Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Community Swim’s literature includes images of domestic disputes and child neglect

I had heard about the photo shoot at Spellerberg, but never imagined they would actually use the photos in a mailer. I was wrong.

So now CS365 is using images of kids fighting and making kids stand in the cold? WOW, they are getting desperate. I thought they were concerned about kids getting diabetes, but frostbite? Who cares. What’s next an imagine of a fat kid sitting on the couch eating chips, drinking pop with an insulin pump attached to him?

BTW, my brother and I used to get into all kinds of fights, but it was never about indoor swimming, it usually involved something to do with farts or boogers, not child hood obesity and diabetes.

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Participant Poll Show 53% Vote YES for Outdoor Pool

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Veterans for the VA Host Telephone Town Hall With 7638 Voters

Veterans for the VA held a telephone town hall on Tuesday night focusing on why voting Yes to keep an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park is the prudent way to vote on April 8th.  Measure 2 on the ballot calls for the city of Sioux Falls to spend no more than $7.5 million on an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park. A YES vote for Measure 2 keeps an outdoor pool and rescues the city from spending nearly $20 million on an indoor aquatics center at Spellerberg Park which would add $13 million in new debt to the city’s finances while impeding veterans access to the VA and increasing traffic and parking problems in the Spellerberg neighborhood.

Tom Muenster, a local veteran, long time Sioux Falls resident and leader of Veterans for the VA had this to say, “We are not at all surprised by the great turnout for last night’s call.  Spending nearly $20 million on an indoor aquatics center at an inappropriate site while adding $13 million in taxpayer debt is simply a misguided plan.  When voters hear the facts they vote YES to keep an outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park because it is the fiscally responsible choice.”

More than 3800 households participated in the telephone town hall to learn about how voting YES on Measure 2 helps Sioux Falls upgrade to a modern outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park while avoiding the pitfalls of municipal debt associated with building the indoor aquatic center at Spellerberg Park, which is opposed by seven of the eleven candidates running for office on April 8th.  “With over $400 million in debt already, Sioux Falls has a larger debt than the entire State of South Dakota.  Adding another $13 million for an indoor pool is simply too much debt to put on the taxpayers creditcard,” said Muenster.

Veterans for the VA reached nearly 8,000 voters in over 3,800 households during the telephone town hall last night.  When polled about their position on Measure 2, 53% of voters stated they planned to vote YES for an outdoor pool while only 41% planned to vote no.  “A majority of voters are clearly concerned about the impacts of spending $20 million on an indoor pool that piles on more than $13 million in new debt,” said John Matthius, a Save Spellerberg member who also participated in the call.   “When voters hear about the added debt, along with the negative impact on the neighborhood, on the trees and green space in Spellerberg Park, and the adverse impacts to veterans’ access to health care services at the VA hospital, they understand that supporting a proposed indoor aquatic center at Spellerberg Park is the wrong choice.”

Neighbors have been citing their concerns to an indoor pool at this site for a number of years.  Suzanne Van Bockern, a member of Save Spellerberg, said, “Voting YES for the outdoor pool at Spellerberg Park is the right choice to protect the park, protect the VA and protect the neighborhood.”  Residents near Spellerberg Park gathered over 7,000 signatures needed to put the issue of capping spending on a pool at $7.5 million.  A vote on April 8th will determine whether their fellow residents heard their pleadings to rescue Spellerberg Park.

Visit www.siouxfallsfacts.com to get the facts.

Citizens for Integrity latest observation at an Advocational meeting

Good grief, what do we need  to do to get these people to understand the point of our Advocational meeting problem. Wednesday night’s Kuehn Community Center meeting even surprised me. City marketing to sway a vote is illegal by state law and city code. Slam dunk simple.

The point of Citizens for Integrity is explained at the beginning of each city sponsored meeting. We are there to remind the meeting attendees we are protesting the biased presentations to be viewed. We have been through this process several times by now with only a few sessions left. The mayor has directed and the City Attorney has approved the directors presenting very biased videos on behalf of their interest groups but up until now, we never saw marketing posters to propagandize the attendees.

So imagine my surprise when I approached the door to the community center and see this sign (Buy Your Season Swim Pass Here) set in the walkway promoting the city?s swimming pools. Ok, I took a photo just because I could not believe I saw it.

Buy Your Season Swim Pass Here

Now I walked into the building entry, again imagine my surprise with an easel boasting ?Swipe and Swim Season Swim Passes Available? Were they selling passes? Well, no where I could see. Were they selling the summer fun programs to eager kids? Well, I did see a young mother with a baby but the infant may have been a bit young to care. Ok, I took pictures to document the process as I do at each event.

Also notice how Parks and Rec is going to have a Healthy Living Day event on March 29.  By the way, where is the monster pool pictured located? Is this what they plan for Spellerberg? I wonder how much illegal indoor pool discussion is going to be presented? Rest assured, I will be there, with my cameras.

As I was setting up my video camera to record the event as usual, there was a great deal of director activity at the door, strange but whatever. During my departure from the building (so I could attend the Carnegie Townhall candidate presentations) something caught my eye. I now knew what the director activity was, they realized I caught them and took pictures. They hid the posters, how stupid are these people? What else did I miss? Was there something more?

Just in case our city officials misunderstand what we have been trying to say to them each meeting, here is the text again.

Good evening, my name is Bruce Danielson, a resident Sioux Falls.

I have been active in issue and candidate campaigns for almost 50 years.  As a group of us began to watch the issue campaigns build, we saw serious issues with the way the Sioux Falls 2014 city election was being managed.

We banded together to create a new organization to help protect the ballot process for Sioux Falls voters. I was asked to be the chairman of a group you may now have heard of, Citizens for Integrity.

The City of Sioux Falls is legally allowed to only supply in written form a simple, clear language explanation of what a YES vote means and what a NO vote means. That’s it, nothing more nothing less.

The four video ballot measures being presented are not the only issues the voter must make decisions on this election. There are actually 7 ballot questions. Demand your city be forthright in legally presenting all of them to the people who are expected to vote April 8.

We wish to remind you; tonight city officials will be presenting these 4 biased advocacy videos and public pronouncements disguised as education. Thank you for being interested in the process, for being here this evening and don’t forget to vote April 8th.

We’ve been trying to save the city from possible courtroom time, but I guess you just won’t learn. You work for a salesman who is pushing everything to limits you may not want to experience. When you see our cameras, just smile. They don’t smile back.

Put on your coat and hat and play outside

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Only half our debt is bad

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It was nice of Mayor Huether to allow the financial director of our city, Tracy Turbak, to sign this letter to the editor. Apparently, the city is embracing the glass is half full philosophy;

Nearly half of the city’s debt relates to public utility services — water, sewer and landfill — and is repaid by the users of these services — not general taxpayers.

While I thought Mike Turbak made some good points about the differences between city and state debt, this statement above by Tracy Huether had me a bit concerned. So almost HALF our city debt (around $200 million) is for things other than infrastructure? That was the whole point of Ellis’ column, the fact that the city should stop borrowing and creating debt for entertainment/recreation. But obviously in the midst of campaign season, that went right over Turbak’s head, uh, I mean, Mike’s head.

‘ADVOCACY’ vs. ‘EDUCATION’

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I did a little cuttin’ and pastin’ of the Power Point presentation of the city’s ‘ADVO-CATIONAL’ presentation of the OUTDOOR pool pool issue. This ‘supposed’ educational piece is chucked full of ‘persuasive language’ and misleading ‘facts’.

Where to begin?

1) There is NO indoor pool on the ballot, only a simple question. Do you want a new outdoor pool at Spellerberg. If you vote NO a number of things could happen. They could keep the existing pool, they could fill it in and have green space. There is NO guarantees that a NO vote would result in an indoor pool at that location.

2) The photo of bundled up folks walking to the pool in a romantic winter wonderland setting. What about pictures of kids riding their bikes to an outdoor pool in the summer?

3) True, there is a ‘proposal’ to replace Spellerberg with an Indoor pool. But that is all it is. The city council will have to approve the budget again this fall and approve the bonds to pay for it. Would the NEW council do that? There are NO guarantees.

4) They claim that the outdoor pools are obsolete, but continue to use them.

5) Need for indoor water. Huh? According to who? Past city surveys have shown that the public would support an indoor facility but only IF it is self-sufficient or subsidized (like the Ice Hockey facility). The support drops to almost 10% if we would have to subsidize the facility.

6) There are plenty of opportunities throughout the community for indoor swimming. Also, the VA has said nothing about a joint venture with the city and a therapy pool.

7) The skewed numbers. While it is true that it is more costly to operate an outdoor pool hourly, the real numbers are about $100K a year for an outdoor and $700K a year for an indoor.

8) The traffic/parking analysis is strange on many levels. They are pretty much admitting that we would be building and subsidizing a year round facility (360 days a year) for only 2-3 swim meets. So please, explain the NEED. As for the traffic increase for the outdoor facility, I am confused. Drive by Drake Springs sometime on a hot day, while the pool is packed, the roads are not, but you will see a multitude of bicycles and kids walking.

9) This is a lie, there is around $6.4 million set aside for Spellerberg, for either an indoor or outdoor facility. But like I said above, the council still has to approve the expenditure this Fall. A $13 million bond will also have to be approved that citizens can get revoked in a referendum if the council approves it.

So while the city claims they are ‘educating’ us, they are really ‘advocating’ their position, while misleading voters on an outdoor facility. Are they stretching state law or simply flat out breaking it? I think it is time the AG’s office do an investigation of the city’s ‘educational’ programming.

Ice rinks closing due to warm weather? (H/T – GP)

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Here we are in a record cold season and the ice rinks in Sioux Falls are being closed due to ‘warm weather’. Ellis asks a great question?

The fine people over at the parks and rec department sent out a press release this morning that says the city’s six ice rinks are shutting down for the season on Sunday because of “warm weather.”

Maybe the parks and rec department is vacationing in Palm Springs right now. It’s currently -4 right now, according to my trusty Weather Channel app. It’s going to be really warm tomorrow, at 24. Then Saturday a high of 0, followed by another high of 0 on Sunday, the day the ice rinks close because of warm weather.

Indeed, in the entire 10-day outlook, the high temperature doesn’t break the freezing mark once.

Is it warm weather? Or is it an unwillingness to spend money to keep the ice rinks open?

UPDATE: The city has sent out another press release announcing the season-ending closures. This time the release doesn’t give a reason. Must not have been in the park and rec budget to go beyond the first weekend of March.

We could ask others… OK, it reminds me of how:

  • Close pools early in August so they do not have to clean or do repairs?
  • The city quits the upkeep on a pool because they decide years before to quit keeping it up, so they could force the citizens to accept a new indoor pool after the people kept rejecting their previous plans?
  • Decide to quit upkeep on the concrete streets and roads, making the roads unsafe? We drivers are so pissed off we finally accept crappy overlays.
  • The city quits updating utility infrastructure, so we end up with one disaster after another to make a mayor ‘look good’ saving us?
  • Our city puts in such cheap / bad infrastructure throughout or is it the consulting engineer who tell the city, “Put in this crap and we will have another project in a few years.”
  • We citizens must accept the fact of old or cheap piping ready to blow at the first sign of stress. How many hydrants, water mains and sewer lines have blown up in the last few years due to more poor planning…
  • We must accept 14th Street being torn up every few years because someone made another major mistake causing another failure.
  • Accept a ‘fiction’ as ‘fact’ to get the voters to accept the salesman’s inevitable conclusion.
  • City spending millions of dollars to save an old high school building, putting nice frosting on a cow pie, then wondering why we have to replace the windows, roofs, and spend another $85,000 to convert a closet. It will probably cost $85,000 to clean up all the other impurities lingering in the building with all the extra-curricular goings-on there…
  • We are promised a 15,000 capacity events center but to get it under budget, the salesman slyly gets it downsized to 12,000 with telling us? The 50 year hatred of the current Arena by several well placed SF citizens to have special seating in the building their grandparents wanted? Why do we have to suffer under the debt so the mayor has another building he can have his name permanently attached to?
  • Instead of…. Well you get it by now, each of us could add to this list.

Kermit Staggers asked a simple question at a recent city council meeting, don’t we have a designer or engineer employed by the city who could design something for Lyon Park instead of hiring a ‘consulting firm’? Word is, Jeff Schmidt has turned away landscape engineer applicants because they have it handled (whatever this means).

We citizens are going to pay for years for all the frosting on the cow pies located around town this mayor and council have approved. We have a subprime credit card salesman who only wants to make things look good and blame us if it does not look like he wants it to.

Look at each of his top ten list, it is opposite land of Orwellian proportions. Each of the top ten (BTW, campaigning on the city’s dime?) are the an attempt to direct our attention away from the failures of this administration by making them look like successes.

There is more, Sioux Falls are you ready for more failures to put naming rights on?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein 

Interesting Math

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Funny how Dunham can build a 276-unit apartment complex with underground parking AND an INDOOR pool for $22 Million. But it will cost the city $19 million to build a stand alone indoor pool.

Why is it when private enterprise does something it is about 4x cheaper then when the city does it?

The community swim survey

FROM a South DaCola foot soldier;

I thought you might be interested to know I received a call on my home phone for a poll regarding the pool issue.  It took several minutes to answer all the questions and they were testing a lot of messages about the voting “no” on the outdoor pool.  They also asked about the mayors race.  At a lighthearted point in the conversation, the person taking the poll told me she was a Republican working for the Democrats.

First, they asked some basic questions such as:

• Do you plan to vote in the April election?

• Do you think the city is on the right track or wrong track?

• Do you have favorable opinions about Huether?

• Do you have favorable opinions about Jamison?

• Do you plan to vote for Jamison or Huether?

Next, they asked if the following statements would make you more likely, less likely, or have no impact on your decision to support an indoor pool at Spellerberg Park

• There is a lot of congestion at the intersection of 26th & Western

• The indoor pool will be a large facility and take up a lot of room at Spellerberg Park

• Sioux Falls needs an outdoor pool and if we do not approve it this time, it will not be built for several years

• The VA is next to Spellerberg Park and parking at the facility is congested

• Congestion near Spellerberg Park would decrease with an indoor facility

• Congestion near Spellerberg Park would increase with an outdoor pool

• Sioux Falls already has several outdoor pools but does not have an public indoor facility

• The money for an outdoor pool has already been allocated in the budget

• An indoor facility will add $13M to the city’s debt

• Sioux Falls should provide recreation activities for the public’s use

I was not able to write down the questions as they were being asked so this is my best recollection of the questions. I will keep thinking about it and let you know if I come up with any more.

Let the Sunshine in

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HELP! The chat room has been shut off, and I am drowning in questions.

I waited a few days before posting about this. (100 Eyes show 1/30/14) I was pretty hot at the time, I have cooled a bit since Wednesday. A nice brisk walk in the February weather probably helped.

For full disclosure, I like Pat Lalley, like myself, Pat has an opinion and likes to share it. Good for him. In fact I met Pat when he worked at the lowly (but always entertaining) TEMPEST magazine. Heck, I have known him longer then my dog.

But sometimes, like myself, he can be tragically hypocritical. Snowgates come to mind (he hires a contractor to clean out his driveway).

While his employer launches lawsuit after lawsuit for open government, he certainly doesn’t like to practice what he preaches.

On Thursday, for instance, he had the pool ‘Indoorers’ on his show, 100 Eyes. The program is simple, you tune in, and you can leave questions for the guests. In fact, Pat started the chat by saying ‘Fire Away’. I will admit, I recruited many people who support an outdoor pool at Spellerberg to ask questions. Good questions. We fired away like machine guns.

Not one single question was asked (or at least in OUR context), heck they were not even posted in the chat room. We were CENSORED. That’s fine, the Argus is a private news organization, they can do what they want. The obvious bias towards the ‘Indoorers’ was clear.

So what’s my beef? Don’t talk about transparency and sunshine in government, and shut the lights off.

To say I am disappointed is putting it mildly.

Here’s a list of questions I helped compile that were never posted in the chat:

• The SF Hockey Association and Indoor Tennis Association was able to raise money privately to go towards a public/private partnership with the city. It has been over 6 years since the Drake Springs vote. Why hasn’t Community Swim raised any money to go towards a similar partnership?
• Unlike Rapid City’s Indoor public pool, if an indoor public pool is built at Spellerberg, it will not be able to be expandable in the future. Isn’t this an issue, or more of a bigger plan by SF Parks and Rec to build more indoor pools?
• How much will the public be able to use the 50-meter pool if the special interest swim teams have it tied up?
• If an indoor public pool is truly NEEDED, why will it have to subsidized up to $700,000 a year? Will the swim teams be willing to close that gap through putting club memberships towards that subsidy?
• What are your feelings on the city using taxdollars to ‘educate’ the public on a citizen driven ballot initiative, like the indoor pool, which clearly leans towards an indoor facility? The city attorney claims it is not against state law, but it certainly comes close.
• Why hasn’t the indoor pool supporters done their own petition drive to have citizens approve an indoor pool? If the outdoor pool vote fails at Spellerberg, the council still has to approve the Indoor pool budget and bonds to build it. So a NO vote doesn’t make the indoor pool a done deal but a ballot initiative would have.
• I support an indoor pool but through a public/private partnership with the school district. Your feelings?
I have also heard that Sanford really wanted a public pool at the Sports Complex, and they are not happy about the Spellerberg plan. Don’t know how much of that is true, but it makes sense, especially since EVERYTHING else is there and there would be room for expansion. Hopefully Sanford will come out against an indoor pool at Spellerberg. But I’m not holding my breath, unless of course I am choking on a Papa John’s pizza slice.