Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Events Center Campus Book Club recommendations

Here are some slides from the meeting. Hope to have a video up later today.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Neitzert & Kiley cry wolf

I really got a laugh out of Greg and Rick last night when they acted like a couple of babies crying over the legislative priority amendments calling them ‘last minute’;

“I just want to state I’m going to vote no on any amendment that’s brought tonight because, frankly, the process is broken because we’re just springing amendment after amendment without talking to anybody else at the last minute,” Neitzert says.

Council Member Rick Kiley also refused to vote on any amendments brought forward and said the Council needs to follow the process.

Kiley says, “It has to go back to the process. I mean, there’s been a number of us that have been hit over the head with the word ‘transparency.’ This is anything but transparent. And so, I, like councilor Neitzert, am not going to vote on anything that is brought forward for the first time this evening.”

The problem with their pouting session is that these amendments are far from last minute (they are NOT finalized until December – see below) and even if it was final last night, who cares? These are merely ‘suggestions‘ from the Sioux Falls City Council to the State Legislature. These ‘suggestions’ hold as much weight if an average citizen would grab a legislator at a cracker barrel and make the same suggestions.

The city council has been making amendments to these ‘suggestions’ for years.

I also found it refreshing that the city council’s operations manager, Jim David, was the one who had to show the council the actual timeline below. I have told councilors I have always appreciated Mr. David’s professionalism and integrity. He never sugarcoats things. I wish the entire council staff was like Mr. David.

Lalley Podcast w/Cameraman Bruce

Patrick has Bruce as his guest yesterday.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Rick Kiley misses all 3 budget hearings

One of the most important jobs of city councilors is approving or amending the yearly budget. How can you ask questions about a $500M+ budget when you don’t even attend the meetings? Rick is always the one who tells us he ‘studies’ things before making a decision. I guess he studied the budget on the golf course.

Can we ever make the Events Center campus ‘Walkable’?

I know people already accuse me of being a Debbie Downer, but I am afraid we can never make the EC campus an entertainment district.

I moved to Sioux Falls in 1991, and always have lived close to the Downtown area and have lived by the Avera campus for the past 17 years. In this time, I have watched downtown evolve. There was only a handful of restaurants and businesses downtown in 1991, it has taken almost 28 years to make it to what it is today. I’m afraid to say, you are not going to create that kind of atmosphere around the EC campus overnight if ever.

The Washington Pavilion was the gamechanger downtown. It helped to bring in other eateries to the area. The EC and CC just hasn’t had the same impact.

The new EC and Convention Center before that should have NEVER been built in their current locations. Like the bunker ramp downtown, the city continues to polish a turd in the EC campus area.

While I agree we need another hotel in the area, turning it into a ‘walkable area’ is a stretch. I saw this on Sunday afternoon. I planned on riding the entire bike trail until I got to Russell Avenue where the trail was blockaded for the air show, so I had to ride my bike along Russell to downtown. While the sidewalk was nice and wide from the bike trail to about the Sheraton, it was a different story once I got past West Avenue. There is NO sidewalk, only a concrete angled embankment that you can’t ride a bike on, let alone walk on. The service road along Russell is in bad shape and riddled with potholes.

Along my ride on the sidewalk past the campus I noticed that NOT only is there nothing but parking lots there is NOTHING inviting about the area. Between Elmwood Park on Kiwanis and West Avenue it is literally a barren wasteland.

Besides adding onto the convention center by demolishing the Arena and tearing down the baseball stadium for a hotel, I’m not sure what we can do to totally change the area. Sometimes mistakes of the past just can’t be fixed, and if they can, it won’t happen overnight. I still think that a wiser use of taxpayer dollars would be rebuilding our core neighborhoods with a redirection of TIF money and other rebate programs. It would have a greater economic impact then anything we do at the cursed EC campus location. Enough of the corporate welfare and private/public partnerships that only benefit the top.

Load me up

Oh the irony, shortly after I do a post about the city being corrupt, I get this picture below of the city rigging the system once again. In the dark of the night, the city changes the 2-hour parking sign to a Loading Zone sign after they are called out for painting yellow lines in legal parking zones.

The rumor going around is that after the Augie basketball court crosswalk was painted in front of the Crane building, the delivery trucks could no longer park in the street to unload (too narrow). So in an attempt to make it safer for business patrons in the area, they have eliminated several parking spots for those same patrons so a truck that shows up maybe once a day has a spot.

While I was all for the crosswalk, I was baffled by the bump-outs, they make no sense, and now have caused a parking issue.

But what is even more troubling is how the city can just change out signs on a whim without notice to property owners. Maybe I should start changing Handicap parking signs out with signs that say “Short, Fat man parking”?

The System is Rigged

I have been following Sioux Falls politics on my blog since March of 2006. The one thing I have often told people is that is is ‘very predictable’. It is also very corrupt and often rigged.

This is what happens when you have essentially one-party rule across the state, even in governments that are supposed to be non-partisan, they often are NOT. For example, there is only one Democrat serving on the Minnehaha County Commission and one on the Sioux Falls City Council and ZERO independents.

But often it is NOT about one-party, it comes down to the ruling class making the decisions based upon the greed of the elite in our community. You can call it what you want, but I call it corporate welfare. It flourishes in Sioux Falls and has been going on for decades. Former city planner Steve Metli is often praised by these people, they even built a courtyard in his honor under the Arc of Dreams. It doesn’t surprise me that people speak very highly of Steve, he made a lot of them very wealthy using taxpayer resources, and the tradition continues today.

As citizens, we have very few options to stop this, but one of them is petition gathering and voting (something the ruling class has been trying to take away on a state level). Well now they are trying to take it away on a city level based upon the ‘OPINIONS’ of a city clerk and city attorney who have ZERO municipal law experience, especially when it comes to Home Rule Charters. They are both from the military, and until someone called out the city clerk, he wasn’t even registered to vote before taking his job with the city. He has also NEVER received his clerk certifications (that I am aware of) (the two assistant clerks have more certifications) and the city attorney has admitted on the CityLink show ‘Directions’ that he had NO municipal law experience before starting with the city. So who assisted Mr. Kooistra and Mr. Greco with their ‘Opinions’? We have our guesses, and we highly doubt they are employed by the city.

I have never served in the military, but have had countless family members either volunteer or be drafted. There is an adherrant difference between running a municipality and running a war machine. A HUGE DIFFERENCE. In the military, you follow orders or people die (I know that is a corny line from A FEW GOOD MEN, but it’s true). In municipal government, you should follow orders also, but your generals are not seasoned military personnel, they are taxpayers. So when taxpayers are faced with a decision to petition their government, city employees should do everything in their power to listen, help, assist and follow the orders of those ‘generals’, the taxpayers.

Mayor TenHaken has started this program called ONE SIOUX FALLS. I still have no idea what it is, but I think when he first explained it, it had something to do with better customer service to citizens. Maybe that information needs to be passed on to the city clerk and city attorney. They should be making it as easy as possible for citizens to petition their government instead of setting up more hurdles based upon assumptions and opinions, that will ultimately only result in a court challenge that creates an even higher bar for these petition drives. Which goes back to my thing about predictability, we predicted they would make this complicated, because they can and always do.

ENOUGH!

I often get depressed watching government on all levels, but locally, I know I can make a difference. We must fight the elite in this community who have helped rig the system in their favor. I’m not always right, but I do know this, corruption is wide spread in city government, and has been for a very long time. We have had countless examples, too many to go into. We can end this corruption by demanding city employees work for the people and not the ruling class. I really believe by working to make our lives better, they make their lives better. It’s just unfortunate that a few at the top are making it incredibly miserable for the rest of us, and they should be ashamed.

SFPO admits to wanting to stop Burgess for ‘Running his mouth’

I’m still trying to find in SF city charter or SD law where ‘Running your mouth’ is against the law. Officer also admits that the traffic incident investigation was done before they tackled Burgess.

Yellow lines mysteriously appear in legal parking zones

A business owner on this street (8th) complained to the city about these yellow lines being painted in legal parking zones. According to the business owner when he questioned the person painting them, they said they were NOT with the city and a private citizen. I hope to have an answer from the city as to how this happened 1) without notice to area businesses and 2) how a private citizen can paint yellow fire zone lines on taxpayer owned property.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Clerk trying to change the rules mid-stream

UPDATE: Did you read the last part of the story the same way I did? TJ TypeOver and Greco admit that these rules they are trying to apply to the petition have to be voted on yet by the citizens. Huh? How do you enforce rules that haven’t been ratified by the citizens yet in a legal election? Hey, Kooistra, I may not have a law degree, but last I checked an ‘Opinion’ is just an ‘Opinion.’

Isn’t it funny how these things work? Two weeks after the city clerk and city attorney gave the green light on ‘Triple Check the Charter’ they now are trying to change the rules of the game. It reminds of something we used to call ‘Family Monopoly Rules’. Depending on what family’s house you were playing at, they had their own set of rules.

It is pretty obvious they are trying to create doubt around whether the drive is legal. We allowed the unqualified/uncertified city clerk pull this crap in 2016, and we already know the games all to well. Many city officials know that if this gets on the ballot, it will pass.

PRESS RELEASE

City of Sioux Falls administrative staff have determined the Home Rule Charter as adopted 25 years ago is unconstitutional, as adopted.

“We have received an opinion from the city officials, who are duty bound to defend the charter, deciding they have the ability to reject sections of the Charter they do not agree with. This has never been done before, this is a gamechanger.” Committee member Bruce Danielson said “City support staff have opined new rules for our petitioning as if they have the power to rewrite state law, home rule charter and South Dakota Constitution.”

The staff’s procedural changes were emailed to the committee almost two weeks after the petition drive had started and signatures were being collected. “How can the staffers require a whole new set of rules after the process starts?” said Danielson “The organization is working with outside experts seeking guidance to find solutions to save the Sioux Falls home rule charter as written and adopted by the citizens of Sioux Falls.”

“We are continuing the legal collection of signatures based on State of South Dakota established processes due to no ordinances were adopted defining or governing this process.” added Danielson.

BACKGROUND

Triple Check the Charter’s organizing committee of 15 received a notice letter via email from Sioux Falls City Clerk Tom Greco at 4:15pm on Friday, August 16, 2019.

As required by Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter an affidavit of 15 duly registered Sioux Falls voters was filed on August 5th, 2019 informing the City of Sioux Falls the organization was formed to amend the Home Rule Charter through a petition process. The group, Triple Check the Charter, is offering to the voters of the City of Sioux Falls the ability redefine the duties and responsibilities of the City Council.

In the letter, Clerk Greco, with the assistance of City Attorney Stacy Kooistra have determined to rewrite South Dakota and city of Sioux Falls election laws and procedures:

  1. who may circulate a charter amendment petition and

2.    the number of registered voters required to sign for a signature to be deemed sufficient.

Bruce Danielson