Why are we considering Legacy Development for Parking Ramp RFP?

We have a few questions to ask, see how many you can answer.

If someone goes to building code enforcement and files a concern, why does no one follow-up?
Do building and code enforcement only show up to arrest someone for having a pile of shingles in the wrong spot?
What are building permits good for?
If you have a building permit, does it allow you to do what you want?
Why do we need this parking ramp so badly?
If a building falls down, are we allowed to ask why?
Should we care?
If there is a death, shouldn’t someone from the county/state investigate?
Isn’t it strange there has been no grand jury convened to find out why a tragedy happened?
What does a contract allow you to do?
Where were the engineered drawings and permits to allow a load bearing wall to be taken out?

The Copper lounge collapse in downtown Sioux Falls leaves the public with so many questions. Scott Ehrisman asked many during the Sioux Falls City Council Public Input on February 14, 2017.

When you are done with the video, write down your questions and maybe send a few of them to the Minnehaha County State Attorney. Maybe he can help us get answers.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls 2018 Mayoral/Council Races Heating up

While there haven’t been any official announcements yet, there have been some interesting names thrown around.

Here is where we are right now;

PROBABLY YES

  • Greg Jamison (R)
  • Kenny Anderson Jr. (D)
  • Nick Weiland (I)
  • David Zokaites (?)

A BIG MAYBE

  • Jim Entenman (R)
  • Christine Erickson (R)

PROBABLY NO

  • Michelle Erpenbach (D)
  • Dean Karsky (R)
  • Theresa Stehly (R)

I have also been given two other names, but have been told to keep it on the down low for now until they decide. I still suspect there will be at least 10 candidates on the ballot come next Spring for mayor.

As for the council races there will be four seats up for grabs. Erpenbach (Central) will be an open seat as she is term-limited. Not sure who is looking at it, but I am sure John Paulson will probably be considering a run. He currently is serving on the Planning Commission. Rolfing (At-Large) seat will also be open due to term limits (Thank Gawd!) I have not heard of any interested parties for that seat. Which brings us to Kiley that is up for re-election in the SE District. There is a recruitment effort for someone to run against Kiley, but that may depend on who runs for Rolfing’s empty seat. Then you factor in Erickson who is up for re-election also as an At-Large, if she chooses to run for Mayor, that would also leave an empty seat.

Am I considering a run? At this point NO. But I will be working hard to recruit people to run for all 4 seats.

Has Mayor ‘High Crimes’ been ignoring the Elephant in the room?

Great timing on denying our police force a decent raise. We are simply not going to get a handle on this by not maintaining and retaining a decent crime fighting force. This information should not be surprising. In the last mayoral election, candidate Jamison warned us we needed to get a handle on the matter;

3. Sioux Falls, SD
> 5-yr. violent crime rate change: +69.1%
> 2011 violent crime rate: 215.1 per 100,000
> 2015 violent crime rate: 363.7 per 100,000
> Murders in 2015: 3

Between 2011 and 2015, the violent crime rate in Sioux Falls rose from 215 incidents per 100,000 residents to 364 per 100,000. The number of aggravated assaults in the metro area more than doubled from 288 to 679 incidents. While violent crime levels are often greater in areas with high unemployment and poverty, the typical Sioux Falls household earns roughly $4,000 more than the typical American household, and the metro area’s unemployment rate has fallen over the last five years to 3.3% — far less than the national figure of 4.7%.

According to the Sioux Falls Police Department, the rise in crime is largely due to the city’s growing drug problem. The number of total police calls and drug seizures by Sioux Falls police has increased rapidly in recent years, with the amount of seized meth quadrupling from 9.8 pounds to 38.0 pounds from 2015 to 2016.

Is the city making ANY money on the Events Center?

It looks like we are going to get some more smoke blown up our butts tonight on Metli-Land TV (are they still calling it that, hard to keep track);

“A lot of the on sales we do, we have some of the highest grossing, out-of-the-gate sale of just about any building around the country of our size,” Torkildson said.

Ever notice when we ever hear anything about the EC it’s always about breaking records, but we never hear how all that record breaking is benefitting the community, in the form of revenue coming back into the town.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are some positive numbers somewhere, but why are we not seeing them?

As a tax paying resident of Sioux Falls, sorry to say, I just don’t see much sense on paying the mortgage on a building that I will never use because I still have to pay another $100 dollars for a ticket just to walk through it’s doors. From my perspective, I have to take VALUE in the Events Center in how much it’s existence benefits my community as a whole, and that means in dollars and cents.

We do know some things. The EC’s mortgage is around $9 million a year. The EC operations are covered and then some, a net of over $2 million this past year. We also know that we paid (mostly the state) $1.5 million in taxes.

But here is what we don’t know or only speculate on. Where does the net revenue go?  Back to the city to help pay the mortgage or in a secret SMG fund they get to play with for promotions, etc.

If the EC had approximately $20 million in sales last year, how much got redistributed in the community, and how much went straight out of town?

When will the CVB give us an educated estimate of how much money is spent in Sioux Falls by out of town concert goers? And how much tax revenue is generated?

While there are some positive things going on at the EC, I just don’t see how the city is benefitting financially from building the facility? Some would say ‘quality of life’. Sorry, but my life hasn’t gotten any better in respect to entertainment due to the EC, just more expensive.

I think it is time the city and SMG show the citizens just how much we are getting reamed while SMG and it’s associates are raking in the dough which never get’s redistributed in our community.

UPDATE II: Were Snow Gates usage ever written into ordinance?

UPDATE II: The Argus has an update from the city attorney’s office on this topic. Funny how if we need to stick it to the citizenry, we write it down, but if the city is supposed to do something, it’s just a suggestion. WOW!

With all of the discussion over the last couple of years about snow gates and there hit and miss usage lately some have been wondering why the city doesn’t follow it’s own ordinances? There are plenty of rules on the books about mowing your grass and scooping your sidewalk so shouldn’t the city follow the ordinance requiring snow gate use? Sure, if there was one.

BALLOT LANGUAGE

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED qualified voters of the municipality of Sioux Falls, the state of South Dakota, petition that the following ordinance be submitted to the voters of that municipality for their approval or rejection pursuant to law. The proposed ordinance in proper form is as follows: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA TO MANDATE THE USE OF SNOW GATES FOR REMOVING SNOW FROM PUBLIC STREETS: BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA: The City of Sioux Falls shall use snow gates or other devices to prevent snow, in an amount that prevents usual access, from being plowed or placed into driveways or their openings to public streets from and after November 1, 2013. This section shall cover city employees and contract employees. Snow gates are discretionary upon the declaration of a snow emergency on routes that have been declared snow emergency routes.

I did a search of the city charter (start at 96.120) and I couldn’t find the ordinance that requires the city to use them. When it was on the ballot, it said they would NOT be used on emergency snow routes AND the city had the discretion to NOT use them in deep or heavy snows, but the ordinance was clear, the city had to use them in all other cases.

So if the citizens passed this ordinance, why isn’t it on the books? This question has been asked of city officials, and apparently there has been some ‘scrambling’ to answer said question, but it seems law may NOT be on their side. As you can see below, when an ordinance is passed by the citizens, by charter, it needs to go on the books;

Section 8.03  Adoption of amendment.
   If a majority of the registered voters of the city voting upon a proposed charter amendment vote in favor of it, the amendment shall become effective at the time fixed in the amendment or, if no time is therein fixed, 30 days after the initial canvas certifying its adoption by the voters.

But for the sake of the argument, let’s say the city IS supposed to be following ordinance (even if it is mysteriously absent from charter). Why is the city and certain snow plow operators picking and choosing when they use them? I will admit, since the vote, they have used them on my block every time they plowed, and unless you are blind, it is pretty obvious when they are used. It usually only leaves about 1/3 of the snow of what used to left before there usage.

One of the ideas councilor Stehly has come up with is painting large numbers on the snow gate maintainers and a hotline that you can call in if Plow #__ did not use the gate.

Once again, the city is practicing ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ It’s time to follow their own ordinances, that is if they even bothered to add it to the city charter. Maybe this was a plan all along to have an ‘out’ in case a driveway is missed. In other communities that use them and have them in charter, if a driveway is missed, the city will come out and fix it. Could it be by NOT having this in ordinance the city can skirt it’s duties?

It will be interesting to hear the city attorney ‘Fiddle Faddle’ his way out of this one.

It’s a Hold Up

The Mayor ‘Hoodwinked’ the unions years ago

When Dr. Staggers was running against Huether, my union friends would bust my balls about Kermit being a Republican against organized labor. While I can’t speak for Kermit’s opinion on labor, it stung a bit. While I have never been a part of a union, I supported them, and understand their power.

The Unions backed Huether, mostly because he called himself a Democrat. Which I never understood. Maybe he was pro-choice or had a homosexual friend? Not sure. But it seemed odd coming from a guy who marketed the WORST credit card to ever exist.

Fast Forward tonight, where our mayor, the newly crowned Trump supporter and Independent had to break a tie vote retro-paying the police and city employee unions until January 1st, which may have cost taxpayer’s under $100K.

But one of the most troubling pieces of the argument to not pay police more tonight came from councilor Erpenbach, who works for a well funded nursing home. She stated that pretty much times are tough, and raises don’t come easy.

I will agree with Erpenbach on that statement alone, but we are not talking about people who write newsletters, we are talking about people who are fighting crime, and guess what, it is increasing in Sioux Falls at a dramatic rate.

I will make this argument simple. While are city is seeing massive growth in development, we are NOT seeing that trickle down to the masses.

But let’s simply this. When the Fire Department shows up to put out a fire, and the flames are increasing, they don’t throw gasoline on the fire, they throw more water. So if we think we are going to get our crime rates to go down by not giving decent raises to our police force, we might as well just being buying guns for the criminals.

UPDATE: Mayor Huether needs to ‘Man Up’

Fantastic letter by the Granddaughter of Dr. Robert Giebink who donated the land originally for the Glory House & Ice Hockey center;

The now defunct Sioux Falls Ice & Rec Center is where I learned to skate. Where my grandfather, Dr. Robert Giebink (Doc), would watch me play hockey. I used to wave to him through the plexiglass and watch him smile and cheer me on. No one knew that it was his doing that allowed such a recreation center to be built. He was the man who donated the land necessary to construct not just the SFIRC, but the Glory House, as well. And you know what? He never sought recognition or glory. There was no parade in his honor, and he refused to have his name on the buildings. That’s the kind of man he was: quiet and selfless. Now I only wish my mayor had a fraction of the humility and respect he did. Mayor Huether needs to man up and be a little more like Doc.

You mean like NOT take $500K from taxpayers for a private tennis center then plaster their name on the building?

I hope the next mayor gets out a wrecking crew to remove all things ‘Huether’ from public facilities, like his stupid quotes on the wall of the indoor pool and events center. In fact, I would be willing to tear off those letters for a 6-Pack of crappy beer.

UPDATE: Also attached a letter that was read at the council meeting last night by Doc’s daughter, Joan Giebink (DOC: Joan-Giebink )

Secret Meetings?

Upholding Mayor’s VETO on transparency, Feb 6, 2017

VETO! VETO! VETO! Let’s yell it again! VETO! VETO! VETO!

Let’s hear it for secrecy!

Damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead toward one man rule!

Sioux Falls repent and follow our gilded leader. The one who knows all, will lead us to nirvana!

Our fearful leader of Sioux Falls did the big veto in the name of secrecy and closed government during his big presser on January 24. So the Sioux Falls City Council vote taken to override the veto was held on February 6, 2017 to see if the Patsy III stayed together with their leader. They did in all their piety and our pity for them to be following him.

Secrecy used to be reserved for top secret matters like military maneuvers or statecraft (remember those dreams)? Our government leader has decided we should never learn of his tricks and thingies. Why should we citizens know anything about change orders? Zoning messes? Park Boards? Cement ponds. indoor or outdoor? Building siding able to blow off celebrating a warm and windy Christmas? Geez, so many things to keep secret.

What makes the most transparent mayor in the history of Sioux Falls and his world feel the need to veto something so simple as making a recording already made public? Are we going to find where Rosemary Woods put the 18 1/2 minutes in 1973 (I know, who?)?

Just because we all must know what happens in these secret open meetings, everyone must request a CD / DVD copy of their favorite board or commission so we can publish them. Just remember Cameraman Bruce can’t record every meeting for you, but we will post everything we get.