Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Bike Trail Cops

Some friends shot this picture the other night, the SFPD has been doing this for years, I don’t have an issue with it. But I like the ironic difference between the bicycle cops and the cycle cops. Nothing like having a nice ride on the bike trail and being passed by a HD.

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Lot’s of Fluff, but little detail

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Well, what else can we expect from the administration but a lot of smoke and mirrors? Nevermind that the council still has yet to see a report about the piss poor siding job, now they want to talk about local contractors. Good stuff.

For almost a year several city councilors have been asking for a detailed report from the public works department and Mortenson on what local contractors were used and how much local materials were purchased, and have not been given anything.

I’m not talking about a list of local companies and manufacturers who subcontracted their work out to state vendors. I want to see an actual list of local contractors who hired local workers and bought local manufactured products. Instead we just get a bunch of bull and fluff;

Going into the project, city officials set the goal of using 85 percent local labor. Last week, construction managers estimated that they slightly exceeded that goal.

“We knew our local contractors have the experience and the qualifications to construct this project for Sioux Falls and the state of South Dakota,” Mark Cotter, director of Public Works, said in an email. “As a community, we all benefit when we support one another.”

Reports from the city and Mortenson Construction, which is managing the project, show that local contractors were awarded more than $60 million worth of work. That’s closer to 65 percent of the project costs through July, but not reflected in that number is when contractors hire a local company to work for them.

Read the whole story, and you get the gist, a lot of money was moved through contractor offices in Sioux Falls, but without the real numbers about materials and labor, all we have is a bunch of fluff. Why not release the true numbers? Because you will realize that there isn’t a lot of sweat equity from Sioux Falls workers in this project, just a lot of greedy brokers.

Ok, which hospital is going to hire Dr. Homan?

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Homan announced today she is calling quits next July. Reading the FB comments, it seems many are jubilant about it.

The South DaCola office pool starts today :) I’ll put $1 on Sanford.

 

Sioux Falls City Council Public Input 8/21/14 • Tractors & Tape

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New Middle School – No Sidewalks

While the other TV stations have been hooping and hollering about the inside of the new McGovern Middle School, the folks over at KSFY have found a little problem with the exterior. No sidewalks leading to the school. (I just think it is a conspiracy to punish the School District for naming the school after a liberal);

The newly opened McGovern Middle School was built near a few busy streets in Sioux Falls.

It sits on Maple St. near Marion Rd.

The problem is, there isn’t anywhere for people to walk on those roads.

Including students.

It forces people to walk on the street which doesn’t even have much of a shoulder.

Ms. Bartness does a good job of ‘starting’ this story but comes up short at the end;

The school district tells us the city is in charge of making sidewalks in Sioux Falls.

KSFY News reached out to them earlier, but haven’t heard back.

First off Logan, there is more then one person you can call with the city about this. But what I find interesting is the School District saying the city is responsible for ‘making sidewalks’. While this is true most of the time, the adjacent property owner of new construction is assessed for the cost of those sidewalks. The city does it all the time with private businesses and homeowners, so why wasn’t the school district assessed for these sidewalks?

Once again, I see a case of a different set of rules being applied to government entities, like the school district. Reminds me of the school district parking lot next to the EC that doesn’t have ADA parking. Hmmm.

Good job Logan, now maybe you can track down Chad Huwe with the city and he can explain why the school District doesn’t have to pay for sidewalks out there.

Just what is being done by city legislators when it comes to fixing the boulevard ordinance?

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That is a very good question. The current ordinance states:

96.010  RIGHT-OF-WAY LANDSCAPING.

   (a)   The portion of a dedicated public right-of-way between the street and the property line excepting the sidewalk shall be landscaped and maintained by the abutting property owner. Landscaping shall be limited to sod, seed or other living ground cover approved by the city. Nonliving ground cover, including, but not limited to, rock, stone, brick concrete, asphalt or other like materials, shall not be used as landscape material except as provided herein.
   (b)   The city may authorize the use of nonliving ground cover for landscaping a public right-of-way when it is determined that a location will not allow for adequate maintenance of sod or other living ground cover. This exception shall not include the use of loose rock or asphalt as landscaping material.
(1992 Code, § 38-12)  (Ord. 37-03, passed 5-5-2003)
As you can see, as it currently states, your boulevard can ONLY be green cover. When is our council going to fix this? I do know that some councilors agree, this needs to be revised so thousands of residents can be in compliance. The mayor and some of the council say just leave it as is.
The problem with that is that there is NOTHING stopping code enforcement from giving out violations. Nothing. As the ordinance is written right now, they can give out a violation to anyone who is not in compliance. And they can pick and choose who those violators are.
So how is ‘doing nothing’ fixing the problem? I encourage our council works on revising the ordinance.

Reward the troublemakers, punish the property owners

Yesterday one of my South DaCola foot soldiers had a voicemail left in the afternoon. It was a message from a reporter at one of the local TV stations. She said she wanted to do a story about flowers in the boulevard. The soldier called them back about 30 minutes later, and the reporter told her that they no longer were going to do the story.

So what happened in that 30 minutes? I wonder if a call was also placed to city hall?

As for people who are beautifying city property (boulevards). I find it ironic that the city wants to punish people who are using their own resources to improve city property through code violations and fines.

But when other citizens of our community drink all day in one of our public parks, pass out, get into fights, etc. the city administration decides to reward them with bathrooms, picnic tables and a fence to contain their rowdiness.

To hell with a Bad Neighbor, more like a Bad Mayor.

What is the ‘real’ cost of the Road Diet?

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Don’t get me wrong, I think the Road Diet is a great idea, and I see a ton of people taking advantage of the FREE 90 minute diagonal parking. It also helps out business on Main Street, especially Parker’s Bistro. But as you look at the project, you see it is quite expansive. The city, according to my sources, also built the patio bump out for Parker’s. Which makes sense due to liability, etc. But what is puzzling is how all this work was done for ‘around’ $8000. According to a traffic engineer with the city, when asked in this informational (FF: 33:20) he said the materials for the project would cost ‘around’ this much, but didn’t have final numbers or labor cost. So we move ahead with a project without having final cost figures, and on top of it we lowball an estimate to the council? This goes back to that whole transparency thingy with the administration and how information is being withheld from the city council, and they are expected to make decisions based on only having half of the info. Lame.

We saw it with the film projector purchase and again with the indoor pool at Spellerberg. Speaking of the pool I see the super secret selection committee is announcing the construction company that will build the pool today, hopefully it doesn’t start with an ‘M’. Funny how they are already announcing the construction company without having final plans approved by the council and a quit claim deed that is floating over the park like a cloud of stink from JM’s.

 

So which is it Karsky, City Council or Chamber Board?

Karsky is about to be elected to the SF Chamber Board (DOC: CHAMBER ) He says he will recuse himself from voting on anything involving the Chamber while on the City Council. That will be nearly impossible. Chamber members come before the city council weekly asking for various licenses and permits and rezoning.

So Dean, which is it? The City Council or the Chamber Board? You are going to have to make a decision. Because I can guarantee you that if you serve on the Chamber Board and the Council at the same time and you vote to approve something for a Chamber member, you will have an ethics complaint filed against you for every time you don’t recuse yourself, and NOT by me. Many business people in town are very concerned about the relationship.

Seems someone wants their cake and wants to eat it too. Just building that resume for your 2018 mayoral run, aren’t you Dean? How would you like to add ‘unethical’ to the list?

Baby Steps and Little Bites when implementing NEW government software

Ellis was at it again, writing a great column. You can mull through it, but this really stuck out;

Unlike Sioux Falls, Clovis took a bite-by-bite approach to rolling out EnerGov. While Sioux Falls is using EnerGov for multiple tasks, Clovis started first with building permits. Next, it plans to add code enforcement, and then move on to another task in a step-by-step process that is less complex than in Sioux Falls.

I have found in my professional life that diving head first into a project with multiple elements all at once never ends well. Taking on projects in a step progression is always the best way to go. That was always my beef with ‘Shape Places’ it should have been broken up into sections and reviewed and voted on in those different sections.

Do I think the city should move forward on the new software? Yes. But their approach of releasing it all at once is not a good idea. Ask Obama about the ACA website. But typical of a ram rodding administration.

Even if this goes live next month, it will probably have tons of bugs. Take SIRE for instance, it has been live for several years and still does not work properly. And when you ask city staff to fix it, they are either in denial or point fingers. I see the same happening with this new software. Get ready for a big f’ing mess.

A local IT veteran put their 2-Cents in;

Having worked on these types of projects over many years you learn very few ‘managers’ actually know anything about what makes their departments work.

Very few managers are qualified to direct the daily efforts of their department much less design software. In the 40 years of designing complicated projects, I have decided to question everything anyone ever says to me. I heavily weigh the statements and direction of ‘managers’ so it is usually worth less than the regular line person. The only people who know how things work are the line people who sit and actually input the data.

Most systems are designed to get certain answers over actually making the data correct. You see, managers only want to show ’improvements’ under their watch. They usually do not want old data added to the system because it might prove their old reports might be wrong if examined under the ‘new’ matrix. The line people want it done correct and very accurate. The managers want numbers shown for reports with little effort. There is very little room for a software developer to do the job right with these divergent needs.

The line person who has to enter the data will be required to reenter a lot of data not ‘acceptable’ to managers. If a report is generated using the data these line people put in not accepted by a manager, a low level head will roll before it is publicized.

Someone like our mayor will want the reports to be pretty and superficial.

A Kevin Smith or Tracy Turbak want only positive information to be produced for the public use. This data cannot be allowed to embarrass them. If the wrong type of data is allowed to be seen by public, their jobs could be on the line.

There is no way for an outside developer of software to win in these situations. The outside developer is be controlled by idiots of the first degree. Tyler likely has a salesman in charge of the software writers. So we have a convergence of two salesmen: a mayor and a Tyler project manager both wanting this to be over with.

So who is allowed to put a buffer between the two? Now the city managers need more consultants to interfere in the process. The new consultants are brought in to find different ways to tell the Tyler group how to make the reports pretty and hide the bad data.

The managers of large scale businesses and governments do not want real data being reported. They want a way to protect their budgets and personnel numbers. They do not want to protect their employees only their quantities. This software program will prove be a disaster if ever fully investigated. You do not hire more consultants to control consultants if the person in charge of the project actually knows what the real end result is.

The only thing we will get out of this software program is excuses, partial answers, hidden data and protected jobs. This writer is not involved in this project but having decades of working in many others, we developers despise working for paper pushers who do not understand their jobs. We developers learn to make too many bad compromises in the name of just getting away from the incompetence.

We know we will be watching someone years from now finding a way to make the junk work.

As in running any business, a city software plan should work if it is rolled out with a goal aimed toward perfection in data first and not what color the report font is when sized in 20 point. We citizens want correct, verifiable data useful to our lives. We do not report generating software to make the managers look better when snowing the City Council on Tuesdays.