Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Looks like SF City Council Chair Dean Karsky is going to be recusing himself from A LOT of votes.

I see Dean pulled the trigger and got a seat on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of the Directors (Notice he has doesn’t mention in his title that he is city council chair). Since the SF Ethics Commission Kangaroo Kourt cleared Karsky of any unethical behavior (even though it clearly is) he decided to sit on this conflicting board. Karsky promised the ethics commission (and the citizens of Sioux Falls) he would recuse himself from voting on any council items that have anything to do with Chamber business. It will be interesting to watch the meetings with Dean spending most of his time in the overflow room.

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Arterial Road Funding to be discussed Tuesday at SF City Council Informational meeting

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I think this graphic pretty much says it all

City councilor Kenny Anderson Jr. Plans to discuss proposed changes to arterial street funding. Anderson and Public Works Director Mark Cotter will be making a joint presentation.

This of course all stems from the 6 year anniversary (2008) of raising the 2nd penny tax to a full penny after developers and city administrators made false promises to the city council in order for the tax increase. The developers haven’t even came within striking distance of their promised 60% input. The entire tax increase was based entirely on lies and a failing economy that was evident at the time of the increase.

One proposal would be to keep the tax increase in place and simply ONLY match developers platting fees for arterial road expansion. Any additional money from the tax increase would go towards existing road maintenance, not expansion.

The Villagers have spoken already, LEAVE PUBLIC INPUT ALONE

A friend recently sent some questions to the entire Sioux Falls city council about some different topics, one of them was about the public ‘engaging’ the council during public input (and how it isn’t happening). Council Chair, Dean Karsky responded in this manner;

I have been toying with the idea of moving the public input to the Informational Meeting as it would allow for more interaction with the Council and possibly engage the public more with us.  Still working on the pro’s and con’s of doing so, input on the matter is welcome.

Here is my input Dean, LEAVE IT AS IS!

There is absolutely no reason why the council can’t ‘engage’ the public during public input at the city council meetings. During the Munson administration, the council interacted all the time with the public.

If this is a matter of ‘time’ I should remind the council that they are getting PAID to attend the meetings, and the public, which comes on their own time to testify, pays those wages. If they don’t like hearing public input, or they think the meetings are to long, or they don’t get paid enough, then please, resign. There is nothing more annoying then a politician running for office then complaining about their duties once they get elected. Then why did you run?

Lastly, I do partially agree with public input at the informational. In fact several of the citizen advocates in the community have discussed that it would be nice to have public input at the informational. The problem with only limiting it to the informational is timing. The meeting is at 4 PM when many people cannot attend because of work conflicts. By all means, have public input at the informational, but also keep it at 7 PM to so working folks can testify.

Once again, the council is out of touch with the public on this one, just like snowgates, they seem to want to do the opposite of what the public wants for their convenience. Their convenience is of little importance to good government, the public’s convenience is.

We ‘MUST’ obey who?

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We do not live in an authoritarian society.

Our Sioux Falls City Council met on a Monday this past week so the members could attend the Chamber of Commerce yearly get together at the T Denny Sanford Premier Events Center (wow want a mouthful). There were concerns expressed by the public about changing the weekly meetings to accommodate the event at a recent Council meeting. Of course these were completely ignored. Going to the Chicago concert was more important. (I felt a little throw-up in my throat)

But back to the point of this video. While we have concerns regarding many invocations given at the council meetings, council member Michelle Erpenbach made a few points we needed to address.

Michelle tells us, we the public must OBEY our leaders or authorities. Huh? Blindly following? Without question? Are we supposed to jump off a cliff just because? Allow profiteering leaders take us to war so they can make money? Allow multinational corporations to destroy our very communities so they can suck money out us then leave? Just because? We don’t think so.

Our system of government is designed to check the assumption of powers not expressly given temporarily to our fellow citizens who become officeholders. We do not stand in front of our fellow citizens and force them to accept commands in the name of a deity. Like painting the snowplows, there should be a separation of your religious views in publicly owned property, places and spaces. Just being in the majority doesn’t trump the rights of a minority.

We have heard excellent invocations at the city council. We often hoped council members would actually listen to and then act on the words of wisdom. The words given were based on the moral values gained by their faith. Not preachy.

So to the people who give invocations, do not force us to listen to words selling your latest project or church. Do not insult us by forcing us to attend your church sermon. But give inspirational words to cause the listeners to pause. Allow the listeners to consider what they are about to do affects people they may never meet.

This invocation gave us an insight into core beliefs of the speaker and we must remember it forever. It’s not good.

Mayor Huether thinks he is a city councilor also, how can he wear so many (ass) hats?

The City Council is the legislative body of Sioux Falls City government. The Mayor is not a member of this legislative body. No Sioux Falls mayor is a member of the council and should never have the appearance of membership.

When looking for email addresses of councilors, we find Mayor Huether’s photo implying he is a member of our Council. What? Why is Mayor Huether’s picture on the webpage reserved for City Council members? The website’s title is Sioux Falls City Council.

He is head of the Executive branch of government and should not be on this page or any other council listings.

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Sioux Falls Citizen Survey to remove employees from mailing list

When I had made the recommendation to the city council to remove city employees from the survey mailing list, I made the assumption that a survey company would already be doing that, I guess not. Legislative advisor and council errand boy, Jim David said this in the informational yesterday (FF 25:30):

. . . request to remove city employees from that list and they seemed agreeable to that . . . no city employee or council member will receive these surveys . . .

I had made the suggestion because I thought it would skew the results a bit if these were being mailed to city employees. You have to realize, they only mail out 3,000 of these and the response rate is around 32%.

What surprised me was that this seems like the first time the city has told the survey company to do this. Not that this is the city’s fault, besides they hire the company to do a fair survey, right? You would think that the company would already be purging those people, but apparently in the past they have not.

I was also a little astonished when Jim said, “they seemed agreeable” Well I damn well hope so. It is unfortunate that a citizen has to point out something that should have been done already by the survey company.

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What are your thoughts?

I found this image of Christine Erickson interesting. A sitting Sioux Falls city councilor essentially endorsing a Senatorial candidate. While I don’t have a problem with her endorsing a candidate (even if he is a crooked snake) I question why she would want to emcee the event and put herself in that spotlight?

The one thing I have learned about following SF city government, whether you are Republican or Democrat it is always best to portray yourself as a non-partisan in the capacity of your service to the city.

It will be interesting to see how residents portray Erickson now and the decisions she makes as a councilor, no matter if Rounds wins or loses. Some will ask,

“Is Christine a puppet for the SD GOP? Will she treat Sioux Falls Democratic business owners the same as Republican business owners? Will her decisions be based on ‘Big Republican Government’ or common sense. Does she approve of how Rounds has handled EB-5?”

These are important things to think about when you are serving on a non-partisan body of government while out publicly endorsing party members. There is NO fine line. Endorse away, but stay out of the spotlight.

Not sure about you. But it has changed my opinion about her.

SCREENSHOT: Dakotawarcollege.com

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SF City Council Public Input 14/10/14

We learned tonight how the Sioux Falls Water Department gives out personal data to complete strangers, not good. The property owner, John Stratman, also has been trying to get a neighboring property cleaned up without success. Were the code enforcement officers so concerned about breaking the law and then prosecuting their own lawlessness they ignored our speaker’s concerns? How about sending someone from social services to see if there is a problem needing to be addressed?

Our friend Robert Kolbe showed up to remind the Council and Mayor of many stupid things done in the name of progress or greed in recent Sioux Falls history. Our South Dakota temporary – permanent mentality is kind of warped. Why do we consider something our grandparents built of amazing natural materials, always have to be torn down to put up a tin shed with flaking concrete?

Our own I.L. Wiedermann brought a few concerns up about the event center siding tonight. Earlier in the day, Michelle Erpenbach let him know she did not care how it looks or turns out. Ever the watchdog, he publicized her lack of concern and for her lack of responsibility to the people of Sioux Falls. Way to go Michelle!

When I.L. was finished speaking, Rex Rolfing decided to add some fire to the embers and the mayor firmly shut him down. Then Michelle decided to come clean about her disregard of the process.

It brings up a few questions;

1. Why didn’t the mayor want Rex to engage I.L.?

2. Why do the Council members sit like bumps on a log when they could ask more questions of citizens?

3. Why do council members not allow each other the courtesy of getting answers?

4. Why is it, the Mayor can have exchanges with speakers but not council?

5. Why is the Mayor so tightly controlling the meetings, past mayors have allowed good exchanges?

6. When will we get an actual accounting of the E.C. project with the list of ALL contractors and suppliers?

Tonight’s meeting left us with more questions then we could ever get answers to from our transparent administration.

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Stehly’s recognition at the SF City Council meeting

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SMG, Ovations & Events Center change gratuity policy

To my surprise, I was listening to the SF City Council informational meeting and Councilor Erickson mentioned that she was able to TIP on her debit card at the Events Center at the Jason Aldean concert. At the Joan Jett concert, I could not.

After the informational I spoke to someone (city official) who attended the Joan Jett concert, and I said to them, “I wasn’t able to TIP on my debit card at the Jett show, were you?” They said “NO.” Then I said, “Did I speak to the city council about tipping ‘before’ the Aldean concert?” They said, “Yes.” I attended the city council meeting last night to correct councilor Erickson on her ‘assumption’ that tipping on debit cards was available at the Joan Jett concert and grand opening events. It was not.

Not saying I had anything to do with the policy change, but am glad the policy was changed, and hopefully they will also be able to put out tip jars at the beer stations in the future.