge and proposing some of their own legislation (pool rates and youth bus rides). I asked a friend this morning what he thought of the new and improved city council? His response, “It’s about time they grew a sack.” I was kind of thinking the same thing, though Erickson and Erpenbach may not appreciate the cliché.

The Argus Leader recently polled readers on their website asking what they thought of the council being contentious and if it was a good thing. There was close to 400 voters and over 80% approved, which was enlightening.

Government works best when the checks and balances (executive and legislative branches, Mayor/Council) check each other’s work and intentions. Debate and discussion only improve our system of municipal government. The mayor is NOT King and the council simply his subjects. When the mayor doesn’t get things done through resolution or just refuses to do anything, the council has the power to bring forth their own legislation, and they are quickly learning that it works when they all work together and discuss these thing in the open (public meetings) nothing good comes from closed door meetings with the mayor and sub-committees.

I would like the Council to go further and advise the Charter Revision Commission to change charter so that the Mayor is no longer running the meetings. He should sit in the audience and break a tie if necessary. Or even better, change the council to a 7 member council so there would not be any tie votes. After Mayor Huether’s performance in the last council meeting where he got up to chide another councilor and ultimately edited from the video (Public Record), it is apparent that he is being more disruptive to the meetings then productive. He consistently tried cutting off council members when they were trying to discuss deferral of the pool rate increase.

He doesn’t want debate or dissent, but it seems the public is all in favor. The continental congress debated for hours on end, some members would take the floor for hours. The mayor seems to think that there are time limits on council meetings and on democracy.

After five years, he still has a lot to learn about government.

SIRE is down, the whole damn thing

So I went tonight to catch up on city meetings. This meeting wasn’t working (it featured the edited/deleted version of the mayor’s chew ass session with councilor Anderson). But then I started searching other videos. I got the same message each time;


Seems someone either at City Hall or Carnegie is scrambling to fix the mess. Because you know, transparency is so messy :)

Presser to Announce FREE Youth Bus rides 6/24/15


Carnegie Town Hall

(Wed) 11:00am, 10th & Dakota

As I understand it, the Press Conference will be conducted by the City Council.

Mayor Huether’s ‘Mysterious’ Capital Improvement Proposal

As you can see the agenda for today’s informational meeting has been posted since Friday, but the coinciding documents in SIRE are a mystery. No surprise, ever since Mayor Huether has been doing the Capital Presentation he has kept it a secret until a few minutes before the meeting starts to not only the public, but to the city council (they still haven’t received it). As usual, he says he has great transparency with the city council, but can’t even let them see his proposal, even for a couple of hours before the meeting.

Mike can claim transparency and communication all he wants, but his claims are more suited for fertilizer in a farm field then in the chambers of a public building.