I will start by saying that there are many GOOD things in the new vehicles for hire ordinance that was passed on Tuesday (Item#39):
• Background checks (I actually think there should be drug tests after seeing a cabbie tug on a number last summer while sitting in a parking lot downtown).
• Sealing meters & vehicle inspections (this is great for public safety and consumer protection)
• Taking the shortest route and posting the rates
• Proper permits and licensing
YES! These things needed to be done. Now to the bad parts of the ordinance;
• Eliminating the fuel surcharge (this makes cab company owners suck up the loss when gas prices fluctuate).
• Fare limitations and regulation (while many of the regulations I mentioned above are good, they are going to cost cab companies money and profit loss. Since they are listing the rates, they should be able to charge what they want, with minimal limitations. Not only will it help them recover the regulation losses, it will create healthy competition, which helps lower rates).
• Permanent signage (this is silly on many levels. Some cab companies use their vehicles for personal use, why should they have to do this? I think magnetic signs when they are in service is fine).
Staggers said it best, service will only get worse and our options will be limited. It amazes me that while we are arguing about better public transit in this city we would regulate cab companies out of business.
I think this ordinance will need a major overhaul in a couple of years because taxi service will become less convenient and frequent. While it will be cheaper to ride in a cab, you may have trouble getting one, and your wait times will go up. I also see a possibility of a taxi ‘black market’ being created. The internet is a strange beast, and I see people looking into running non-permitted taxi services during the peak times on the weekend advertising on the internet.
Time will tell if the new changes will work. My guess is they will not.
Yes, I am back sooner then I wanted to be, BUT there has been a lot going on. I still plan to update the site in the near future, but as you will see, the comment section is back up and working.
There have been some rumors swirling around on other blogs and even on Craigslist that I took a break because I was trying to hide and disappointed in the election results. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been planning this break since October, and quite frankly I was tired. No conspiracies. In fact I just bought a brand new sports car, and have many trips/vacations planned.
I was actually elated that Snowgates had such a clear victory. As I have said all along, it is just taking a public service that already exists and makes it better. I hope to see tree-trimming in the boulevard the next petition drive.
As for the election results, I made predictions the day before the election, I only got one race wrong (Schwan/Kiley) I nailed all the other races, even with percentages (I was off by about 20 points on the Rolfing race) but I nailed the voter turnout percentage. I had to keep my election predictions on the low down since I was involved with many of the races. Like I said, no big surprises, and no crying by me.
As for how the run up to the election and how the election was run, it was a complete disaster. Let’s start from the beginning,
The mayor’s proposed advocational meetings and videos and pool drawings which were a clear violation of state law.
Wrong ballots being sent out for absentee, handed out at precincts. How many people voted for the wrong district candidate? We may never know?
The 17 inch ballot that kept jamming in the tabulation machines was unneeded (City attorney Fiddle Faddle admitted during the Spellerberg hearing that they didn’t have to have that much text on the ballot) in other words, they could have used 14 inch ballots.
Vote centers are nothing more than a poll tax, they are complicated, and surpress the vote. We had only a 34% voter turnout, can you imagine if it would have been 50% or 75%? We would have had a line a half-mile long at the centers. They don’t work, they discourage voting and wrong ballots are being distributed to voters. Go back to regular precincts. Money should NEVER be an issue when voting. If we have $20 million in surplus for an Indoor pool, we have an extra $60K for an election.
When councilor Dean Karsky congratulated City Clerk Hogstad on the wonderful job she did on the election during this week’s informational meeting, I just about puked. She should be terminated and should even be brought up on charges. Her management of the election was a complete FAILURE!
Let’s just say, her termination may be on the horizon. There are some avenues to that road in the hopper. Stay tuned.
Like I said above, I kind of figured the outdoor pool would lose. You can thank the mis-information campaign by the mayor’s office for that. As for the mayor’s proposal to ramrod indoor pool funding before new councilors are sworn in, I ask “Why the rush?” I don’t think it is fair to new councilor’s Kiley & Erickson to allow Sue & Jim to vote on a $20 million dollar funding package at their last council meeting. This is an attempt for the mayor to get it done at Spellerberg before new councilors can object to it. I actually like the funding proposal and naming rights idea (even though I got a chuckle out of the mayor complaining about childhood obesity during his presentation, then the finance director talking about selling a soft drink naming rights sponsorshipThat all being said, Spellerberg is still the WRONG location. If we are going to sell naming rights to help subsidize the facility, here’s my idea, Slap Sanford on the side of it and build it at the Sports Complex. Hopefully the council can get the funding deferred until Erickson and Kiley are sworn in and have a real discussion about an indoor pool and it’s location. There is no doubt the funding idea is a good one and most people support an Indoor pool, but the council should take several months discussing a location. Ground can’t be broken until the Spring of 2015, there is plenty of time.
THE SCHWAN/KILEY RACE
This was a big surprise to me, and not just because I know Bonita. Some people felt that Bonita lost due to the community’s support of Walmart and Shape Places. I did take that into consideration, but as I mentioned above, there were issues with wrong ballots being handed out, and while I do not contest the results of the mayor race and measures, the district races concern me, especially when you see numbers like this (Central District);
Under Votes: 933
How is that almost 17% of voters in the Central District voted for neither candidate? While in the mayor’s race there was only 397 under votes? This doesn’t add up in the least bit. I’m hoping that there will be an investigation into the district races.
Best quote I heard the night of the election when I was discussing the passing of WM with a friend, he said, “This is what happens when you let bedazzled-jeans housewives from the southside vote.” I never questioned they would win the election. They spent probably a half-million dollars (and to imagine, only 12 short years ago Munson was elected mayor by spending about $12K.) Also, people love cheap crap, and they love Walmart. This had nothing to do with property rights, as I have pointed out several times, WM doesn’t even own the property. Which brings us to an interesting issue with the proposed store. According to the city’s planning department, the only thing Walmart has left to do is purchase a building permit. Hmmm, wonder if the city will allow this since there is a pending appeal with the SD Supreme Court on the annexation. So what happens if Walmart buys the land and starts building and the SC says, “Improper annexation.” This could get even messier.
NOT MY MAN MIKE
I knew that Jamison would have an upward battle against Mike, and history shows, a mayoral incumbent is hard to beat. But will Mike take this election as a mandate and learn from the people who didn’t vote for him, like the voter that called him, “Sarcastic and immature.” In an Argus election story? Will he stop investing in development? Will he become more transparent? Will he legislate more with the council? Well if the pool funding presentation is any insight into the next four years, it looks like he is going to go it alone, even more. I suggest the new council’s first priority is to draft legislation that requires the Mayor to share all pertinent information with them when it comes to business and land development, budgeting and city charter and ordinances. And make it a ‘REAL’ offense if he violates the rule, like a $10,000 personal fine or a month-long unpaid suspension. I think Mayor Mike has learned only one thing from the first four years, when you are a bully, there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish.
“You heard witness after witness today explain to you that they simply missed it. They missed December 15th versus December 31st, 2015. And we apologize as a city. We missed it too,” said Pfeifle.
An error was made. But, the Sioux Falls election will go on without new ballots.
According to the city’s attorney it would have cost Sioux Falls tax payers $60,000 to move the date of the election.
From Bruce Danielson, Citizens for Integrity Chair;
When asked by everyone I answer the question “How do you feel about the decision?” My answer is “Fantastic!” Imagine the people’s possibilities as a result this ruling. Just from asking simple point of law, we learned a great deal about how our current city administration is governing through loopholes. We had to learn in court how little they respect the citizens and learned how it actually operates.
Wow, what a day! It was really a victory. Now you wonder how we find a victory in a judge’s decision you did not want. We got our day in court to solve a problem. We all should find pride in the courage of Liz and Charlie. They were willing to stand up to a system designed to harm them and they still stood there. Thank them when you see them, they deserve a great deal of gratitude. Charlie and Liz lived their civics lessons.
No matter what side wins Tuesday, the city cannot come back and claim an error on the ballot will “null and void” the results. Think about it, if Wednesday the city did not like the results it could have asked for a ruling to kill the results; all because of a ‘typo’. One thing we have learned about this mayor and city government is the use of loopholes. We have begun a challenge process to ballot errors in South Dakota.
Our experience this week has found several steps to watch for and then to consider when citizens place an issue on the ballot.
Who would have thought we the people, would have experienced the following lessons? We thought we hired civil servants to do accurate, unbiased election work for us. Now more than ever, a watcher must watch the watcher.
Major changes to both the leaders we elect and to the process we use are necessary. Our goals will not be to tighten the citizen’s process but to clean-up the government’s participation.
What the citizens wanted was simple, a clean proper ballot. In lieu of postponement, simple legal remedies were asked for including a simple writ from the court ordering a proper certification of the results. How did we get to a courtroom today?
Consider this set of circumstances; these could happen to a citizen effort close to you:
You and your neighbors band together to solve a problem
Your group tries to work with a government body, let’s say a city council and mayor
This government body pans at your group’s problem and continues forward without your concerns
Their civics lessons said the people have a right to petition their government
One of the petition avenues is circulating a demand for a public vote
The petition language is written in precise, clear language, no wiggle room
The clerk in charge of elections stamps the petition form and gives out a bunch of rules
The rules explain a lot of details and requirements petitioners must follow
A petition is circulated by average citizens explaining the need for it
These citizens have done everything correctly during 19 days or six months of hard work to collect thousands of signatures
The petition is accepted for the ballot by a government hostile to the plans of the citizens
Remember up to this point the petitioners have spent a lifetime believing in the idea of responsive government taught in their civics lessons. They accept these roadblocks and continue on with their lives.
The responsible government these citizens are taught to believe are now entrusted with their hard work
This government arranges to postpone the public vote in order to arrange a marketing campaign against citizen’s efforts
The citizens have learned through civics, their measure will be on the ballot as presented. Who would dare mess up the language
Now imagine you are one of these groups who collected the signatures. You find out everything you worked for is changed because a hostile city government has decided as long as the title in not changed, they can gut the meaning and language of the measure before their neighbors can vote on it. How would you feel?
The petitioners try working within the system, asking to review the ballots before printing
The marketing department of government changes the language on one ballot explanation so it’s purpose may no longer be the intention of petitioners
The unhappy government has their attorney staff write biased language like it is a subprime credit card brochure
Then when the ballots are printed, in the fast and loose department, also known as city government, changes a date on another measure
It is discovered all four citizen efforts have been modified in one way or the other
When have you heard of changes to ballot language once submitted? Wasn’t this considered sacred? What kind of people have we allowed to run our government? Why have we put them in charge? Who can help? Is there a lawyer available? Who guards the guardian?
The petitioners work the only way they know, attempt to talk to the government
The people approach the makers and keeper of mistakes on to be told to go away, “Don’t bother us, you have caused us too much work already”
What’s left for us? Look for a lawyer who can talk to the government
Do you know how hard it is to find a lawyer without ties or fear of those in charge of the government?
A brave lawyer is finally found and the options are weighed
The petitioners realize the only remedy is a trip to the courtroom
Now the volunteer group must become very public, something they are uncomfortable with
Papers are filed to ask the court for help
The story is told in court, warts, mistakes and all
The citizens face a good judge and a not happy government
The government pulls out the special rule book citizens are supposed to somehow know
The government prevails with the judge because the average citizens don’t know the special rules
The city decides to rest the blame for their ‘mistake’ on the people who finally caught the mistake
When the people have no access to the proof reading area of the marketing department, they are to blame for the ‘typo’?
When the people find a problem and the doors of government are slammed shut to our efforts, we are at fault?
When the legal establishment is afraid to challenge the system, the people are at fault?
Citizens accept the ruling wiser and thankful for a place to bring the problem to the public
Loopholes, loopholes and more loopholes, this is just like writing a subprime credit card program. How do we screw the system so we can bilk more out of the users of our program?
In this whole post-court period we learned why the city kept said it would cost $60,000 to fix the election issue
Where did this dollar amount come from?
The government had to come up with a backup plan to hold the election. The SOS office in Pierre had a plan ready to make the election succeed on schedule. In the future, we now know this option is available. This is a major victory for petitioners and candidates. There will be less fear in the consequences. Thank you.
There were printing presses in North Carolina ready to reprint the ballots
Chartered planes were on standby to carry the new ballots to Sioux Falls
The polling places would have opened one hour late in morning for a 12 hour voting period
Election would have gone on as planned
In being disappointed by a ruling, we citizens actually may have won. We shook up the system. We let the powers in charge know we were tired of being abused. We are tired of the system being gamed for the specials. We are learning how to take on this government. The city had to bring in the South Dakota Secretary of State to add legitimacy to their case as their only witness.
We are just average Americans. We want to believe in our systems. We are also tired of the power circles running everything. May the city election of 2014 be successful to challengers. Sioux Falls city government needs to have a major flushing to test the new sewer lines to the Sioux.
We plan to be very active in our new efforts going forward. Thank you Joel Arends for helping us find out how bad the system really is and for helping find a way through the mess. It was a great victory for us!
Also we hope Lewis well on his break, we will miss this spot to vent, laugh and poke sticks into the big underbelly of government. Lewis you have made me a better citizen by being here. Thank you…
Apparently, the very company that created the ‘advocational’ drawings for the city didn’t think there was anything wrong with being more ‘advocational’ and giving money to CS365. Or as Huether would say, “I didn’t break any laws, so I must be ethical.” If they would have given money to both campaigns, I would have understood, but really? If the outdoor pool passes, I suggest the city hires another pool design company.
While he has not initiated many proposals, he has served and led committees examining important community issues. He served on the transit task force and headed the committee studying changes in the city’s urban agriculture regulations.
We hope to see Rolfing become more of a leader on the council in a second term. He should be more confident in advancing measures to solve city problems, in working for compromise and anticipating future conflicts.
In other words, he sucks, doesn’t have knowledge of the issues and is a seat warmer, but he is a heck of a rubberstamper, and we need to keep him. Besides it only took him a year to count a couple of chickens.
Kiley come lately;
Bonita Schwan’s involvement has primarily been in the Save Our Neighborhood effort to prevent Walmart from building a store in her neighborhood.
Yup, paint her as public (city hall) enemy number one, even though she has 10 times the government experience of Kiley and has volunteered in numerous charities throughout the community, the country and the world. But who needs a goody-two shoes like that?
He has the right attitude and has educated himself on a variety of city issues.
Well if he has truly educated himself on the issues, you would think he would be able to answer a question about those issues. Not even close. “Rick, how many eyes does the mayor have?” “I will let the voters decide since I don’t have all the FACTS to answer that question.”
Michelle ‘Big Poo’ Erpenbach;
Michelle Erpenbach has been visible and effective in her first term on the Sioux Falls City Council.
Yes she has, especially when she has been shooting her mouth off scolding the rest of the council and censoring citizens for public input.
She has served as vice chairperson and chairperson of the council, clearly demonstrating strong leadership abilities.
Is it really leadership when you act like a dictator?
Her interest in the community and drive to move Sioux Falls forward have made her an effective voice for the Central District on the council.
Code for ‘handouts to the special interests’
We urge her to continue speaking out on the issues, pushing for progressive policies
Since when is non-transparent, pro-censorship government progressive?
For those who have paid attention, Michelle is a public policy train wreck.
UPDATED: I just got word that two citizen activists emailed the Publisher of the Argus Leader, Bill Albrecht today about the poorly constructed endorsements and Patrick Lalley’s involvement. The main disappointment stems from asking voters to vote against snowgates. This is a obvious bias by Lalley. Snowgates have widespread support, heck even the mayor supports them. They will probably pass by 60-70%. So why would the Argus dump on them? The ed board claims that they compiled these endorsements through interviews with people involved with the petition drives. Guess how many times they asked Theresa Stehly (The snow gate petition chair) on the ’100 Eyes’ show? ZERO. Lalley has even denied that he asked her to be on it, but he did, about a month ago Lalley said to David Montgomery and Ellis on the show that he has asked Stehly to be on the show and she wouldn’t do it. Ellis quipped that they should invite me on to talk about them, and Lalley muttered something. When Stehly called Lalley about this ‘supposed’ invitation, he denied he ever said that. Well I heard it, Ellis and Montgomery also heard it, so he was lying, he did ‘claim’ he invited her on. But it gets better. Stehly called Lalley last week(?) to ask if she could be on the show, and he told her NO because snowgates have no opposition. Then today’s endorsements come out. It seems snowgates do have opposition, Patrick Lalley and the Argus Leader. Stehly spoke with Bill today and told him that she asked Lalley if she could come on the show, and his denying her the request. In an email to Bill, Lalley denies that conversation ever occured.
The fourth estate is supposed to be trusted to cover these issues, and inter-office LYING between management is not a good thing, especially with all the other problems occurring with the election. With this much hub-bub just over the snow gate measure, how can we trust ANY of the Argus endorsements?
You will notice that the AL’s endorsements are the exact opposite of mine, in fact they go against many of the opinions of the candidates running for office. No surprise there.
As I have said in the past to, I don’t think our only local daily paper should be doing endorsements. The TV stations don’t do it, not even the local radio programs. It is advertising disguised as journalism. The job of the media is to inform the voters on the pros and cons of each issue, and that is it.
Speed also plays into the notion of efficiency. Plows equipped with snowgates cannot maintain the same speed through the core city streets, in particular. That leads to a narrowing of the roadway after repeated snowfalls.
Sioux Falls receives, on average, 40 inches of snow each year. That’s not nearly as much as other places.
Just read these two paragraphs. We can’t have snowgates because if we get ‘a lot’ of snow the streets will narrow, then in the second paragraph they say we don’t get much snow. I LOL when I read this. Patrick Lalley, managing editor at the AL has admitted several times that he hires someone to clean out his driveway (and wash his clothes). Well, Pat, we all don’t have that luxury. Vote Yes for snowgates.
Ultimately, the concept of the indoor aquatic facility will have to pass on its own merits based on need and cost. That’s a debate for another day.
Then why bring it into the debate? While I support an outdoor pool at Spellerberg (would love to see a free admission natural filtration pool) I guess I don’t really see a NO vote turning into an indoor facility. This is something the media and the city have cooked up from the beginning, and now to admit that we are not debating it is a little disengenous. But they are right. If the outdoor pool fails, that doesn’t mean an indoor facility will be built there. They could just simply fill it in and make it a green space park. It is obvious most people in this community support an indoor facility built for room for expansion and a private/public partnership, that can’t happen at Spellerberg.
To that end, we recommend a “Yes” vote on Referred Law 3 with the caveat that the City Council should revisit the law to consider improvements to the public input process.
First off, the AL ed board doesn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground when it comes to Shape Places, so even ‘attempting’ to do an endorsement is idiotic. Secondly, I wasn’t aware a ‘caveat’ existed in the ballot language. Oh, that’s right, it doesn’t. Nothing is forcing the city directors, the mayor or the city council into ‘revisiting’ the ordinance if it passes. If it fails, it will FORCE them to tweak it and re-pass it. And there is nothing preventing them from doing that. When Planning Director Mike Cooper was recently asked about the ordinance failing, he pretty much admitted they would just tweak Shape Places and send it back to the council. Vote NO on Shape Places to force the city into repairing it’s public input weaknesses.
However, we don’t get to pick the retailer.
Uh, kind of sounds like we do. In fact the word ‘Walmart’ is used several times in the city attorney’s ballot explanation. If the rezoning is approved, Walmart will build there. If it is not approved, this zoning of this property will have to be reconsidered and scaled down so a 185,000 square foot super center can’t be there. Besides the obvious problems associated with traffic and being too close to single family homes (that were built before the rezoning). There is the millions in subsidies taxpayers will have to kick out in infrastructure and social costs of a Walmart. And the tax revenue Walmart will bring in? That’s laughable, they are only canibalizing their other stores and robbing local retailers. It is a disgrace that not only our local newspaper (that makes it’s revenue from advertising, not subscriptions) but our local Chamber would endorse a retailer that has been known to hurt local business. Have they gone stark raving mad? Vote NO on the rezoning. Let’s at least hope Sioux Falls has a little integrity for once.
This is what Huether submitted for his financial disclosure. City Clerk approved it saying it was ‘unintentional’ that he did not file everything. Heck, he doesn’t even list his mayoral salary.
This is what council candidate Bonita Schwan filed from the advice of city clerk Lorie Hogstad (Doc: bonita-schwan_SFI)
It’s been known for a long time that city clerk, Lorie Hogstad, singled out Bonita Schwan in misleading her on her financial disclosure. Instead of just telling Bonita she could be ‘vague’ and ‘general’ in her disclosure, she asked for a detailed report. I won’t speculate why this was done, I could have a million reasons, but read the email transcripts for yourself (starting with the earliest);
From: Bonita Schwan
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 9:37 AM
To: Hogstad, Lorie
Subject: Re: City Council Meeting Calendar
Good Morning Lorie it is Bonita Schwan. I was reviewing the forms in my Election Packet this weekend and had a question regarding the Statement of Financial Interest Candidate for Public Office form. My question is specifically in regards to question number seven (on page 1) and the definition of “Nature of your association”(page 2, 3.) and “Close economic interest” (page 2, 4.(2)) and “Enterprise” (page 2,4.(3)). For example, do I need to list municipal bond income that I received in 2013 from St.Paul Minnesota that is in excess of $2,000? Thank you for your help
Lorie. Bonita Schwan.
E-Mail Dated 1/29/14
Hi Bonita – My apologies for the delay in responding to your question. The answer to your question would be yes, that you would need to report the municipal bond income. Please let me know if I can furnish any additional information.
Sincerely, Lorie Hogstad, CMC
So why wasn’t this important piece of information given to all of the other candidates? Why is it that Bonita was the only candidate that needed to be ‘unintentional’ in her disclosure?
This shows us a couple of different things. Huether plays by his own rules and the city clerk and city attorney allow him to do so. It also shows that the clerk’s office lacks consistency on implementing the rules. But they also don’t know how to write a simple ballot correctly, go figure.
Citizens for Integrity is a good government mission. Spending a life fighting battles for equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunities for all forms a compass to move forward in the darkness of greed.
Citizens for Integrity is not a NIMBY project. Many of those who have come together in this effort do not live close to any of the neighborhoods in question. We have nothing to personally / financially gain from these issues. My personally work will never intersect with any of the parties to these issues.
There are those who criticize what we are doing in order to expedite the ability to get a construction bid or some other favor.
The goal of Citizens for Integrity is only good government. The Ballot is Sacred. How hard is it to understand?
Just imagine any of you were running for election, supporting a measure to say make green the new purple, you would want to make sure every vote counts. You would wish the ballot reflected the hard work you put in to get the Initiative on the ballot so your neighbors could vote on it.
We have processes in place to make it happen. We have problems with the current cobbled up mess our city government is showing. We have a mayor who has shown no bounds for breaking long established customs and rules. He has fired (or arranged for) quality personnel, appointed replacements to do his work and then gets upset when someone finds out what is going on.
We are pointing to problems with an election and the system. The leaders of the four petition efforts are not driving this effort, I am.
This is not a NIMBY effort, this is a moral and legal effort. When will you get off your computers and fight for something good on behalf of your least able neighbors in the name of good government? If you sit at your computers and complain all day, you are doing nothing to improve the system for all of us.
So to those who only want building projects so they can sell materials to it, sell land, have their kids going swimming or sneak a special code into a big complicated document, we are sorry for you. You have lost the value of our system and ways. This is not a greed movement, this is a good government movement.
The next few days will tell a lot about our system and the way we move into the future. Hang on, it could be a bumpy ride.
SIDENOTE (Detroit Lewis): I watched the Minnehaha County Commission meeting it shows why the County Commission differs from the City Council. Bruce receives praise from the commission for finding errors and asking them to get resolved and even the county auditor, Litz attests to Bruce’s diligence. Walk over to Carnegie Town hall, and all he receives is scorn for finding mistakes. The tale of two cities I guess.
And now onto the Council meeting. Crickets. No explanations, no apologies, no remorse.
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY PLAN OF PINEWOOD ADDITION.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD:
That the preliminary plan of Pinewood Addition to the City of Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, SD, is hereby approved, and the City Clerk of the City of Sioux Falls is hereby directed to endorse on such plan a copy of this resolution and certify the same thereon.
Notice that the mayor is required to sign this document. Will he? That all depends if he is investing in this development. Even after many in the media, his mayoral opponent and many people in the public have said they prefer the mayor and his wife DO NOT invest in developments that have to be approved by his staff members, the council and planning commission.
He is hard of hearing I guess.
Since he didn’t explain why he stepped out on the vote and discussion, I guess we will have to see if this document gets signed before the election, and if so, by who?
If you read the Argus Leader this morning you likely saw the quote from Carol Twedt, former Minnehaha County Commissioner, implying that the homeowners near 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue are at fault for not verifying the City’s plans for the area when they built their houses. “I think when you purchase property, it behooves you as a citizen to find out what the city’s plans are for your area, especially on a thoroughfare like I am,” she said.
Having been active in county planning, Commissioner Twedt understands the need for proper planning. She also recognizes that people rely on the government’s plans once adopted. The single family homeowners near 85th and Minnesota relied on the City’s plans when they built their homes. Going back to the 90s the City’s plans called for the area where these homes exist to be developed into single family neighborhoods. There was no plan for heavy commercial development in the area. Some of us asked at the time as Commissioner Twedt suggested.
While we appreciate the service Commissioner Twedt has provided her constituents, there are times when politicians must admit their have misspoke. Many others have also been mistaken in their understanding that the City long planned the area for significant commercial development well in advance of homes being built. Therefore, we ask that Commissioner Twedt publicly acknowledge that the City had not adopted any plans for large commercial development at the 85th & Minnesota intersection before 2009 when most of the homes were built. To insinuate otherwise is a misrepresentation of the facts.
Carol Twedt, a former Minnehaha County commissioner, said 85th and Minnesota is the right place for a Walmart. She’s lived in a condominium on Minnesota Avenue south of 57th Street for more than 20 years, and she’s watched the city grow around her. “I think when you purchase property, it behooves you as a citizen to find out what the city’s plans are for your area, especially on a thoroughfare like I am,” she said. “Growth happens in a vibrant community,” she added.
Here is the facts: The City didn’t have a plan for that corner until it designated it a sub-regional employment center on December 7th, 2009, by that time (see above). We always expected commercial development on that corner, but under Shape Places C-4 commercial development can be an unlimited size, and a 185,000 sq ft super-center is absolutley the biggest and most intense commercial development imaginable.