Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

SHOCKER! Open enrollment in the Sioux Falls School District has created segregation

KELO-TV screenshot

You kind of feel sorry for the newbie that had to do this story;

Morrison hopes his findings will help serve as a wake-up call for Sioux Falls.

“It’s important to create awareness because there’s just an opportunity as a community to come alongside some of these schools that may not have some of the benefits our other schools have,” Morrison said.

Findings? LOL! We have known for several years that parents have been moving their kids around under open enrollment so their children don’t have to go to ‘certain’ schools in their neighborhood.

Open enrollment is segregation, plain and simple. Try fixing it now, and you will have pitchforks and torches.

We often look at what is going on nationally with race relations, but all we have to do is look in our backyard and see what kind of educational community we are building.

If our current school board and super had any integrity they would eliminate open enrollment and get us back on track.

Diversity is a good thing.

Our traffic engineer hard at work

KELO-TV screenshot

I bet his desk is clean! Good thing we are building a $25 million dollar administration building so our city directors have room to stretch out!

Director of Metro 911 wants more of your personal information

I thought at one point Metro Communications Director Paul Niedringhaus was going to call a whaaabulance during the joint budget meeting with Sioux Falls City Council and the Minnehaha County Commission. Hopefully a REAL one shows up in REAL time 🙂

Paul said he was frustrated (FF 47:00) that since 2012 the SD Department of Revenue was not giving them revenue trends (personal records) on individual phone use expenditures.

While the SDDR was still giving them the actual revenue trends, it seemed Paul was miffed he wasn’t getting the individual numbers. While he never said it, he made it sound like he didn’t trust the SDDR.

Not sure why since 2012 the SDDR stopped sharing that information with Metro, but I’m OK with that. Since the state government agency is seeing the information, and using it to disperse the proper funds to municipal agencies, there really is NO reason the municipalities need to see that information also. If Paul doesn’t trust the data he is receiving from the state, he should take that up with the state legislature and the AG. Not much the county commission or city council can do but offer a tissue.

What I found IRONIC about Paul’s request was that the city, the state and especially when it comes to ambulance service, Metro, hides information from the citizens consistently. His cries for having the freedom to view this PRIVATE information about individual citizens wreaks of hypocrisy.

Did we miss a BIGGER opportunity with Arc of Dreams?

First off, I’m not one to tell rich peeps how to spend their money. If they want to give to charity, I think that is great. I’m also one to NOT discourage giving money towards public art projects.

It seems lately though that people are questioning the whole point of ‘Arc of Dreams’ and mainly it’s location.

No criticism towards the artist, he does large, beautiful pieces across our state, including Dignity in Chamberlain. It’s his life and living. Also, no criticism towards those willing to help pay for this large scale commission . . .  but . . . does it seem a bit shortsighted and lacking the vision of the whole picture of downtown’s artistic image?

Instead putting all of our eggs in one basket in one (overcrowded) area, why not spread the wealth around?

One of the main arguments made to put ‘Arc of Dreams’ downtown was for a needed tourist attraction Downtown. Nevermind SculptureWalk, a replica of David, oh and that little cute waterfall at Falls Park.

But if we really wanted to bring ‘tourism’ downtown, why not invest that cool million used for ONE public art project to fund several projects that would be a combination public art/infrastructure?

During the downtown design meeting I attended one of the concerns people had about downtown was the dead zones, areas along Phillips Avenue and various side streets that have areas that have really nothing to look at while walking around downtown.

So what could WE have done with that million besides just building one large project?

First of all, I would use only local contractors and artists for these projects. Economic development starts at home.

Here is a brief list of what we could have done;

At approximately $20K  a piece we could have erected 50 permanent sculptures downtown in these dead zones. We could have also spent approximately $50K a pop for  20 mini gardens/parks/benches in these areas. And if we really wanted to get a bang for our buck we could have commissioned 200 murals at $5K a piece to help beautify some of those drab building walls downtown.

There is probably a whole host of other things we could have spent the million on that would have really boosted visitors to our downtown.

Let me hear your ideas!

Did the Soccer tournament fall short for economic impact predictions

We were told that the tournament would have a major impact on the economy;

The soccer tournament is estimated to bring $17 million to the Sioux Falls area.

Lets test this prediction against July’s monthly financial report (Full Doc:7-17-monthly-fin-report).

We should have raised an additional $510,000 in sales tax revenue (3 pennies) from the year before if the economic impact was actually $17 million. But if you look at the numbers, it seems we didn’t bump up much from the month before.

For example, in June (MAY) we saw a $73,172 sales tax bump from the year before (3 pennies). Let’s say we were predicting the same bump in July (June). We had a $204,088 bump from the year before. Subtract the June numbers and you come up with a $130,916 bump from the tournament which would mean approximately a $4.3 million dollar bump. The biggest increase was in the 3rd penny entertainment tax and lodging (BID) tax which does not contribute to the city’s general fund.

$4.3 million dollar impact is nothing to shake a stick at for about a week of visitors, but it is certainly a long ways from the $17 million prediction.

Mayor Mike talks out of both sides of his mouth once again

How fitting after our Little League team just gets done playing in the LLWS the Mayor appears on the B-N-B show catching softballs from Greg.

Funny how in under 50 minutes the mayor can contradict himself, several times. Whether he is talking about how God has enlightened him or how he continues to fight the Parks Districting idea (doesn’t matter now, that decision is now up to the next council and mayor, your opinion on that is of NO consequence).

But one of the best parts of the interview was when he started blabbing about TIF’s. He said that TIF’s are NOT handed to people’s wives friends. LOL, nope, just to your wife. Mike’s wife invested in an apartment project that got a TIF. And in order to save his ass on it, he had Mark Cotter sign off on the TIF.

He also went on to scoff people (developers) who asked for TIF’s to develop around the Events Center (which ironically has yet to get any development that will stick around). But has NO problem with having taxpayers subsidize a PRIVATE hotel on Elmwood, setting a precedent by putting the taxpayers of Sioux Falls in the lodging business.

But his comments at the beginning of the program and at the end are a doozy. He starts out by defending the TIF for Lloyd’s Uptown project, saying it is needed to clean up this area and make this project a reality. Than at the end of the interview when a caller asks about the Sioux Steel DT property, the Mayor talks about, almost giggling, that he wishes he would have bought DT property early on because it is so valuable now.

So which is it Mr. Ed? Is DT property ‘valuable’ or is it so ‘worthless’ we need to hand out millions in TIF’s to multi-millionaire developers?

I would like to thank the mayor for agreeing with my argument against the Uptown TIF, that the property is SO VALUABLE, why on earth would we be handing out tax incentives?

You would think after 7 years, the mayor would get better at the game? Thank goodness he wasn’t pitching at the LLWS, otherwise it would have been two perfect games against them.

He finishes the interview by talking about his bi-annual South Dakota mayor’s conference he will be attending today in Chamberlain. He talked about how the mayors share ideas. We know Mike, this is where you are rumored to brag about your use of the VETO pen when you have an uncooperative council.

Have fun! Keep sharing your brilliant (fascist) ideas!

Pull up your belts and tighten your bootstraps

Not sure if the Argus screwed up this quote or if councilor Erickson actually said this, but it made me chuckle;

“The administration is really tightening their bootstraps and so we need to do the same thing,” Council Vice-chairperson Christine Erickson said during a recent budget meeting at Carnegie Town Hall.

Don’t tighten your bootstraps to much, you might hurt your feet 🙂

South DaCola Podcast V: Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr

Pat talks downtown parking ramp, higher education, wages and city budget, and much more.

Strollers & Dogs; RiverFest 2017

Click to Enlarge

It only took this newcomer 3 years to figure out Huether

I just wish the rest of the city would figure this out;

Since that time, I have come to learn much about this little town on the prairie to include the juvenile and preposterous acts and actions of the mayor, Mike Huether. To me, still an outsider, Sioux Falls now presents itself as an abstract of many failing autocratic cities around this country – read Chicago. It is governed by a ruling class that publicly decries their support and service to the electing populace, yet regularly and routinely act in a manner that is completely devoid of said sentiment.

That was plenty apparent when Mayor Huether TOOK, with the help of the rubber stamp council, $500K from taxpayers for a tennis facility he put his name on. Or how any developer holding their hands out gets a TIF to build luxury condos.

It is now common knowledge within my household – all the way down to my 9-year-old, that the upper class southeast side of Sioux Falls “rules” city hall. Their streets are smooth, their pavement uncracked and their private bike path entrance to their greenbelt park system is unrivaled by anything in the city. With his recent “no” vote on the creation of a democratic park board, Mayor Huether proves, yet again, who he serves – and it is not the majority of us.

That’s why he decries free bus rides and swimming for the poor kids or rams all the social services into the Whittier Neighborhood. Now roundup the homeless on Friday afternoon;

Huether should heed this advice, along with his backroom cronies, I will not be ruled over by anyone. Nor will I sit by idly and allow the mayor to continue to administer his authoritarian style of government. I will put forward any effort necessary to bring fair and equal governance and democracy to this city and pledge my support to the candidates that come forward intent on dismantling this once and for all.

WOOT! WOOT! Another Foot Soldier for the South DaCola army. As Ruby said in Cold Mountain, “You need help, here I am.”