Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓
January 29th, 2015 — Kermit Staggers, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
You have to remember, Kermit has been doing this longer then any of them, including the mayor, and before that in the State Legislature, Kermit has developed a method of questioning public officials that sometimes can be effective. Let him ask his questions, you may learn something.
Nothing stands to ruin an organization’s spirit and sense of group pride quicker than an acrimonious debate. When debate gets heated and personal, good members quit, and the antagonists generally don’t have what it takes to keep the organization going.
Nobody likes acrimony, and nothing need keep you from having a spirited debate while still keeping discussion focused on the issues. The following list contains some points to keep in mind when the soup gets thick at meetings where you talk about a dues increase or what to do with a budget surplus:
Listen to the other side. You expect the presiding officer to protect your right to speak even if it turns out that you’re a minority of one. You also expect the other members to hear you out and to allow you the same time as everybody else to get in your two cents’ worth. Give your fellow members their rightful turn. Listen to them — you may hear something that affects the way you think.
Focus on issues, not personalities. It’s best to just stick to the issues. You may disagree with the point, but you won’t feel personally attacked if everyone sticks to the issues.
Avoid questioning motives. It’s not a good idea to say, “Mr. Chairman, the dweeb who just spoke is obviously trying to raise the salary of the executive director because he wants to get the director fired and hire his own brother-in-law.”
The dweeb may, in fact, be glad to see the director go, and he may indeed be working to set up a raise for the next employee, hoping it’s his brother-in-law. But when you’re in the meeting, express your opinion based on the proposal’s merits. Try saying, “Raising the salary of the executive director is unwise at this time because we haven’t yet completed the assessment of a performance review.”
Address remarks through the chair. One of the ways things can deteriorate quickly is by forgetting the rule that requires you to address the chair, not a member directly, during debate.
Use titles, not names. Things are more likely to stay impersonal if you avoid using names during debate. Refer to “the secretary” instead of “George.” Refer to “The member who offered the motion” rather than “Myrtle.” It feels a bit formal, but the idea is to keep the focus on issues, not individuals.
Be polite. Don’t get the floor and start reading some paper, don’t argue with the presiding officer except by legitimate appeal, and don’t do anything that otherwise disturbs the assembly.
January 28th, 2015 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
“Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.” Jean De La Fontaine
City Hall, City Directors, City Councilors and certain people in the media seem to be parroting the half-truths about the indoor pool, and they are spreading like wild fire and it hasn’t even been 24 hours since the aquatic update.
FICTION: The city continues to tell us this is being paid for with ‘CASH’ on hand.
FACT: We are using money from a repayment from the Feds on a bond we took out for levees. We will still have to pay back this bond in a few years. So while we may have ‘cash’ on hand from the repayment, we are using ‘borrowed’ money to pay for the pool. Ironically there was a story in the Argus today about those bonds and levees, just no mention of the indoor pool.
FICTION: The city says the increase in price is due to adding a therapy pool and larger recreational pool from the original drawings.
FACT: The therapy pool was in the original drawings, and the rec pool is the same size, but what HAS changed is that the slides, current pool and outdoor patio have been scaled back.
FICTION: There has been a ‘slight’ increase in price.
FACT: An almost 17% increase in the price of the facility isn’t a slight increase on a multi-million dollar project, it is substantial.
FICTION: The project manager tells us the cost estimates were off before the vote because they just didn’t have the projections.
FACT: The city spent $46,000 on architectural drawings before the election to help project the cost. The drawings may have also been a violation of state law by presenting advocational presentations that swayed the vote.
FICTION: People voted for an indoor pool by voting against the outdoor pool. This statement was made by the city’s finance director and the Argus today.
FACT: There was no ‘indoor pool’ on the ballot.
FICTION: The quit claim deed doesn’t matter.
FACT: We are not sure if it does or not, because the city has made zero attempt to get a MOU from the VA about building the new indoor pool. At the last Listening & Learning session the mayor went as far as pretending he didn’t know what it was.
I’m all for moving ahead with this project, but let’s be honest and transparent in our intentions.
January 27th, 2015 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls
The attorney for Med-Star made it pretty clear that it really doesn’t mean a hill of beans;
Despite questioning the objectivity of the process, Med-Star attorney Dan Fritz says he is not surprised a city appeals process has now found that the scoring system and selection of Paramedics Plus was fair.
“It was a decision that was the result of the city’s own appeal process, which we feel was a wholly inadequate process to deal with an issue of this complexity,” Fritz said.
Basically hiring an independent judge (who really isn’t a judge) who gets paid by the city to review an appeal. I wonder if she is a kangaroo?
Kermit brought this up today during the informational meeting that this really wasn’t a surprise that they ruled in the favor of the city, to which he was chastised by councilor Kiley for questioning their integrity. Would Kiley have questioned their integrity if they ruled against the city? Kermit wondered if the council’s decision would be delayed due to a possible appeal to a real court of law (minus kangaroos), the councilors questioned this appeal;
Med-Star plans to not only file an appeal in state court but also is planning a federal court appeal saying the agreement violates anti-monopoly laws. So, it’s likely that timeline for Paramedics Plus to takeover will be delayed.
Kind of sounds like they are appealing, unless of course Med-Star’s attorney is lying on camera to reporters.
During this other interview, the attorney also brings up how they only had two weeks to prepare for the appeal and were presented evidence at the appeal that they haven’t seen before (that is classic move by the city attorney’s office, since they have no real talent in defending themselves honestly in A REAL court). They pulled this crap during the Bruce Danielson trial, and it blew up in their faces.
The best part though is when Med-Star’s attorney downplayed the appeals process that it is something more fitting for dog barking complaints and NOT for picking an ambulance service. But don’t tell that to our health director;
“This ruling recognizes the objective processes used by the City, as well as the hard work done by many people throughout our RFP process,” says Public Health Director Jill Franken.
And if you haven’t heard enough BS from city hall, we get to endure this tomorrow.
January 27th, 2015 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
I haven’t even watched the presentation yet (PDF: poolpart) but changes to the pool are already in the process. Funny how the committee was able to come up with these recommendations in one week
As you can see, the plans we were shown before the Spellerberg vote have been scaled back (Surprise!) We said all along that the advocational presentations were just ‘fluff’ to get people to vote against the outdoor pool.
This is what we were shown before the vote (click to enlarge) the only ‘increase’ in square footage comes in the additional activity rooms, they scaled back on the outdoor part and something else missing is the exterior drawings with the new plan.
You can also see, it’s going to cost almost $4 million more then what we have been told (Surprise #2). They are claiming the price went up because of ‘time’. Funny, a $4 million increase in less then a year . . .
What we haven’t been told is if the city got a MOU from the VA on the quit claim deed. During the meeting though councilor Anderson questioned the lack of transparency to the mayor sharing these changes to the council. The mayor’s response was classic, kill the messenger, he asked where Kenny’s plans were.
January 26th, 2015 — Darrin Smith, Jim Entenman, Michelle Erpenbach, Mike Huether, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
Last week I posted about how our current mayor could pull off running a 3rd term. He had two options on the table, he could somehow convince the Charter Revision Commission (which currently has NO members) to introduce it on the ballot, then convince the voters to approve it, OR he could have a fill-in for 4 years then run again after that.
Well the second part sparked quite a few speculators as to who could be that fill-in, or at least, who was asked.
The possible prospects who are serious about running for mayor could be anyone of these folks;
Rick Knobe, Michelle Erpenbach, Dean Karsky, Darrin Smith and possibly even Greg Jamison.
But one name kept popping up last week like the popping sound of a loud piped Harley, Jim Entenman.
I find it odd that Jim would even consider it, first off, the mayor just can’t leave for a month to Mexico in the middle of the winter, well of course GW Bush was always on vacation while president, so maybe he can. Jim also didn’t run for a second term as councilor wanting to get back to transitioning his family business. He’s a busy man, running a mega-motorcycle empire in Sioux Falls is a tough job.
Do I think Jim was asked to run? Sure. Do I think he will run? Not a chance.
January 22nd, 2015 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls
UPDATE: Here is the SD Supreme Court case City Attorney Loop-Hole Dave is referencing in the meeting: (DOC:Hanson v MINNEHAHA COUNTY 2014 26859 ).
As far as I am concerned, it doesn’t apply. Commissioner Dick Kelly actually went and toured a facility on his own (whether it was in official capacity or not), the distinction here is that Kelly didn’t tour the facility in a public forum, in other words, the public wasn’t invited on this tour, he acted alone. The packet that Med-Star was trying to give to the city councilors was originally presented during their appeal, which was a very public meeting at Carnegie (even though Dave told the councilors NOT to attend).
Not sure when the city attorney came to his senses, but as I understand it, the packet information was emailed to councilors yesterday.
To say last night’s City Council meeting was a little strange is an understatement. It all gets started with the attorney of Med-Star Ambulance and the owner of the company leaving a ‘packet’ for the councilors to read.
The attorney of Med-Star accuses the city of breaking state law by allowing a monopoly within it’s boundaries. Basically the city’s health director is recommending another ambulance provider for the city, but they have a stipulation in the contract that a competing ambulance service cannot do ‘non-emergency’ transfers within the city. Med-Star’s attorney says that is the sticking point. They also have complaints about the process in which a competitor was chosen, but what is more interesting is what the city attorney is telling councilors about their involvement with the process. Basically the Health Director of the city chose the winner of the contract and will recommend to the city council.
As for the packet, the city attorney is advising councilors they should not read it because according to an October 2014 Supreme Court ruling if the council is making a ‘judicial’ decision on a contract, like ambulance service, they can only be addressed by the competitors in a public meeting or forum.
Councilor Anderson brings up the fact that when councilors wanted to attend the public forum when the selection process was happening the city attorney told them not to. So which is loop-hole Dave? They can only gather information at a public forum that you tell them not to attend?
Councilor Staggers shared his frustration about how they are getting NO information before they have to vote on the resolution, and anytime they ask about it, they are told not to participate. Heck after the meeting, councilor Rolfing reprimanded Staggers for trying to talk to Med-Star’s owner.
I guess the city attorney’s mission is to make sure the city council is as less informed as possible before they vote on the resolution, and he is getting assistance from fellow councilors.
The city clerk though is ‘storing’ the packets until loop-hole Dave figures out what they can do with them.
There was also entertaining public testimony about taking your family Christmas pictures in front of the red dumpsters at Arrowhead Park. I’ll have video on that eventually.
January 22nd, 2015 — Code Enforcement, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
January 19th, 2015 — Code Enforcement, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
Remember this guy? He pointed out how the city was busy beating up on private citizens for not following code on dumpster enclosures, yet the city doesn’t follow it themselves. Solution? Change the rules.
From the city council agenda for Tuesday, Item #21;
§ 160.485 LANDSCAPE STANDARDS.
(c) Screening of dumpsters and outdoor storage. All outside garbage or recycling dumpsters or other garbage or recycling receptacles or any outdoor storage which requires screening on the site shall be screened from view of the street right-of-way by an opaque durable fence or wall with a gate with materials similar in color, design, and composition to the primary structure for with a minimum height of six 6 feet in height.
Notice the change? (bold italics). So now if the city can just hide their dumpsters from street view, they will be compliant. Nice move. Makes you wonder about the thousands of dollars spent by private business owners building enclosures when all they need to do now is ‘hide’ the dumpster. I guess the only way to get the city to change rules is by embarrassing them in a public meeting.
January 16th, 2015 — Developers, Development, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
Okay, now that I have your attention, I don’t think he is, but he does think highly of himself.
He came to speak at Democratic Forum today, and I did enjoy his opening joke (sorry no audio or visual, so I scratched this down from memory). After explaining what the Planning Department does, Jeff says this;
“I’m not a member of the city council, because I actually do something.”
He certainly believes that the Planning Department has a lot of power, and they do, if they don’t have checks and balances, and maybe that is what his joke was about, his department is unchecked by the city’s legislative branch.
So I decided to question Jeff about this, I mentioned to him at the mayor’s last Shut up and Listen session that the mayor said there was ‘nothing’ the city could do to limit zoning of car lots because he believes in free enterprise, so I said to Jeff,
“Just because the planning department and planning commission recommend something and vote for it doesn’t mean the city council has to approve it?”
He of course talked about how the planning department and commission must follow zoning laws, etc, and I nodded in agreement, he eluded that if the city council ‘doesn’t like someone’ they can vote against them or follow recommendations. (which is funny, because the department and commission have voted against several entities that they didn’t care for politically that were well within their legal rights)
So I followed up and said, “But the council has the power as elected officials to vote against a re-zone?” and Jeff said, “Yes.”
I found the exchange interesting, because while I knew the answer, I was surprised, first off, that Jeff answered it honestly. But what took me back more is that Jeff doesn’t understand the importance of elected officials versus appointed public employees. Our city council is our check against the mayor’s administration and public employees. And while everything is well and good on paper at city hall, the public may not want a freaking disgusting car lot fly by night operation next to them, and that is the power of our city’s legislative branch to say NO, and they have that power, and they should exercise it, because as Jeff says, they need something to do.
January 7th, 2015 — Event Center, SF City Council, Sioux Falls
The continuing saga of Quit Claim Deeds and legal Occupancy Permits highlight our coverage of Sioux Falls City Council Public Input are a great way to start a new year.
Dan Daily actually thanks the Mayor for sending proof the city is operating the T Denny Sanford Events Center illegally after the last Shut-up and Listen session.
He points out two things,
1. The Spellerberg Quit Claim Deed has holes in it requiring it to be settled properly before work is done.
2.The other item adds a twist to the EC. The city may have issued themselves one temporary occupancy permit but was filed wrong making it null and void.
READ Dan’s testimony here: (Doc: QCD-OP )
What a city!