Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Parks and Rec' ↓

Parks Board Meeting Audio, March 21, 2017

Like ducks out of water, the city of Sioux Falls Parks department continues to think they don’t have to be fully transparent. Here is an audio recording of the Sioux Falls Park and Recreation Board discussing the CIP (capital improvement plan) for 2018. Sure it’s a good thing we have this much of the March 21, 2017 meeting but do you think we can see what they are talking about when no attachments are included?

The millions of dollars in spending this board gives cover to for their special projects the rest of us have to pay for should be held in public, by an evenly distributed city membership. Remember, all the members live south of 26th Street and most near the home of the mayor of all he is not.

Transparency? Yea right, we have an arc of dreams to sell you too. The ducks could have been in the city’s new cement pond and we would have never known it because the Park Board moves all over town to hide from us.

So try and figure out what deals were made between Great Life, Country Club of Sioux Falls and the city Park Department. How about the special golf program? These may be good deals for us if we dug deep enough but in the age of mayoral videos being uploaded every day to YouTube, why can’t the city boards and commissions also be up there?

Sioux Falls Parks Director responds appropriately to Breast Feeding incident

It seems Director Kearney had to do a lot of ‘Sucking Up’ yesterday 🙂 But I will have to give him credit, he actually handled the situation the way a public official should;

Admitted they made a mistake.

Apologized for the mistake.

Taking corrective action.

Trust me, I still don’t trust Don farther then I can spill a glass of milk, but he did what I wish more public officials in Sioux Falls would do, admitting they made a mistake and correcting it.

 

Odds & Ends; Sutton the Liberal? Hole in One & the ‘appearance’ of diversity

Just some misc crap that has been piling up;

Billie Sutton is a liberal? LOL!

It seems Pitty knows the difference between liberals and moderates like he knows the difference between frozen and fresh fish;

When the state Democrat organization is controlled by the hard liberal left, it’s going to be hard for Billie Sutton to convince anyone that a Democrat ran State Goverment would be in their best interest.

Part of the problem with the SD Democratic Party is the fact that NO liberals, or heck even moderate progressives exist in the party’s leadership anymore. Sutton has consistently voted with the Republicans on tax increases and other legislation, instead of standing up to them. I would almost classify him as a right leaning moderate, kind of a fake Democrat and certainly not a liberal. Pitty is right about one thing, electing Sutton as Governor wouldn’t be much different then having a Dauguard Part II.

Is Sioux Falls looking for a new golf management company?

For several years (over 20?) Dakota Golf Management has managed our city courses (Elmwood, Kuehn Park and Prairie Green). The contract runs dry or up for renewal next year(?). Great Life has sparked interest in managing the courses, and other management companies have also expressed interest. The city (Parks Department) has also expressed interest in opening up the RFQ process.

While this is all just fine and dandy, with all the fine 6-figure a year wages paid towards management in the parks department, the task of picking a new golf management company was just too hard of a task for Kernal Korn Kearney and crew, they are hiring a private consultant to help them pick the new management company. I guess math is hard for parks people, who knew?

Was the SF Chamber planning a ‘diversity’ council to change the ‘perception’ of how Sioux Falls treats minorities?

Not sure, because it has either been shelved, terminated or put on hold. Apparently, our new Chamber director, Jason Ball, thought it may be a good idea for the Chamber to head up a diversity council. Hey, it IS a good idea! The problem? Rumor has it, it wasn’t created to actually help minorities get a head in the community, it was created to change the ‘perception’ of how minorities are being treated in Sioux Falls. Once some minority leaders in the community found out the Chamber was planning such a council, they offered to help. The problem? They were ‘too’ minority colored for the almost 99% white male council that was picked by Mr. Ball. So before the rainbow colored poo-poo hit the fan, Jason decided to put the project on hold. Good idea, we wouldn’t want the perception about Gingers in community leadership positions to have their reputations tarnished.

How will we pay for the Levitt?

As with most city parks projects, the Devil is in the details. Another multi-million dollar parks project with little details of how it is all going to happen;

Levitt at the Falls will offer thousands of residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy approximately 50 free, professional concerts annually. Artists from all across the region and others throughout the country, representing multiple genres, will draw people of all ages. All concerts will be family-friendly.

The national Levitt Foundation will grant Friends of Levitt $500,000 toward construction costs and significant operational support going forward. In addition to providing design and site development at Falls Park West, the City of Sioux Falls will retain ownership of the venue and land as well as provide maintenance for the grounds.

The estimated $4.6 million project will be funded by a combination of City contributions and funding from the national Levitt Foundation and the Friends of Levitt Shell Sioux Falls. Levitt at the Falls kicked off a $1.06 million Chamber Community Appeals-approved campaign on November 1, 2016, and the campaign will end March 31, 2017. The plan will come to fruition when the first performance takes place in 2019.

As I have said before, I am still unsure how we are going to get close to the 50 concerts a year. Since most concerts will have to be during nicer weather, that is a ‘professional’ (not local acts) concert every 3-4 days.

But I also take issue with the money. It seems we will footing the lion’s share of this project and ongoing expenses. Granted, we can’t use the land for anything else due to 6 inches under the ground is pretty much on fire and melting battery acid, but I am wondering if just building a modest band shell that anyone can use would be a much more prudent way to go instead of tying us in with Levitt and the expenses that go along with it.

While we are denying the FOP decent wages we are dreaming of FREE concerts in the park.

UPDATE: Parks Board Meeting, Nov 5, 2016

UPDATE: If you forward to 51:00 in the meeting you will hear a bash session until almost the end of the meeting of Argus Leader, the media, and Joe Sneve. They also finish up bashing recording the meetings. This is apparently why they DON’T want these meetings recorded, because they do talk ‘freely’. Notice that it is mostly staff, Kearney, the Parks Director, doing the bashing. This proves why transparent and open government is important because of this kind of nastiness behind the scenes.

All hail the secrecy of Sioux Falls City Government! Over the last few months we have been pushing for more board and commission openness by doing videos or at least audio recordings.

The mayor’s veto of the video or audio recording of Park and Recreation Board meetings gave us a morsel of information. The board already recorded the meetings and they were available for the asking. So here is the November 15, 2016 meeting audio. We’ve added some photos of Sioux Falls park features for you to watch as you listen to the meeting.

Take not near the beginning of the meeting when the board members make comments about the lack of Public Inputers. For those of us who attend these meetings, there is a collegiality amongst the members and staff. We feel the wink, wink, nod, nod as we public outsiders watch the actions. It is very interesting to see and it does not come across the same when we video, but it is there.

Sioux Falls Parks Board Meeting Agenda

As you can see for yourself, the Board discusses several important topics concerning our parks, and gives advice to our city council.

Click to Enlarge

Upholding Mayor’s VETO on transparency, Feb 6, 2017

VETO! VETO! VETO! Let’s yell it again! VETO! VETO! VETO!

Let’s hear it for secrecy!

Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead toward one man rule!

Sioux Falls repent and follow our gilded leader. The one who knows all, will lead us to nirvana!

Our fearful leader of Sioux Falls did the big veto in the name of secrecy and closed government during his big presser on January 24. So the Sioux Falls City Council vote taken to override the veto was held on February 6, 2017 to see if the Patsy III stayed together with their leader. They did in all their piety and our pity for them to be following him.

Secrecy used to be reserved for top secret matters like military maneuvers or statecraft (remember those dreams)? Our government leader has decided we should never learn of his tricks and thingies. Why should we citizens know anything about change orders? Zoning messes? Park Boards? Cement ponds. indoor or outdoor? Building siding able to blow off celebrating a warm and windy Christmas? Geez, so many things to keep secret.

What makes the most transparent mayor in the history of Sioux Falls and his world feel the need to veto something so simple as making a recording already made public? Are we going to find where Rosemary Woods put the 18 1/2 minutes in 1973 (I know, who?)?

Just because we all must know what happens in these secret open meetings, everyone must request a CD / DVD copy of their favorite board or commission so we can publish them. Just remember Cameraman Bruce can’t record every meeting for you, but we will post everything we get.

Cameraman Bruce; Ask your city government for transparency

Let’s load up the Parks office with requests for DVD’s of the meetings;

The mayor’s veto rationale has an interesting twist; he admitted the meetings are recorded and currently available if the public asks for them. So, I recommend all citizens of Sioux Falls request DVD recordings of all city boards and commissions meetings not currently posted. The mayor says they are available, so let’s all ask for them, as Argus Leader reporter Joe Sneve has done. Confirm they are furnished free of charge, just as they were furnished to Sneve.

Transparency in government would be significantly enhanced by a new ordinance providing for video recordings of city department board meetings archived online. The absence of such a policy serves only to reinforce a perception of a veil of secrecy over the Sioux Falls administration thwarting the citizen’s right to know what their government is doing.

Transparency is NOT a slippery slope, in fact it should be an easy hike in the country side.

Is the Argus planning to Livestream/record city board meetings?

The answer is ‘YES’ according to an Argus Leader employee. They plan to Livestream and Record the Parks Board and REMSA meetings from now on. This of course is to pressure the Mayor to change his mind about recording the meetings for the sake of transparency.

There is state law from 1974 that says anyone can record government meetings in South Dakota (as long as it is NOT an executive session).

Remember, this is about transparency for the citizenry, not for the protection of board members. King Huether just doesn’t get it.

Recording Parks Board Meetings is for the PUBLIC’s best interest not the board members

A letter writer says it best, when Parks director Kearney tries to pull excuses from his butt;

I affirm the Sioux Falls Council’s decision to require the video programming of the Parks Department Advisory Committee meetings for the benefit of the public. Director Don Kearney’s rationale to prohibit the recordings of the meetings stems from the government bureaucracies’ weak mindset that they can control what is in the best interest of the citizens.

And further more, we don’t want weak or ignorant people serving on these boards;

Most public servants have the courage, faith and the confidence that the process is needed and that all citizens should have the opportunity to participate and be informed of actions of all government activities.

I have suggested the meetings be recorded at Carnegie instead hopscotching all over town;

In this instance, the Parks Advisory Committee meetings could easily be changed to an alternate time and day to allow more access and public participation opportunity.

As I told a city official this weekend, ‘We ARE singling out the Parks Board because they are important, just like the Planning Commission. They should be honored we care what they are doing in these meetings and proud of the decisions they make instead of hiding in a break room at the zoo.’