We don’t need no stinking glass, or windows

There was a presentation yesterday for the new DT parking ramp and hotel. There was discussion about the changes to the structure. Besides the color and height one thing that was left out was the amount of glass used. Above you will see the proposed structure to the left, covered in glass in the lower retail area. The right image shows a bunch of pre-cast tan crap.

Hook, line and sinker. Reminds me of the ‘SAVINGS’ we got on the Denty when we decided to go with tin foil siding, that worked our great. I can’t wait to see the finished product, probably look like the London Tower.

Wednesday Tidbits; New Planning Director, Taxes, Drones & Ice Cream

PLANNING on . . . .?

So there has been some talk about who will replace Mike Cooper? First off, the rumor going around city officials is he was asked to retire a year before he planned on. I guess the only person to know would be Mike, oh and Erica, Paul and maybe TJ.

People are telling me that my prediction of Erica Beck being the new planning director is a little off and that she is perfectly happy being COS. And why not? She pretty much is running the city while the Deputy T.J. TypeOver is doing all of the Mayor’s dirty work.

An unusual name came up though, Jeff Schmidt, who suddenly disappeared after the joint jurisdiction debacle. The rumor going around is that he is preparing to take the reins. Talking to other city officials and councilors I get the same, “It’s a possibility.” But when I ask councilors if he could get confirmed, there seems to be some doubt.

I guess we will have to wait and see. Hopefully he will get a new office without urine stained walls.

DRONE ENFORCEMENT, IT’S ANYONE’S GUESS

Last night councilor Stehly with the support of councilors Brekke and Starr tried to defer repealing the drone ordinance, TWICE, and were shot down. Ultimately the entire council did repeal it (Soehl was AWOL). So why the deferral? Stehly said she attempted to contact the FAA but was unsuccessful because a majority of the agency is furloughed. She wanted them to testify or at least provide some information about who will be responsible for enforcing the Federal regulations, and thought it was a good idea to defer it a couple of weeks so we can hear from them. She was pretty much told by council chair Erickson that she should have done the research in advance. Other councilors just assumed with the city attorney that the SFPD would have to enforce the regs, but really no one knew.

And they wondered why Stehly wanted a deferral? They must have had axe throwing on their minds.

PROPERTY TAX REDUCTION

Last night when the topic of the property tax reduction came up, councilor Neitzert got very irate and said that the applicants met the criteria they were supposed to and that is why they got the reductions.

LINK TO APPLICATION

While I have NO doubt that is true (well, I do have some doubts), this isn’t about the applicants, this is about who granted the tax reductions, and it certainly wasn’t done with the blessing of the council. More to come on this.

WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

I guess the only one to bid on taking over the Falls Overlook Cafe was Stensland Dairy. That was easy.

Code Enforcement Hearing (Dec 14, 2018)

Those crazy kids in Sioux Falls code enforcement are up to their old games again. This December 14th, 2018 pretend hearing has real consequences. A family reports vandalism at their property, tries to get police to investigate and a vengeful code enforcement department decides to punish them for having been vandalized. It gets worse. The town’s ticketing agents decide the family should be punished for not accepting their unknown punishments. What?

How does this even make sense? It doesn’t if you actually believe in a truly open and constitutional system. Our code enforcement system sees these crimes and punishments as just their average day’s work.

The kangaroo court system of enforcing property and health codes in Sioux Falls was declared unconstitutional after a previous city attorney with the assistance of the ticketing agent / enforcer were caught making up evidence, reports and transcripts just to win in their special court.

This questionably legal process has been operated for a long time.

In this example of the kangaroo court. watch the video for the snide reactions of the ticket agent. He shows his contempt toward the couple who are only trying to protect their civil rights. It also does if you understand the kangaroo court system was ruled unconstitutional by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Even though the ticket agent for this trip to the kangaroo court knew the couple’s correct address, he still sent the notice to a totally different address and declared the ticket / citation still valid. Reminds us of the complaints leveled against the ticket agents when the fines were dropped in blue bags and left in water puddles to be found later when property owners were doing yard work.

There is something very wrong about the way our town’s code enforcers seem to think our rights are just suggestions and they are the only ones who matter. The ticket agents seem to think they have a right to climb over fences, climb up ladders to look into private property, assist in vandalism and other known crimes is all in a day’s work.

When is our town’s administration going to fire and prosecute these true lawbreakers? When are we going to quit seeing these kangaroo courts? Does our police department work in concert with this questionably legal process? We don’t know for sure but it does make us wonder.

UPDATE: Correction on Tax Incentives for Dakota Gold

There seems to be some confusion of where Dakota Gold Alliance was previously located and what the tax incentive is for. I have to do some more digging.

There was a group of properties in the area by the old Avera Sports Dome. The ownership group was listed under Leggett Family Trust. While researching County tax records, they had Dakota Gold listed to the property (which is a possibility because it is a warehouse that could be used for storage, and warehouses fall under the ‘INDUSTRIAL’ designation for tax reductions). Another source tells me that Dakota Gold was located at another office in that cluster, but that would have been their formal offices. So the tax reduction was for the warehouse, I’m just not sure at this point if Dakota Gold was using the warehouse at that time, and perhaps that is why they were listed on the tax records.

Folks, this is what happens when secretive administrations don’t tell the public or council anything for almost a decade.

According to a city ordinance that was passed by the city council in 2008;

March 3rd, 2008 – Sioux Falls City Council

http://amv.siouxfalls.org/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=1838&doctype=2#

DEFERRED ACTION: 2ND READING: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE REVISED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY REVISING THE NAME OF PERSON TO RECEIVE APPLICATION FOR REDUCED TAXATION ON NEW CONSTRUCTION.

Document:  Ord. 1017

Proposed Amendment:

Section 39-139. Discretionary formula report:

In July of each year, the assistant director of planning and building services shall submit a report to the city council of all eligible completed new construction projects which qualified for the discretionary formula beginning in December of 2008. The report will include the description of each qualified property, the base full and true taxable value, the new adjusted full value of new construction and improvements, and the amount of discretionary loss of taxable value as defined in city ordinance of 100%, 80%, 60%, 40% or 20% for each year of the eligible tax abatement.

In other words, by city charter, the city council was supposed to see yearly reports. This gets more interesting by the day.

 

UPDATE: My 5G presentation to Sioux Falls City Council

5G Rollout Fiasco in Sioux Falls

My testimony last night was based on FACTS I gathered over researching 5G over past weekend.

• No testimony from the FCC or Telecom industry on Health Affects of 5G. FCC currently shutdown. The contract should have been deferred until a representative from the FCC could testify.

• No public hearings. It is illegal for a private corporation to use public utility poles without a period of public comment. While the FCC rules were changed so health affects couldn’t be used as a reason to deny a permit, there are many other arguments (property values, visual affects, etc.). Isn’t it interesting the FCC took out ‘Health Affects’ for grounds of denial. Other communities have had success with 200 FT setbacks from buildings, banning them in residential areas and charging a YEARLY application and inspection fee.

• Extreme intimidation used on City Councilors about potential ‘lawsuits’ if they don’t vote for contract. Intimidation used by Mayor TenHaken, City Attorneys Kooistra and Bengford, and Deputy COS T.J. TypoOver on citizens claiming it is a ‘Done Deal’. It is not, contract still hasn’t been ratified, there is a waiting period. Houston, TX rollout was conducted in the EXACT same manner. It seems the Telecoms are using the same playbook across the country.

• What are citizens rights when it comes to how user data will be used by the Telecoms? The ACLU of California is currently looking into it. We had NO testimony from Verizon on how the data will be used.

• Senator John Thune who chairs the committee on telecoms received almost $1 million in donations from the telecom industry. Follow the money. (Thune’s personal net worth is $5 Million). How does someone get that wealthy working in public service most of their life? Must have went to the Bill Janklow school of investment or Kimberly has one heckuva part-time job.

• What are the health affects of radiation from 5G? Countries like Israel and China have strict regulations on cell phone radiation. The World Health Organization has issued extreme warnings about cell/wi-fi radiation. World famous Oncologist (Cancer Doctor) Devra Davis is leading a grassroots effort to warn the public about 5G. Davis is well known for leading the effort to ban smoking in commercial airplanes. Not some kooky conspiracy theorist trying to find Obama’s birth certificate. In the UK the telecom industry tried to put a GAG order on a citizen advocate after he called them ‘Baby Killers’, a judge threw it out of court saying he had a right to make the accusation due to empirical evidence and the industry had to prove otherwise. It seems now the telecoms are trying to stifle free speech in democratic nations.

This must be stopped, the contract must be voided! This is a BAD example of how to run government in a transparent manner. We have home rule rights. While we can’t fight this on health effects, we do have other means to stop it.

BOONDOGGLE!

 

I always thought Mt. Rushmore was kind of small

What is the ‘Real Cost’ of the proposed thermal chiller not working at the City Admin building?

Fast Forward to 47:00

Notice Director Cotter talking about how the system is malfunctioning because of the high level of minerals in the water . . . then he says that the water then has to be discharged in the the sanitary sewer (this was going on during the summer and not now).

How does this tie to the capacity of the current water reclamation plant?

Rough estimates from doing engineering research is that if this system is running at full capacity during the summer (pumping cool water) and not simply discharging the warm water back into the well, as intended (but back into the sanitary sewer) it would be approximately discharging 300 gallons a minute, which equates to about 14,000 homes in Sioux Falls a day.

I wonder why we need a new sewer plant?

 

Why is the Sioux Falls School District being so secret about naming new schools? Tradition?

In defense of tradition, they have named schools this way for over decade;

District policy requires that name be selected by a committee, and to help the committee decide, the district conducted a survey on its website.

But the public won’t see those survey results. Maher on Monday denied an Argus Leader open records request for all responses submitted to the survey.

”The raw survey data does not stand alone and is not required of the policy in the naming process,” Maher’s response stated. “Instead, it is a means for the committee to solicit input from the community as one factor for consideration.”

But that doesn’t mean the tradition should continue. Why not solicit input from the community in a public meeting? I suggest the committee meet in public with the top names and discuss in an open forum and take public input before they vote on the final decision. Silly me, that would require the SFSD to change all of their policies on transparency.

And who is sitting on this secret committee?

While I suppose I should be angry, I am certainly not surprised. This process has been secretive from the beginning. It’s one of the biggest shams ever pulled on the citizens of Sioux Falls. Does it really matter what these schools are called? In my mind they will always stand for corruption whether you name it Jefferson or Attila the Hun High School.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda • Jan 15, 2019

Visual Arts Commission Meeting, 9 AM, City Center

They will finally get a presentation on the City Hall art exhibit from the SF Arts council (after the fact)

READ ENTIRE AGENDA: 20190115-vac-agenda

City Council Informational, 4 PM

We are finally getting an update on the Village on the River Project (maybe they will tell us where they are hiding the liquor license?)

We are also getting a presentation on the council’s trip the National League of Cities conference in LA. It will be followed by a slideshow by Councilor Selberg of pictures he took in LA in front of exotic cars.

City Council Regular Meeting, 7 PM

Item #28, 2nd Reading, Ordinance to eliminate city drone regulations (FAA has it’s own regs). Like 5G, it seems the Feds have a say in this matter. While I understand the FAA controlling airspace, who protects our privacy on the ground? Also, if there no longer is city drone regs, who will enforce the FAA regs? Who do you call if you see a violation? Good question. Will our local police be mandated to enforce FEDERAL regs?

Item #36, 1st Reading, Ordinance to restructure the Audit Committee. Here’s a concept, why don’t we hire some permanent people and get the department functioning again at full capacity.

Item #43, Resolution, Authorize using a Construction Manager at Risk for new Water Reclamation Expansion. Interesting the city is authorizing the use of CMAR, and lining up Bond Counsel, yet we have hired NO ONE to actually build the place.

Item #44, Resolution, Revisiting the street vacation for Lifescape in the VA neighborhood. I found this line interesting;

Testimony in support of said petition has been heard, and no opposition hereto was voiced.

Is the neighborhood aware they are trying to sneak this back in?

Who is Ann Tornberg kidding?

Ann Tornberg is running for Re-Election as SDDP Chair. I know. Almost more baffling than Constitutional Carry. You can read her BIO and Plea below, but I did get a good barrel laugh out of this;

“There is still much to do and no one understands that more than the person who has the experience, work ethic, and perseverance to take the job despite the challenge and the critics.”

You have ‘CRITICS’ because your tenure has been a total failure! We have had enough of your ‘Experience’. It’s time to Elect a NEW chair that wants to move the party forward instead of incredibly backwards.

Ann Tornberg, Running for Re-Election as SDDP Chair

Background: Ann is a retired high school English teacher, speech and debate coach, having spent 32 years at Beresford and Sioux Falls Lincoln HS.  Prior to retiring in 2010, she was elected President of the Sioux Falls Education Association, the largest public union in the state of SD, at that time. She first ran for the State Legislature in 2010 and did so in three more cycles.  While she lost these races in a highly GOP District (District 16 has 4,000 more Republicans than Democratic voters) she knew there were other ways to serve and became a volunteer legislative aide serving every day in Pierre at four Sessions (2013-2016).  She was elected Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party in Dec. of 2014, starting her four-year term in Jan. of 2015.

Ann and her husband of 43 years, Mike, own and operate their four-generation family farm south of Beresford.  Their two daughters (one a family physician, the other a teacher) are both married to farmers. Their six grandkids are just as smart and talented as your own (if you are lucky enough to have them).

As with all other Democratic state and county officers, Ann is entirely a volunteer.

Prior to becoming Chair, Ann served on the SDDP Executive Board (2010-2014) and is Chair of the Union County Democrats. Why run again for an unpaid full-time job? Ann explains:

“I have learned, adjusted, and grown through this position. We expanded with a Rapid City office, have five full-time year-round employees, and just approved the 2019 budget to add a full time Tribal Organizer. We’ve grown Founder’s Club from 160 to 430 members in four year. I believe I am best equipped to continue to expand relationships with county leaders, legislators, potential candidates, other progressive groups, and Democratic leaders from other states. I have regular personal communications with DNC Chair Tom Perez.  My experience authoring the Delegate Selection Plan for SD will be essential for the 2020 National Presidential Convention. There is only one direction to move…forward.  I believe I am the person best equipped to keep moving in that direction.

There is still much to do and no one understands that more than the person who has the experience, work ethic, and perseverance to take the job despite the challenge and the critics.

The current Vice Chair, Joe Lowe has decided not to run.  I want to thank him for his service.  If I am re-elected as Chair on March 23, Larry Lucus will run as Vice Chair.  As a former educator, Vice Chair of the SD Education Association, and State Legislator, Larry brings a wealth of experience and connections to this team.  Thank-you Larry for your willingness to serve.

Larry and I would sincerely appreciate your support on March 23 as we elect the officers who will lead us for the next four years.”