Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

UPDATE: Is the larger pipe for the Indoor aquatic center part of the budget?

UPDATE: I was told by a city official that the 8″ Pipe was included in the building budget. Maybe they learned a lesson from the Events Center? I also spoke with a citizen today who attended all of the “Advocational” sessions before the municipal election about the pool options, and he told me he asked Parks Director Kearney at the sessions if infrastructure would have to be upgraded if an indoor pool had to be built (roads/sewer/water, etc.) and Kearney either didn’t answer the question or said ‘NO’

There was a press conference recently explaining that a part of Western Avenue would have to be closed to put in new 8″ water pipe for the indoor aquatic center (opposed to the current 4″ water pipe);

From Tuesday, May 26, to Thursday, May 28, 2015, South Western Avenue will be closed at West 24th Street to provide access for utility work on the indoor aquatic center at Spellerberg Park. Contractors need to access water and wastewater lines that are buried under the street. Access to the Park Ridge Galleria will be maintained at all times.

Traffic on Western Avenue will be detoured to South Kiwanis Avenue via West 22nd Street and West 26th Street. The closure is expected to last only three days, but traffic delays should be expected.

“This is another milestone for the indoor aquatic center project, a big step in ensuring the project stays on schedule for enclosure by winter,” says Lance Weatherly, Civil Engineer. “We appreciate everyone’s patience during this brief closure of Western Avenue.”

So is this utility work included in the Indoor Aquatic Center’s building budget? I would be curious, because as you remember, much of the initial utility work done at the events center was not a part of that budget.

Rob Peter to pay Paul

rob-the-pot

Here we go again, already robbing the pot for a facility we are paying ‘cash’ for. Yeah whatever. (ITEM#42).

Sioux Falls Parks Director, Don Kearney, says MOU with VA is ‘Not Required’

During the SF city council informational meeting today, Director Kearney told councilor Staggers that they pretty much don’t have a MOU, and when asked if they intend to get one, he said they feel it is ‘Not Required’.

So in other words ‘NO’.

Erpenbach chimes in and agrees with Don saying since the city owns the land the agreement is not necessary. I guess that Michelle has a degree in Federal property law, I was unaware, I sure feel like a jackass right now :(

We all know who advised them on NOT getting an MOU, Mr. Loophole David Fiddle-Faddle. And he probably didn’t have a choice, my guess is that the VA blew them off, and for good reason. How would it benefit the VA to have an agreement? It wouldn’t. Now if they need more parking, they have the quit claim deed on their side, the MOU would only weaken their control of Spellerberg Park. I don’t blame them for not participating in an MOU.

All and All, I don’t give a damn either way, never have.

This comes down to the continual broken promises, stonewalling and flat out lies from the administration and directors. The Mayor, the city attorney and Don have all said they were in ‘discussions’ with the VA about the MOU. It is pretty obvious they were lying once again.

They should have just told us from the freaking beginning, “We are not getting an MOU, and never intend to.”

Instead, Lies, Lies, Lies.

Happy Earth Day!

No better way to celebrate then to tear down some trees at Spellerberg Park for a $24 million dollar special interest indoor pool. Progress Baby!

image2

Grow up and tell us the truth about the MOU with the Veterans Administration

boy-pouting

The city attorney was asked recently at Democratic Forum what was going on with the Spellerberg pool MOU with the VA. His response, “We are in communications and working on it.”

At last week’s Spellerberg pool presentation the Parks director was asked about the MOU. His response, “We are in communications and working on it.”

This week they plan on starting site work for the pool and at yesterday’s press conference at Spellerberg Park the Mayor was asked about the MOU, His response, “Next question.” And when pressured to answer the question, he still did not respond and recommended that we “move along.”

YouTube Preview Image

After the press conference, Bruce and I were talking with a reporter from KSFY and explaining the MOU situation to him, and how we have been asking for a resolution for almost 3 years. As we were standing in the parking lot, the mayor slowly drove up in his truck with his window down and spouted out his window (in a most mature manner) “Thank You KSFY for coming today.” And drove off grinning sarcastically in his rearview mirror.

Mr. Mayor, you have been given plenty of opportunities to address the MOU, but instead you and city staff continue to blow it off and feed us the same line over and over, “We are working on it.”

Here’s the deal, I don’t give a rip if you get the MOU, if you think it is prudent to spend $24 million in tax dollars on a piece of property controlled by the Federal Government, so be it. But if you have no intention of attaining that document, instead of acting like a little kid yelling from your pickup window, why don’t you just tell us the truth, “I have no intention of attaining an MOU.” Instead all this smoke and mirrors and public pouting.

The resolution is simple. Tell the truth.

 

UPDATED: Where’s the MOU or is just MOO

YouTube Preview Image

The Spellerberg Quit Claim Deed issue rose again during the aquatics presentation on March 23, 2015. This meeting could have taken place in 2012 with little changes. The city continues to dismiss the need to find out from the VA if they see any legal issues to once again breaking the rules governing the Quit Claim sale of the 1950’s.

To some this is no big deal and it might be just that. The problem is this, if the City continues to break the sale contract as they did with the retention ponds, the VA could demand the property back.

Anyone dealing with real estate law knows this simple fact, if a clause is written into a Quit Claim Deed, the clause can be exercised at a later date. It is so simple. It is so straight forward. In order for the city to retain “ownership” of the land, it has to follow the contract. It does not matter how old the contract is. The contract could have been written in 1650 and it would still be valid today.

Just calling an office and having a friendly chat with the janitor or today’s chief lawyer does not equal a signed written contract giving full ownership of the property. As of today, the VA still controls the land, the City is given the right to use it within murky guidelines.

Watch the Entire meeting below;

YouTube Preview Image

Other issues with the site

As I was attending the end of the meeting last night, I noticed quite a few supporters of the pool actually had some good concerns. Will there be enough parking (204 spots) when meets are held at the location? Why isn’t there a designated turn lane going into the facility? Why isn’t there a road connecting the VA and Pool parking lot (just sidewalks – which further proves the ‘communications’ with the VA are questionable at best). I also wondered why we need bleacher seating for 500 people? I thought this facility was to be used by everyone? Not just the swim teams? Why is the recreational pool so shallow at the deep end (3.5 feet)? It was pretty obvious from listening to supporters of the pool that they now feel they were left out of the process in planning this facility.

Of course, this cynic is not surprised. The city is in full ram-rod mode with $24 million dollars of our money, who cares about the VA or what the public thinks.

Indoor Aquatic Center Public Meeting – Monday Night

Now that the location, funding and plans have been drawn up the only thing that is left is to start building, uh wait, that’s right, we should probably show the public what we are doing at the last minute;

A neighborhood meeting to discuss the indoor aquatic center at Spellerberg Park will be held on Monday, March 23, 2015, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Oyate Community Center, 2421 West 15th Street (adjacent to Garfield Elementary School). The public is encouraged to attend.

At the neighborhood meeting, members of the project team from TSP, Inc., Counsilman-Hunsaker & Associates, and Sioux Falls Construction will present updated plans of the indoor aquatic center, park site plan improvements, and the upcoming construction schedule.

It was nice of the city and parks department to actually let us see what we are spending our $24 million on just a few weeks before they break ground. I’m sure a copy of the MOU with the VA will be on display at the meeting also :(

One more reason the SF Parks Board should be more transparent

As I have been reviewing salary changes since 2011-2015 (post to come soon) I came across a ‘little’ nepotism. Seems former Parks Board member and City Councilor, Erpenbach was able to get her son a part-time job in 2011.

ERPENBACH   I   MAXWELL   I   2011   I   PARK & RECREATION   I   TEMPORARY SERVICE

That’s our tax dollars hard at work, paying city councilor’s kids to mow grass.

Video tape Parks Board Meetings

YouTube Preview Image

Kermit is asking for open government in Sioux Falls again and guess who doesn’t like it, again? Yup the old schoolmarm. She just doesn’t stop hating everything to do with open government. It’s as if we the people are too stupid or dense to understand the basics so she has to keep reminding us of her special place.

Kermit asks a very simple question about holding the super duper top secret Sioux Falls Park Board in the open in the Carnegie Town Hall so they could be broadcast for the Citylink viewers ability to watch.

Here we have a city department sucking and spending a major part of our city revenue with no oversight. We ask a question and they close down the meetings. The schoolmarm was once on the Park Board and still protects it from the Council. She still is so protective she doesn’t want Kermit to bring it up.

We also ask all to consider the questionably legal maneuver she has performed recently getting named to the Spellerberg Aquatics citizen committee. She got herself named to the committee to make decisions for her special interest then she turns around and votes as a councilperson on those very same proposals.

A few conflict of interest type issues to work out her and she does not want anyone to see it. Open government anyone? Next thing you know the schoolmarm will bring out her ruler to smack fingers for raising questions.

City Attorney David Pfeifle admits at Democratic Forum today that there is no written MOU with the VA – ‘Yet’

Well that is why I go to these things (even though my camera man was absent AND I told him I didn’t want to bother with it-my mistake) is to hear something new. To my surprise another attendee asks David about the Indoor pool MOU with the VA and if one exists in writing. David contends that the city believes they are following the terms of the Quit Claim deed by using that park and all city parks for ‘recreation’ but then admits that while he has had many discussions with the VA’s regional office about the deed, he has not yet obtained an actual written MOU with them and says he is waiting on the ‘site plan’ to present to the VA before seeking that document. More smoke and mirrors and kicking the can down the road, kind of reminds me of how they are handling the Events Center siding issue.

Also, pertaining to the pool, I spoke with a contractor today, who knows a little something about indoor pools, etc. and has spoken with some people associated with the building of the new aquatic center. He says the cost increase is due to not only being shown a much more expensive pool in 3D drawings before the election, but that an advanced HVAC system and special roof are probably contributing to the higher price tag. Remember when Parks Director Don Kearney talked about the ‘rusting’ issues? These are combatted with a special ventilation system.

Back to the Democratic Forum, David talked about a report (he got online) about the decline of civility in politics. He seemed to focus on one element of the report; bloggers and media’s negativity and angst. First off, he is citing a report that was filed almost 5 years ago, and secondly he makes no mention that the angst and disgust in the public and media is due to the rambid corruption, partisanship and lies that come from politicians and public officials, like David himself. The angst is a reflection of the ones that are supposed to be serving us. And may I also remind David that just as recent as Tuesday I addressed the council about their own civility towards each other. You can blame the media and blogs all you want, but when you lie and mislead the public while spending our tax dollars, you should expect us to call you out on it, and yes, be somewhat angry and less ‘civil’. The solution? Stop being corrupt.

I was also able to get in a couple of questions to David. The first one was about the Charter Revision Commission and why there is currently NO members. Basically I was asking where I could submit revision suggestions, he pointed me to an email address on the city website.

My second question was about how much money the city spends on outside legal counsel each year. He claimed to have no idea, but did say his department has a $50K a year budget. So I followed up with saying, “So what you are telling us is that each department has their own budget for legal counsel and you have no idea what the total is?” and he agreed. So know it seems they are hiding the true costs of outside legal counsel by burying it in each department’s budget. So much for transparency there.

I could say a lot more about what I heard today at Democratic Forum, but I am choosing to be civil.