Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓
March 2nd, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
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.
March 2nd, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
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
February 23rd, 2014 — Developers, Development, SF City Council, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
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?
February 15th, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
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.
February 1st, 2014 — Media, Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
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.
January 23rd, 2014 — Cartoon, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
January 21st, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Okay, let’s look at the Parks and Rec agenda. Oh, nothing there.
So what is going on at TODAY’s Park board? Seems the indoor and outdoor pool plans have been completed and are being presented to the Park Board today at their meeting, and then to the council at the February 4th work session.
How do I know this? It was told to me by a city official. But what is troubling is why there is NO public announcement of the meeting today.
January 16th, 2014 — Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
I find it interesting that the group has propped up Margaret Sumption as one of their citizen spokes people. Who is Margaret? She is the partner in Sumption & Wyland, a strategic planning firm;
Margaret J. Sumption, MSED, LPC, SPHR, has over thirty years of experience as a teacher and counselor, nonprofit administrator, development officer, and volunteer board member serving a wide variety of organizations. She is a popular, dynamic, and effective speaker and trainer for nonprofit professionals, customers, and policy makers.
Not sure if Sumption is volunteering her time to the organization or being paid for her advocacy? But the group has a spiffy little website that was hardly thrown toget
her by some swim team teenagers. They also are using a PO Box instead of a physical address for the organization which tells me this isn’t some Mom & Pop social club.
No surprise, the Events Center advocates put together the organization Build it Now to promote their cause, so it only makes sense that Community Swim would do the same. But the real issue here is posing as a ‘grass roots’ operation, when you are clearly using professional assistance to get your message out ther
Members of Community Swim 365 say Spellerberg Park is the perfect place for an indoor swimming pool. Margaret Sumption, a longtime central Sioux Falls resident, says a year-round aquatic center would help draw more families into the area.
“I want very much for my neighborhood to remain vibrant. It is a beautiful community area. It is in the center of Sioux Falls and that center of Sioux Falls is changing,” Sumption said.
Small business owner Susie Patrick believes an indoor facility would preserve park green space and enhance access to the nearby sledding hill with more parking.
“We just like to swim. Taught our kids to swim at a really young age and think it’s really important for the community to have access to the same swimming lessons and have a pool for everyone to use,” Patrick said.
The stark irony of the group when compared to the Hockey or Indoor tennis folks is that CS365 doesn’t have any skin in the game (private/public partnership) but seemingly have found a way to raise money for professional marketing assistance, oh, and some t-shirts.
So let’s be honest here, are we dealing with a ‘grassroots’ organization, or a ‘professional special interests’ organization? Not sure. I would also like to point out the name of the organization is kind of odd. I doubt the pool will be open 365 days a year, but you never know? I can’t wait to get in my Christmas day swim.
January 12th, 2014 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Just another game being played by the city’s parks department?
Maybe they were too busy salting the streets to participate in silly candy cane games?
But the candy cane hunt never took place.
“It is rumored that Santa’s elves were left behind in Sioux Falls after Christmas. It is believed that they hid numerous candy canes in Tuthill Park,” read the description on the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department website of an event scheduled by Parks and Recreation for Saturday morning.
The rumors apparently were wrong.
About a dozen families with children showed up at the park prepared to ferret out the wily Christmas confection. But they had to resort to alternate plans when no one from Parks and Recreation showed up to get the hunt under way. There also was no cancellation notice on the department’s website, and attempts to reach Parks and Recreation officials were unsuccessful; their offices were closed for the weekend.
Maybe that’s why they didn’t show up? Should have had the public works guys take care of the event, according to everyone and their sister, they work 24/7, just not to change light bulbs on Christmas lights downtown, they have to hire a private contractor to do that.
I wonder if the ‘candy cane consultant’ the city hired fell through?
Can’t wait to hear the excuses for this mishap . . .
“Yeah, Carlos Candyland, our director of sugar, snow and winter fun for the Parks Department suddenly became ill and could not attend.”
December 19th, 2013 — Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec
Believe it or not, like the new Hockey Ice Center, I support the expansion of Great Bear. I think that Great Bear has proven with it’s attendance numbers, it is very popular and worthy of capital dollars;
The staff at Great Bear is celebrating a big step towards expanding the popular slopes.
“Our last expansion was in 2000. Back then we were seeing 22,000 visits a year. Last year, we did 43,000,” General Manager Dan Grider said.
Tuesday night, they presented the master plan to the city parks board and received overwhelming approval.
As I have stated in the past, recreation projects in Sioux Falls that are ‘needed’ will have usage, and hopefully financial sustainability, like the city golf courses. I will confess that I was a little leery about supporting the expansions in the past of Great Bear, but have changed my tune. I have never expected our city parks or bike trail to make money, they are amenities that can be used at no charge. But I do think the recreational facilities such as the Ice-plex and Great Bear should generate enough revenue to sustain.
Congrats to Great Bear on the expansion!