When you don’t vote, your taxes will go up

You can’t give much credit to the Harrisburg School District or the media for making this election known. I believe I saw ONE story a few weeks ago about the election. It had a 4% voter turnout. That is pathetic. I think it is time that local elections require at least a 20% voter turnout to be legitimate. 769 voters basically went to the polls yesterday and raised the taxes on over 23K voters (and thousands more non-voting residents). I am puzzled how we can allow 769 people to decide to take out a $30 million dollar bond.

I do believe the school is needed, no arguments there, but this looks more like a county fair straw poll than an actual election.

UPDATE: This is why the Sioux Falls City Council internal audit division is important

UPDATE: During the informational meeting today, Councilor Starr did mention that the internal audit manager was no longer working for the city council. During public input I asked how long the council was going to wait before they told the public.

Even though it seems the department is without management (still waiting for the city council to tell us if a very publicly appointed ‘Rockstar’ internal audit manager has left us) the two internal auditors still working for the city council seem to be accomplishing the important work. They did two audits, one on using Lewis Drug for Falls Community Health pharmacy needs;

Finding 1: Lewis doesn’t implement any inventory optimization processes, such as product
minimum/maximum levels, which makes it hard to ensure sufficient inventory levels.
Finding 2: Lewis does not utilize a ‘tracking system’ to retrospectively review dispensing
reports and verify patient eligibility, which is a requirement of the agreement.
Finding 3: 20% of prescriptions tested did not have a designation that the patient was
eligible for 340B drugs. It is a requirement of the agreement that Lewis only dispenses
340B drugs when the prescription form designates the patient as 340B-eligible.
Finding 4: Lewis is not currently providing all of the required quarterly reports listed in the
agreement.

The other audit was on how the city invoices damage repair to city property;

Finding 1: Materials invoiced with an overhead charge in one City department
Finding 2: Estimated labor rates utilized for invoicing in one City Department
Finding 3: Billing for damages to City property claims procedures not formally
documented

Once you read the details of the audits (that reveal NO fraud) you can assess there are many operational issues that needed to be addressed. Besides the city pulling damage repair estimates from their butts you kind of wonder how Lewis manages their private clientele if they do this poor of a job with Falls Community Health?

Just looking at these two audits shows us why internal audits are important, with or without management.

Will Noem even show up to the debate on Friday?

I have been wagering with several people that Noem will likely not show up to the debate on Friday. I think she knows she leads in the polls and doesn’t really need to be there.

She will likely have one of her minions pen an email about her back giving her trouble or some other fake emergency.

I look at this as an opportunity for the Democratic and Libertarian candidates to pile it on her and take a double team approach to pointing out her nepotism, corruption and illegal plane trips. Instead of them attacking each other, they need to attack the failed political system we currently have in South Dakota with one-party rule.

Maybe Jamie Smith needs to run an ad like this;

Minnehaha County Commission votes 4-1 to move Public Input to the end of the meetings

During regular public input at the beginning of the meeting several citizens spoke out about moving public input, including myself.

It was the last agenda item on the meeting and during that discussion they voted to move it to the end but did take Barth’s amendment to leave it at 5 minutes instead of 3. He was the dissenting vote.

I reminded the MCC that this was the public’s time and the word DISSENT is in the 1st Amendment.

UPDATE: Midco Aquatic Center already replacing sidewalks and pavement

UPDATE: It seems the main reason the concrete had to be replaced at the MIDCO is because a snow melt system that was put in has destroyed the concrete. I guess the city doesn’t own shovels and ice melt?

So not only did the system destroy the concrete, it is going to cost taxpayers $60,000 to remove the system.

Another city project poorly planned and implemented and when things go to pot, the citizens have to fix it.

I faintly remember seeing this on the consent agenda recently, but just assumed it was some minor sidewalk repairs. It appears after only being around for 6 years a bunch of the sidewalk, curb and gutter and pavement needs replaced. First it was the windows now this. Concrete actually gets stronger the older it gets so if this was cracking or getting that bad it means the initial mix they used was sub standard and poured improperly.

Can’t wait to see the price tag when we have to start replacing the siding on the Denty.

(pics sent to me from South DaCola foot soldier)

Colorado Springs Mayor ‘doesn’t have the data’ to back up claims

Dakota News Now interviewed Colorado Springs, CO, Mayor John Suthers (FF: 7:30). While I was disappointed that DNN did not also interview proponents of IM 27, it didn’t seem to matter since Mayor Suthers buried himself. When asked if he has data to back up his claims about an increase in crime he says,

“I don’t have numbers . . . but I know we have a lot of them (crimes).”

He also could not provide data linking an increase in traffic deaths to marijuana use, but he ‘personally’ believes there is a link (without mentioning a 100K increase in population since Rec MJ was approved in Colorado).

Once again, a small group of officials who are opposed to decriminalizing recreational MJ are pulling crap from their behinds.

It is worth noting that all IM 27 really does is decriminalize the use of Rec MJ for adults 21 and over. The state legislature will be responsible for the regulation and taxation of a commercial retail product. This means it will give an enormous amount of control to local jurisdictions. Just because you vote to pass IM 27 doesn’t mean it will be the Wild West of pot. Larger cities in SD could choose to limit dispensaries to 1-2 to NONE.

I have argued that the state, counties and cities will save millions in law enforcement and justice costs while raking in millions more from taxation. There have been numerous studies that have proven this. The mayor of Colorado Springs has chosen a different path, he has chosen to not allow the sale of MJ in his community and because of that is getting NO benefit from taxation to fight the black market and illegal minor use. That’s on him.

Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken taps former Thune and Rounds staffer for Housing Development Manager

Logan Penfield was tapped 2 months ago according to his profile. He does have educational and professional government experience (unlike some of Paul’s past appointments) but I found it interesting that the circles Mr. Penfield runs in probably contributed to his appointment.

When I think of affordable and accessible housing advocacy, the Republican Party usually doesn’t rank high on that list. (FF 9:40 to hear is introduction);

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission joins City Council’s attempt to limit public input

I saw this coming when people concerned about election integrity and opposition to the CO2 pipeline started showing up to MCC meetings;

But having those comment sessions at the beginning of meetings delays other work. And members of the public who are at a meeting for a specific item have to sit through lengthier public comment sessions.

The new policy, which hasn’t been adopted yet, would also reduce comment from five minutes to three.

(See Former Mayor Mike Huether’s 9 minute public input at the MCC meeting as a private property owner)

They of course are using the tired old argument that the ONE person asking for a rezone has to wait through public input, as if the public’s sentiments are not important.

“When I started, we didn’t have a time constraint,” Commission Chairwoman Cindy Heiberger said. “People rarely came to talk to us.”

That has changed, particularly in recent months with people who doubt the county’s election integrity.

Besides lowering the time limit to three minutes, the new policy would forbid speakers from using electronic recordings in their presentations, and paper handouts would have to be handed out in advance.

The reason people rarely show up to the meetings is because you have them at 9 AM on a Tuesday morning when common folk are working, it has very little to do with people being HAPPY with county government, they simply don’t know what you do because you conduct your business in non-opportune time slots and take days to post the replay of the meeting.

Commissioner Jeff Barth, who is soon to be retired from the commission, said the status quo has worked “pretty well” in his two decades as an observer and member of the commission.

“The fact that there has been some abuse in recent times isn’t a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater,” he said. 

But that is what authoritarians do. When a couple of supposed bad apples show up and actually DISSENT the government their first reaction is to squash that dissent. The Sioux Falls City Council literally changed their public input policy because ONE person called the mayor an SOB, guess what, that person still comes and speaks at the meetings. You accomplished nothing except disenfranchising the rest of the public who have legitimate dissent.

As I have told the council in the past, general public input isn’t for birthday announcements and back patting it is to make our representative government aware of issues in the community. Sometimes those issues don’t have cute names like ONE, 52 or 437.

The more you limit the public to express themselves the more out of touch our government becomes.

Former Sioux Falls Comedian Sean Jordan debuts on the James Corden Show

It’s been years since I have seen Sean, but I remember him from the early days and bouts at the Roller Dollz events. He has really honed his skills. He lives in LA now.

Sioux Falls City Council limits Video Lottery when it suits them

Like the recent property tax hike and ignoring the zoning amendments when it comes to Wholestone Foods, it seems the city council only does the right thing when it suits them;

Tuesday’s council meeting finally saw a vote on a series of video lottery terminal requests and malt beverage license approvals applied for by Commonwealth Gaming and Holdings that, taken together, would comprise four establishments holding 10 video lottery terminals each, all within one building near East 69th Street and South Cliff Avenue.

“It just completely violates the spirit and the intent and the letter of state law, which is that it’s supposed to be separate businesses with 10 machines,” said Neitzert in an interview.

So why did you vote for this reach around of state law in the past? The city council has had the ability to limit Telephone Booth VL casinos for years, and NOW they are realizing they can do these limitations?!

Part of the issue is a 2019 ordinance passed by council which allowed separate casinos operating under one roof to share cooler space and employee access points.

It was a compromise that followed several denials of licenses that CGH had applied for, as city ordinance says alcoholic beverages cannot move from one establishment to another, and that walls must separate businesses that hold licenses to sell alcohol.

Neitzert, who voted in favor of the ordinance, said CGH had always said they were looking to operate two establishments under one roof, not three, four or five.

I figured when they passed that ordinance that casinos would find a way to expand it even more. While I wasn’t a 100% sure this would happen, I initially opposed the change because the city council should be doing everything in their legal power and authority to limit VL casinos and not just automatically approve new venues when they come before the council. While they like to cry about a couple of Med MJ dispensaries they seem to have no issue with a junky VL casino on every corner in this city. Video Lottery has destroyed more lives in this state than MJ could ever do and the tax revenue just gets wasted in the general fund. Besides contributing to more crime, addiction and bankruptcy, a job at a casino isn’t exactly a career move unless you own the place.

When the latter two video lottery terminal requests came to a vote, they failed in a 5-3 vote, with Councilors Curt Soehl, Marshall Selberg and Alex Jensen voting in their favor.

And you gotta wonder what these three clowns were thinking? Further proof our city council is NOT truly citizen representatives.