Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

More muck at Sioux Falls Daily?

I guess someone in management had to take a trip in a Black Mariah to the Heartbreak Hotel this past weekend. We will see how this plays out between the pages.

Black Cop Cars with Black Lettering are not trying to be misleading?

As I have often said, call a spade a spade. I don’t have an issue with an undercover police car if it helps to solve crime, but let’s not be coy about it;

Olsen issued a warning to the driver before sending her on her way.  He says police aren’t trying to trick drivers by patrolling in their ghost car.

Um, that is exactly what you are trying to do.

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

Our Moderate Independent Mayor doesn’t understand the ‘value’ of a well paid Police Force

As our crime rate in Sioux Falls continues to rise, gets more violent, and the animosity towards police nation wide grows, you would think the city’s human resources department and mayor would agree to a minimal pay increase of 3% (an extra $300,000 a year);

“You have excellence on one hand when they’re publicizing the virtue of the city, but in negotiations, the median or even below the median is somehow acceptable. We don’t think those two fit together very well,” said Wilka.

Whether you are for or against this pay increase, as Mr. Wilka points out, it seems kind of strange to deny the union’s request. Maybe the mayor is punishing the union and blaming them for the sharp crime increase?

Solar Speed Signs just make sense!

imag0346_1

Besides people shooting themselves over a meth deal in Sioux Falls these days, we have another epidemic, speeding in residential areas. If I hear one complaint more from residents about crime, it is people who speed through sensitive areas (mostly school zones). There is a solution, and it is quite effective, and rather inexpensive. Small towns across South Dakota have been using solar powered flashing speed signs. Not only are they pretty frickin’ handy, they can also be moved quite easily using a bracket system.

Councilor Stehly is pushing for ‘testing’ these signs. She was voted down during the budget process, but she tells me that she is still pushing for them. Like snow gates, Theresa won’t give up until they are implemented or at least tested.

Our chief traffic engineer responded to a series of questions from Theresa;

From: Hoftiezer, Heath
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 10:52 AM
To: Stehly, Theresa <TStehly@siouxfalls.org>
Subject: Responses to Speed Trailer Questions

1. You indicated that we are using the speed safety signs on poles within school districts only. The city currently does not own any for residential areas.

That is correct, so far we have limited usage to School Zones.

 2. We talked about the areas that are high complaint areas.  Right now, how often do we put the speed trailers out. How many speed trailers do we have and how long do you let them sit in an area? How do you decided who gets to have the speed trailers?

There are three speed trailers that are moved around to different locations on a weekly basis from Spring thru Fall.  A list of speeding complaint areas that is generated by calls to Police, Public Works, City Clerks, Mayors Office and received CRM’s is used to determine where the trailers are placed.

 3. We talked about the speed trailers we currently have sticking into the roadway. It is also my understanding that they are bulky and labor intensive to move.

Depending on location on narrower streets the trailers can influence traffic quite a bit due to protruding into the driving area (this can be good and bad).   The trailers generally take up a parking spot in order to be placed so they are not able to be placed at locations that do not have parking.  It takes approximately one day for a person to pick-up and deploy the three speed trailers that the City currently has.

 4.  You seemed to view the addition of pole mounted solar speed signs in notorious complaint areas as a possible benefit for our community. You said you would appreciate it and they would be used  if they were available.

That is correct.  We have explored the concept of what you are proposing a couple of years ago and our biggest concern was what the expectation would be for relocation timelines.  The 3 month rotations that you were talking about would be reasonable to work with.

 Please let me know if you need anything else.

 Heath R. Hoftiezer, P.E., PTOE • Principal Traffic Engineer City of Sioux Falls

Stehly also got an estimate from a traffic control company;

ESTIMATE FROM:  Radarsign, LLC

Price estimate for 10 solar 400 speed signs for Sioux Falls South Dakota.

Dimension 4ft 5ft

35mph

Signs 10 $–3,595 per sign $35,950

Brackets Included

Postage 160 per sign $1,600

Traditional speed limit sign $25 per sign $250

Customer Discount -$5,000

Total cost $32,800

Warranty……..2 years

Easy to Move

Low Maintenance

Tracking information available for $ 250 per sign / $2,500

Can be mounted on light pole or traditional pole

Testimonial;

Image

Was the Sioux Falls Police Department planning to send officers to ND to assist in DAPL protest enforcement

The rumor is that the SD Highway Patrol was assisting the effort and the SFPD was prepared to send 30 officers to the site for ‘crowd control’ training and assistance, but backed out. I guess a local TV station has been digging around on the issue.

Councilor Erpenbach, you are the ‘Embarrassment’

wileys

I watched the city council debate tonight over Wiley’s license;

The Sioux Falls City Council voted to allow the renewal of a liquor license for Wiley’s Tavern in downtown Sioux Falls after more than a half-hour of debate.

City Councilors Greg Neitzert, Theresa Stehly, and Pat Starr visited the popular downtown bar on Friday amid their concerns about the disproportionate calls to Police. They shared their stories, and questioned bar officials about the business and security practices. The Councilors said it was never their intention to pull the bar’s liquor license, but they wanted to use the forum to discuss the bar’s practice of serving patrons alcohol even after they appear intoxicated.

Though councilors Kiley, Erpenbach and Mayor Huether felt the debate wasn’t necessary, I think if a bar has 165 police calls in 9 months, we should be very concerned. Mr. Duncan, the bar’s attorney argued that they get 5x more police calls because they do 5x more business then competing bars. What concerns me more then the obvious over serving is the cost to taxpayers. Let’s say each police call costs us at a minimum $100 a pop, that is $16,500 of tax dollars spent on a bar making loads of money over serving people. How are we making that money back. We are not.

Councilor Michelle Erpenbach called the entire debate an “embarrassment”.

Councilors Stehly, Starr and Neitzert pointed out they were not embarrassed for doing due diligence. Michelle should be embarrassed that while she has been on council she hasn’t done any due diligence. Greg went on to say it was the duty of the city council to review a bar (which is a public place) that has that volume of calls before approving a license;

“The question is why so many police calls?” asked Neitzert.

Pat Starr was also disappointed that there would be no public input and got into with the mayor after stopping the roll call vote by saying ‘Point of Order’.

After a lengthy debate, the Council voted 7-1 to renew the Wiley’s liquor license. Councilor Pat Starr was the lone “no” vote.

The debate ended on a testy exchange between Mayor Mike Huether and Councilor Pat Starr, who wanted to take public input on the matter, but Mayor Huether called for a roll call vote.

The mayor told Pat he has been doing this for 7 years and doesn’t allow public input. Pat told him he disagreed. The mayor hates it when things get ‘messy’ because it makes him look bad. You look bad ‘High Crimes’ Mike because you are neglecting to address crime in our city. I applaud any city councilor that is trying to get a handle on our ‘high crime’ city.

On a separate note, I am also concerned about taxpayers when it comes to Wiley’s hiring off-duty police to be security. The starting pay for officers in Sioux Falls is $49,000 a year. Do they need a part-time job? And if so, should they be running security? I also question how many of these security officers leave Wiley’s at 3 AM after a stressful night, then report to patrol our streets the next morning. How can they do their #1 job if they may be tired and stressed from their part-time job? While I don’t take issue with them having a second job or even their own business on the side, it should be prohibited that they work in a high stress security position. Working for the public’s safety should be their #1 priority.

What’s up with Wiley’s Pub?

Over the past year or so there have been several complaints to city councilors, the SFPD, and the Minnehaha County commissioners and frankly anyone who will listen about how Wileys conducts business (video lottery and smoking) and security issues.

I went with three city councilors on Friday night to the establishment. I left at around 10 PM, but before I left I noticed that on Friday nights that they serve ‘fish bowl’ drinks. They are pretty much a beer pitcher filled with a mixer and about 5 shots of booze. I knew where this party was going.

While I didn’t see anything unusual (when I was in my 20’s I hung out at the Pomp Room, Top Hat and JAMZ) I will say the food was awful and it was extremely loud.

Well, I did get out of there in good time, like I said, I knew where the party was headed when you are serving 5-shot drinks. The councilors stuck around, and they got quite a show.

Besides the extremely intoxicated people leaving at the end of the night and stumbling into traffic on busy 6th street and Main, the security, who are mostly off-duty police officers, really abused their power. At one point seven of them were on top of one intoxicated gentleman outside.

Some would say when people are that extremely ripped, they get treated by how they are acting. But who is creating this kind of binge drinking environment?

I suspect we will be hearing more about Wiley’s from the city council over the next week. The council has photos and video of the activities from Friday night.

Do we have a different epidemic besides texting and driving?

ticket

There will be a presentation to the city council on Tuesday about saturation patrols in Sioux Falls. I found it interesting the number of people caught with no driver’s license or insurance.

This has been a problem for a long time in South Dakota. It’s one of the reasons I drive very defensively, you never know who is on the streets with no insurance.

Sioux Falls Police, Sensitivity training and Entrapment

Sometimes you would think I had a crystal ball. I have been warning for a long time that our police department needed to go through sensitivity training and not just because of the LBGTQ community, but for diverse cultures, etc.

The department plans to send representatives to Pierre in December for a three-day training workshop that will include sessions on interacting with transgender people. Attendees will share their training with the rest of the department upon their return.

One of my native friends used to joke with me that the SFPD would often pull him over for DWI (driving while indian). This isn’t just a a transgender issue, this is a real issue in our community. With the dramatic increase in violent crime in Sioux Falls, it is time our police force bucks up and becomes more professional.

I knew this ‘sex sting entrapment’ crap would eventually blow up in the SFPD’s face

A few years ago a judge warned that posing as Mickey Mouse to entrap potential sex offenders wouldn’t fly. Now it seems the tax payers of Sioux Falls may be paying for their stupidity;

Murphy in his lawsuit claims that he tried to leave the meeting after learning the age of the woman he was supposed to be meeting with, but was held against his will. He was then arrested by undercover authorities.

The lawsuit alleges that Murphy’s rights were violated because he wasn’t allowed to leave once he refused the undercover officer’s offer. The lawsuit alleges Murphy’s Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated.

Is a person who is seeking a prostitute a creep? Well, yeah. But in his defense (I use that lightly) he did refuse the service once he found out it was an underage girl. All that aside, I have never understood why our PD wants to ‘create crime’ to make it look they are tough on sex trafficking. Our State’s Attorneys office is overloaded with REAL criminal cases, why create more work for them? Like I said, the guy is a creeper and probably deserved the 2 year sentence. But instead of creating situations for people to commit crime, why don’t we crack down on REAL criminal activity. I’m starting to get more and more why our PD didn’t get a raise.