Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, July 23, 2019

City Council Informational, 4 PM

Monthly Financial Report for June 2019

Housing update

Legislative priorities of council for 2020 session

It’s time for citizens to fix the City of Sioux Falls Charter

If you watch the meeting, you will see the CRC (Charter Revision Commission) did their darn best to make sure nothing (so far) gets on the ballot for the Spring election. They consistently refer to the council to make changes. Quite honestly, when it comes to pay or how elections are run, that should be a CITIZEN decision, and should be put on the ballot by the CRC. In fact, I think most of the council would agree.

Fortunately, Dale Froehlich and Joe Kirby showed up to reveal the changes they would like to see. I’m sure they are NOT holding their breaths. They know as well as I do that it will be up to a petition drive to fix the issues with the charter.

Should agencies being paying for their own employee transportation?

During the presentation yesterday at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting on transit, many of the councilors had the same question, “What about paratransit’?

(FF towards end of the meeting to hear several of us comment on transit)

There is NO DOUBT we need paratransit, our Federal funding is actually tied to it, but can we reduce costs by having agencies provide their own worker transportation and only use it for ‘other’ transportation needs?

Agencies could use their own shuttles, or if they don’t want to deal with the capital investment, they can certainly ‘contract’ the work. While I want to see disabled people working if they can and want to, I’m wondering why the taxpayers need to foot the entire bill?

We could restructure paratransit so there are different kinds of service, one for work transportation and one for other needs (maybe it is already set up that way?)

I think there are other funding solutions out there, but it would require the city to put their foot down and demand partnerships with the agencies and healthcare providers.

Lalley Podcast; Ep 3

Janet Brekke and I are the featured guests!

Redevelopment of the Core should have started a decade ago

I have been a follower of Strongtowns for almost 10 years now, and tried to bring Chuck into speak about 7 years ago but couldn’t scrounge up a sponsorship. I’m happy to see people trying to embrace their thinking, but I think we need to play some serious catchup.

Jodi makes a good point in her Sunday column today;

But I think a renewed focus on improving existing housing stock, redeveloping core neighborhoods and investing in infrastructure and amenities that draw people to those neighborhoods could help.

Help?! I have been pleading with city councilors for over a decade to implement a core neighborhood revitalization program through re-allocating TIF rebates to individual homeowners and small apartment owners in our core neighborhoods. It could be a multi-tier program that gives property tax rebates for certain kinds of upgrades as well as using federal grants and community development loans. While we are in the middle of a crisis right now in SF when it comes to affordable housing because we have allowed realtors and developers artificially inflate the market. We can’t cry over what we should have done, we need to implement these programs ASAP to save our core neighborhoods while creating abundant affordable housing.

Minnehaha County introduces new show?

I guess I have never seen this show before, so it must be something new.

Here is Inside Town Hall with 4 city councilors. When they talked about the Levitt I wanted to clap when the host, Madeline Shields said that there is ‘plenty of parking’ for the Levitt. Amen!

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda • July 16, 2019

City Council Informational • 4 PM

Update on Fire training center and the transit core team.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts. The EC is only a few years old and they are already planning a HVAC upgrade. This was one of my contentions when we were building the facility, if you go on the cheap on the front end, it will cost you millions in maintenance later. I believe the Pavilion was supposed to cost us around $19 million. With maintenance and upgrades over the past 20 years it has far exceeded $50 million. This is why we had to keep the entertainment tax.

Item #28, 2nd Reading, State Theatre funding (this is tied in with Item #35, resolution to authorize the contract. Basically the council approves the supplement in ordinance then they later approve the contract in resolution (I know, confusing) I have attached the contract. While the document is 110 pages long, the contract itself is about 11 pages. This will most likely pass 6-0 (Stehly and Soehl are expected to be absent). While I can see the payoff in tax revenue (eventually) I still take issue with where we are taking the money from and by the whims and demands of one man. It’s a piss poor way to govern a city, whether it is a $20 gift or $1.5 million dollar gift, the well to do of our town shouldn’t be able to put demands on citizens to gift money.

As you can see in the chart below, we will be paying for ‘specific’ things, and if I understand the contract correctly, we will be paying the contractor who does the work as it is completed. In other words, we are not handing the State Theatre Company directly. It is very similar to the Facade easement program (something PTH has eliminated).

Charter Revision Commission • 4 PM (Thur, July 18)

They will discuss council pay.

Events Center Campus Study Group, Public Input;

Wednesday, July 17th – 7am Upstairs Club Room, HyVee on Minnesota and 38th

Wednesday, July 17th – 6pm Falls West Room, Holiday Inn Sioux Falls-City Centre

Thursday, July 18th – 11:30am The Center for Active Generations

Thursday, July 18th – 6pm Rooms 8, 9 and 10, Sioux Falls Convention Center

Sioux Falls City Council’s most baffling vote rears it head

Last April (2018) the city council decided to deny a beer and wine license to West Mall 7. All eight councilors voted against it, which I felt was one of the most ignorant moments in council history, and proved to me that the council (and planning commission) only approves things for the rich, powerful and well-connected in Sioux Falls.

Fast forward to the State Theatre wanting a license and some on the council still defend their vote saying there wasn’t a sufficient security plan. WTF?

Frager had planned to sell alcoholic beverages at a different space than the regular concession area and require folks to present identification to prove they’re of age. They’d also have to wear a wristband so staff could tell if someone holding a beer or wine had their IDs checked.

You know, the same security plan ALL city owned entertainment venues have right now. As I said at the time of the vote, what is stopping me from handing a drink to a minor at the EC, the Pavilion or the Levitt after I legally buy it? At least councilor Starr has realized it was a stupid vote (that and the fact that I chide him about it weekly.) I also find it ironic that the same members of the RS5 (Neitzert and Erickson) defend their ignorant votes on the WM7 issue that same as they defend the votes on the DT Parking Ramp. True Trumpists, when caught in a F’up, double-down on the F’up.

Now that the city council has kept minors safe from the dangers of Coors Light, let’s go throw some axes while throwing back some beers! No safety issues there!

Sioux Falls taxpayers shouldn’t be giving gifts based on the whims of one man

As I have talked about, I find it a little irritating that we are gifting the State Theatre $1.5 million based on the request of Denny Sanford.

Here are FOUR reasons we should say NO to this request;

SANFORD MADE MOST OF HIS FORTUNE BY PREYING ON PEOPLE WITH BAD CREDIT

And the Feds responded with major changes to the credit card laws;

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 prohibits upfront fees from totaling more than 25 percent of the card’s total available credit in the first year, and the rules that take effect in October provide greater detail on what that means. Specifically, the new rules expand the definition of “upfront fees” to include fees charged before the account is opened (for example, an application fee), not just those charged after it is opened.

Not only was Sanford involved, but our last mayor was the VP of Marketing for this subprime scheme.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA SAID ‘NO’ TO A LARGE SANFORD DONATION

While Sanford has maintained it was the University’s fault this didn’t go through, the University says otherwise;

Then, in 2002, he reached out to his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. He offered $35 million for the construction of a new football stadium. Your idea of what happened next depends a lot on your loyalties. The University claimed Sanford wanted “too much control” over the project, and the two parties failed to reach an agreement. Sanford alleges the University got greedy, more than doubling the projected cost of the stadium, trying to coax a few extra millions out of Sanford’s pockets. He pulled out, feathers ruffled.

The other story was that Sanford wanted his name on the building to.

MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL PREVENTS SANFORD MERGER

Minnesota State Lawmakers got a little nervous about the merger;

Why did Sanford pull out of the talks? The prospect of the two $3 billion hospital systems merging alarmed some Minnesota leaders. The Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, called a press conference in late March to express concerns about Fairview assets remaining in Minnesota after a merger, and speculated about the future of the University of Minnesota’s teaching hospital, operated by Fairview, after a merger with an out-of-state entity. She convened a public hearing on short notice, on a Sunday in early April, and promised additional inquiry into the proposed merger. Two Minnesota state legislators introduced a bill to slow or stop the merger. Facing public suspicion and politicians intent on slowing, if not stopping, the merger, Sanford Health decided to cease merger discussions.

I met and spoke with AG Swanson shortly after this happened at a political event in Minneapolis. She basically told me that once their office started digging around on Sanford, the more concerned they got.

SANFORD HOSPITAL IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR MEDICARE FRAUD

This of course is still going through the courts and investigation mode, but if found guilty there could be HUGE repercussions for the entire community;

Two doctors employed by Sanford Health are suing the company and one of its neurosurgeons, accusing them of defrauding the federal government and harming patients by performing unnecessary surgeries. Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman filed the lawsuit in 2016, and a federal judge unsealed it Thursday. The complaint says Sanford Health has been buying medical devices from a company owned by Dr. Wilson Asfora, and that the surgeon uses those devices in unnecessary spine surgeries. The suit says this violates anti-kickback laws. The suit also says Sanford and Asfora billed Medicare and other programs for care that was never provided.

While Sanford has been very generous with his giving, there is certainly NO reason the Mayor or the City Council need to give money because he says so. We can say ‘NO’ to the whims of billionaires, other’s have. We just lack the courage.

Sioux Falls City Council does not need to raise property taxes

Besides the fact that the county and school district are going opt-out crazy (even though the SFSD has a $11 Billion in valuations and we are looking at another record year in building permits) the city council gets to vote on property tax increases at the end of September (historically).  The state allows between 2%-3%. Last year the council voted 7-1 to increase it by 2.1% (Stehly was the lone NO vote).

Yesterday during the city council meeting, councilor Pat Starr pointed out that while the city only needs a 25% reserve fund they have around 38%.

There really is NO viable reason the city needs to vote for this increase. It will be interesting to see how the city council votes on this increase since I can’t remember the last time it has ever been voted down. I think it has passed every single year for at least the last decade.

We all know that the RS5 rarely votes for the citizens, so it will be fun to listen to their reasons why they need to vote for this unneeded increase. I have often argued with record growth in our city (and valuations) we shouldn’t have to increase the percentage the city taxes.