Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Just what is being done by city legislators when it comes to fixing the boulevard ordinance?

IMG_5304

That is a very good question. The current ordinance states:

96.010  RIGHT-OF-WAY LANDSCAPING.

   (a)   The portion of a dedicated public right-of-way between the street and the property line excepting the sidewalk shall be landscaped and maintained by the abutting property owner. Landscaping shall be limited to sod, seed or other living ground cover approved by the city. Nonliving ground cover, including, but not limited to, rock, stone, brick concrete, asphalt or other like materials, shall not be used as landscape material except as provided herein.
   (b)   The city may authorize the use of nonliving ground cover for landscaping a public right-of-way when it is determined that a location will not allow for adequate maintenance of sod or other living ground cover. This exception shall not include the use of loose rock or asphalt as landscaping material.
(1992 Code, § 38-12)  (Ord. 37-03, passed 5-5-2003)
As you can see, as it currently states, your boulevard can ONLY be green cover. When is our council going to fix this? I do know that some councilors agree, this needs to be revised so thousands of residents can be in compliance. The mayor and some of the council say just leave it as is.
The problem with that is that there is NOTHING stopping code enforcement from giving out violations. Nothing. As the ordinance is written right now, they can give out a violation to anyone who is not in compliance. And they can pick and choose who those violators are.
So how is ‘doing nothing’ fixing the problem? I encourage our council works on revising the ordinance.

So which is it Karsky, City Council or Chamber Board?

Karsky is about to be elected to the SF Chamber Board (DOC: CHAMBER ) He says he will recuse himself from voting on anything involving the Chamber while on the City Council. That will be nearly impossible. Chamber members come before the city council weekly asking for various licenses and permits and rezoning.

So Dean, which is it? The City Council or the Chamber Board? You are going to have to make a decision. Because I can guarantee you that if you serve on the Chamber Board and the Council at the same time and you vote to approve something for a Chamber member, you will have an ethics complaint filed against you for every time you don’t recuse yourself, and NOT by me. Many business people in town are very concerned about the relationship.

Seems someone wants their cake and wants to eat it too. Just building that resume for your 2018 mayoral run, aren’t you Dean? How would you like to add ‘unethical’ to the list?

Transit Fares going up to raise $100K while the city spends $220K for alley cobblestone pavers

Oh, the fun stuff you find in the city council consent agenda (DOC: CONSENT.pdf). This week didn’t disappoint as usual.

While the city struggles to find ways to raise money for transit while limiting service, they decided that spending $220K on historic pavers in an alley was a wise use of tax dollars. I guess you could say it is a ‘form’ of transportation upgrades. Ironically the way they are downgrading paratransit these days, it might as well be compared to the horse and buggy days. I heard Huether’s Press Conference hug buddy, Mary Glenski was gunning for the project.

Moving right along, we have to make sure the demolition of the outdoor pool at Spellerberg looks pretty after we are done, so instead of just having the city parks workers do their job, we are hiring a private contractor for $10k to git-r-done.

Not sure what a ‘Master Plan’ is, but it is going to cost us about $70K. Apparently there isn’t enough managers and directors working in the Parks Department to come up with a plan themselves so we return to our old standby, consultants. I suppose you have to actually have a ‘master’ to come up with a ‘master’ plan.

And lastly we are handing over $160K to DTSF so they can hang up posters and stuff.

The Anti-Humanist Secularist Invocation

Notice how Alan says “. . . you are not alone, you are not trying to achieve anything by pure human effort . . .”

This was a direct snark on what Amanda had said in her invocation. To each their own I guess. Hurry up and get your FREE ticket to the LL Music festival.

YouTube Preview Image

SF City Council Public Input 8/12/14

YouTube Preview Image

Is it time for Parks Board meetings to be Video taped at Carnegie?

Besides the fact that the council ramrodded every agenda item through without much discussion at last night’s city council meeting (Kermit was absent and attending a conference – which was also ironic that they scheduled an executive session in his absence).

They also approved the transit board recommendations. Two things were missing from that discussion; NO transfers and NO free ridership under a certain age. They also didn’t address the poorly managed dispatch of Paratransit which is probably very costly to the system, but oh well, when councilor Staggers is out of town, questions don’t get asked and we rumberstamp much faster.

Speaking of the rubber stamp, councilors Karsky and Erpenbach seemed to have lost theirs for a moment last night when the council proposed an amendment to overstep the Parks Board. It’s really a simple argument, the city council is an elected board and should always supersede any appointed board, like the Parks Board.

But councilor Erpenbach (a former Parks Board member) felt that the council should not be allowed to overstep their recommendations. Once again, Michelle couldn’t be more wrong. Remember, they are appointed by the Mayor, and they aren’t your average Joe Six-Pack sitting at Van Eps Park drinking a cold one on a Wednesday morning. One of the members for example is the wife of mega-super-TIF-sucking developer Craig Lloyd.

So I ask Michelle, if this board is so precious and powerful, why aren’t the decisions they are making being recorded on video at Carnegie? I suggest the next resolution the city council proposes is that ALL appointed board meetings be recorded at Carnegie, including Ethics board and city council working sessions. If they are so important, they can show their importance by being transparent.

Also, you can’t miss public input from last night, the mayor was ‘forgiven’ for being a jerk by a citizen.

SF City Council Public Input 8/5/2014

YouTube Preview Image

Events Center siding presentation by citizen advocate

The video also includes a concerned citizen talking about SAM & Paratransit.

Sorry the audio and video doesn’t matchup. Let’s just say this ‘Public’ video is very hard to ‘Publicly’ access :)

YouTube Preview Image

Freethinkers Invocation

YouTube Preview Image

Amanda’s “non-theist prayer” made it to rawstory.com

Alert on Bus Fare Hike and Paratransit from Advocate for the Poor

On Tuesday, August 12, Sioux Falls City Council will vote on approving the Transit Task Force report presented at their informational session on July 8. The report has recommendations that include higher bus fares and “red-lining” Paratransit.

Action: Please ask city council NOT to approve the parts of the report that will make life harder for our low-income residents. In particular, ask them NOT to approve the 3/4 mile limit for people with disabilities or increases in the bus fares.

Background: A task force met for about 7 months to work mostly on reducing the share of the transportation budget that goes to Paratransit. I’m sure they came up with some helpful suggestions, but some recommendations will come down hard on low-income people, and pretty much no one else.

Federal rules require cities to serve people with disabilities within 3/4 mile of the fixed route buses. So far, Sioux Falls has served people with disabilities throughout the city. There is now an agreement to “grandfather” in the folks outside the 3/4 mile line. But woe to people there who become disabled in the future.

Bus fares for seniors, kids over age 5, people with disabilities, single rides, and Paratransit would increase 50%. A monthly pass would go from $25 to $30 (20%) now and then be stepped up to $40. (The day pass stays $3, but the day pass does not help everyone.) If you have encountered low-income people trying to cover basic needs on meager incomes, you know that any increase in bus fares will mean a cut from some other necessity.

Most people who don’t ride the bus don’t realize that Sioux Falls already raised single-ride fares when transfers were ended. Now if you need two buses to get somewhere, you pay twice.

If you look up the report, know that some of the participants DO NOT agree with all the recommendations.

I have asked several questions about the report, so feel free to call me to discuss or compare notes. For example, if Recommendation 3C is confusing to you, as it was to me, I have confirmed the following translation. The report says “Develop a paratransit system that parallels the Sioux Area Metro fixed-route system to ensure transportation services are equally provided to all citizens.” IT MEANS “Limit paratransit to 3/4 mile of the fixed-routes to ensure lack-of-service equally to all citizens, disabled or not, if they are outside the 3/4 mile limit.” Of course, in 5 or 6 years, expanded fixed routes will make more people eligible for Paratransit services.

Do bus riders even know there are proposed increases? Do they know city council is voting next week? I rode the bus on Saturday and did not notice any announcement about City Council voting on higher fares. They don’t know, so I am asking you to speak up for them.

*DL Note; I was astonished to hear that SAM doesn’t have bus transfers. It’s silly. When I visited San Francisco the last time, they do transfers for their entire system (in other words you can hop from a bus to a trolley to the subway, as long as it is within a 1-hour period of time. Also, the rumor is that Para-transit in Sioux Falls doesn’t use a dispatch system. In other words, they don’t maximize their mileage by going from pickups to dropoffs in the field like cab companies do. They return to their base after every drop off for their next assignment.