Minnehaha County Government should just say ‘Not open today-just because’

Okay, with all the crap going on now with McGowan over at the county offices, this issue certainly isn’t scandalous, but funny.

The Minnehaha County website is calling Columbus Day a (regional holiday). The mistake is two-fold. I’m not even sure what a ‘regional’ holiday is, and according to Mike Rounds in his weekly column, we haven’t celebrated Columbus Day for a very long time in South Dakota;

For 29 years, South Dakotans have celebrated Native Americans’ Day instead of Columbus Day. The late Governor George Mickelson, along with the editor of the Native Sun News, Tim Giago, and tribal leaders, worked together to proclaim 1990 the Year of Reconciliation. The decision to change Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day was made during the Year of Reconciliation by the state legislature as a way to honor the deep history of the tribal people who have long called this land their home.

Now I know why the county commission stopped asking for the monthly reports from the Treasurer’s office, their calendars were messed up.

UPDATE II: Medical Marijuana may make the ballot next year

UPDATE II: This comment is from the leader of New Approach;

We are not submitting tomorrow BUT we are making the ballot. Now we are just running the clock out.

So my assumption is that they have enough signatures now, but are just padding the signatures. BRAVO!

I’m getting some preliminary reports that the petitioners for Medical Marijuana have enough signatures for approval from the SOS and planning to submit the petitions tomorrow (this is from ONE source and am looking for someone to verify this).

Of course, there is still a long process of validating the signatures and perhaps some independent challengers. The last time it was on the ballot a group of healthcare giants from Rapid City and Sioux Falls put out huge full page ads opposing medical marijuana, they likely will oppose it again.

The petitioners are also working on a constitutional amendment for hemp production (which they feel they are close to securing those signatures). There is also a recreational petition, but I guess that one is NOT going as well.

I have often argued that I think a full recreational ballot measure who pass much more easily, but I guess the proof is in the pudding from seeing how the petition gatherers have been doing.

The Big Reveal is coming

I guess we will find out next weekend how many Jesus plows will be cleaning our streets this winter.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 15-16, 2019

City Council Informational Meeting • 4 PM • 10/15

A presentation on Cherapa II. We will get to see what the city and the developer have been cooking up over the past couple of months. I wasn’t made aware of the deal until last month.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM • 10/15

Item #7, Approval of Contracts.

There is an item to pay $73K+ to reconstruct the buffalo run images by Kiwanis and 18th Street. I still think just fixing the wall would have cost a lot less, and would have kept it’s artistic integrity. Hopefully a city councilor will pull this item so we can get an explanation.

There is an outside legal counsel expense of $41.5K for consultation on state loans for the water reclamation expansion. So explain to me 1) why do we need legal counsel to take out a loan from the state, who, BTW, receives about 40% of it’s sales tax revenue from Sioux Falls and 2) why this can’t be handled internally between the state and the city? So we need to hire a private firm to give us advice on how to loan money from another government agency? WOW!

We are getting a gift of a sculpture of a coach running that no one knows unless he was your coach, and even if he was your coach, he looks like all the other sculptures of a coach running (not sure how many other ones are out there).

It seems we have a couple of legal expenses concerning our lawsuit over the firefighting foam polluting our water wells. I still find it interesting that 1) we are suing over something that the city has told us publicly never harmed the public and 2) why do we even have a legal department when we consistently hire this stuff out? I still think we should just change our legal department into a two person staff of a paralegal/receptionist and a purchasing agent.

While I understand why we need to pay for a coin collection service for our downtown parking meters, why is the SF airport in on the deal? Are they paying the city for this service? Seems some explanation is needed.

Item #8, Change orders. $31K+ for ‘Unforeseen conditions’ at the Pavilion. Can you imagine getting a mechanics bill and there was a line item that was 33% of your bill that said this? Oh, yeah, you would question it.

Item #13, one of my favorite pizza places, Papa Woody’s is applying for a beer and wine license.

Item #32, 2nd Reading, Ordinance, the city council will be approving having ONE employee running TWO casinos to circumvent state law like many podunk towns across the state have been doing. I think this is a bad for employees safety and I agree 100% with Stehly’s opposition on this item. I suggested to her that she should offer an amendment that there should be only ONE unisex bathrooms in VL casinos to. She just laughed at me.

Item #38, 1st Reading, Ordinance, Beekeeping. It will be interesting to see how many peeps from the public oppose this. I guess when Belfrage posted about this on his FB page, he got his ass handed to him. My guess is that many supporters will show up to talk about how this is a great idea. On an unrelated note, today when I was closing up all my windows today on my house in preparation for winter, I found a sleeping bat. It was not happy I pushed it away from my house with a stick. I think that is the first time I heard a bat hiss. Creepy. I ran like a little girl.

Item #39, Resolution, Lyons Park is finally getting a sculpture placed on the lonely pedestal sitting at the intersection of 14th and Phillips. I kind of smiled when I heard about this at the Neighborhood Summit. I created a sculpture for this pedestal about 3 years ago that I was going to place anonymously one night and chickened out and never did it. I still have the piece, and who knows, it may show up downtown one of these days. Keep your eyes peeled. Let’s just say, you will know it was my work when you see it.

Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 3:30 PM • 10/16

The Commission will be discussing numerous items brought forward by citizens. They of course will ‘probably’ be deciding if the items below will continue to be discussed before they decide to put them on the Spring city election ballot or they may kill them all together. I’m not sure. My guess is that ‘most of the items’ on this agenda list will be killed. The interesting part will be the arguments they have against them. Let’s review;

Items A-B, Plurality voting presented by two different citizens. Even though the council passed a majority ordinance with a slippery amendment process (by former councilor Rolfing) the council has since refused to change it back claiming this should be ‘up to the voters’. So will the CRC decide to put this on the ballot? This one is hard to tell. Since the city council has refused to change this, it really is up to the voters, so it would seem logical to let them decide. But I can see the CRC’s argument against this that it hasn’t been ‘tested’ yet, so they will want to keep it around. When Senator Rounds spoke at an event last week he made a very ‘chilling’ statement, an attendee told me that he said towards the end that ‘More business people need to run for local races.’ In other words regular folks like piano teachers shouldn’t be on city councils, because they care too much about the rest of us working stiffs and not ‘business’. The majority rule is a game to disenfranchise the ‘little guys and gals’ from running for office.

Items C-D, these items are also similar and were suggested by the same two citizens as the above items. Requiring a super-majority to pass bonds (6 votes). I think the CRC will kill this right away. But it will be interesting to watch is if CRC member Anne Hajek recuses herself from the discussion since her husband Doug Hajek is an attorney for the largest bonding company in the state and the agency the city always uses. Ethically, this is a conflict of interest. In fact, Doug has told me to my face he opposes this (right in front of Anne). Of course he does, anything that makes it harder to pass bonds isn’t good for business. I hope Anne does the right thing and steps out of this discussion.

Item E, is something the CRC has been throwing around, making the city attorney a ‘member’ of the CRC but a non-voting member (or a voting member). Not sure what they are trying to accomplish with this one, since he already sits in the meetings already and advises. It seems they are playing a legal game. This discussion will also be intriguing and hopefully revealing.

Item F, they will go over their list of recommendations and other stuff they have yet to discuss.

I highly recommend people tune in to this meeting. The CRC will be laying the groundwork to kill a lot of these recommendations.

Noem’s approval rating drops below 50% in one poll

I have a feeling it will drop even more if she continues to support the rotten pumpkin in DC, as the ag economy goes in the toilet and her continued ignorance on hemp production.

Food for thought, 32 years into the past, not much has changed

Cherapa II is more like ‘Let’s make a deal!’

So a couple of months ago a developer insider told me that Jeff Scherschligt was looking to do Cherapa II on one of Warren Buffet’s biggest scams on Federal taxpayers in at least a couple of years, the RR Redevelopment project. Mayor Bowlcut & Bucktooth coined it as one of his greatest achievements of his administration. I guess moving Beluga Sturgeon Caviar from it’s original jar to a ziploc bag is considered an ‘achievement’. Who knew?

As we know, it has floundered and the city has been looking to pass off these thrift store 501 Levis onto any takers.

They found a buyer in Jeff.

This should be no surprise as Jeff has been looking to build his Buffalo Palace II for awhile now. He of course got a heckuva deal from the Munson administration with the River Greenway project and now the Golden Arches of Sioux Falls built right in front of his palace thanks to the generosity of rich donors and taxpayers. But with any ‘gift’ the receiver always asks for more.

While the planning department of the city is being quiet about the deal until Tuesday, Detroit Lewis has gotten some rumored details.

The original offer was HALF of the appraisal price.

Mind you, not sure how this land can be appraised anyway? We paid too much for it, and the railroads are still railroading thru the center of the town. But I did a little digging.

Undeveloped land in Downtown Sioux Falls goes for about $15 dollars a square foot. So if you do the math, that would mean Jeff offered about $7 a square foot (and asked for NO TIFs or tax rebates). The rumor is they met half way, so he probably is going to pay about $10 a square foot.

Personally, I could care less, just sell it already. But here is the other ‘Kicker’; Cherapa II is rumored to put in the deal an ‘option’ to buy the rest with a TIF option.

Of course, this is all slobber and gossip from my mouth at this point, and we will hear more details on Tuesday. But if you think for a second the developer is going to take it in the shorts while the taxpayers come out smelling like roses, you are mistaken, unless you think roses in Sioux Falls smell like renderings from a packing plant, then hey, we are doing just fine.

SD Democratic Party relies on ‘Players’ to make important decisions

I have told people lately, that if you think the SDDP has screwed the pooch in the last couple of election cycles, you have not seen nothing yet. Even if nationally they succeed in winning the oval office in 2020 (and hopefully booting the rotten pumpkin out of office before that) the state party will probably have their worst results in 2020.

I know I have told you this before, but I’m an Indy, and while on a National level I support Dems, statewide and local, that is NOT always the case, heck, I even have a soft spot for Dusty Johnson (though I would never vote for him).

Apparently before the SDDP party leadership is supposed to make a major decision, like closing offices and canceling yearly events they must discuss it with the Executive Board (E-Board). Party Chair Hawks and her new ED decided to do these things without consulting the E-Board. Some members of the E-Board asked how this happened without their consultation, Hawks supposedly responded that she consulted the ‘Players’ in the party, and they were ok with it.

Huh? (I could insert a lot of tasteless jokes right now, but I think I will pass).

I have encouraged the older, more successful party members to alert the DNC of the B.S. and to start another SDDP that actually runs like a REAL party and recognizes the bread and butter issues of working South Dakotans. Because when the ag economy goes in the sh*tter next year, who or what goes in that sh*tter door really won’t matter to the democratic base.

Trial of the Year?

The below notice was sent to me by a foot soldier today who also sent me some interesting facts about the case against the ‘Living Man’.

• This is a Jury Trial for a misdemeanor in Circuit court. Seems like an incredible waste of tax dollars.

• The Police Sergeant who signed the arrest warrant, Sean Kooistra, is the brother of the city attorney, Stacy Kooistra.

• The defendant is representing himself ‘Pro Se’, which normally frustrates judges and attorneys because of unpredictability.

Food for thought.

I will not be wasting precious vacation time for a trial that, IMO, will end before it even gets started in a dismissal.

City of Sioux Falls Media Concerns

There have been a number of concerns I have had with CityLink over the past couple of weeks;

• Why did Mayor TenHaken ‘BOLT’ from the neighborhood summit after an introduction? He claimed he was going to his kid’s soccer game but I heard he was tailgating at a USF football game. Either way, it doesn’t matter where he went, it was ‘TACKY’ and he should have stayed to help answer questions. The event also wasn’t recorded. Thank you to my favorite Swede, Cameraman Bruce for recording the event. I think city staff did a fantastic job answering concerns. BRAVO!

• Why is the new director of the Dudley House, (who I assume is getting paid) Madeline Shields still working part-time for the city as host of ‘Inside Town Hall’? I find this to be a conflict of interest (since the city gives money to the shelter already). I would also think that this job needs her full attention and she would not have time to ‘moonlight’.

• Also, in the video below where councilor Soehl, or as I nicknamed him ‘ErpenHeater’ is saying how wonderful it would be to tear down the Arena, why this episode appeared on CityLink but NOT on the city’s YouTube Channel?

There is some serious ethical issues going on with our tax payer funded media in this city, and questions need to be answered. Don’t hold your breath.