Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

SOS (Save our Summer) petitioner to be on Knobe

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Wendy McDonnel, petition circulator, will be on Viewpoint University today (Good Friday) Around 5:30(?).

The Sioux Falls School Board has voted on the school calendar for the next three years. Some folks are not happy with the results and are circulating petitions on the subject. Wendy McDonnel will tell us why they don’t like the calendar and what they want to put in its place.

Viewpoint University from 4-7 today on this website and 1140 KSOO.

UPDATE: City Councilor Elect, Erickson to start a petition drive

UPDATE: While Christine may be involved with the petition drive, it is Wendy McDonnel who is heading up the drive, NOT Christine.

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Soon to be newly sworn in Christine Erickson, will be starting a petition drive (referendum) to change the school start date in the SF school district to after Labor day. I guess she addressed the School Board about it in the last meeting, and they rejected her request.

It will be interesting to watch a city councilor chair a petition drive.

Who decided on the super precincts and the E-Poll books for the municipal election?

Good question. I guess if I had to answer, in the capacity of our current mayor, I would say the city clerk in cooperation with the school district. But in all reality it was SOS Gant’s idea to push the E-Poll books (because the people who supply the equipment and software are big SD GOP campaign contributors). And the city clerk and school district along with the county auditor, ate it up, hook-line-and-sinker.

It doesn’t only surprise me that the mayor didn’t know the answer to this question, but the answer is detrimental to the SD Dem party. Voter suppression, the key to the GOP domination in SD. You know the old saying, ‘Follow the Money’. Our super precincts and E-Poll books are the epitome of voter manipulation. While this young buck understands how the system works, I also understand how the system could be easily hacked and manipulated. How easy would it be for John Doe to vote at every single precinct?

The April 8th election results will be very telling, even if our mayor doesn’t understand the process.

FROM CITIZENS FOR INTEGRITY:

Super Precincts are designed to keep people from voting under the guise of streamlining the process of voting. We no longer have places in our neighborhoods a person can walk to vote.

The voter now must have transportation to reach the voting booth. Just another way to block the free and unencumbered access to the polls.

On March 14, 2014 Mayor Huether shows how little he cares for the average person’s access to voting.

The City Clerk has been before the City Council explaining this process promoted by SOS Jason Gant.

Super Precincts or Vote Centers can become a poll-tax for the elderly, disabled, poor and rural voters — because of the additional travel, time, missed work or physical stress of waiting in long lines to vote. Voters can no longer walk or travel a short distance to vote. For disabled, the voting location is no longer in a familiar neighborhood, and may be in a busy crowded facility. Election officials have to rely more on expensive and error prone technologies such as electronic poll books and touch-screen voting machines. When equipment crashes or fails to work, greater numbers of voters are simultaneously disenfranchised. Denial of service attacks affect larger portions of voters. (More eggs in one basket)

Think of it this way, when the aforementioned can’t make it to the polls, the privileged are the only voters.

Deciding NOT to run for city council

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I even made a spiffy logo

After a long 3-hour strategy session yesterday (combing through voter lists and working on campaign materials) my conscience got the best of me last night. I decided NOT to run for the Sioux Falls Central District council seat. Trust me, I have been thinking about this for months, and planning. I intended on gathering my nominating signatures this week.

The sad part about my decision is that Erpenbach is very beatable, after crunching the numbers (with two very seasoned Sioux Falls political campaign junkies-Thank You gentlemen for all of your time, I really do appreciate it) The magic number to defeat Michelle (assuming she only had one challenger) is 3,058 votes. Not an unattainable goal.

I also had the support of two sitting councilors, a council candidate, several possible campaign donors, both of my employers and 80 Facebook likes. WOOT! WOOT!

It is unfortunate because Michelle has a horrible council record that is steeped in special interest handouts, anti-transparency and blatant bullying of city employees and fellow councilors.

There are several OBVIOUS reasons I decided not to run, but it’s the personal ones that changed my mind.

Name recognition is one. When I tell people how my name is pronounced, they get a confused look on their faces and say, ‘Chrisman’,  ‘Hairessman’ and my favorite ‘Erschman’. Sure, they know that mouthy Detroit Lewis, but who is this Ehrisman character (pronounced AIR-IZ-MAN)?

My blog also has extensive archives about city politics that would be looked at with a fine tooth comb by my opponent. Let’s face it, I am a muckraking big mouth with an opinion. At times I have been funny, caring and investigative but I have also been mean, controversial, sexist and a bit prejudice. Since I have mountains of dirt on city politicians there are a few people at Carnegie and city hall who would love to put their claws in me as a candidate and shutdown Detroit Lewis’ DaCola, once and for all.

I’m not going to give them the opportunity.

Besides being broke, and not having the time to chase down the allegations that would be thrown at me, let’s face it, my lifestyle since I have lived in Sioux Falls isn’t your typical run of the mill working class Joe. Besides my fascination with low brow art and Bettie Page, I typically do what I want-when I want. Yes, I am selfish, maybe too selfish to serve as an elected official. It’s not that I don’t want to, or that I wouldn’t work hard at the job, or that I don’t LIKE Sioux Falls and it’s citizens, I just don’t LOVE them (really, I don’t).

If I want to drink a beer at 8 AM on a Saturday morning, I drink a beer. If I want to dance with the ladies until 4 AM, I do it. I mean last year on St. Patty’s . . . nevermind.  I don’t ask for permission and I don’t apologize for my actions. As a good friend told me once, I have no filter. I live a very independent life. Besides sticking to my work schedule (I am very punctual, dependable and have great attendance) I pretty much never make many plans and do what I want. I’m not married or have children. I have never even been engaged.  I told a girl last year when we were discussing relationships, “I’m not boyfriend or stepfather material.”

While I’m confessing these things to you, I will also admit that while I have faith and believe in a creator, I don’t really care much for religion, any religion. I don’t think much about abortion or gay rights, and hate professional sports, and semi-pro and amateur, and please, I don’t care about your kid’s soccer game, really I don’t.

I would not have been your ‘typical’ perfect hair candidate for city council, at least not at this juncture in my life. As I always say when I come to these crossroads, maybe next time.

After that, I need a beer.

One is back in, One is advertising fireplaces (but not a city council race)

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I guess there have been ‘fireplace commercials’ that feature Christine Erickson and her family in their new home, which means it might have been shot and produced after she announced her candidacy for city council. I wonder if this violates any FCC or election disclosure laws?  Even if it is “legally compliant” that doesn’t make it right to air it, especially less than 60 days out to the election (after April 10, fine).  She should know better, the business should know better, and the media looks complicit for airing it.  Why can’t people just do the right thing any more without forcing someone else to call them out? It’s like the Channel 16 and the mayor blatantly using it for campaign purposes.

I was also alerted that last night on Facebook that Angie Buhl IS running for re-election.  She even used the post yesterday to ask for campaign donations. I guess District 15 hasn’t had enough of Pro-choice, non-catholics :)

What was I telling you about the false hope of low unemployment?

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“This sure beats the heck out of the Ramen noodles and cardboard sandwich I had for dinner last night.”

While Mayor Huether likes to brag about Building Permits and Low Unemployment, our cafeterias in our schools are turning into The Banquet;

Almost half the children in elementary school in Sioux Falls signed up for free or reduced lunch last year, an alarming jump of 5 percentage points and about double the rate of suburban districts.

(In 2012 there was approximately 23,000 students in SF. You are basically looking at about 11,000 students getting free or reduced lunches).

That can’t be right!? We have low unemployment and developers building like crazy. The fact is, that while businesses in our community are enjoying climbing out of this recession, they are not passing that good fortune unto their employees;

“It does seem like we’re seeing more million dollar-plus houses, and seeing more pressure on The Banquet, St. Francis House, rental housing assistance,” Nesiba said. “They’re growing simultaneously. It’s an interesting contradiction.”

Come on Professor Nesiba, don’t you believe in ‘trickle down economics’? If all these peeps in Sioux Falls are making so much money, shouldn’t it be coming our way? And here’s the kicker, stats I have been searching for;

For school board members, the increase in poverty figures shines a light on low wages in the region. South Dakota Division of Labor statistics show that half the workforce in the four-county Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area earns less than $15 an hour — about $31,000 per year.

Now think about that. It is about what I earn in a year. I’m single, have no debt (car paid for) and after refinancing my house, I pay about half for my mortgage compared to what friends of mine pay for rent for a two bedroom apartment. I invest about $200 a month, save about $200 a month and spend about $200 a month on entertainment (vices). Now take that wage and support a family of three on it. It’s ludicrous, and virtually impossible, especially with how high rent is in Sioux Falls;

The availability of affordable housing probably contributes to the poverty gap between the city and the suburbs, Nesiba said. Young people and families just starting out are more likely to live in the city, Nesiba said. “There is still a shortage of affordable housing in Sioux Falls, but there are more lower-income families that end up living here rather than in Tea, Brandon or in Lincoln County, because the jobs are here,” Nesiba added. “We have a very low unemployment rate, but there are so many people that are working lower-wage jobs, and a higher number of people working two or more jobs.”

This is why I have said over and over again, that I only support TIF’s for affordable housing, and smaller apartment owners that want to fix up their units. When we hand out TIF’s to luxury hotels, retail giants and condos, not only are we sending a bad message, we are taking money out of the county and school district’s coffers. You know, the guys who educate and protect our community.

Sioux Falls, and South Dakota is run amuck in corporate welfare, that not only takes away from public services, it offers NO accountability to the ones receiving it (a promise of better paying jobs – NOT more jobs). But when you have a former subprime credit card huckster running the city and Pierre looking more like Watergate every day, what do you expect?

If you are asking kids to say the pledge, put a little meaning and introspective behind it.

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Is the school board having a change of heart;

Board President Doug Morrison, who was the voice on the call, said the goal was to clarify the policy revision, as well as gauge how community members feel about how the Pledge is performed at high schools.

“We represent them, so we need to get their input,” he said. “We’re looking for some hard data rather than anecdotal reports.”

Yeah, Doug, I’m sure you want to hear from the parents, that’s why you are putting this survey out AFTER the vote. Reminds of when Ms. Stehly was fighting for a sub-teacher pay increase and you hung up the phone on her after telling her you could only speak with her through correspondence through the school district’s attorney’s office. I guess violent threats from ‘patriotric Americans’ will make anyone have a change of heart? I thought as flag pledge reciting true-blue Americans we don’t give into (domestic) terrorists?

What are my feelings on the pledge? Well as I have said to many people (to make a sarcastic point) “How is making kids say the pledge any different then Obamacare? Kinda sounds like communist Russia socialism.”

Here is my feelings, and I will piggyback this off of a comment by a veteran;

Boorman said he is concerned about today’s students.

“If they don’t understand where our country has come from, if they don’t understand how we’ve gotten to where we are, if they don’t understand the high cost for freedom, then how are they going to lead our future country?” he said.

I like where Boorman is going with this, but I would like to add this. If HS students are going to be required to say the pledge, fine, but the teacher in that classroom should also give a short 3-5 minute history lesson about examples of patriotism that have happened in our country, each and everyday, before the pledge. Of course, teachers and staff will say they don’t have time to research such things, that is fine, I’m sure while Boorman is at the VFW telling old war stories, him and his buddies can come up some great patriotic lessons. I mean, if you have time to do FOX interviews and play pinnacle, you got time for a little patriotic research? Right?

My point is simple, if you are asking kids to say the pledge, put a little meaning and introspective behind it.

Sioux Falls newest gigantic-triple-plex elementary school to be named after Super Homenn

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In an amazing, yet deserving move, the naming committee for the new school that will replace Mark Twain will be named after the presiding Super Homenn.

When one of the committee members was asked what the heck they were thinking by throwing out 200 suggestions and naming the school after a sitting super, she responded, “Thinking? Who needs to think when Homenn makes all the decisions for you? Besides, most of the suggestions (given to us from the super’s office) were for Homenn, or at least Homenn Like.”

While the over 200 suggestions that were presented to the committee were shredded, South DaCola, was able to dumpster dive into the instructional center’s recycling bin and hire an illegal immigrant to piece the paper shreds together (Thanks Sharif, hope you enjoy the McDoubles).

While Sharif wasn’t able to piece the entire list together, I did find a recurring theme within the first few pages;

Homenn Elementary

Oprah Winfrey Elementary

P. Homenn Elementary

Equal Pay Elementary

Pam H. Elementary

Anis Nin Elementary

P.H.d. Elementary

Mimi Van Doren Elementary (a very famous SD woman)

Well you get the picture, it looks like the committee had no choice but to name the school after Homenn. After all, it really was Homenn’s school to begin with. She recommended the consolidation of schools, hired a realtor to buy up houses in the area before the school board even approved the consolidation, had the School Board rubber stamp her recommendation (even though several parents objected) kept the naming committee she appointed secret, and shredded the over 200 suggestions that were made to the committee.

I feel good about the name change, after all, it’s about time we name a school after a living legend, rather than a dead one. Remember, Homenn has been a true rebel since her inception, first by breaking district rules by living out of the school district (because of her precious horses), denying sick kids a graduation ceremony, blaming the Shopping News for an anti-abortion ad in a sanctioned school directory that the communications director approved. Hiring two of her daughters to work at SE Tech, claiming it wasn’t nepotism because she isn’t the BOSS of SE, just the BOSS’s Boss of SE. She kept her contract a secret until state law made her reveal it, giving herself lavish benefits while denying raises to subs. I could go on and on about the other ‘infamous’ actions of Homenn, but I think the sub title underneath the actual signage at the school will say it all,  “Well behaved women rarely make history.” And you can bet a Susan B. Anthony coin the community will embrace this name to.

*This was satire. No Susan B. Anthony coins or horses were damaged during the writing of this article.

Why is Duper Super Homan’s contract kept a secret until after it is signed

While there is plenty I could say about Homan getting an $8700 a raise next year and a month of vacation, it is the secrecy of her contract that kinda chaps my hide;

Homan did not want the $15,339 raise, however. She met with the school board and agreed to take a 4.87 percent raise next year — worth $8,747 — the same rate awarded other school and school district administrators under their new working agreements.

“I think Dr. Homan was a little bit uncomfortable with it,” said school board president Doug Morrison. “The board certainly would have stood behind the contract … but she wanted to take a look at it.”

Homan’s salary next school year will be $188,355.

She felt uncomfortable? BAHAHA! Like how she feels uncomfortable about a $100 a week slush fund and free vehicle usage. Yeah right. And of course Morrison stands behind it, because instead of the school board being the watchdogs of the administration they are the lapdogs. Anything you say Master Homan. But what do you expect when you pay the people who are supposed to be watching her $75 per meeting, and the employee they are supposed to be watching over $200,000 a year (when you include fringe benefits).

But why the secrecy around the contract?

Konrad said the new contract authorized by the board Tuesday would not immediately be made public because it has not yet been signed. She did release what she said was the new language within that contract.

The school district has not made the full text of the new five-year working agreement for teachers public, either. The teachers union voted for the new contract April 17, but only the salary schedule is now available online.

“The working agreements are still being put into written form,” Konrad said. “They don’t go into effect until July 1, and they will be posted with that timeline in mind.”

In my opinion, once the contracts have been read by the employees, they should become public immediately. What is there to hide? I actually think it is a good idea for the public to view the contracts BEFORE they are signed. I think the public weighing in, especially on Homan’s contract is important. But I wouldn’t expect anything less out of the rubber stamp school board and Ms. Secrecy Homan.

¡Ay, caramba! Election Night!

Meet your new council chair

I wonder if Diamond Jim realizes as council chair he has to show up to meetings (Item #28), you know, to make up rules that don’t exist and to censor public testimony. Karsky got council vice-chair. I love how there was no other nominations for either seat, and they both got elected 8-0. I think Jamison, Staggers and Anderson were glad they were not nominated. The job comes with a lot of ‘crust’ and ‘posturing’.

Kent Alberty and Carly Reiter were elected to the school board. Hopefully Carly will take Kent’s rubber stamp at the first meeting and beat him over the head with it (or at least smash it with her foot.)