Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

The City builds 100 year buildings. Really?

Not sure why I was thinking about this, but recently Rex Rolfing said that city buildings like the admin building cost more because the city builds buildings to last 100 years.

Not sure what buildings he was referring to?

Let’s look at City Hall, it has weathered well but has needed upgrades.

The only other building I can think of is the Arena, ironically a building we want to tear down. Good luck.

Let’s look at this stellar resume of ‘100 year old’ buildings.

Canaries Stadium. As I understand it, it was built in the 90’s and is falling apart. Some have suggested we bulldoze it.

Convention Center. This place has seen many repairs. In fact it’s roof repair was part of the siding settlement.

Washington Pavilion. Supposed to cost $19 million and cost more than $50 million to date, including two roof repairs, and fixing the foundation, and more fixes to come.

Aquatic Center. As I understand it one of the pools needed to be fixed for a leak shortly after being opened.

Events Center. A building that has siding that has to be checked more often than an patient with Heart Disease.

Now we come to the $25 million dollar Admin building. I guess we will have to wait and see how it holds up, but if history has taught us anything, the city doesn’t have a stellar record of building ‘100 year old’ buildings.

The thought was nice though Rex.

Sioux Falls Central District Council Candidate Curt Soehl says nobody reads the Argus or Facebook

This wasn’t the first time Curt pulled a funny at a Forum (even though I think he was serious). At the Multi-Housing Forum he said he got rid of his rental property because renters are a ‘pain in the butt’.

Tonight at the Chamber forum (2nd Half of Forum) he decided to bag on the Argus and Facebook (several times) about how no one reads them anymore. Hey, who can blame him, we all know an Argus endorsement is a kiss of death, ask Daschle.

While I will defend Soehl that home deliveries of the dead tree version are way down, I’m guessing online readership is higher (especially when stories online show up almost 24-72 hours before they print).

As for Facebook, they can defend themselves, something they are busy at these days.

I got the feeling that in some weird way Curt was trying to defend the current council and mayor by killing the messenger.

I know that Curt wants to believe what his donors are telling him is the truth, but the corruption runs deep and it is real. As one other council candidate in the central district said tonight, Thor Bardon, unlike others running in this race he can’t be bought by donors.

I guess that would explain Curt’s Kool-Aid mustache. But you didn’t read it in the Argus.

Why isn’t Sioux Falls City Councilor Rick Kiley participating in Forums?

No challengers. No Problem. Suck it.

Technically Rick doesn’t have to debate since he is an incumbent without a challenger.

But I had two different people tonight ask why he just doesn’t do it as a courtesy.

Good question.

I know in the past I have seen incumbents with no challengers participate in candidate forums, just to give voters a refresher of who they are and what they plan to do in the next term.

Maybe Rick doesn’t want us to know what he will be doing in the next 4 years. So much for transparency. I wonder if he knows that Huether will be gone after May 15th?

UPDATE: Jamison Campaign gets UNSOLICITED $47,000 donation

Imagine you are running for mayor of Sioux Falls, and without asking, a national organization drops you a cool $47,000 to help you with direct mail.

That was the surprise the Jamison campaign got last week when they donated that amount.

But here is the amazing part of the donation, according to the finance report document, they gave the money without asking Jamison (DOC: National-Association-Realtors-DON)


UPDATE: The latest mailing;

Can you imagine if they tried to open a place like this in Downtown Sioux Falls?

Not sure how many of my readers of South DaCola have been to downtown Rapid City, but it’s very ecletic and fun. There’s your normal gift shops and galleries with a nice mix of bars, restaurants and a brewery, but there also some unique places like the Mud Hole.

Teresa Roland and her husband David run the Mud Hole, which combines an antique and thrift store, and a café.

My first thought is that it would cool to have something like this in Downtown Sioux Falls. But can you imagine all the hooping and hollering that would go on if someone applied for a conditional use permit to have something like this in DTSF? I remember all the screaming that went on when Vishnu Bunny came downtown, or when the Night Club concept was turned down. Or the recent noise issues at ICON.

Would DTSF support such a business? We know that the new parking ramp has set up rules that doesn’t allow ‘thrift stores’ in the retail space. But we also know that DTSF already has an upscale thrift store. Would a combination café/thrift store be suitable though?

I don’t have an issue with it, what do you think?

I have felt for a long time there should be more diversity DTSF, and more homespun businesses like this would be a nice addition to our downtown.

AirBnB mysteriously changes from Bed & Breakfast zoning to short term rentals

Short term rental or short term friendship with the mayor?

First off, I agree with the city, a ‘short term rental’ like AirBnB should be just that, a rental. For it to be considered a Bed & Breakfast it has to have a ‘service’ kitchen that serves food to the renters that needs to be inspected by the health department. Since it does not, it is pretty much like any other apartment, but just for a shorter time. But this could ruffle the feathers of your homeowner neighbors who ARE not short term renters.

The rules seem simple. The state requires a tax license;

Beginning Sept. 1, Airbnb will begin collecting and remitting state and municipal taxes on all eligible bookings in South Dakota.

The City of Sioux Falls requires rental registration;

Short Term rental properties (such as Airbnb, VRBO, etc.)

This all makes sense, taxes paid, registrations in check.

But here is where it gets a little ‘sticky’ and all that ‘transparency’ thingy a lot of council candidates like to talk about lately. This story from 2015 paints another picture;

“A bed and breakfast requires a Conditional Use Permit and approval of the Planning Commission for that permit to be approved,” said Shawna Goldammer, Sioux Falls Zoning Enforcement Manager.

Goldammer says an Airbnb is considered a bed and breakfast. Chances are, Airbnb hosts are unknowingly operating illegally.

“What the ordinance does for us in Shape Places makes residential residential. So when you live in a residential area under a residential zoning district, you can expect residential in your neighborhood,” said Goldammer.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t consider short term rentals a bed and breakfast. What I take issue with is that after Shape Places passed and Goldammer made these statements, somehow the rules disappeared into the night without any action from the city council . . . that I can find.

What is also very interesting is that council candidate and incumbent, Christine Erickson’s main business is ‘short term rentals’ and AirBnB. Please tell me the rules didn’t change quietly in the night after a secret handshake with our mayor and code enforcement?

The irony of this is that Erickson could have had a very public debate about it, and would have probably won and got citizen support. Or maybe not. Would you want to own a home next to a short term rental in a residential neighborhood? I have renters in my neighborhood, I don’t take issue with it, but it’s not a revolving door either.

I would really like to know how these rules just magically change when it affects a city councilor’s business and a mysteriously renewed friendship with the mayor.

Kind of like the Downtown Parking ramp deal, Erickson got a little back peddling to do.

SouthDaCola planning Run-off Forum

I have thought since the last election two years ago it is time SouthDaCola had it’s own forum/interview. Since there has been so many forums/interviews with candidates before the general election I didn’t want to muddy the waters with another forum so I am planning to have a runoff forum instead.

There will be only 4 candidates. The mayor’s race and the central district race. I will do separate forums for both.

Stay tuned for details after April 10th. I will be asking my readers to submit questions.

Mayor Chickensh*t gets mad about a mayoral candidate trying to fix something he should have

I just want to let Greg Belfrage know that he should sell all that precious chicken manure that was dispersed in his studio this morning, it makes fantastic fertilizer.

Hizzoner has been on his departing tour now for what seems like eternity, this morning he came on the B-N-B show and couldn’t resist to continue to talk about how he is the greatest mayor ever and how none of the candidates know what they are talking about.

He of course has been using these opportunities to go after Greg Jamison (without saying his name). While I wish the mayor would stay out of the race completely, if he is going to throw certain candidates under the bus at least have the balls to say their name instead of calling them Candidate #1 or whatever.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

Ironically, the issue he railed about that Jamison brought up, quiet zones for train traffic through town, is something our mayor SHOULD HAVE negotiated with BNSF when we handed them $27 million of Federal taxdollars. That apparently did not occur to MMM when he had to make his secret middle of the night chartered flight to Minneapolis.

Chicken. Bach, Bach.

Driving the Conversation

I had to blush a little this St. Paddy’s Day when a long time friend and executive in the media in Sioux Falls told me that my blog is driving the conversation in local politics.

I’ve known this for awhile, and while I have a big opinionated mouth, I try to stay modest about my popularity. Mainly because the praise also comes with the retribution. And I have seen my fair share of both. I have lost many job opportunities, friends and business opportunities because of my opinion. But I also believe my advocacy has always been more important than keeping up with the Joneses or my prosperity.

The top issues in the latest municipal election are things I have been talking about for over a decade;

• Transparency in Government

• Affordable housing and living

• Crime and drugs

• Rebuilding our core

Let’s start with the first one. Many may not remember, but one of the reasons Jodi Schwan was hired to work for former Mayor Dave Munson was because the city council felt that his administration was not communicating well with the council. In fact the transparency was so bad that Dave broke city ordinance by approving a 100% cost overrun on Phillips to Falls without council approval. Mayor Huether did not invent government secrecy in Sioux Falls, he only perfected it. That is why Bruce and I pushed so hard on the faulty siding on the Events Center and the eventual lawsuit of the secret settlement.

I have been a champion of our core for years and have thought that our city needs to do a lot more in lifting up affordable housing in our core. I recently attended a city course on planning, in which my theories were confirmed, that the big wheels and money in this town like Sanford are destroying affordable neighborhoods and driving development in this town by the people with the most money, they basically admitted it during the Q & A session. I did not attend the second course.

I even told a current candidate for the Central District who is a strong advocate for the core, “I moved here in 1991 and lived close to Minnesota Avenue. You know what it looked like then? The same as it looks now.” Administrations over the past 3 decades have ignored our core. Now all of a sudden it is an issue. Please.

I have also felt that a public ambulance and even a public garbage service would serve our community well. Until the latest conversation about the problems with our private ambulance service and the SFFD taking on ALS training no one has been willing to take it on.

Crime! Wow! We all know now that because of the poorly negotiated pension reform we have literally lost hundreds of years of experience on our police force that we are desperately trying to make up for now. Let’s face it, they are understaffed, underpaid and lack the experience, all because of cost saving measures by our current corporate snake mayor. What works in the private sector can have monster repercussions in the public sector. We are seeing this with our SFPD and the way they have not only been treated by Huether but by Munson.

While I appreciate our local media bringing up these issues and topics, I have been pounding on them for well over a decade. Long before Mr. Huether’s marketing practices at a sub prime credit card company forced a change in Federal Law. And long before a bunch of ‘Johhny Come Lately’s’ entered the race.

If you want to read about what is going on in the community and what needs to change, you can come here and read about it. I encourage everyone to dive into my archives that span over 11 years of city politics and then make an informed decision on April 10th. I’m not bragging, I’m just asking you to educate yourselves.

Ignorance of the topics only gives us the poor leadership we have experienced for way to long. It is time we truly move this city forward by putting the citizens first by giving them a government they can trust that is open and dedicated to transparency and integrity. Anything else is losing campaign.

KELO TV Mayoral Interviews

KELO does an excellent job of covering some other issues with the candidates.