Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓
December 11th, 2013 — Mayor Hubris, Mayor Subprime Mike Huether, Mike Huether, SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Mayor Huether recused himself from the discussion and vote on the Indoor Tennis facility last night, to avoid a conflict of interest. He also will not be signing the contract.
The fact is that it doesn’t really matter. We will get to that in a moment.
Councilor Staggers was the lone ‘NO’ vote on the contract last night;
. . . but Kermit Staggers cast the lone no vote on the tennis contract. He questioned whether there are enough tennis players in the area to support such a facility.
Even if the council would not have approved the contract last night, they have already approved the expenditure in the CIP budget earlier in the year. This was just a contract approval, not an ‘allocation’ approval.
And that is the gist of Huether’s conflict. Who prepares the CIP budget and presents it to the city council for approval? THE MAYOR! By budgeting the money for the tennis facility in the CIP budget, the mayor performed his conflict already. His ‘non’ performance last night was just smoke and mirrors.
November 27th, 2013 — Code Enforcement, SF City Council, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Recently Councilor Staggers has aired his discontent with the tobacco free policy in SF parks, not because he doesn’t think it is a good idea but because 1) The city council should have passed the ordinance, not the Parks department & 2) Is it a finable offense? Good question. Staggers asked;
Dear Don, Many months ago we were told that there was no punishment for smoking in the parks. Now there is punishment, or is there? You mention the punishment for violation of city ordinances where no punishment is stipulated, however, the prohibition on smoking comes from a directive from the head of the Parks Department, and not from an ordinance. We should not have a situation where an individual can say that something is wrong and then have a person fined and/or imprisoned. Only the City Council should be passing ordinances fining and/or imprisoning people
UPDATED: (I removed Kearney’s email context ) The ordinance as stated;
§ 95.032 AUTHORITY OF DIRECTOR TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN CONDUCT; NOTICE.
The director may prohibit conduct in those areas of the parks when and where the director deems conduct dangerous or unduly interfering with another’s use of the parks such as, but not limited to, picnicking areas. A notice prohibiting activity within a specific area shall be conspicuously displayed setting forth which activity, conduct, or games are restricted.
It seems director Kearney seems to think it is okay to not only MAKE the rules, but enforce them and if needed fine people. (All City Ordinances, unless otherwise provided, are punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment in the county jail of up to 30 days.)
Remember, city directors are appointed by the mayor, not elected officials.
Let’s leave ordinance approval up to the (elected) city council so Kearney can get back to doing more important things, like scraping goose manure off of the bike trails.
November 21st, 2013 — SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Image: Argus Leader
As I suspected, this facility is only for the members of the Tennis Association, and if you want to use it, you better pony-up;
A consultant hired by the Sioux Falls Tennis Association has recommended charging $22 per hour to play at the seven-court Community Indoor Tennis Center. To be guaranteed court time, players would have to sign up for memberships that cost $30 a month per person or $50 for families; nonmembers would pay $10 per visit in addition to the court rental and could not reserve permanent court time.
These prices are outrageous if you want the ‘public’ to use the facility.
And what kind of usage does a facility like this expect to get?
Sioux Empire Fitness is one of two private businesses in the city that have indoor tennis courts. Owner Reid Hans said running a facility that is solely for tennis is difficult financially, partly because no one shows up when the weather is nice.
“It attracts 3 percent of the population,” he said.
So we are going to give $500,000 to a private organization that is going to charge a fortune for the public to use the facility so that approximately 3% of the city’s population can play tennis indoors?
Besides the blatant conflict of interest with the mayor’s wife, this is a total waste of tax dollars and I urge the council to vote against giving them the money. They will just have to work a little harder in fundraising and they can have their own private tennis club (that is what they are trying to do anyway by charging such a high public fee).
November 20th, 2013 — Developers, Development, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
I guess there is several ways to look at this, so here we go.
This is what we know so far, the city is going to put out an RFP for a Hotel on the Elmwood Golf Course property, the contract deals are not final, but the city is looking at leasing the land and maybe profit sharing with the hotel.
• Why doesn’t the city just sell the property to a potential hotel and stay out of a private/public partnership?
• This is a precedent because the city has never, as I can recall, gotten involved with a partnership with a private lodging business. Why now?
• Our recent track record of providing lodging DT resulted in millions in river landscaping and even more $$$ in property tax cuts. How is the taxpayer going to benefit from this,
• And how much investment will the city make with a private entity that provides lodging?
There are some positives here. The EC task force said that another hotel would have to be in that area to support lodging for the new EC. But why not closer to the EC? And what about David Graham’s empty lot that he has been trying to sell for lodging? The city has harassed him several times when it comes to code enforcement of his property, why not encourage him to build a hotel?
Is the city doing this to prove they have potential prospects when it comes to building more hotels in the area?
While I am all for more hotels in the area, I am a bit leery about us partnering with a private business for lodging. It is not in the taxpayer’s best interest to make sure visitors have a place to stay. Hotels are private enterprises, they should stay that way.
November 14th, 2013 — Mayor Hubris, Mayor Subprime Mike Huether, Mike Huether, SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
After listening to the informational meeting on Tuesday, I have some concerns about our potential contract and gift of $500,000 from the city.
When Bill Townsend (from the tennis association) was asked about public use his reaction was mixed. Several councilors questioned how the public use of the court would be implemented.
Townsend answer at first was that besides the Tennis Association using the facility, there would be public time afforded, then he took an unusual turn. He said he couldn’t say how much the public would be using it because they wanted to wait and monitor the public’s use once opened to determine how much time would be allotted for public use.
Huh? If you are asking for public money wouldn’t you be saying that this facility was partially being built for public use? In other words, if there is truly a PUBLIC need for the facility, the city giving money makes sense, but you don’t know how much the public MIGHT use it, why should we be set in stone with giving you public funds?
Later, Townsend was asked if the city could see how much money the Tennis Association has raised. He said he would not give that information because the original agreement from the city was to give 20% of the cost. But since they are not giving the full 20% he didn’t feel entitled to tell us what they have raised.
What?! If the city is agreeing to give a certain amount, they should be afforded the courtesy of knowing what the Tennis association has raised. It’s not a hard question and it certainly isn’t personal, it’s just a dollar amount, not names of donors.
Lastly when councilor Staggers asked about the conflict of interest with the Mayor signing the contract with his wife sitting on the tennis association, Townsend’s answer was clearly back pedaling. He said he didn’t look at it as a conflict because Cindy Huether has been volunteering on the committee way before the mayor was sworn into office.
Doesn’t matter what Mrs. Huether did before Mike was mayor, it matters now because they are asking for the money while he is Mayor.
November 10th, 2013 — Mayor Hubris, Mayor Subprime Mike Huether, Mike Huether, SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
PHOTO CREDIT: Argus Leader subscription advertisement.
Read these two documents. I am no lawyer, but yah gotta wonder what kind of ‘agreement’ is being made with the city.
Now there is two versions, there is the ‘pre-edited’ version that I have already posted, and the ‘final’ one.
1ST DRAFT: tennisagreement
FINAL DRAFT: finaltennisagree (love the shady scan job on this, like they couldn’t send the electronic version over to the clerk’s office, maybe the $145,000 computer room A/C wasn’t working yet.)
Besides the fact that there is a lot of ‘legalese’ going on in these two documents, should not matter. It is a massive conflict of interest for the Mayor’s wife to be a part of an organization that is collecting a cool half-million for a ‘Private’ facility (as I understand it, you pretty much have to belong to the tennis association to use this place, but there will be ‘public time’ afforded. Thanks man!)
What is even more frustrating is that our local media hasn’t even called this BS out, in fact they have promoted it on several occasions!
Pickle Ball anyone!
October 21st, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec, Sports
I found it interesting that 1) the city is signing an agreement with the SF Tennis association, before they have even turned a shovel (or brought forth a financial and fundraising report) and 2) Their mighty leader, Cindy Huether, would be absent from the meeting. (DOC: Agenda-ParkBoard102213)
The Park Board has a couple of important items on the agenda for tomorrow.
Sioux Falls Ice Sports Association indoor facility agreement
Dave Fischer, Joe Zueger and Sue Salter to attend
Sioux Falls Tennis Association indoor facility agreement
Dave Fischer, and Bill Townsend to attend
***4:00 at Great Bear
It is also important to note that AL Sports columnist, Stu Whitney’s wife is one of the main fundraisers for the Indoor Tennis Facility. Is this a conflict of interest for Stu when promoting or advertising the facility in the paper he works for?
October 9th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Recently the AL had a story about how outdoor pool usage was poor this past season due to cooler weather (it really was just a propaganda piece for the Indoorers). So if the indoor pool fails at the polls at Spellerberg, maybe the city should consider heating the new outdoor pool there? Just imagine, you could be swimming outdoors well into October! It is not uncommon to have heated outdoor pools. When I lived in the Seattle area there was a water park in Federal Way that was completely heated. I also have a friend in SF that has an outdoor in-ground pool that has a heater on it, he has swam in it all the way until the end of October.
Let’s face it, people prefer to swim outdoors, that is why outdoor pools have a greater attendance then indoor pools. Duh. If I was the Spellerberg ladies, I would be pushing for this in the design of a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg.
September 18th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Did Spencer’s dog park cost us 500K? Nope.
When the mayor helped four councilors approve the million dollar dog parks, he did a gigantic disservice to the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. Am I against dog parks in Sioux Falls? No, and I think the four councilors that voted against the expenditure were not either. They simply were asking, “Why so expensive?” But apparently the mayor thinks that is a nice pricetag. Why is that?
My guess is because someone is getting a hell of deal on contracting fees. It reminds me of when the Pavilion window project was re-bid, and another contractor came in several thousands of dollars lower (I think it was 200K lower then original bid). I think it is a bit ridiculous that we spend 500K for each of these parks for a fence, a couple parking spots and some lights (we already own the land).
Councilor Anderson suggested before the vote that the land use committee look at more economical options before approving this. Mayor Huether, Councilors Entenman, Erpenbach, Aguliar and Rolfing don’t seem to care that we are blowing a cool million of taxpayer’s money on these parks, and don’t seem to think we should explore more economical options. Shame on them. I guess the council has really gone to the dogs. Literally.
What it really comes down to is that a mayor and some councilors are afraid if we start digging around on RFPs we may reveal something troubling, some contractors in town are taking us to the cleaners.
September 15th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Councilor Staggers has brought this up several times, and I have often been baffled by it . . . we need to employee workers on Sundays to weed flowers on McKennan park’s 21st street boulevard? I shot this picture about 10:50 this morning, Sunday, of a SF Parks worker weeding the boulevard.
But the city can’t trim city owned trees during the regular work week, because ‘we don’t have the staff.’ But weeding flowers on Sunday? Plenty of staff.