Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Sioux Falls Citizen Survey to remove employees from mailing list

When I had made the recommendation to the city council to remove city employees from the survey mailing list, I made the assumption that a survey company would already be doing that, I guess not. Legislative advisor and council errand boy, Jim David said this in the informational yesterday (FF 25:30):

. . . request to remove city employees from that list and they seemed agreeable to that . . . no city employee or council member will receive these surveys . . .

I had made the suggestion because I thought it would skew the results a bit if these were being mailed to city employees. You have to realize, they only mail out 3,000 of these and the response rate is around 32%.

What surprised me was that this seems like the first time the city has told the survey company to do this. Not that this is the city’s fault, besides they hire the company to do a fair survey, right? You would think that the company would already be purging those people, but apparently in the past they have not.

I was also a little astonished when Jim said, “they seemed agreeable” Well I damn well hope so. It is unfortunate that a citizen has to point out something that should have been done already by the survey company.

SON may just win afterall, by default

This story is interesting. Could mean a lot of things. WM could build a SuperCenter still in South Sioux Falls, they could also build a neighborhood store, or nothing at all. Maybe WM is realizing that 3 stores are just enough in Sioux Falls. If I was the city of Harrisburg, I would be jumping all over WM to build a neighborhood store there;

Wal-Mart’s shift away from its supercenters toward small stores and online also underscores how it must respond aggressively to a new era of shopping: Consumers are increasingly moving to mobile devices, while at the same time they’re seeking the convenience of small stores.

It may be why WM is backing off on getting a building permit. The irony of all this is that SON may have prevented WM from making a big financial mistake by building a 4th store. Will they get a thank you? Ha.

Public Meeting Tuesday on Hwy 100

SD DOT Notice of Public Information Meeting Regarding Highway 100

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) and the City of Sioux Falls will hold an open-house style public meeting to discuss and receive public input on the above project. The open house will be informal, with one-on-one discussion with the project team. The meeting information is as follows:

 Date: October 21, 2014
 Time: 5:30–7 p.m.
 Place:    Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
5500 East 57th Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

A presentation will take place shortly after 5:30 p.m. Topics will include the Highway 100 and Section 4(f) De Minimis Analysis for public use properties. Representatives from the SDDOT, City of Sioux Falls, and consultant staff will be available with displays before and after the presentation to discuss the proposed project and answer your questions. During this time, you will also have the opportunity to present written comments.

Notice is further given to all individuals with disabilities that this open house informational meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. Any individuals with disabilities who will require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in the open house/information meeting should submit a request to the department’s ADA coordinator at 605-773-3540 or
1-800-877-1113 (Telecommunications Relay Services for the Deaf). Please request accommodations no later than two business days prior to the meeting in order to ensure accommodations are available.

Information presented at the public meeting/open house will be posted on the SDDOT website after the meeting at:



SF City Council Public Input 14/10/14

We learned tonight how the Sioux Falls Water Department gives out personal data to complete strangers, not good. The property owner, John Stratman, also has been trying to get a neighboring property cleaned up without success. Were the code enforcement officers so concerned about breaking the law and then prosecuting their own lawlessness they ignored our speaker’s concerns? How about sending someone from social services to see if there is a problem needing to be addressed?

Our friend Robert Kolbe showed up to remind the Council and Mayor of many stupid things done in the name of progress or greed in recent Sioux Falls history. Our South Dakota temporary – permanent mentality is kind of warped. Why do we consider something our grandparents built of amazing natural materials, always have to be torn down to put up a tin shed with flaking concrete?

Our own I.L. Wiedermann brought a few concerns up about the event center siding tonight. Earlier in the day, Michelle Erpenbach let him know she did not care how it looks or turns out. Ever the watchdog, he publicized her lack of concern and for her lack of responsibility to the people of Sioux Falls. Way to go Michelle!

When I.L. was finished speaking, Rex Rolfing decided to add some fire to the embers and the mayor firmly shut him down. Then Michelle decided to come clean about her disregard of the process.

It brings up a few questions;

1. Why didn’t the mayor want Rex to engage I.L.?

2. Why do the Council members sit like bumps on a log when they could ask more questions of citizens?

3. Why do council members not allow each other the courtesy of getting answers?

4. Why is it, the Mayor can have exchanges with speakers but not council?

5. Why is the Mayor so tightly controlling the meetings, past mayors have allowed good exchanges?

6. When will we get an actual accounting of the E.C. project with the list of ALL contractors and suppliers?

Tonight’s meeting left us with more questions then we could ever get answers to from our transparent administration.

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May explain why traffic is such a mess in our city

IMAGE: Argus Leader Media video screenshot
That’s right folks, this is what our Principal Traffic Engineer’s desk looks like. I would think a traffic engineer (the head one) would be more organized? Guess not. And if anyone thinks I am being mean to this guy, I have been in he mayor’s office and his desk looks about the same.
I also thought municipalities had standards on how their desks should be organized.
I think the pink post it note above his computer says, “Reminder, Clean desk.”
I can hear Heath already, “I just haven’t had time to clean my desk, I have been helping Building Services enter building permits into the system.”

Found on FB

This house is in Central Sioux Falls. Must be a bad neighbor :(


SMG, Ovations & Events Center change gratuity policy

To my surprise, I was listening to the SF City Council informational meeting and Councilor Erickson mentioned that she was able to TIP on her debit card at the Events Center at the Jason Aldean concert. At the Joan Jett concert, I could not.

After the informational I spoke to someone (city official) who attended the Joan Jett concert, and I said to them, “I wasn’t able to TIP on my debit card at the Jett show, were you?” They said “NO.” Then I said, “Did I speak to the city council about tipping ‘before’ the Aldean concert?” They said, “Yes.” I attended the city council meeting last night to correct councilor Erickson on her ‘assumption’ that tipping on debit cards was available at the Joan Jett concert and grand opening events. It was not.

Not saying I had anything to do with the policy change, but am glad the policy was changed, and hopefully they will also be able to put out tip jars at the beer stations in the future.

Why is the city planning to divert federal housing rehabilitation money into a youth center?

Why is Community Development diverting $10,000 (federal dollars) from the Single Family Housing Rehab Program to a non-profit?

As I understand it the VOA (Volunteers of America) are good at securing free government grant money.  Why would the City agree to give them $10,000 (or is it $35,000–see below) especially since there is such a high demand for housing rehab dollars?

The following public notice is on the homepage of siouxfalls.org

Public Notice

This notice provides the public an opportunity to examine and comment on proposed Amendment #4 to the 2014 Action Plan for the City of Sioux Falls for a period of 30 days. Low- and moderate-income persons, racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speaking persons, and persons with disabilities are specifically encouraged to examine the proposed amendment. The Action Plan is part of the City’s Consolidated Plan. It identifies specific activities to be undertaken with the use of federal funding from both the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program. Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed amendment should do so in writing and send the same to Community Development, 235 West 10th Street, PO Box 7402, Sioux Falls, SD, 57117-7402. Written comments must include the name and address of the individual submitting the comment. The comment period ends at 5 p.m. on November 10, 2014.

Project 503-302. Additional CDBG funding of $10,000 will be provided Volunteers of America, Dakotas for Bowden Center Improvements for a revised allocation of $35,000. The center is located at 430 West 11th Street. Improvements will be made to the center’s outdoor recreation space. Bowden Youth Center offers education and creative opportunities in a safe, supportive environment as well as recreational activities. The funds will be provided as a no-interest deferred loan. Total estimated project cost is $62,200. The additional CDBG funding will be reallocated from the Single-Family Housing Rehabilitation program.

I am all for the city gifting money from the CIP to help with this project but instead we are diverting Federal money set aside for housing rehabilitation. That is what the Federal money gives it to us for, not playgrounds.

Something smells fishy here.

History Lessons, 7/10/14 Public Input

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, lots of typos. If you don’t like it, complain to my boss :)

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Restructuring at The Argus Leader

Recently the publisher was on an episode of ’100 Eyes’ talking about Gannett and a company ‘restructuring’. I guess I didn’t think much about it until I heard that there may be a lot fewer people working at 10th & Minnesota soon. Usually when a major media company splits up entities (this is how I understood it explained by the publisher) this means layoffs or job transfers. No surprise, there is a new sheriff in town, and that is usually how these things go.

The word I got is that some people will be missing, some people will remain, and some people will have new titles.

It was also humorous to hear how well AL Media was doing, apparently doing so well, they have to lay some people off.