Big Savings!!!

Rex Rolfing questions Events Center siding, May 27, 2014

Here is the first time the rippling siding is mentioned by Rolfing at a city council informational meeting. (FF: 24:00). Notice the answer from Mortenson if it is an ‘Issue’. The rep says, “I’m not saying that.”

South DaCola Podcast 7: Transparency & Open Primaries

Okay, tonight’s debate was a little unexpected. While we started out with a good conversation about transparent government and the demise of Mayor Huether and the siding settlement we quickly shift gears into a ‘discussion’ about the two party system and open primaries. NSFW (I’m not even sure if I want to listen to it again). Props to Robert for putting up with us.

Sorry, It’s still about wages

Here we go again, another ‘woe is me’ story from a retailer/hospitality employer who cannot find good help;

“I’ve honestly never seen it this bad anywhere else,” another told me.

They were talking about their struggle to hire staff – a theme I’ve heard repeatedly the past few years but one that has become extreme in recent weeks.

My recent conversations about hiring struggles have involved retail jobs. The industry is experiencing a bit of a perfect storm, with several new stores and restaurants opening while others ramp up seasonal hiring.

I’m deliberately not sharing the names of the businesses I’m referencing because I don’t want to create the impression that their hiring struggles mean they are undesirable places to work. I actually don’t think that’s the case, based on what I know of their businesses and what they shared about their wages. I just think they’re caught at a time when pretty much anyone who wants to or is capable of holding a job has one.

One manager I talked with last week has hired for stores in seven states and said he never encountered challenges like he is here.

First of all as a person who has worked on and off in retail/hospitality for over 20 years I will agree with many of things they are saying. There is a limited workforce pool, there is also a lot of people who can’t hack it (multi-tasking). There are also other issues, like drug and alcohol problems, and low-income parents who can’t afford child care. It’s hard to weed some of that out, I understand. But one thing I have learned from working in this industry, THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE. Often times they work twice as hard as their co-workers, never are late, never miss shifts and never call in sick. The problem is a lot of these businesses are not willing to compensate the GOOD ones more than the crappy ones. You can create polices to weed out the bad ones, once you do that, PROP up the good ones, that means giving them the best shifts, better pay, bonuses, etc. Good employees in this type of the industry know when they have hit a plateau, and if you are not willing to pay them more, they’ll be gone in a flash. The GOOD ONES are not afraid of hard work, they just want to be rewarded with a living wage for their efforts.

My advice; if you employee one of the good ones, and they ask for a raise, GIVE IT TO them! The cost for replacement and lost business isn’t really worth it. Also, service industry people talk, in fact, if they are NOT working they are talking about their job with their peers. If you are a good employer that pays well, they WILL tell their friends, that mostly likely are THE GOOD ONES to. I would never recommend a person that didn’t work as hard as me, I don’t want to work with lazy bums either.

It’s not just about getting GOOD employees, it’s about retaining them once you have them. Pay them what they are worth. As we used to say in the industry, compliments don’t buy groceries.

Sioux Falls Chamber supports the release of Events Center siding report

Like most of the city council and most citizens, the Chamber thinks it is a good idea to release that report;

One final issue that lingers is whether the siding, as it exists, is doing its job and protecting the building as it should. While city professionals noted that there are no structural threats to the building, the Council is asking for confirmation from an external source. We would like to see the administration provide the requested confirmation to put the issue of structural integrity to rest. It appears the Council will continue this discussion at a future date.

While I agree the report should be released, I’m afraid that it probably wasn’t a ‘complete’ report that really shines a light on what is truly going on with the siding. As I have told people in the past, I could care less what the building looks like, it is what it is, my primary concern is whether the siding is ‘weather proof’ enough that the holes and open seams in the siding are not causing damage underneath.

I think to be proactive in future maintenance of the building the council should request their OWN report from an outside source that has no connections with Mortenson or other sub contractors who worked on the project. And even if that report costs up to $60K, it is still worth the ounce of prevention. If there are issues, we can budget for the maintenance in the future. Transparency, at least this time, will save taxpayers money.

I know that Rex Rolfing and Mayor Huether think that nobody is ‘talking about it’ but I would beg to differ. Denial is a tragic thing.

“Call Theresa Stehly, she gets things done.” – John Thune

I guess John was rumored to have said this to a Sioux Falls constituent recently. I guess this person was talking to John Thune about parking issues in his neighborhood and John told him to call Theresa. I know I have accused John of not knowing too much, but at least he knows who is working for the citizens of Sioux Falls.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls Citizen Board Listing

Here is the current list of mostly volunteer citizens that sit on city boards; (DOC: 2017-10-07 City Board2 members)

Sioux Falls City Council Public Input • Oct 3, 2017

It really is simple, the stories told by our mayor have been lies on so many levels and the South Dakota Supreme Court finally had their fill of the crap they heard. Our City Attorney Fiddle Faddle helped create a way for the mayor to build his yarns of authoritarian glory. Mike reminds us often of the Nixonian proclamation “If the President does it must be legal”.

Our Sioux Falls City Council Public Inputers had a chance to remind the elected officials of the lies spread since construction of the events center started in 2013. It was hard for many to believe the hype being presented by the city’s chief marketing officer then and the Court also could not be swayed.

To start the October 3, 2017 meeting, Jerry Fogg talked of trust during the invocation smudging ceremony and each of the following inputers built on the theme from there. Cameraman Bruce shared a goody bag of city building swag and his recent National Geographic reading material. Imagine the subtitle of the magazine cover, “The science behind our complicated relationship with the truth”. Our mayor has a complicated history with such simple things like the truth.

Railroad Relocation Discussion

Cameraman Bruce and I hope to film this event as part of Design Week in Sioux Falls. Should be a good discussion. Join us!

Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate ‘Diamond’ Jim Entenman defends secrecy, thinks transparency costs to much

It is no surprise that Jim would defend the guy who officiated his daughter’s wedding, by putting the red herring out there that we ‘may’ save money by keeping settlements secret. The only other person who agrees with this silliness is Rex Rolfing, who ironically is the one to point out publicly that the siding looked like crap, and doesn’t give a rat’s ass that we now will have more expensive runoff elections (his idea);

“Now we need to sit back and say, ‘Could we have done things better?’ and then let’s move on,” said Jim Entenman.

“There’s gonna have to be a lot more digging into — do we go into negotiated settlements or not? Or do we go into court cases? Which is the best use of the citizens’ money?” said Entenman.

This isn’t about money Jim, this is about open government, transparency and a lying loser of a mayor. Jim’s statements above should be enough to dissuade you from voting for him. In fact he was the ONLY mayoral candidate to defend the secrecy.