Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Park Board Meeting, October 17, 2017

Well here we are again at the special club meeting of the special people who do things we mere mortals have to put up with, otherwise known as the monthly search for the Sioux Falls Park and Recreation Board hangout. We found it at the Prairie Green Golf Course (of course) where we’re constantly reminded of tee times through the meeting. If this wasn’t enough, as we were recording the meeting we were treated to the flushing of toilets in the next rooms. What a pleasant experience.

We learn so much when we show up but yet learn so little. Normally when Cameraman Bruce shows up to these hidden city meetings there is never a handout of the exhibits for him, this time he just grabbed them as he could. We are posting the handouts in a PDF (DOC: 2017-10-17-Park&RecBoardso you can see how weak the numbers are at our ski hill and golf courses. We get to see how we’re getting a new park experience across from the packing house to commemorate the millions of livestock hoofs moved through the property in the past. At least the visitors will get to share the smells as they visit on little town on the prairie.

Isn’t it about time we look at getting ready to dump some of these toys? Even the special people are seeing how the screws are pinning them down.

Why was there no questions about the new marketing program (scam) results never presented to the Park Board dreamed up by Kearney?

It’s a smellabration and it really stinks. Our Park and Recreation Board shows it every month.

The Secrecy Cult

Guest Toon; Sioux Empire Podcast

UPDATE II: Another SECRET decision, the Golf Course RFP

Not even sure why the council even votes on this stuff;

Because its current golf course management contract expires on December 31, 2017, the City of Sioux Falls completed a competitive request for proposal process to select a golf course management company. The news conference will announce the company with which the City will negotiate a contract and why this process was important to undertake on behalf of the City and the golfing community.

If you are voting on a contract, shouldn’t you be shown at least the TOP 2 RFP choices and make an up or down decision from that? How can the council VOTE on ONE contract offering? What makes it even worse is that the RFP committee that picks the ONE choice is secret, and picks there choice in SECRET. Even with the press conference tomorrow, some councilors still don’t know who was chosen.

 

UPDATE II: Boy, these things change quickly, I am hearing now that DGM & GreatLife have neither been chosen for the golf contract. Not sure who it is, but I hear there were 5 companies that responded to the RFP.

To be quite honest, I’m more concerned about the secrecy than anything. I think there is too many damn golf courses the way it is, and with all the private ones popping up over the past decade, maybe the city should sell the courses and get out of the golfing business. Or better yet give them to the country clubs so we can finally build an east/west route from Kiwanis to Louise in the center of the city. It still amazes me we allow a few rich people in town to dictate the traffic chokehold we have on the west central part of our city. I would have used imminent domain 20 years ago to bulldoze them. But that would take courage and leadership.

The Parks Board doesn’t make major decisions? Oh Really?

As you may or may not heard, the city is considering new contractors to manage our city courses. It’s been a forgone conclusion that GreatLife will probably scoop up the contract simply because of the influence of it’s Whopper of a Founder, Tom Walsh.

I could care less. I don’t golf, use fitness centers, bowl or watch movies outside my home. As long as the next contractor can make the city some money from the courses, I’m happy.

But for a moment, let’s pretend that decision to pick GreatLife or Dakota Golf (again) was on the up and up. Who get’s to make the preliminary decision and pass the flaming football to council? Oh, the Parks board;

Following the calendar provided in the city’s official request for proposals, the park board’s committee set up to facilitate the process has been discussing the bids. Additional interviews with contending firms would take place Sept. 27-28, with “notification of conditional award” taking place Sept. 29.

I guess just reviewing all the proposals and bids and making a conditional award isn’t really that major of a decision. Remember when the Southside Snobs told the council during the debate over districting the parks board that ALL the major decisions were up to the council. Than why isn’t the council reviewing this RFP’s in a land use committee instead of letting a bunch of ‘unimportant’ volunteer board members do it?

Make no mistake, the Parks Board has a gob of power that they use under the direction of the Chief Lawn-mowing-Liar of the City, Parks Director Don Kearney.

Hopefully the next council will pass the Parks Board Districting ordinance. I would also make it go into affect within 4 years.

Shocker! The city lied to media.

It’s actually no surprise that the chief BS artist, Parks Director, Don Kearney is behind all this. Everything that comes out of his mouth is a load. He just got used to lying so much in the run up to the pool vote that it is second nature for him;

In fact, at least one reader thinks the city had been too pushy on mowing in the past. I took a call this morning from someone who saw today’s paper and wanted to say that the city used to keep the grass too short, especially during the driest parts of summer.

But even that guy wasn’t impressed by the city’s lack of transparency.

“The thing that really bothered me is that the parks director declined to give you a list,” he said.

Would the questions have disappeared if the city were more up front about the landscaping? Probably not.

But a little sunshine wouldn’t hurt.

If I were the next mayor, Don would be on my chopping block, and he can take Fiddle-Faddle, Turdbak, The Bride of Franken and a host of the other lying clowns that are the Huether circus.

Is it time for a concrete skate park in Sioux Falls?

Skate activists have been after this for awhile, I was pointed to this post on FB of the city farting around with sanding the metal ramps and repainting them;

Dear the City of Sioux Falls, SD – Parks and Recreation Department

SO SOME OF YOU DONT TAKE THIS OUT OF CONTEXT AND THINK WE ARE JUST WHINING AND UNGRATEFUL, PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE POST THROUGHLY FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING PLEASE.

PLEASE SHARE THIS AND LET OUR VOICES AND FRUSTRATION BE HEARD

Speaking on behalf of every skateboarder or anyone that is involved in action sports in Sioux Falls that goes to Drake Springs or Kuehn, we are all SO SICK of putting up with the lack of care, and disrespectfulness we as skateboarders receive. Last year Mike Huether came to Drake Springs promising to make “Big Changes” to our skate environment in the upcoming year and even the Park and Rec department came to the park with Surveys asking “What changes should be made that YOU would like to see?” Every single one of us put down “CONCRETE SKATEPARK” but why in the world would we ever get one right? Today Nick Haugen and I came to Drake Springs to see Park and Rec employees sanding down the metal ON the ramps which is TOTALLY unsafe, and skateboarding on METAL RAMPS on dangerous enough as it is. One of the guys continues to tell us “Oh we’re sanding it down so we can REPAINT it all next week and we’re gonna close it down for a week as well” and instantly got infuriated by the fact that the only things that they are changing, is PAINTING this AWFUL skatepark. Once they were done sanding the ramps, one dude continued to just blow all the metal dust across the skatepark, WHICH IS ALSO DANGEROUS. And continued to laugh as he got metal dust in Nicks and my eyes. Two Police Officers later showed up and talked to Nick and I about what the problem was and after I voiced my opinion about how bogus this park is one them just said “Well don’t come here if you don’t like it, it’s as simple as that, and if you want something new voice your opinion to the city”, and TRUST ME we have all CLEARLY said the best changes would be to add a CONCRETE PARK in our city so the youth can flourish on skateboarding as well. The police officer just didn’t understand my passion for what I love doing and why so many people have quit skateboarding in this town because they don’t have the RIGHT MATERIALS to benefit and flourish of off. I don’t know what this post will lead to and it’ll probably lead to nothing more than likely. But if you support the Skate scene unlike the City Of Sioux Falls does, share this everywhere because I want this to be heard because we are all sick and tired of this.

Robert.

I would also like to Follow up in saying Mayor Huether responded to me a couple months ago about fund cuts all across the city and that I do understand nothing comes free.

I will say this;

• A concrete park is safer.

• It is affordable. When you consider we have given millions to youth football, ice hockey, indoor tennis, indoor swimming and even pickleball, I think SF can afford to pony up for at least ONE nice outdoor concrete skate park.

• Nelson Park was promised MANY things after the pool was built, but it seems sour grapes got in the way of those plans. One of them was a better skate park and a large floral garden area like McKennan Park over the area where the old pool was. None of it has happened.

I also heard that there was private donations being collected to help improve the park and someone stole the kitty this week 🙁

Am I missing something here?

I like to talk about ‘common sense government’, so when I see something like this, I really start scratching my head. (Item #4 consent agenda) Of course, I have known for a long time they have been planning the stockyard park across the street from JM’s. Ever since the city decided to close the mostly FREE Horse Barn arts center to build a butcher shop museum in Falls Park, the wheels were in motion.

Don’t get me wrong, parks are a wonderful thing, especially when private donations are involved. But doesn’t anyone with the city or associated with the project think building a park like this across the street from a stink factory is a good idea? Why not put it in the middle of the city landfill? Ironically, you know what location would make a perfect farm-themed park? A couple miles to the east on the Lacey property.

Sometimes I wonder if city leaders ever use their brains when concocting some of these proposals.

Are Sioux Falls taxpayers getting bilked on pool construction expenses?

As I posted about in April, Watertown ($23 million) builds an entire fitness and pool complex for less than Sioux Falls built just an indoor pool.

IMAGE: David Lias/Vermillion Plain Talk

Vermillion built a $4 million dollar outdoor pool this spring much larger than Drake Springs.

The little sleepy prairie town of Mobridge just built an outdoor pool for $3.4 million* (City of Mobridge), much larger than Drake Springs.

So why is it that Mobridge, Watertown and Vermillion can build bigger, cheaper facilities than Sioux Falls?

Take into account that Drake Springs cost $4.7 Million, 10 years ago! Or that Sioux Falls has easier access to materials and contractors!

Look at the $115 million dollar Denty that we continue to pour millions into for upgrades.

It makes you wonder if some of the city projects, like the administration building, are inside bids and deals? the numbers just don’t add up folks.

Who authorized the ‘GO Card’? Good question.

While I will say that this discount card is a good idea (I would tweak it somewhat*) I’m wondering where this came from all of a sudden?

Make no mistake, the Parks Department Administration has every right to come up with these kind of marketing/promotional ideas, in fact with all the (white**) people over there making 6 figures or more a year, they should be kicking out ideas like this every week.

But my main question is, ‘Who authorized the card?’

If the Parks Board authorized this without consent of the council, that goes against everything they have been saying about the advisory nature of the board over the past couple of weeks. People who I have spoken with who have attended the last couple of meetings heard NOTHING about the card. So maybe the board was in the dark also (but I have my doubts)?

Three city councilors told me they didn’t hear about it until yesterday when the press release was put out. But even if the other five rubber stampers knew about it, it certainly wasn’t because it was brought up in a public working session, committee meeting or informational. And there was NO council authorization.

While any city department certainly has the right, and probably even the legal right to come up with different marketing and promotional ideas within their set budget, I think they are walking a fine line with this one.

But “What if the mayor authorized it”? Not within his duties as far as I am concerned because this has to do with budgetary and fees charged which is the duty of the city council to approve. So how is it that the city council sets the swimming pool rates but has NO say in a discount card?

Once again, this just shows how the Parks Administration and the Mayor’s office thumbs their noses at the council.

*The discounts are ‘nice’ on the card, but nothing too substantial. I guess I would have pursued a corporate sponsorship like from Sanford Profile or Scheels.

**According to a Human Resources report, the Parks Department has 74 employees, NONE of them are a minority.