Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Rex Rolfing continues to be a stalwart supporter of closed government

Rex fears the minions will get the keys to the castle, so he has to try to kill the messenger of truth;

I am deeply troubled by Councilor Theresa Stehly’s recent letterto the editor titled, “Secrecy in golf management selection a concern.” Unfortunately, this letter is a classic example of a politician stirring the pot in order gain nonstop publicity in our local media.

Publicity? Stehly has two and half years left on her council term and she is NOT running for mayor, what publicity is she seeking? The only thing Stehly continues to publicize is her support for open government, 100% of the time. It was her campaign issue that won her her seat.

The RFP process reduces the risk to those who compete in the process by protecting the proprietary information of those who are unsuccessful.

When doing business with the public and receiving public money for your services your proprietary information is NO longer private, it becomes public. If those who seek public contracts don’t understand that or agree to those terms, they have the choice NOT to participate in the process. It really is that simple.

Publicizing unsuccessful proposals would severely limit those willing to participate if any thus reducing competition and driving up costs to the taxpayers.

I actually believe it would have an opposite affect. If competition can see who is competing and their proposals it will only drive them to put together a better and more fiscally prudent proposal. It would actually not only save taxpayers money but we would get better services. We found this out with the Pavilion window replacement contract. Once the initial bid was discovered to be inadequate competitors were able to under bid it and save taxpayers thousands of dollars. Closed bids and committees only give us one option, a piss poor way to do business.

As a person who works as an estimator I and am consistently wanting to know what my competition is charging so I can be more competitive. In private business sometimes that information is hard to get, but don’t think we don’t seek it out. I have done government bids throughout the country for states, municipalities and the Federal government and we are always told what the competing bids and offers are at the end of the day. Rolfing’s analogy of local government RFP’s is certainly NOT the norm because it defies that whole nature of free enterprise, competition and a the democratic process. He is delusional, as usual.

I would like to conclude my letter by recognizing those who have served on these committees especially our citizen volunteers. Thank you for your willingness to serve even while some attempt to politicize your efforts. I also ask our citizens to please learn all the facts and hear from both sides of any issue.

So why are certain ‘citizens’ privy to this information, but not all of us? Elected officials who strive for open and transparent government are NOT politicizing anything, they are promoting good government, and I applaud them for it. I also find it ironic that Rolfing is asking citizens to learn all the facts first before drawing conclusions. Isn’t kind of hard to receive those facts when you won’t share them with us? Your assurance is not enough, we found that out with the siding settlement which was a gigantic lie.

Often times those who yell the loudest fear you hearing all the facts.

To that I say, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

UPDATE: City Council MUST demand to see FINAL siding report FIRST

I’m thinking more and more with the recent acceptance of the administration to do a siding report that the Chamber was in cahoots with the mayor in recommending the council gets a report. It just seemed to ‘easy’ to me that the mayor would go along with it, and the Chamber was pushing for it.

Like I have already said, the mayor only agreed to this as long as he can have staff on the RFP committee (he can control). If I was the city council, I would request the final report be sent directly to Carnegie Hall and not City Hall, and after they review it in executive session, they share it with the Public at the exact same time as they share it with the mayor’s office.

If this report is reviewed by the mayor and his staff before the ENTIRE council sees it, I will struggle with trusting the contents of it. When hiring the firm, the council should DEMAND that all correspondence goes through them (preferably Jim David, NOT Tom Greco, who has shown his allegiance to the mayor’s office time and time again).

I would like just for once the city council and public getting the information first before the mayor’s team can water it down and LIE, LIE, LIE about the results.

UPDATE: HERE IS A COPY OF THE RFP: (DOC: Building-Enclosure-Consulting)

The Secrecy Cult

Guest Toon; Sioux Empire Podcast

UPDATE II: Another SECRET decision, the Golf Course RFP

Not even sure why the council even votes on this stuff;

Because its current golf course management contract expires on December 31, 2017, the City of Sioux Falls completed a competitive request for proposal process to select a golf course management company. The news conference will announce the company with which the City will negotiate a contract and why this process was important to undertake on behalf of the City and the golfing community.

If you are voting on a contract, shouldn’t you be shown at least the TOP 2 RFP choices and make an up or down decision from that? How can the council VOTE on ONE contract offering? What makes it even worse is that the RFP committee that picks the ONE choice is secret, and picks there choice in SECRET. Even with the press conference tomorrow, some councilors still don’t know who was chosen.


UPDATE II: Boy, these things change quickly, I am hearing now that DGM & GreatLife have neither been chosen for the golf contract. Not sure who it is, but I hear there were 5 companies that responded to the RFP.

To be quite honest, I’m more concerned about the secrecy than anything. I think there is too many damn golf courses the way it is, and with all the private ones popping up over the past decade, maybe the city should sell the courses and get out of the golfing business. Or better yet give them to the country clubs so we can finally build an east/west route from Kiwanis to Louise in the center of the city. It still amazes me we allow a few rich people in town to dictate the traffic chokehold we have on the west central part of our city. I would have used imminent domain 20 years ago to bulldoze them. But that would take courage and leadership.

Greg LaFollette an average citizen to the mayor?

Like I said, I’m glad we are getting Lyft to the city, and I agree with Mr. LaFollette, we are kind of behind the times and I appreciate his effort in moving this forward. But the mayor saying Greg is just some average ‘positive’ citizen asking him in an email about this is a stretch. Greg is the chairman of the ethics commission in which as chair he cleared the mayor of ethics charges while the mayor holed himself up in his office a couple of hundred feet away without answering to the charges. (see video below). Mr. Huether owes A LOT to this ‘average citizen’.


Mayor’s office agrees to study of Events Center siding

While I am happy this is happening and glad to see the mayor didn’t put up a big fight over it I am a little skeptical about parts of the process.

Public Works director Mark Cotter dropped this on the council at the 4 PM informational out of the blue and they want to get the ball rolling right away on the RFP. I get the feeling that the Administration agreed to this AS LONG as they could control the process, which is unfortunate. I think the council should lead the way on this and NOT the administration which F’ckd up the siding to begin with, then lied to us while blowing thousands on legal counsel. Sorry, anything moving forward with the EC from now on should not have the administration’s hands on it.

Rex once again decided to be a big Jerk to Stehly after she voiced her concern that the ENTIRE council would not be involved in the RFP. She also reminded the council that other stuff surrounding this settlement wasn’t just ‘noise’ (a couple of councilors felt everything but the siding study was just ‘noise’). Rex told Stehly that he was disappointed in her ‘Distrust’ of the administration. Thank God I was at home when he said that because I was laughing so hard I think I sharted. Gee, Rex, I guess the multiple LIES from City Hall on the settlement wasn’t enough for us to ‘distrust’ them. What a sad case of denial.

But there are some good things –

  • We are promised that this will be a complete study from an out-of-state firm.
  • Two councilors and a local contractor/citizen will be on the RFP committee.
  • It will be paid for out of the 2nd day fund from the EC.
  • The entire study will be made public.

The one POSITIVE thing about this is, as Rolfing ironically pointed out, this will put this to rest. This of course is if they pick a firm that will really dig in and have no conflicts with Mortenson or the city, which I think they will, because I believe they really do want this to go away.

My opinion though is it really won’t put it to rest, because I do believe there are moisture issues with the building that will have to be fixed. I guess we will have to wait for the experts opinion, oh, and make sure it is NOT a ‘Draft’ report this time.

UPDATE: Another secret city committee?

UPDATE: After watching the replay of the press conference, I got even more concerned. It seems that a city councilor (Erickson) a private citizen (Greg Lafolette) and a Minnehaha County Commissioner (Dean Karsky) were working on this deal secretly behind the scenes without letting in their peers on their respected elected bodies. While I think the council should be in on negotiating these deals, it should be the ENTIRE body. This is why they have committees to deal with these things. I also think the mayor thumbed his nose at traditional cab companies. I agree that competition is a good thing, but when one of those service providers doesn’t have to follow the same rules, that is not fair. Just another day in the closed government of Sioux Falls.

While I’m all for having a ride-sharing service in Sioux Falls like Lyft, I’m a little puzzled by this;

Lyft comes to South Dakota as a result of the work of a private citizen, the Sioux Falls mayor’s office and city council.

The city website goes on to say this;

A team of City and State officials, as well as resident Greg LaFollette, have been working for months to attract Lyft to the city. Lyft is expected to launch operations in Sioux Falls as soon as they can recruit enough drivers. It’s possible that could be as early as spring 2018.

I wonder why this had to be some kind of top secret committee behind the scenes to accomplish this? I know that some of the city council and Minnehaha County Commission had no clue these negotiations were going on. Maybe it was to save them some embarrassment with UBER falling thru;

In 2015, the Sioux Falls City Council passed an ordinance that changed licensing requirements to allow transportation network companies to operate in Sioux Falls. In 2016, the South Dakota State Legislature approved a measure that changed insurance laws to allow companies like Lyft to operate in the state.

Yet UBER has struggled to operate in the state. I wish Lyft lots of luck. But it seems on the government side of all this they have learned nothing about transparency. Would love to see the deal that was cut with the state and city.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert posts timeline of siding issue on FB

As I pointed out on Thursday, it seems they new for a long time that the siding was not a good idea, but installed it anyway. Greg puts out a great time line of the events leading up to the settlement. (DOC: Events Center Timeline)

From Greg:

One of the biggest questions out of the Events Center metal panels issue is – what happened? I’m not sure we will ever know completely. However to try to add some clarity I have created a timeline of events. This timeline is based solely on public records and no inside knowledge or privileged information. As noted in the document it is believed to be accurate but some facts are not independently verified in other words there was only one source such as a statement by one of the players in a press release. All supporting source documents are publicly available. I think it answers some questions but it certainly raises more. In the end I don’t think it’s about beating people up or Monday morning quarter backing for the sake of second guessing, it’s about trying to learn from any mistakes so we can avoid them on the next big project.

UPDATE: Greg will be a guest on Patrick Lalley’s show on Monday, at 4:15. Oct 16, KSOO AM 1000.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, October 17, 2017

Informational Meeting

It starts with a presentation from building services than the administration makes a second attempt at squelching the siding settlement kerfuffle. I’m hearing that the administration is trying to tie up any loose ends at this meeting. Some on the council want it to die also. But I still think they need to pursue a 2nd opinion on the matter. We will see who truly supports transparency.

UPDATE: It ends with an executive session (CANCELLED), which I assume may have to do with the upcoming golf management contract. Maybe councilors will finally be getting the info they are asking for? Maybe they will be told to STFU.

Who knows?

But I am told by DaCola foot soldiers on the street rumors are that Dakota Golf Management will get the renewal though GreatLife has the better offer.

Land Use Committee

Right after the informational, the council will dive into one topic at this committee meeting, an update on boulevard gardens and plantings. It will be interesting to see how this has been going. I plan a boulevard display this summer.

City Council Meeting

While we Him and Haw about what happened to the ever dwindling events center settlement, in Item#1 of approval of contracts we are spending over $100K on premium seating.

There is also a steady course of zoning items and we finish with filling multiple citizen board seats. Something the mayor would never give up, but seems to struggle with keeping up.