ArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016
2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.
But locally there were three things that stood out;
• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.
• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!
• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.
Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;
• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.
• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.
• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.
• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.
• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”
• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .
• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.
• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.
• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.
• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?
• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.
• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.
• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .
• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.
• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.
• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?
• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.
• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.
• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.
• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.
• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.
• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.
• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.
Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15.
Americans for Tax Fairness, a coalition of 400 national and state-level progressive groups, made this estimate using data from a 2013 study by Democratic Staff of the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce.
“The study estimated the cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers of Walmart’s low wages and benefits, which often force workers to rely on various public assistance programs,” reads the report, available in full here.
“It found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers.”
They are a leach of the highest order. I hope the city council takes action on limiting their police calls.
The city made a handshake agreement barring overnight RV parking into the permits for both stores, Cooper said.
“If you’re going to occupy a vehicle such as an RV overnight, you are required to be in a campground,” Cooper said. “We have licensed campgrounds and truck stops within the city limits for overnight parking.”
There’s a catch to this “requirement,” however, in that there isn’t actually a “requirement” in a strictly legal sense. There is no ordinance prohibiting RVs in commercial parking lots.
In my opinion, handshake agreements with a municipal government just doesn’t fly. Instead of having Walmart decide who can and cannot park in their lots, the city should either implement a city wide ordinance that RV camping in retail parking lots is prohibited, or have NO ordinance at all.
Either way, I personally think it should be prohibited. We have truck stops, camp grounds and rest stops for that reason. I remember one time I drove past the WM on Louise, and an RV was parked in the lot, they had out their lawn chairs and were BBQ’ing next to the RV. This is silly. How would you feel if you pulled into the HyVee lot and you saw a tent setup with people sleeping inside? How is that any different? It’s not. Community’s have campgrounds for this reason.
The Sioux Falls, SD City Council had some fun poking the underbelly of Walmart on January 6, 2016. Walmart claims to have missed the notice because an employee dropped the ball or missed the mailman or the emails or maybe the Fiddle Faddle’s dog ate their homework.
As Michelle Erpenbach said this is the public shamming of huge corporation and to this end, the Walmart Public Affairs and Government Relations Senior Manager had to show up. Whose butt do you suppose was spanked for this screw-up?
I guess the ruling came down late Friday. They of course are going to appeal (and have several grounds to do so). The original basis of their case was that the Planning Department (Mike Cooper) re-zoned the property internally after the vote, which ‘should be’ a no-no (realistically it needed to go back through the Planning Commission and City Council).
Hopefully we will hear more about the ruling in the coming days.
So the wise guys developing land at 85th and Audie decided they would put up a flag this is probably in violation of sign code (for it’s size). Apparently now developers are acting like Christopher Columbus to get what they want. Good Grief.
BEECH GROVE, Ind. — A mayor in Indiana reached his wit’s end last week after another publicized scuffle at a local Wal-Mart.
According to the Indianapolis Star, Beech Grove, Ind., mayor Dennis Buckley declared the business a public nuisance after a string of incidents, the latest of which involved a shoplifting suspect wave his gun at store employees before shooting himself in the head. The suspect, 42-year-old Gillace Monroe Samples, died over the weekend from his wounds.
As a “public nuisance,” the Wal-Mart can now be assessed a fine whenever police are called there, the Star reports. The mayor said it was a necessary resolution.
“We’re better than that, our community is better than that and I don’t want to get a phone call every day saying that somebody pulled a gun at Wal-Mart and has done something out of line,” Buckley said.
As one of my friends said to me when they used to be on SNAP, “You should go to Walmart at Midnight when they re-load the cards, it’s 10x worse then black Friday.”
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Two teenagers arrested in the stabbing of a Rapid City gas station clerk have been charged with murder and robbery. The Pennington County State Attorney’s Office says 17-year-old Carlos Quevedo, of Rapid City, was charged as an adult Thursday with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Nineteen-year-old Cody Grady, […]
SIOUX FALLS – Police are investigating after two people were stabbed on the north east side of Sioux Falls early this morning. Not a lot of information is being released today, but police did say the two victims were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The incident happened near North Main Avenue […]
FILE - In this April 29, 1999, file photo, American Indian activist Leonard Peltier speaks during an interview at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kan. President Barack Obama has denied a clemency request by Peltier, who has spent most of…