Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Fun times at the Sioux Falls city council meeting 7/7/2015

Lots of odds and ends going on at the city council meeting this next Tuesday.

• In item #1, approval of contracts, we are paying about $71K for a land purchase agreement. That’s a whole lot of cashola to draw up a purchase agreement.

• Items #15-17, Badlands Pawn is asking for a malt beverage license, a liquor license and, you guessed it, video lottery terminals. BIG SURPRISE!

• Item #33, zoning signs have to be bigger. It’s about time.

• Item #40, exemptions to inspection fees. While I agree totally with the list of entities, I’m curious about one of them;


Habitat For Humanity of Greater Sioux Falls, Incorporated; Make-A-Wish Foundation; Repair Affair Projects of the Home Builders Association of Sioux Falls; and the Home Modification Wheelchair Ramp Program of Independent Living Choices; South Eastern Development Foundation; and Community Development Department Neighborhood Revitalization Program projects are exempt from payment of fees for plat and/or plan reviews, permits and inspections from the following major organization units:

(a) Planning and building services; (b) Public works; (c) Fire prevention division; and (d) Police.

Am I missing something? Why would the Make-A-wish foundation need this exemption? Just curious.

• Item #41. Approving ‘complete streets’ in a resolution. While I support this proposal, I am curious why this did not go through an ordinance process instead of just a ramrod resolution process? Let’s pray about it.

• Item #43-44, oddball annexations.

• Item #44, Notice the overbid on the re-roofing of the Pavilion took over $400K from other projects planned at the Pavilion (this does not come out of the Pavilion operating subsidy, this comes out of our CIP).

• Item #45, the beat down of Councilor Dr. Kermit Staggers. Each year when Kermit wants to go to a conservative municipal government conference, he gets scrutiny. Yet none of the other councilor trips get this kind of scrutiny. As I told Kermit today, while I don’t agree with every aspect of this conference, it is always good to get different perspectives on municipal governing. I have often said, maybe he will learn ‘what not to do’ at this conference?

The Mayor’s ‘Shut Up & Listen’ session, June 29, 2015

(FF: 26:50) A resident of Prince of Peace asks a question about better education funding in rural Minnehaha county. The mayor says it is out of his control, which is NOT true. The more TIF’s the city approves, the more it affects education funding. Also, the recent vote with school boundaries at West Central was very much a city issue. Some very close Huether supporters were VERY involved with the campaign to uphold the school board’s decision to allow SF to suckup West Central school boundaries. Mike might want to say he isn’t involved, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The interesting part of the West Central campaign is that they didn’t need to financially report their donors. I would be curious to see how much Hizzoner donated to the campaign?

(FF: 43:40) A resident says she is dismayed about eliminating the free pool passes. The mayor blames no fee increases, and then blames the poor (52% swim for free). He also is troubled about the program ‘growing to large’. Then he starts to talk about the indoor aquatic center, and how ‘we’ need to pay for it. Then he brings up being the beer can collecting poor kid from Yankton. He calls the 52% free passes as an ‘imbalance’. DAMN RIGHT IT IS! People are broke in this town, we don’t have a jobs issue, we have a WAGE issue.

He ends the discussion by saying ‘Nothing is for FREE’. Hypocrite. You mean like the $500K of public dollars that went to a tennis club that bares your name for 102 members? You did not pass up that ‘freebie’. He talks about ‘working for it’. What amount of ‘work’ did you do to swindle the taxpayers of Sioux Falls out of $500K for your ultra-wealthy membership of the Huether Matche Pointe? It’s good to be King.

UPDATE: One resident gets up and chews his ass about the importance of FREE swimming for the poor children and learning how to swim.

Spellerberg Webcam

The city announced yesterday a construction webcam. Apparently they are using SIRE to run the cam, because, it does not work.

I tried Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox. Same screen; Black.


Wide support in Sioux Falls for increasing the Minimum wage

As you can see by these numbers, there is wide support to increase the minimum wage in Sioux Falls. Councilor Anderson said in the Argus today that he doesn’t think the council should get involved in the matter, but as you can see in his own district it had 64% support. This tells me that if the council proposed a $10 citywide increase in the minimum wage, the only real blowback the council would get is from the Chamber and the business community. You never know though, businesses that already pay over that amount may come out promoting the measure.

Voting Results for Initiated Measure 18 November 4, 2014 within the City of Sioux Falls

Minnehaha County alone

Yes – 61%

No – 39%

Lincoln County alone

Yes – 54%

No – 47%

City of Sioux Falls (Minnehaha & Lincoln County combined)

Yes – 60%

No – 40%

Northeast District, City of Sioux Falls (Councilor Kenny Anderson’s District)

Yes – 64%

No – 36%


SMG basking in the ‘black’

The Events Center will be in the black.

Wait for it . . . . BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, but let’s just take their word for it;

As for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Torkildson expects the facility to be in the black by the end of its first year.

Oh sure, you betcha! SMG will make money. Ovations will make money. The utility companies will make money. The promoters will make money. The operations will be covered.

The taxpayers, we get to make a mortgage payment.

While applaud all of these entities making money and the city getting the operations covered, the taxpayer of Sioux Falls is still stuck with the mortgage payment (and building maintenance) each year which is an almost $10 million dollar deficit to our CIP each year. Money that could be spent on roads, parks or a million other useful things in the community. So while we get to make the payments on the EC, all the contractors associated with the facility get to bask in the ‘Black’ while we get to swim in the ‘RED’.

Van Eps Park Part II

Seems Heritage Park has become the new party park (just east of the Former Zip Feed Mill on Weber Ave.);

Neighbors living around Heritage Park say it’s as if Van Eps moved to the east.

“They didn’t want people to see the crowds, the police and all that’s going on. Heritage Park will be that,” neighbor Wilma Barrett said.

Heritage Park is on the list of city parks where alcohol is banned, but these neighbors see people breaking that rule on a daily basis.

No surprise, I figured the problem would move around. In fact I still see drinking in Van Eps and I also see it at a picnic shelter by the old Drake Springs pool site. Police are there quite often.

I may get myself into a little trouble with this, but I think there should be a total ban on alcohol in ALL parks throughout the city. I would include the ball parks. I think if we are going to solve a problem like this we need to have an equal policy throughout the city.

PS – I noticed the female police officer in the video looks like the same one that tried to do a skateboard trick on a guard rail with her patrol car.

Events Center siding fiasco almost a year in mediation

The mediation is almost at it’s year anniversary in which the city has 12 months to figure out a solution with Mortensen on how to fix the siding.

All we have heard so far is crickets.

Over the month of July expect several posts as we plan to dig deeper into the actual problems associated with leaving the siding as is and just who is going to take it in the shorts if it gets repaired.

Should the City of Sioux Falls raise it’s minimum wage to $10 an hour

Commissioner Barth thinks so;

Under the Sioux Falls Charter Form of Government, the city can do anything not forbidden by state statute. Thus, Sioux Falls can and should raise the minimum wage within its municipal boundaries. There would be fewer families and kids depending on taxpayer and charitable assistance. Yes, it would cause a stir, but the free publicity would help send forth the word that “Sioux Falls has jobs” and that these jobs pay a living wage. Many employers are already paying $10 and up for entry-level-positions, so the effect on local employers would be minimal.

When Jeff first proposed this to me over a month ago, I kind of laughed to myself. But is it that far-fetched? I called Jeff the other day while driving past Mickey D’s? What did the marquee say? “Do you want to make $10 an hour?” WOW! Even the famous fast food joint is paying that as a starting wage in Sioux Falls. (for full disclosure I was making that much in 1989 at a McDonalds in Everett, WA as the summer night maintenance person – 25 years ago – and I got to wear some cool coveralls!).

It seems our city council has pulled up their boot straps lately. Wrangling in pool rates, a texting ban even free youth bus rides. Is it time for our legislative body to send a message to employers in this town? How about a message to Pierre? While we are quick to give away free things to the ‘poor kids’ how about giving them a ‘hand up’ instead.

I at least encourage the city council to look at the measure.

What kind of training is ‘Ovations’ temporary help getting?

After reading the Stormland TV story about the supposed patron of the Events Center that got drugged by a temp employee bartender, Detroit Lewis started asking a few questions, but not about the incident itself.

I have been wondering where ‘Ovations’ (the contractor the city uses for the Events Center that is also used at the Pentagon and Canaries Stadium for concessions) get’s their temp help AND what kind of training they receive, and if there is any liability of the city (the taxpayers) if one of these temps screw up.

So a couple of weeks ago I got tipped off of the temp agency being used by a very disgruntled temp. While I am NOT going to say who the temp agency is, let’s just say it wouldn’t be the first place you would think of when you are looking for people to prepare food and bartend. Let me be clear though, this agency places a lot of people for day labor on construction sites, etc., and that is wonderful. But when I found out they were being used for food service and hospitality, I got a little nervous, especially for someone who has worked in the industry on and off for 26 years.

My first issue was food safety and ADA training. According to the Ovations contract with the city training is provided;


Is everyone getting proper training? I hope city officials look into very closely.

The Washington Pavilion, with all it’s faults, I will admit when I worked there in the Great Hall, all of us had to go through CPR & ADA training, amongst other programs. Even the Part-Time, Part-timers had to go through it, as well as the volunteers. It wasn’t an option. I also never recall temps working there part-time (except for maybe show load ins for the stage shows).

One of the things we were promised at the Events Center was jobs. Not just construction and full-time jobs, but good part-time jobs. Now we are finding out instead of Ovations hiring permanent part-time help they seem to be just filling the cracks with temp workers anytime there is a big event (and hiding the tip jars).

To say I am surprised, well not really. But I am disappointed that yet again, we are receiving another broken promise about the Events Center due to the greed of a few.

A little ‘Old Time Religion’ at the Sioux Falls council informational meeting


“. . .  and please Jesus, make our streets safe for Patrick Lalley when he is riding his bike on them.”

I attended the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting today where they talked about ‘Complete Streets’ (yawn). One of the presenters decided to throw a little old time religion into the presentation where she said;

“Live, work, play and PRAY.”

Pretty soon we can expect ‘praying lanes’ on our streets, and trust me, we will need them to endure the next 3 years of this mayor.

Is it time for a graffiti alley in Sioux Falls?

With the recent arrest of a very talented (yet criminal) graffiti artist and the great success of Rapid City’s graffiti alley, is it time to do something similar in Downtown Sioux Falls?

I have often had long discussions with artist friends on how we could do guerilla art projects downtown without damaging property. I did the photos of sculpture walk sculptures with paper bags over their heads. I have also suggested just leaving random pieces of art at places (but that would be considered littering).

I think it is time DTSF explores their own graffiti alley, and I hope to bend the ear of the new DTSF director when he takes over this month about the idea.