Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Looks like it is going to be a rough ride in 2017

Click to enlarge (entire doc: end-of-year-rev)

As you can see, sales tax revenue was down in growth in 2016, and 2017 isn’t probably looking much better.

Why is this? Not sure, I am certainly not an economics major, but what seems odd is that while we have grown over 3,000 people over the past year, our tax growth hasn’t been there.

As you know, there are some factors that are obvious, like low unemployment (under employment) and low paying jobs. Also the growth in shelters and food banks is a pretty obvious sign. Another thing that I think is really dipping into the sales tax growth is the lack of affordable housing (it is really at a crisis level like our growing violent crime rate). I think people are spending way to much on housing and essentials and not purchasing other goods.

Theres a time to hold them and a time to fold them – Kenny Rogers

Oh Rex, why do we enjoy watching you try to be the leader?

He has only been on the council for 7 years and almost 2 years in leadership, we should give him a break at knowing these things? Right?

We have been accused of making snippets so it gave Cameraman Bruce an idea, “Why not piece together snippet of the wise decisions and comments Rex Rolfing made during the meeting?” Well, here it is, 16 minutes of precedent setting activity while Mayor Mike was missing for the Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Sioux Falls City Council meeting.

Council members asked questions during input, invited citizens to come forward to make comments and we saw sever Points of Order called to get the meeting back on track.

Robert’s Rules in action, first time we are able to watch and enjoy the mess. Should we buy the Robert’s Rules for Dummys to keep up”

Why does everything fall apart when you least expect it? We now have Council members who are exercising their right to speak up. Enjoy as we did.

Gift the old ice center to the Glory House (Feb 14, 2017)

Come and listen to a story about a man named Robert as told by his family. Dr. Robert Giebink was a successful doctor in Sioux Falls for many years. As a responsible and interested civic minded person, he lent his time and skills to many organizations.

Back in the 1070’s Robert was asked to help a nonprofit organization called the Minnehaha Ice and Rec Center with land. He gave the land to help the community. In the 1990’s the land was given to the city for the legal $1 with promises.

Dr. Robert’s family showed up and filled in many holes in Mayor Mike’s MIRC / Glory House story. The city never paid $100,000 for the property, they paid a single dollar. A dollar. We also hear from the donor’s family, it was a gift to help people, not make money. To those who knew Dr. Giebink, even a little, would recognize the selfless gift this property was. The family wants their father and grandfather’s gift to help those in need with the gift of a chance to succeed.

Pulling it from his . . .

In case you missed it, Rex did a stellar job tonight.

Are snowgates working for you? And is it on the books?

Councilor Stehly offers her help when it comes to getting snow gate service properly;

I reached out to our Public Works Director Mark Cotter, and he assured me that his department is 100 percent committed to using snow gates citywide. We must understand that these gates are not meant to remove all the snow, but to help alleviate the majority of snow left behind.

Director Cotter and I would like to encourage you to reach out to us if there are problems with your service in the future. Councilor Theresa Stehly, 929-8783 and Public Works at 367-8255.

Let’s keep working together to keep Sioux Falls a great place for all people to live.

With a winter storm expected this next Friday, the phones should be busy.

There was something else in the letter I found interesting;

Snow gates are mandated to be used in all residential areas according to a voter approved city ordinance in 2014. Just as we have an ordinance requiring citizens to remove snow from their sidewalks, the city has an obligation to provide snow gate service.

Well, not really. As we found out this past week, the city legal team of crack attorneys at Sioux Falls city hall seem to have this policy of not putting those kind of things on the books, only when they want to harass you about doing something like scooping sidewalks or trimming trees (GAWD I HATE PROJECT TRIM). But it seems Sioux Falls may be the exception when a municipality doesn’t want to follow their own rules. In Bismarck, ND they actually take responsibility for laws passed by citizens;


10-02-05. Snow Removal. Notwithstanding the authority contained in Section 10-02-03, whenever, in the opinion of the director of public works, accumulated snow and/or ice creates hazardous road conditions or is likely to create hazardous road conditions which impede or are likely to impede the free movement of fire, health, police, emergency or other vehicular traffic or threaten the health, safety or welfare of the community, the director of public works may take the following actions in order to open and maintain the streets:

1. Post certain streets in need of snow removal for no parking. The signs must be posted at the times specified in Section 12-13-23(2)(l) before the snow removal is to occur. Any vehicles parked in violation of the posting shall be towed to facilitate snow removal.

2. When necessary to maintain the streets in good and safe driving conditions, goods and services may be purchased without complying with chapter 7-01 of this code. The board must be informed of any such purchases at the next following city commission meeting.

3. When necessary to maintain the streets in good and safe driving condition, temporary snow removal personnel may be hired. The board must be informed of any such hiring at the next following city commission meeting.

The City of Bismarck shall use snow gates or other devices to prevent snow, in an amount that prevents usual access, from being plowed or placed into driveways or their openings to public streets. This section shall cover City employees and contract employees. Any additional costs caused by this ordinance shall be paid by the City Sales Tax of the City of Bismarck. This ordinance shall not apply in the event of a snowfall of such magnitude that a snow emergency is declared.

(Ord. 4588, 03-15-94; Ord. 4644, 10-25-94; Ord. 5294, 06-13-00, Initiated Ordinance).

Imagine that, when citizens actually pass an ordinance, the city’s legal team does the legal thing, put it on the books.

I have suggested that the city purposely doesn’t put the snow gates on the books in Sioux Falls so citizens can’t sue the city if they don’t use them. While that is clever, it is also very sneaky.

Sioux Falls City Council Public Input, Feb 14, 2017

What is the Home Rule Charter? What is a Charter? What is an ordinance? What does the City Attorney mean by policy? What does SDCL mean? How does the Constitution stuff work?

Why don’t most of us know these things? One reason could be our city attorney Fiddle Faddle has decided the rule books he has to follow are to be construed to be “Against the Citizens”. Hmmmm, the founding leaders of our national government set forth a nation to encourage our better natures.

The founding documents listed above and we live by were set up to protect us from the tyranny and the installation of tyrants. The one person, our city attorney, the administration and our elected city council are supposed work with on issues is there to move policy decisions toward being “against the citizen” we have a bit of a problem. We the people have no place to go in Sioux Falls City government for unbiased help without having to pay a lot of money to hire legal help.

Our City Council Public Input speakers are asking pointed questions to be answered about this thing we call Open Government and the lack of it being practiced here in Sioux Falls when they spoke on February 14, 2017.

We hear a lot of comments about the Constitution, what is it anyway? We have protections based on 18th century idealist thought of what a fair government was to them. It has served us well in the back and forth of politics. The Constitution won’t survive us if we don’t teach those coming along to understand it.

The city will not survive either. No city employee should ever start out with the thought or make the statement he is there to defend the city against the citizens. The citizens are owners of the town. The city attorney only works for the mayor. The mayor is elected to be our city manager. The city is not a business, it is a social contract between us. The Charter is not to be used as a means to go after citizens. The Charter is our contract allowing limited powers in helping us get along and get the our services we need.

Once again, there is very little our city government does where we learn from business acumen other than some accounting functions. The rest of our city, state and federal government is a social contract guaranteeing our peace and liberty. Once we think we have to run government like a business, we turn just a bit more toward fascism. Mussolini did make the trains run on time but it was a bit messy.

SFPD FOP statement and city hall’s reaction

Click to enlarge

Of course City Hall had to respond;

The City of Sioux Falls has consistently stated that retroactive approval of a labor agreement by the City Council would establish a significant precedent and negate the timeliness required of the collective bargaining process. Bargaining began in May 2016, and both parties understood the necessary timeline.

Cost information:
The potential cost to the City of making the contracts retroactive (for both the FOP and AFSCME combined) would have been $152,010.08. This did not factor into the City’s decision.

For clarification, the $152K was already figured into the 2017 salary budget, it would not have cost us anything additional.

Pavilion still taking money through the backdoor

Recently the Pavilion was bragging about making more money under the new direction of Darrin Smith, which is great. What is NOT mentioned is the taxpayers are on the hook for maintenance for the building thru the CIP. Over the past year the Pavilion has bled millions from the CIP for upgrades, and it continues into 2017 (approval of contracts).

Like the Events Center, taxpayers are on the hook for maintenance while the management companies only have to worry about operational expenses. It’s easy to say a facility is making NET but if the citizens still have to support it through the backdoor, what really is the true financial success?

Why are we considering Legacy Development for Parking Ramp RFP?

We have a few questions to ask, see how many you can answer.

If someone goes to building code enforcement and files a concern, why does no one follow-up?
Do building and code enforcement only show up to arrest someone for having a pile of shingles in the wrong spot?
What are building permits good for?
If you have a building permit, does it allow you to do what you want?
Why do we need this parking ramp so badly?
If a building falls down, are we allowed to ask why?
Should we care?
If there is a death, shouldn’t someone from the county/state investigate?
Isn’t it strange there has been no grand jury convened to find out why a tragedy happened?
What does a contract allow you to do?
Where were the engineered drawings and permits to allow a load bearing wall to be taken out?

The Copper lounge collapse in downtown Sioux Falls leaves the public with so many questions. Scott Ehrisman asked many during the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input on February 14, 2017.

When you are done with the video, write down your questions and maybe send a few of them to the Minnehaha County State Attorney. Maybe he can help us get answers.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls 2018 Mayoral/Council Races Heating up

While there haven’t been any official announcements yet, there have been some interesting names thrown around.

Here is where we are right now;


  • Greg Jamison (R)
  • Kenny Anderson Jr. (D)
  • Nick Weiland (I)
  • David Zokaites (?)


  • Jim Entenman (R)
  • Christine Erickson (R)


  • Michelle Erpenbach (D)
  • Dean Karsky (R)
  • Theresa Stehly (R)

I have also been given two other names, but have been told to keep it on the down low for now until they decide. I still suspect there will be at least 10 candidates on the ballot come next Spring for mayor.

As for the council races there will be four seats up for grabs. Erpenbach (Central) will be an open seat as she is term-limited. Not sure who is looking at it, but I am sure John Paulson will probably be considering a run. He currently is serving on the Planning Commission. Rolfing (At-Large) seat will also be open due to term limits (Thank Gawd!) I have not heard of any interested parties for that seat. Which brings us to Kiley that is up for re-election in the SE District. There is a recruitment effort for someone to run against Kiley, but that may depend on who runs for Rolfing’s empty seat. Then you factor in Erickson who is up for re-election also as an At-Large, if she chooses to run for Mayor, that would also leave an empty seat.

Am I considering a run? At this point NO. But I will be working hard to recruit people to run for all 4 seats.