Entries Tagged 'Staggers' ↓

Editor of the AL shows how little he knows about city government

I wear a helmet to protect my brain from FACTS.

The interview Lalley conducted with Councilman Staggers today was laughable at best. I suggest that Lalley schools himself on all things city government before he conducts any more interviews with city officials.

Here’s a few highlights from the ‘Morning Conversation’

- Staggers defends public input in the regular council meetings after Lalley suggests we have ‘special meetings’ for big topics. Staggers points out why this is a bad idea because public input needs to take place at the time of the vote. And if that takes 3 hours, so be it. I also asked Staggers in the comments section, if he thinks the city council violated city ordinance by limiting public input time. He walked a pretty fine line when he answered the question, he didn’t go as far to say that they did, but he did defend public testimony and said that it should not be limited in the future. Lalley seemed to think different topics needed different amounts of time, then he goes into some weird rant about limiting public input because it had to do with Theresa Stehly. WTH does that have to do with anything?

- While we are on snowgates, Staggers was talking about city debt and bonding for special interests after a commenter asked about bonding. Staggers was quick to point out how the city needs to spend more money on capital projects, like snowgates, instead of special interest and recreational projects, because snowgates would benefit most residents in Sioux Falls. Of course, Lalley couldn’t resist to refute Staggers with some really bad math. First he said that it wouldn’t help most residents because only 5% of the total population of SF owns homes with driveways in Sioux Falls. Staggers kind of laughed at such a notion, and Lalley says, “I will email it to you!” Staggers was quick to point out that you don’t need to be a homeowner to benefit from snowgates, because it would clean out driveways of businesses and apartment buildings as well as clear intersections. But Lalley just couldn’t drop it and said it wasn’t about snow removal it was about SHOVELING.

- And just when Lalley couldn’t look any more ignorant, he blames the $400 million dollar debt MOSTLY on the Events Center. Not to defend that pointless project, but that is only about 25% of our debt, Lewis & Clark also racked up $70 million (for a pipeline we did not need) So where did the other $100-200 million come from? As Staggers points out, all of these special interest projects. Lalley then mutters something about sewer pipes. Hey Pat, if you were paying attention at all when the city raised our water rates you will find that those repairs come from rates and enterprise funds now.

I have a suggestion for Lalley if he is going to do a daily media program. Stick to asking questions and leave the editorializing to your boss. You just look stupid when you say stupid things.

UPDATED: A curious letter . . .

Updated, summary of the letter: DT-Quest

Councilor Dr. Staggers and I received a letter today CC’d to both of us. While I cannot post the letter (apparently this person thinks they can copyright the contents, anonymously) I am free to discuss it’s contents in a general matter :) OK, Wizard of Oz.

The letter contained a list of 20-some questions about the proposed Dunham TIF affordable housing plan. For the most part, focused, Good questions.

It seemed to trail off in some parts about herding the poor and minorities into certain parts of town. Not sure if this is true, but if you have ever knocked on doors collecting petitions, you may have a different aspect. They also asked if TIF’s are being used to supplement developers costs when associated to street construction?

There was even some speculation about certain city employees and elected officials benefitting from these developments . . . I will stay away from that. I’m sure Pathloss will fill us in :) Though I have pointed out that the Mayor’s wife is investing in a project that is receiving a TIF.

The only reason I post this is because I hope this person gives me permission to publish the ‘Questions’ – otherwise, not sure what will come of the issue.

While I cannot publish this letter ‘electronically’ (because this anon person said I could not – LOL – I can, and will show other people privately, just so you know.)

BTW, on a similar note, I found out former city planner Steve Metli’s retirement package tonight. Wow! Let’s just say, keep your eyes open. One of our SF daily papers will be covering the story soon :)

What is the public allowed to know when it comes to naming rights for the new events center?

Ellis wrote a great column yesterday in the non-free online newspaper about the secrecy surrounding the EC’s naming rights.

So let me get this straight;

• The public was not allowed to pick the location

• The public was not allowed to pick the financing plan

• And now the public isn’t allowed to be a part of the naming rights

What if the corporation chosen is unpopular with the public, even if they give much more then other bidders? Sometimes the highest bidder isn’t always the best. Do we want a subprime credit card company’s name on the side of our events center? Or the name of the founder of that company?

I agree with Ellis, we should be told something, heck, anything. Either the list of companies bidding, or a ballpark figure of what the city is expecting for revenue for the naming rights. Or better yet, both. I think if we made the bids public, we actually might see a bidding war take place which would help us garner even more money.

But hey who am I to question our mayor, Mr. Transparency himself.

STAGGERS & HUETHER

On a different note, several people have asked me what I think the working relationship will be between the mayor and councilor Staggers. I have not spoken to Kermit or Mike about this matter. Believe it or not, you may see them join forces on a whole host of things. They both want the EC to be profitable. They both are proponents of testing snow gates. They both want to see infrastructure projects moving at a fast pace. We all may be surprised how much these two have in common. Don’t get me wrong though, there will be battles. Kermit is big on demanding information from city hall before he makes a decision on the council. You may see an all out cage match between Kermit and Darrin Smith (they never got along much on the council).

I will end by saying something Kermit stated the other day on the ‘100 Eyes‘ show when asked about taking things personal. “I don’t take anything personal when there are disputes . . . if someone has a personal issue with me, that’s not my problem, that’s theirs.”

Amen to that.

KELO-TV’s Don Jorgensen misleads the public about an interview with Staggers

Got Wood?

Don had no problem interviewing De about all things quality of life but when it came to interviewing Kermit, Don had this to say;

I asked Staggers for an interview, but he refused to talk to me on camera about why he’s running again.

Yes, this is true, he refused to talk to YOU! But Kermit did agree to speak with ANY OTHER reporter at KELO. See, Don likes to throw Kermit under the bus any and everytime he interviews him, including the time Darrin Smith fed Don a fake junket story about Kermit (even though the money was already allocated and Kermit was the only councilor that volunteered to go on the trip).

Don, maybe it’s not Kermit, maybe it is you? No wait, it is YOU!

And you wonder why Stormland-TV has to steal stories from the Argus and blogs?

UPDATE: Is former SF Mayor considering another run for political office?

UPDATE: As I have heard from others over the past couple of weeks, Munson is considering a run for the legislature and NOT the city council.

A South DaCola foot soldier tipped me off tonight that Munson has been hinting at ‘getting back into politics’. (I think one of the TV stations broke the news at 10 PM) I always assumed he would run for the legislature again, but it seems he is considering challenging Staggers. This would be an interesting matchup, for several reasons. For one, they are completely different kinds of Republicans. Munson is a big government, big spender Republican and not real keen on transparency. In fact he had to drop out of his 2nd term mayoral race at one point because of a middle of the night deal with Phillips to the Falls, which has been a complete failure. Staggers on the other hand is a fiscal conservative who is a strong believer of open and transparent government. I hope if Munson runs, Staggers takes off the kid gloves and shows Munson for who he was as a mayor, a backdoor salesman who blew millions of taxpayer dollars on unneeded quality of life projects while failing to upgrade our sewer system and roads. Munson may think his second term legacy is all that and a bag of chips, but he really wasn’t that good of a mayor, and I don’t see him being a much better city councilor. I’m just saying.

I also think it is odd that Munson would be stepping backwards from being mayor to being a city councilor, he wasn’t one previously, and I think he would struggle with how powerless the job can be sometimes.

I guess we will know more soon enough. February 24, is the filing deadline.

Who is running for SF city council this spring?

I’m back, and I promise not to wear the beige suit ever again.

I will break this down quite casually.

MOST LIKELY RUNNING

Kermit Staggers for At Large seat left vacant by Vern ‘The Velvet Hammer’ Brown

Kenny Anderson Jr., the incumbent. Not sure who would run against him?

Mark Millage vs. appointed goat roaster Dean Karsky & Hutch.

UP IN THE AIR

Greg Jamison running for a second term.

RUMORS AND GOSSIP

I have nothing. I have not heard one peep about anybody else considering running for office. And why would I? We got our events center, what more could we need?

Kermit Staggers as ‘Cool Hand Luke’

As you may already know, the SF Ethics Board has been reprimanded (only as a board, not individually) for wrongfully accusing councilor Staggers of ethics violations.

Here is a list of the actual board members;

Mike McKnight (lawyer), Howard Paulson (lawyer), Bill O’Connor, Mari Robbennolt, and Bob Swanhorst.  Please note that two members of the board are lawyers by profession. This information is available on Siouxfalls.org.

R. Shawn Tornow was the lawyer from the City Attorney’s Office who advised the Ethics Board when the Board was dealing with his case.

The case began when two union leaders from the Fraternal Order of Police filed a ethics complaint against him with the Board of Ethics on April 8, 2010, five days before the first mayoral election on April 13th. The Board eventually determined that there was no merit to the accusations. They were truly frivolous claims.

This should have been the end of the matter, but it wasn’t because now the Ethics Board on their own and with the assistance of Tornow came up with two of their own ethics claims against him which he first learned about at the Ethics Board meeting of May 4th.  Kermit had his lawyer with him and they were both surprised how baseless these allegations were.

The first allegation was that Kermit was soliciting city employees in a letter that he sent to city employees. The sentence that they supposedly got him on read as follows:  “As a citizen, any suggestions that you may want to communicate to me can be done in the absolute strictest confidence by contacting me at my home phone, 332.0357.”  In the letter he never asked for money or for them to even vote for him.  The purpose of the letter was to simply inform city employees about his views on city government.

The second allegation contended that by serving as a Republican committeeman while a member of the City Council was a violation of a provision against holding another publicly elected office.

In a nine page-brief to the Board of Ethics Kermit’s lawyer demolished these allegations by saying that the act of soliciting deals with asking for money which he never did and that the holding of another elected office by the Board’s interpretation would have prevented him from serving as an elder in his church because he was publicly elected to that office. Obviously, the prohibition on holding another elected office deals with holding another publicly elected government office.

Despite Kermit’s lawyer’s brief, two days before he ceased being a city council member he received a confidential letter in the mail saying that he had been privately reprimanded by the Board of Ethics because of soliciting city employees and holding another publicly elected office. Kermit was instructed to keep this letter confidential. The Board’s issuance of a private letter of reprimand was an abuse of power because the Board of Ethics does not have this power; this power belongs to the City Council.

Eventually, he was successful in demonstrating that the Board of Ethics had violated the state’s open meetings laws, and for that the Board received a letter of reprimand.  Now he is trying to get the Board of Ethics to retract their illegal letter of reprimand against him.

YouTube Preview Image

Open meetings commission advises reprimand of SF Ethics Board

KSFY Screenshot

This of course after the City Attorney advised the same in his testimony today in front of the commission. The city of course blamed Shawn Tornow for bad counsel to the Board and claimed the Board acted in good faith from his counsel. Of course it’s easy to blame a former city employee who is ‘no longer employed by the city’.

Staggers wanted individual reprimands of each board member AND the dates of the private meetings. He got neither request.

UPDATE:

ARGUS LEADER

KELO & KELO Part II

KSFY

Here is a detailed PDF of Kermit’s testimony and city correspondence;

staggersethics


Transcript of Kermit’s speech at the IM 13 rally last Monday (H/T – DC)

Photo; Derek Cecil

“There are a number of things I want you to be aware of in my presentation. I want you to be aware that I do not smoke, and I do not have the desire to smoke. I do not drink alcoholic beverages, and I do not desire to drink alcoholic beverages. I’ve never smoked marijuana, and I have no desire to smoke marijuana. I’ve never taken illegal drugs, and I have no desire to take illegal drugs. The reason I am at this rally for Initiative 13 is for very personal reasons. I’m not here for abstract reasons. I’m not here for theoretical reasons. I’m here for very personal reasons, and that very personal reason is I have somebody who is very close to me who suffers from constant pain. This has been going on for six years. Each day, this person is in pain. Each hour, this person is in pain. Each minute, this person is in pain. And, of course, each second of every day, this person is in pain. Now, for those of you who have other people here you’re aware of that’s in pain, you probably realize that pain can really wear a person down. Really wear a person down. In fact, this person is probably (sic) disabled. Now, I should also mention too that this person takes prescription drugs and that one of the drugs is a narcotic. A prescribed, legal drug. And also many other drugs to try and recover from the pain. So, the question has to arise; If this person is already taking heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty prescription drugs, what is wrong with this person being allowed to try marijuana to see if it can provide some relief? Now, as a matter of fact today I was talking to an opponent of Initiative 13 and I told this individual this very personal story of mine and this individual responded kind of interestingly. This person said “Well, if I was in the shoes of that person and suffering all this pain, you know what I would do? I’d just go ahead and smoke marijuana illegally anyway.” Well, this person I know that is suffering in pain is not about to break the law. No way. But this person hopes the law can be changed with Initiative 13. And so, in conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to possibly make this happen. Thank you, again.” – Dr. Kermit Staggers

Days like this make me miss councilor Staggers

I was reading through the budget amendments tonight (item 14) that will be proposed on Monday night at the city council meeting. Yawn. Besides funding more monkey crappers and shifting money around, there really isn’t any thing of importance.

It seems are councilors think amendments are for SPENDING MORE MONEY instead of saving taxpayer money.

Also I see councilor Harley-Davidson Monopoly wants to increase the room tax even though it would not have a purpose, accept to throw more money at a failing Convention Center.

Next week, the Sioux Falls City Council will consider a proposal that would add a $2 fee on every hotel room in the city.

“In my opinion, it’s the best thing to do,” city councilman Jim Entenmen said.  “Dollars are hard to come by and we’ve got to continue to promote Sioux Falls and it’s getting tougher because there’s more competition for that business.”

Right now, the city spends about a million dollars a year to help fund the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

My suggestion? Make people buying Harley’s pay the same sales tax rate as people buying food. Maybe that would raise some money? Looks like Jim is becoming a regular ole patsy for the mayor.