Is TenHaken proposing moving Public Input to the back of the meeting?

I guess Paul has been telling some people that he would like to move public input to the back of the meeting. You know, so it will make it easier for all the corporate welfare recipients to do their business at the council meetings before they would have to listen to the peasants grievances.

First off, as I have said before, this is not up to Paul. It would take the vote of 5 city councilors to move public input, and trust me, they wouldn’t look real good doing it.

Besides a very ugly public fight to do this, if it were to pass, I can guarantee the embarrassment that some of us can spread over several months from making such a decision will NOT be worth the effort. As I have noted, leave it as is, and take care of problem commenters on an individual basis. You know who they are, address them already instead of just putting a bandaid on the problem.

Our city is owned by the public as a whole, not just the casino owners, banksters and developers. They can wait or better yet participate with the rest of us during public input at the beginning of the meeting.

Trust me Paul, you don’t want this fight this early in your administration. You are going to look very petty trying to infringe on the public’s free speech rights this early in your administration.

Ten Haken predictions; 2 for 2, Erica Beck named COS

Of course we saw this coming a mile away. I wonder if she thinks her boss is scumbag or a saint, oh wait, that’s TJ’s department.

Oh course they had to get out in front of the corporate welfare rumors;

Beck comes to City Hall after working for Lloyd Cos. since 2014, most recently as the firm’s vice president of development. There, she helped foster public-private partnerships between the real  estate company and City Hall.

While that work gives her insight into city government and how it works alongside the private sector, she said her allegiances to Lloyd Cos. won’t come with her to City Hall.
Deputy Chief of Staff T.J. Nelson said the mayor is working with the city attorney and Human Resources Office to establish a financial disclosure process for top level city staffers to protect the city from conflicts of interest.

Beck said she’s bypassed opportunities to invest in Lloyd and other private projects knowing that she someday wanted to return to public service.

In other words, Lloyd Companies got their ‘Metli’ replacement at City Hall. Took a couple of years, but mission accomplished.

If you really want to squelch the rumors of conflict, you get Lloyd and other developers to follow the rules of FREE enterprise and sink or swim on there own. That means NO more public partnerships, government loans or grants, FREE infrastructure upgrades or TIF’s.

As chief of staff, she said she hopes to better define the process that businesses follow when working with the city to ensure all Sioux Falls stakeholders have an equal shot at getting their permits and requests approved or obtaining public-private projects.

“The thing I want to stress is we want local developers in our community to feel really good about doing work here,” Beck said. “They’re investing a lot of money in our community and we want them to continue to do that.”

That’s fine and dandy, but what about the rest of us? I guess we will be on our own. City government’s job is to represent and serve all, that doesn’t just mean business, but also the citizens who fund this government whose last name isn’t Lloyd, Bender or VanBusrick. Municipal government’s number one priority should be top quality customer service to it’s citizens in infrastructure, public safety and social services, not whether or not gigantic developers are getting hurt feelings and handouts.

I’m afraid the corporate welfare is going to start flowing from City Hall real soon.

Stehly suggests petition drive instead of legislating change from the dais

There has been an effort for awhile to change our strong mayor form of government. I have often said that it works, if it is worked right. Under Former Mayor Naming Tennis Centers after himself, he decided that he was the executive and legislative branch and pushed everything through that way. That is NOT how it was supposed to work.

I can understand the frustration Stehly has had over the past two years, with a dictator in that office consistently ignoring her or threatening ethics violations, and a leadership team that worked in lock step with his every desire.

I have often felt that this form of government can work, but it requires our city council to start collaborating and flexing their muscles and actually writing legislation and policies instead of the mayor’s office. They should also be a part of the budgeting process. I think moving forward they can do this and need to be firm with the new administration about it.

Instead telling citizens they have to do a petition drive to fix their government, maybe our government should fix it from within and start setting policies to make it better. I think this is the perfect opportunity for our council to implement those changes without us constantly having to do petition drives to fix policies because what we are really doing is correcting the MISTAKES our poorly chosen elected officials make. We elect you to make our government work better. Do your job.

SouthDaCola Podcast 18: Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth

Listen HERE. We talk about the triage center, county and city business.

Planning Department offers ‘Amenities’ and ‘Quality of Life’

In a very strange twist, towards the end of ‘Planning Preview’ (FF: 13:40) Jeffrey decided to talk about all the Amenities and Quality of Life projects the Planning Department makes possible. It was almost like Jeffrey was trying to sell himself to the new mayor, hey look Paul, I actually work for my 6-figures a year. Yes, while the planning department is approving millions in taxpayer debt (actually the city council approves those projects) and letting the big guys like Sanford and Lloyd build whatever and whenever they want to with the help of TIF’s the little guy has to come before the board and beg to put up a tool shed. Make no mistake, the developers and hospitals run this town and get whatever they want, no questions asked. The rest of us? We get to enjoy the ‘Amenities’ these fine folks bestow upon us, like destroying our core neighborhoods while overcharging us for medical procedures.

Who is regulating the ‘Train Takeover’ of Sioux Falls?

A Foot Soldier sent me several pictures today, saying this; “100 + tankers parked on the tracks parallel to Minnesota avenue out to the airport. They stretch from behind water treatment plant all the way North of Benson Road. Been there since Friday.”

Last week I think on Tuesday or Wednesday (hard to keep track anymore) the trains were rolling through downtown and blowing whistles for at least 10-12 hours straight. Not only does this block traffic, the decibel levels are out of control (over 110 decibels).

I’m still wondering why the trains are not switching and storing cars at their new switch yard? What kind of deal did Former Mayor Bogus Events Center Settlement cut with the railroads? Apparently a very crappy one.

I think it is time to put pressure on our Washington delegation to put the hammer down. Oh wait, I forgot who I was talking about. Nevermind.

Oh, BTW, 9:10 PM on a Sunday Night, guess what I’m listening to right now? A train whistle.

My proposed city council transparency/communications ordinance

I sent this ‘rough’ draft to a couple of city councilors this past week.

I think this the right time to propose this kind of legislation. First off, the voters made transparency their #1 issue in the last election. All or most candidates agreed, including Mayor TenHaken that more communication is needed between the mayor and council and public.

I also think doing this ASAP will provide smoother roads ahead with the new council and mayor and future administrations. Essentially starting out on the right foot right away so their is no confusion or issues in the future.

Remember always, the public OWNS this city government, we fund it, we deserve to have information shared with us.

This is only MY suggestions, this is the council’s legislation, they should shape it accordingly. This is my ‘wish list’ on some basic stuff.

Like I said, this is pretty broad but I think you need to start with the most and make amendments as necessary;

A proposed ordinance encouraging transparent communication between the mayor’s office and city council;

• When referencing City Council this also includes city council staff (clerks, operations, audit etc.)

• When referencing Mayor’s office this includes his staff (Chief of Staff, Receptionist, communications officer and directors)

Communications that the City Council will share with the Mayor’s office;

• All emails and memos discussing city business, budgets, proposed ordinances, zoning/planning and licensing. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All meeting minutes that are not held in public or without a quorum. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• Any contract negotiations. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All emails and memos discussing city business, budgets, proposed ordinances, zoning/planning and licensing. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All meeting minutes that are not held in public or with a quorum. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• Any pending or existing contract/RFP negotiations. This information will be shared with the public on the city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All and any task force/committee meeting results. This information will be shared with the public on the city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All minutes from any city board meeting. We should also record ALL of these meetings and make them available on the city website in a useable file (video or audio or both). This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• ANY confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation should be shared in executive session but NOT with the public per legal status of confidentiality.

Communications that the Mayor’s office will share with the City Council;

• All emails and memos discussing city business, budgets, proposed ordinances, zoning/planning and licensing. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All meeting minutes that are not held in public or without a quorum. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• Any contract negotiations. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All emails and memos discussing city business, budgets, proposed ordinances, zoning/planning and licensing. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All meeting minutes that are not held in public or with a quorum. This information will be shared with the public upon request, but not a requirement to be posted to city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• Any pending or existing contract/RFP negotiations. This information will be shared with the public on the city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All and any task force/committee meeting results. This information will be shared with the public on the city website. This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• All minutes from any city board meeting. We should also record ALL of these meetings and make them available on the city website in a useable file (video or audio or both). This does NOT apply to confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation.

• ANY confidential information that refers to personnel or pending litigation should be shared in executive session but NOT with the public per legal status of confidentiality.

————-

Here is an example of what the city of Chicago shares;

https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/transparency.html

Atlanta has a ‘Transparency Officer’ to enforce open records;

https://www.myajc.com/news/local/atlanta-mayor-proposes-transparency-officer-city-hall/kxjAAdi4L3jzrx0r4Wa2tO/

Bloomington, IL

http://www.cityblm.org/government/transparency

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth, podcast guest on Monday

We will talk about his re-election run for commissioner, the Democratic Party in SD, county and city politics and possibly the royal wedding. Possibly.

Sioux Falls City Council considering having their annual ‘public’ dinner Tuesday night

As some may know or not know, the city council can’t meet as an entire body in public unless there is a 24 hour public notice. In other words they can’t get together as a group (4 or more) whether that is for a task force meeting or a BBQ at a local park. It is a violation of open meeting laws. But if they public notice and meet in a public space it’s fine.

Once a year they try to get together as a group for dinner, they are considering doing this on Tuesday night, Downtown after the 4 PM informational meeting.

Like last year’s event, where Rolfing openly protested Cameraman Bruce’s recording, this year they don’t want the cameras again. So is it a public meeting if there was no one there to document it? Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

Bear siting in Sioux Falls area?

This tweet made me laugh (H/T-VSG);

Bear? Deer? What’s the difference? Just a couple million years of evolution. Maybe it was a wiener dog?