In the wee hours of Tuesday night, I will be starting a long overdue blog break. South DaCola will remain up, but commenting will be turned off to prepare for changes. Not sure what the new format of DaCola will be, but a (small) team of South DaCola foot soldiers and associates have been weighing our options. I can tell you this, it will no longer be a bitch session but a proactive community activism website and news source (what many don’t realize is the activism my site inspires that doesn’t grace the pages of the interwebs, they are numerous, and often). Not sure how long this transition will take, but I am guessing about a month. Some of the things we will be doing will be definitely ground breaking and ‘different’ to the Sioux Falls market (yes, I will be selling advertising), and different then any traditional media source that currently exists in the Greatest Little City in the country. I am looking forward to it, but I am also looking forward to the break from my tireless obsession with city government.
While I volunteer my activism on this site, it hasn’t always been ‘fun’. I have lost sleep and good friends over it, and the friends that still talk to me, don’t do it as often. It’s been rough emotionally for me, because my personal (recreational) life is almost nonexistent, and if that is going to change, for the better, I need to make this transition. It’s time I get back to things I enjoy, like BBQ’in with my friends, bike riding, firepits and camping, playing yard games, painting and going to live music shows and dancing with the ladies (love dancing with the ladies). Stuff that has almost dwindled to nothing, especially over the past four years.
There has been some positives though, and I am grateful for them every day. I have met some pretty amazing people in our community on this journey, who have made me laugh, made me cry, and pulled the inner fight out of me. Candidates, citizen advocates, city & county employees, elected city and county officials, attorneys, campaign consultants and a whole host of other citizens disenfranchised by city government that have a legitimate beef and axe to grind. They are fantastic, intelligent, thoughtful, fascinating people that are not apathetic or ignorant and have hearts the size of the T Denny Sanford Premier Center. I love the NEW friendships I have attained. Some of these people will probably be my friends for a very, very long time, and I love it (a lot of them like to dance also
This is the most important city election this city has ever had since I moved here in 1991. Ballot issues on quality of life, public services, home owner property rights, etc. I have been diligent and obsessive for a reason, maybe it’s the bleeding heart Liberal in me that just wants to see fairness for EVERYONE from government, especially on a local level. Transparency and anti-censorship are my two biggest issues. I have often had the belief that democracies can only be fair to the citizenry if that citizenry is informed. Ethical and open government is tantamount to a vibrant and strong local government, unfortunately, that has not happened over the last 8-10 years in Sioux Falls (Huether and Erpenbach have been public enemy #1 in this arena). I’ve seen good people chopped down, I’ve watched public employees terminated and publicly disgraced unfairly, I have seen citizens put through the wringer and watched the very people we elect allow it to happen, with no remorse. As the chair to ‘Citizens for Integrity’ said the other night about the ballot language at the city council meeting, “It’s bad!”
We can however make a change on Tuesday, remember to VOTE at any vote center and VOTE for a change and progress;
Ballot Measures: YES on the first Five, No on the last Two!
In closing; I have become familiar with defeat and victory in municipal elections, but the voters are the ultimate deciders, and while I will not be able to personally accept some of their decisions on Tuesday, I can deal with it, move on, and work with the positive results of that night. I hate to sound like a candidate, but I Love Sioux Falls, it took me a long time to get to that point, but I think we have so many things we can improve on. I think we can do that no matter the results Tuesday night, and I hope the NEW DaCola will be a part of that.
I will have to admit, I never measure these events in success or not, because I really don’t read Dave Ramsey books. BUT, BUT, I do know we solved the Events Center parking problem, legalizing mary jane and why Denny Sanford wants to rule the world. Other then that, I drank some really good homemade wine, ate some good homemade salsa, met some new people and probably scared the living dogshit out of a local politician. Well, at least, dead dogshit, and chicken, rabbit and goat shit.
South DaCola Fest WILL occur this next Monday, March 25. 5:30 at the Touch of Europe. After a long hiatus from this event, I hope it will be the best one so far. Feel free to bring treats and eats, cash bar, and plenty of political talk. I am working on getting some local politicos to show up and make it more engaging. While we have some wild times here sometimes, it will be great meeting some of you in person, again. Enemies are welcome too
I am planning it for 5:30 at the Touch of Europe, Downtown Sioux Falls, 12th & Phillips at 5:30 PM. FREE PARKING after 5 PM downtown. We are normally closed that night, so no food, but I will have a cash bar of beer and wine and two-fers on Amber Bock taps and house wine.
Anybody is welcome to come and talk about politics, even though the conversation normally goes astray really fast.
It used to be I was scoffed by many people, angry conspiracy theorist and all. But over the past year I have gotten nothing but positive feedback, donations and encouragement, and not just from people I know, but readers and commenters.
Several commenters have even came ‘out of the closet’ and have approached me in public and told me their screen names.
This is what I have wanted South DaCola to be, a platform for information you won’t get from the local media. A vent for citizens.
I have made incredible friends that I never would have imagined. People passionate about integrity and open government. People expecting top notch customer service from their elected officials. And honesty.
In fact I actually enjoy the criticism more then the compliments. It keeps me on my toes and makes me look in the mirror, much more then I want to.
Now for the compliments. I met a South DaCola reader about a month ago and she sang praises about my site. I recently ran into her again, and she said something that almost made me cry.
“What you do is so wonderful, never stop!”
She said some other things to, that made me blush a bit.
The best part was a comment she made to me that I have turned into a joke;
‘What’s the difference between a SD Democrat and a Minnesota Republican?’
Okay, I want to make this as simple as possible. And I want YOU to make money also, in fact, I want you to make as much as me.
Let’s lay down the facts, South DaCola is read by over 10,000 (individual) readers a day with up to 40,000 hits a day. It has traffic, and has advertising appeal.
The problem? I’m not a salesman. Sure I can sell a hamburger and a beer, but when it comes to something as touchy as politics, I couldn’t sell you a free toothpick.
So I am putting a challenge out there. You send me advertisers, I will give you a 50% commission. On top of that, I will do the design work and the leg work.
I have pretty slack terms, I will negotiate any advertiser’s rate and they don’t have to sign any contracts. You can advertise as long as you want. Don’t care. As long as you pay me via check, money-order or PayPal, we are good to go.
If you want to help me sell advertising for South DaCola, or are interested in advertising on one of Sioux Falls’ top read daily websites. Drop me a line, email@example.com