On the B-N-B show this morning, Greg was preparing listeners for the Mayor’s monthly visit at 8 AM Tuesday (I guess we need to get our adult diapers and barf bags). The topic? The rise of violent crime in Sioux Falls (can’t wait to hear the softballs Greg throws Mike).
One of the reasons my newest obsession is listening to B-N-B‘s show is because of the ‘wisdom’ his listeners dole out. It usually has me in stitches. A caller this morning did not disappoint. This person called in this morning and was talking about the drastic increase in STD’s in young adults (15-25) in Minnehaha and Brookings counties, and at first it sounded like he had some good arguments to make. Then he asks Greg, “Why do you think there has been this drastic increase?” He told Greg it was because of the lack of ‘God’ in young people’s lives.
While a good moral compass isn’t a bad idea, he couldn’t be more wrong. The problem is the lack of education and awareness. When AID’s was running rampant in the homosexual community, they started educating and the rates went down.
The same could be said about crime in Sioux Falls. One of the biggest factors is drug dealing. The community needs to be educated on what to look for, we also need to be getting to young people sooner about drug use. We also need to go whole hog on creating neighborhood watch programs that don’t cost taxpayers diddley, and guess what THEY WORK!
But if I had to take an educated guess as to why crime has increased so drastically in Sioux Falls over the past 5 years, I think it is much simpler then we think;
• Officer retention has been very bad, and SF police officers QUIT at a record rate last year. Not giving a decent COLA didn’t help matters.
• Drug use is going up (happening across the country) and with the lax gun control laws in our state, it is much easier for people to have (get) guns and use them (violently).
• The recession caused a lower class of working people, which tend to commit more crimes, especially when it comes to domestic and drug matters.
• The Boomtown campaign to get people to move here wasn’t well thought out. I don’t think this campaign helped to get professionals or higher income blue collar workers to move here, it got people who were already desperate and suffering where they lived to move here, and let’s face it, wages are not stellar here. In fact, if anything professionals are leaving faster then we are bringing them in. Don’t believe me that lower income workers raided our city? Then why have we seen our food banks and shelters expand so dramatically over the same period of time? While we asked people to move to Sioux Falls, we were not to specific of who we wanted really coming here.
• Also, as a caller this morning pointed out, our core neighborhoods in Sioux Falls are deteriorating, Why? Because we have thrown so much money at big development and urban sprawl, not just tax dollars in the form of TIF’s and Federal dollars but banks have been investing more in the ‘big projects’. How is it that we continue to break building permits each year, yet affordable housing in Sioux Falls is disappearing so fast?
• Lastly, our past and current police chief along with their boss, the mayor, have ignored all the warning signs, and the continue to ignore them.
As we continue to ignore our lower income workers and not pay them better wages, they begin to get desperate, and with desperation comes criminal activity. Maybe we need to hand out more Bibles?
The City of Sioux Falls has consistently stated that retroactive approval of a labor agreement by the City Council would establish a significant precedent and negate the timeliness required of the collective bargaining process. Bargaining began in May 2016, and both parties understood the necessary timeline.
The potential cost to the City of making the contracts retroactive (for both the FOP and AFSCME combined) would have been $152,010.08. This did not factor into the City’s decision.
For clarification, the $152K was already figured into the 2017 salary budget, it would not have cost us anything additional.
We have a few questions to ask, see how many you can answer.
If someone goes to building code enforcement and files a concern, why does no one follow-up?
Do building and code enforcement only show up to arrest someone for having a pile of shingles in the wrong spot?
What are building permits good for?
If you have a building permit, does it allow you to do what you want?
Why do we need this parking ramp so badly?
If a building falls down, are we allowed to ask why?
Should we care?
If there is a death, shouldn’t someone from the county/state investigate?
Isn’t it strange there has been no grand jury convened to find out why a tragedy happened?
What does a contract allow you to do?
Where were the engineered drawings and permits to allow a load bearing wall to be taken out?
The Copper lounge collapse in downtown Sioux Falls leaves the public with so many questions. Scott Ehrisman asked many during the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input on February 14, 2017.
When you are done with the video, write down your questions and maybe send a few of them to the Minnehaha County State Attorney. Maybe he can help us get answers.
Great timing on denying our police force a decent raise. We are simply not going to get a handle on this by not maintaining and retaining a decent crime fighting force. This information should not be surprising. In the last mayoral election, candidate Jamison warned us we needed to get a handle on the matter;
3. Sioux Falls, SD > 5-yr. violent crime rate change: +69.1% > 2011 violent crime rate: 215.1 per 100,000 > 2015 violent crime rate: 363.7 per 100,000 > Murders in 2015: 3
Between 2011 and 2015, the violent crime rate in Sioux Falls rose from 215 incidents per 100,000 residents to 364 per 100,000. The number of aggravated assaults in the metro area more than doubled from 288 to 679 incidents. While violent crime levels are often greater in areas with high unemployment and poverty, the typical Sioux Falls household earns roughly $4,000 more than the typical American household, and the metro area’s unemployment rate has fallen over the last five years to 3.3% — far less than the national figure of 4.7%.
According to the Sioux Falls Police Department, the rise in crime is largely due to the city’s growing drug problem. The number of total police calls and drug seizures by Sioux Falls police has increased rapidly in recent years, with the amount of seized meth quadrupling from 9.8 pounds to 38.0 pounds from 2015 to 2016.
When Dr. Staggers was running against Huether, my union friends would bust my balls about Kermit being a Republican against organized labor. While I can’t speak for Kermit’s opinion on labor, it stung a bit. While I have never been a part of a union, I supported them, and understand their power.
The Unions backed Huether, mostly because he called himself a Democrat. Which I never understood. Maybe he was pro-choice or had a homosexual friend? Not sure. But it seemed odd coming from a guy who marketed the WORST credit card to ever exist.
But one of the most troubling pieces of the argument to not pay police more tonight came from councilor Erpenbach, who works for a well funded nursing home. She stated that pretty much times are tough, and raises don’t come easy.
I will agree with Erpenbach on that statement alone, but we are not talking about people who write newsletters, we are talking about people who are fighting crime, and guess what, it is increasing in Sioux Falls at a dramatic rate.
I will make this argument simple. While are city is seeing massive growth in development, we are NOT seeing that trickle down to the masses.
But let’s simply this. When the Fire Department shows up to put out a fire, and the flames are increasing, they don’t throw gasoline on the fire, they throw more water. So if we think we are going to get our crime rates to go down by not giving decent raises to our police force, we might as well just being buying guns for the criminals.
ArtMaze, 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.
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 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.
• 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.
• 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.
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?
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