Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Thoelke thinks the rubberstamp school board works fine as is

If it was coming from anyone but Todd, I would take this as a threat;

Thoelke also wants to keep the current school board intact.

“I feel like the five of us are cohesive … I don’t know that it’s time for a new person to dive in there,” he said.

Wow. That’s some good encouragement for the democratic process.

‘Please, don’t bother running because you would just over turn the apple cart if you won.’

First off, Mickelson is fairly new, and secondly I’m not sure that Parker is running again. Either way, I think NOW is the perfect time for new blood. I think the School Board has become a group of elitists, this of course wasn’t by accident. We saw this by how the last school board election was conducted (super precincts with none in the entire North side of the city) and Mickelson spending $6 a vote.

With the possibility of one of the largest opt-outs in the school district’s history coming this year or early 2019, NOW is the time to get some debate and discussion between school board members when it comes to property taxes and building new schools.

A rubberstamp school board will certainly not take the stand needed to balance property tax fairness with properly funding public education. I have contended all along that the district could pay for bonds out of their current budget but that would mean cutting some fat, and I’m not talking about teachers or support staff, I’m talking about at the top.

There is a School Board Election this Spring also

The Sioux Falls school district is teaming up with the April 10, 2018 municipal election. There are two seats up for grabs on the school board. They are currently held by Todd Thoelke and Kate Parker. Not sure what either plans are for re-election, but I have heard Parker may NOT run again.

So if it becomes an open seat, how money will be spent this time? $25,000? $50,000? Just to win a seat that pays $75 per meeting. As my friend’s son would say, ‘Diculous!’

South DaCola Podcast 11: Year in Review

We give a go at what has happened in the past year in the city, state and country. Listen HERE.

Here is the official list;

SD Supreme Court rules against the city of Sioux Falls in Events Center siding settlement. City moves forward with an independent siding review.

SD State legislature repeals IM22

EB-5 and Gear Up scandals get buried

A majority of the Lincoln County Commission and Lincoln County voters vote down wind power

Badlands Pawn and Speedway close, blame Rate Cap vote

OSHA levies $200K in fines as the Feds conduct a criminal investigation. City approves a $50 million dollar partnership with the very people involved with investigation

Mayor helps to kill districting the parks board AND recording the meetings

City gifts (some) land to the Glory House

SD Legislator Wollman resigns over sex allegations, Gene Abdallah tells accuser to ‘Go to Hell’ – Pierre becomes the sexual harassment capital of South Dakota

REMSA uses secret ambulance codes – says public and elected officials are too dumb to understand

Sioux Falls School District/Board uses slanted survey as excuse to change school start date

Long time city planner Steve Metli passes – local media treats his legacy like he built the Great Wall of China

Judge Pekas orders a McKennan Park house be torn down, moved or fixed – SD Supreme Court has reviewed ruling, we are awaiting a verdict

Mayor Huether uses taxpayer money to figure out who is behind the fake mayoral twitter account, he is unsuccessful

Cynthia Mickelson spends over $6 a vote to be elected to SF school board setting a record for money raised ($20K). School district limits voting and has NO northern precincts

Mayor and council deny SFPD back pay

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin becomes president of Augustana University

Uptown II Project (Cascades) gets approved by city council with a TIF, 12 years after first proposed

SF Thrive Report states the obvious – low wages and lack of higher learning are contributing to the need for affordable housing

Annexation Task Force switches gears on annexing islands, islands ironically created by over annexation of land and urban sprawl over the past 7 years

Sales Tax revenue continues to be down in SF

SFFD Chief retires, gets charged with possessing child porn, gets to keep city pension. Court date pending.

Rental registry inspections FAILS, city council votes down proposal

Flopdation Park finally gets first tenant, Ice Cream warehouse

Pavilion appoints a Youth pastor cartoonist as director of Visual Arts and Science Center. Longtime Operations manager resigns.

Patrick Lalley replaces Knobe on KSOO

SF School district approves $50 million opt-out with little public input. Petition drive for repeal fails

KELO TV reporter Perry Groton grows new hair

Hats still banned during public input at Carnegie Town Hall, bandanas are allowed

Annette Bosworth’s perjury charges are dropped – medical board still pursues taking her license away

Snubbed landowner in SF puts up FUSF sign

Garth Brooks takes $7 million out of local economy

ARC of Dreams changes design, cost goes up to $1.6 million and the mayor approved temporary easement without telling the city council or public

Longtime city politician, Bob Jamison passes away

Former School Board President Doug Morrison gets 6-figure job with district, he’s charged with eliminating wasteful spending

Eight Candidates are running for Mayor of SF in 2018

Sioux Falls Little League makes it to the World Series, loses all of their games

SF School district admits open enrollment has caused segregation of classes, still waiting for a solution

South DaCola announces sister website search engine, sfmeetings.org

SF city councilors Rolfing and Erpenbach convince council and mayor to change council races from a plurality to a majority

Right on Red signs are removed – bike community freaks

Sister City Potsdam Mayor visits SF – breaks city ordinance and smokes a cigarette in a park at German Fest

SF Parks Director Don Kearney lies about NO mowing lists – never apologizes to public or media

Midco Aquatic Center celebrates 1st anniversary, has a $400k operating deficit, attendance down

SF City attorney leaves before the Huether ship sinks

City golf course RFP secrecy causes issues with equipment transfer

LYFT comes to Sioux Falls, deal struck in secrecy

Pavilion contract renewed without a city audit in 12 years


Sioux Falls School Board back peddles on their opt-out

The Sioux Falls School Board approved only a $1.6 million dollar opt-out for next year to cover teacher pay instead of the possible $5 million they could have.

I’m glad they woke up and suddenly got a conscience, even though they should have never passed the $50 million dollar opt-out to begin with, especially with a new school bond looming in the near future.

I also find it a bit ironic they were quick to protect teacher pay while still paying well below a living wage for support staff.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Rolfing & Erpenbach may be proposing election changes

Yeah, worked for me, but I still want to ruin it for everyone else.

The rumors I am hearing from my Carnegie Hall moles is that this set of councilors want to change the 34% threshold to be elected to a council seat in a general election to a 51% threshold like the mayor. Not sure where this is even coming from, considering myself, or even other councilors, or the media have never thought there was a problem with the current threshold. In fact, maybe the better thing to change is to have the mayoral percentage match the council’s.

Before I get into the multiple arguments against this, let’s face it, this was cooked up by the mayor to make it harder for grassroots candidates like Stehly, Starr and Nietzert to run for office. Let’s say you win in the general but only get 40% of the vote and 2nd place has deeper pockets than you, guess who will probably win? This is clearly an elitist move, the public is certainly not that naive to think otherwise.

But let’s throw a little common sense behind this;

• A runoff election in NON-mayoral election years could cost taxpayers an extra $80K.

• It is already difficult enough to get people out to vote during a general muni election, think about getting them to come back 2-3 weeks later for a run-off.

• The state legislature, school board and the county commission all go by top vote getters.

• Ironically the two that are proposing this change are out the door this Spring and benefitted from the current set of rules. Rolfing won his first term in 2010 with 45.34% of the vote and Erpenbach won her first term in 2010 with 48.96% of the vote. If you look at other races since the 2000 municipal election, you will see that 7 other councilors won by receiving less than 51% of the vote. (DOC: runoffs)

Like I said, this is a ploy to keep the working class grass roots candidates down and the elitists with deep pockets or donors with deep pockets on the rubberstamp council.

Hopefully Rolfing and Erpenbach will have a change of heart and pull this ridiculous measure from future agendas, or they can face the music.

SHOCKER! Open enrollment in the Sioux Falls School District has created segregation

KELO-TV screenshot

You kind of feel sorry for the newbie that had to do this story;

Morrison hopes his findings will help serve as a wake-up call for Sioux Falls.

“It’s important to create awareness because there’s just an opportunity as a community to come alongside some of these schools that may not have some of the benefits our other schools have,” Morrison said.

Findings? LOL! We have known for several years that parents have been moving their kids around under open enrollment so their children don’t have to go to ‘certain’ schools in their neighborhood.

Open enrollment is segregation, plain and simple. Try fixing it now, and you will have pitchforks and torches.

We often look at what is going on nationally with race relations, but all we have to do is look in our backyard and see what kind of educational community we are building.

If our current school board and super had any integrity they would eliminate open enrollment and get us back on track.

Diversity is a good thing.

And you thought I was harsh on Doug Morrison

This letter writer rips the hypocrisy of his new position to threads;

It is with absolute disgust and bewilderment the very quiet announcement of past school board president Doug Morrison, now hired on a full-time basis by said Sioux Falls School District in a newly created role that doesn’t seem to have even been known to the general public until after the fact. On face value, this doesn’t pass the smell test. It reeks of cronyism, corruption and a good ol’ boy network system. It shows even more that the education system is truly corrupt.


Found on Facebook, AP Scores UP in 2017!

Seems the school start date after Labor Day actually HELPED AP scores. The smartest kids in the room must be reaching for their Preparation H.

Whatever happened to Personal Integrity and Ethics?

When you see stuff like this, you really wonder where we went wrong with our local elected officials;

Doug Morrison, who served on the school board for the last nine years, decided not to run for re-election earlier this year, and now he’s gearing up to take on an administrative role with the school district.

About three weeks after his last board meeting at the end of June, Superintendent Brian Maher offered him an administrative position in research and development.

Before making that offer, Maher checked with legal counsel to ensure he wasn’t violating district policies. He said he expected scrutiny for hiring a former board member, but he said Morrison was the best candidate for the job.

Hey Brian, does it really matter if he is ‘breaking policy’ or not? What about the appearance of putting on a gigantic golden parachute and jumping off the roof of the IPC roof? If Morrison, or for that matter, yourself had any ethics or integrity in this matter, you can see why there SHOULD BE SCRUTINY.

What makes this even more troubling is that there were 29 other applicants;

It would have been easy to pick another of the 29 applicants for the job to avoid scrutiny, Maher said, but he saw Morrison as the best candidate.

Are you telling me that there wasn’t even ONE candidate in that pool that couldn’t do the same job as Morrison? NOT A SINGLE ONE? C’MON!

“Doug’s interest in the position did not influence the creation of the position, the job description or the selection,” Maher said.

Keep telling yourself that Brian, if that’s what helps you sleep better at night. The rest of us are very restless about this selection.

*Cory points out that they are already listing Morrison as a school district employee BEFORE the school board has approved that employment.

‘We may never spend the entire $50 Million opt-out.’ – Sioux Falls School District

Well that didn’t take the school district much time. They pass a $50 million dollar opt-out, give Morrison a golden parachute and now this;

On Wednesday, he unveiled an 11-month timeline for assessing building needs at all grade levels.

The plan culminates next July, where school board members are expected to ultimately determine the scope of the project Maher is calling a “master facilities plan.”

It’s a plan that, in any form, will likely involve redrawing school boundaries and leaning on taxpayers.

“Do we run another bond issue?” Maher asked board members. “I think ultimately we’re going to have to.”

So not only are they busy spending the opt-out, they are planning another bond issue. It seems every government entity in Sioux Falls is making that sucking sound lately.

Want to save millions in public education funding in Sioux Falls? I’ll save you $118K a year in consulting fees; Give out FREE birth control.