Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Downtown Sioux Falls to see some cool changes

I need a door hinge, a quart of white paint, a flashlight and a 5th of Old Crow

It’s not often I get excited about changes DTSF, but this week has been full of some fun announcements!

We are finally getting a Hardware store Downtown, something I have been wanting for a very long time. Bravo to ACE and the Nybergs.

But the best surprise was the announcement of the Butterfly House and Aquariums possible move Downtown. Very cool. While they are looking for locations, I think the city should partner with them and provide (or sell) space to them by Falls Park. Either at the Northwest Entrance, across the street from there where the boat repair shop is, or over by the Farmer’s Market. No matter where they choose to put it, hopefully it will be where there is a ton of foot traffic.

City Rental Registry should be voluntary, but does it really matter

There is definitely some benefits to registering, especially when it comes to drug free housing OR nuances. But some landlords may work on a handshake agreement with a renter, and it really isn’t the city’s business who they are renting to. It really goes back to the difficulty some people have in finding housing in Sioux Falls, and regulations add cost to rent;

Tobias told city councilors Tuesday that the registry is essential to his office’s efforts at enforcing various codes, including shoveling walks and mowing grass. Tenants might not notify a landlord if they receive a notice of a violation. But if the city knows a property is a rental, the city can contact the property owner directly.

But does this registration really matter when it would be very simple for the city to determine who has rental property, as a commenter points out in the story;

Seems to me if the city worked with the county, who knows if each property is taking the “owner occupied” tax deduction they should easily be able to know who is responsible for the maintenance of the property.

That of course would require the city to work with the county. But I don’t think they want to make it that easy, I think they want Landlords to fill out a form so they can nose around a little bit more.

The Mayor doesn’t understand appeals and the council doesn’t understand hydraulics

Who thought this thing would cause such a fuss?

When I watch the council meetings from home, the fun stuff always happens.

Oh well, I’ll give you my ‘tractoring’ advice from home.

I am already exhausted before I even start explaining the city council meeting tonight.

Deep breath.

I asked councilor Stehly to question why the city needs to buy a brand new snow trimmer at a cost for $300K tonight by pulling it from the consent agenda. I never thought it would turn into an argument about public input and appealing the mayor’s decision.

But it did. (please watch the spectacle – right after public input)

It amazed me that councilors Starr and Stehly (with 2 votes from Erickson and Neitzert) pulled off an appeal of the mayor’s decision to close down public input on a consent agenda item, but what was even more interesting was when the mayor asked what the appeal meant? And questioned if Starr knew more about Robert Rules then he does (yeah, he actually does, it’s kind one of his ‘things’).

So after that fight was won, a board member from Great Bear came up and testified AGAINST Stehly saying the new trimmer was needed ‘for the kids’ of course.

Poetic justice?

Well not really. Growing up on a farm and working construction I know a little bit about ‘hydraulics’ it’s those greasy tubes that have hoses that break a lot (that’s the unscientific version, but stick with me.) Before the public was ‘allowed’ to speak during a 10 minute melt-down and a confused city attorney, a Parks Department mid-manager explained that the current snow trimmer was ten years old, at the end of it’s warranty life, and had 7,000 hours on it.

Uh, okay. So?

He then tried to explain that it was at the end of it’s life. LOL.

Not quite. He continued to say that replacing the hydraulics on it (if they break) would cost around $60K.

So I guess in his world if you get a chip in the windshield of your car, you need to replace all the windows and headlights.

First off, in ‘tractoring’ life, 7,000 hours is ‘breaking it in’. That is basically 6 hours a day, 116 days for ten years.

Secondly, on the farm, if a hydraulic or hose breaks on your tractor, you don’t replace every piece, you fix the problem. It’s like saying you need to replace a $500K combine because it got a flat tire. It’s ludicrous.

There’s also the argument that if ONE of these hydraulics breaks you have to be shut down for a long period of time. Not true, a good mechanics garage with the city would have back up parts that could be replaced in a timely fashion.

So there you have it, a lesson in Roberts Rules of order and greasy tractor parts. Who says that city council meetings are not interesting?

The South DaCola straw poll sucks

I sometimes wonder if Sioux Falls City Councilor Christine Erickson is Clash fan?

Over the last couple of months I have heard pretty much an equal amount from both sides that she is either running or she is not for mayor.

It really heated up today after Diamond Jim’s announcement. I got two calls she is in and one she is not in.

(I have a bunch of snarky things I could say between these parenthesis, but I’m not going to, you can thank me later Christine).

Please run for a 2nd term on the council, and make the announcement TODAY, so I can free my phone up for the latest deal from Expedia.

Diamond Jim announced he is running for mayor

I could go on and on about my opposition to Mr. Self-interest, but if you want a repeat of Huether, Jim’s your man.

Notice on his website he only mentions ONE item from the big three, Transparency, Affordable Housing and Crime (he says something about safety). Like I said, running as Huether Part II won’t bode well.

2016 Code Enforcement Annual Report

Matt Tobias, Code Enforcement Czar will give his Annual Report Tuesday to the city council at the informational meeting. I will say this about Matt, I like his approach to code enforcement and by looking at the numbers it looks like he is taking a ‘softer’ approach. But there is a ton of work to do. I hope when the NEW administration takes over in 2018 they keep Matt on board and do a complete overhaul of code enforcement (Making it constitutional and all).

While they often brag over 90% compliance, it seems they struggle with collecting fines. You can see the full document here (DOC: code-enforcement)

Anonymous Press Release about the SFPD FOP

I got this interesting press release sent to me by an anonymous source that was supposedly sent to other news organizations.

I haven’t heard anything in the news since this was sent a few days ago, so I’m really not sure what to think. In other words if this ‘really’ came from them or someone else with a bone to pick. Would be nice to see if anyone from our local media would do a little digging on it, and maybe they have . . .




St. Patty’s minus city owned vehicles

There’s Shriners in Canada to. And they rock.

One thing I noticed about the St. Patty’s day parade this year, no city vehicles that I could see. Though I will put a shout out to SFFD Jim Powers navigating the old skool fire truck down Phillips Avenue. But other then that, I didn’t see any.

It was nice for once. Besides saving tax payers money by not driving every snowplow and public works dump truck down the street, it allowed city employees to spend time with family on a holiday. And if you can’t get a decent raise at least you can spend some quality time.

Neighbor Zoning (SF City Council, March 7, 2017)

Zoning, done to abuse those who can least fight the abuse. Notice how the neighbors are once again thrown to the side in a quest to park a semi? Well as long as Jeff Schmitt says it’s OK, we better just suck it up and do it?

The March 7, 2017 Sioux Falls City Council was asked to approve the old Franklin / Joe Foss School building property to C2 after attempts to make it C3 failed. The possible church to whatever is now going to be a bunch of smallish shops. Well, good luck to all of them.

Sioux Falls City Council update (3/21/2017)

It’s about time we got one of these for the prudent tax payers of Sioux Falls!

There will be 93 items on the city council agenda Tuesday night, including many abatements.

In the interest of that, six city councilors and one school board member will be having equalization meetings next week when it comes to property taxes. Councilors are asked to serve on this board and REQUIRED to do so, but somehow two councilors (one of them who is in leadership) conveniently got out of it. Funny how it coincides with their vacations. Things that make you go Hmmm.

Land Use Committee

Annual Development Summary (there was NO docs attached)

City Council Informational (once again no supporting DOCs posted yet)

Fuel Control Audit

SculptureWalk 2017

Code Enforcement 2016 Annual Report

Sioux Falls Thrive (I’m sure is the similar presentation Candy did for the Minnehaha County Commission)

Regular City Council meeting

In the Approval of contracts, I saw our annual contribution to the Sioux Falls Arts council of $47,000 (which I support) but I find it ironic that we had a good thing going with the SE Arts Council at the Horsebarn and we pulled that funding (which was less) and had a lot of great programs going thru that building that were FREE to the public. Now we are subsidizing a butcher shop museum at Falls Park that is NOT free to the public. Let’s talk about our arts funding priorities.

In the same Approval of contracts we have $1.6 million going into the Convention Center. Pretty amazing right after we just spent $100 million on a new events center.

For Parks and Rec they are getting a Snowcat Groomer (which I have no idea what that is) but she’s spendy, $300K

There are many tax abatements and 1st readings for ZONING items. Looks like a very long meeting, would have been a good time to take a vacation if you were a councilor, oh, that’s right two of them are.