Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken selects Rubberstamp Hiring Committee for future Police Chief

Let’s not kid ourselves, this panel which consists of two city employees who work for Paul, and a person who rents private office space from him isn’t really going to get too ‘edgy’ and suggest Paul hires someone externally or qualified;

The hiring panel plans to identify the finalists by mid-June. At that point, the community will be invited to meet and interact with the finalists. Details regarding the public engagement opportunity will be outlined at a later date.

What is this, an episode of ‘SURVIVOR’? While I would most certainly disagree with whatever internal yahoo the mayor picks, it is ultimately his decision, so why all the smoke and mirrors to make it appear someone else is picking the new chief? Well, because he is a Sh!tty leader and we all know this.

By charter, as the city’s employee manager if I were advising the mayor I would spend some of that moldy developer welfare money on a consultant that would review external, nationwide candidates and also review internal candidates. Pick two from each category and make a personal selection from there.

While I agree public engagement is needed, let’s face it, the job of a city manager is to hire qualified directors, Joe 6-Pack, like myself may have an opinion on it, but what do I know about hiring police chiefs? Ironically, what does the color blind graphic artist know about it either?

I still think that the mayor needs to hire an external bulldog that will clean up the internal mess while mending the relationship with the community. And on day one I would enforce a physical fitness policy and tell the hospitals to shut off the FREE feeding trough. Our police make well over a living wage, they can afford to pack a sack lunch.

Rah Rah (G/T-Tim Benson)

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, May 11, 2021 & the $449K Convention Center Door

Informational Meeting • 4 PM

Presentations on Curbside pickup and Sioux Steel TIF;

Not sure what the garbage presentation is about, but it looks like the garbage haulers are not happy about the changes. You know, if you would have just gave discounts it may not have changed back. But guess what, sometimes being greedy sucks. I don’t have a problem with putting the can at the end of the driveway on pickup day, but why not just offer a discount to customers who do it? Oh, that’s right, that greed thing again.

There is also an update on the TIF for Sioux Steel. As I understand it the original TIF will be rescinded and after changes to the project (not sure what they will be) the TIF will be re-instated. I think the council should send a message and rescind the original TIF and not give them one. We don’t need more office space or hotels downtown, we need affordable housing. If the developer was willing to turn the project into a work force housing development, I think the TIF would be fine.

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #7, Approval of Contracts, Sub Item #10;

Software Platform, Mass Transit On-Demand Pilot Project; amendment to introduce a second “Pilot Program” of “SAM on Demand” This pilot project will test to see if on-demand service will improve ridership, Pantonium, Inc. $36K. (I’m wondering if the public is going to get an update about how they continue to milk this bad idea).

Sub Item #11, Convention Center Improvements – Convention Center Vestibule Door Replacement; Sunkota Construction, Inc., $449K (While the mayor bragged about giving a whopping $1 Million in rental assistance last year, he failed to tell folks he plans to spend almost a Half-Million on a door. To be fair, it’s probably a couple of doors. Wouldn’t spending that money on actually marketing Sioux Falls for conventions be better spent)?

Sub Item #12, Greenway and Trail Improvements – Downtown River Greenway Improvements – Phase 3; Agreement for final design, Confluence, $797K (so it costs less to build a door than it does to design a sidewalk. Hmmm).

We need to stop incentivizing businesses with TIF’s and Tax rebates in Sioux Falls

As I said a few months ago, it was baffling to me why we would give a $94 million dollar TIF to incentivize businesses to come here. First off, it is pretty obvious we don’t need anymore job creators currently;

To find out more about what might be going on, I reached out to Secretary Marcia Hultman, who leads the South Dakota Department of Labor.

“What you are seeing and what we’re hearing anecdotally, the numbers really support,” she said.

They definitely do. The most current number she could pull for me Friday was 23,500 active job openings in the state’s database. Nearly 10,000 of those are in the city of Sioux Falls.

You read it correct, 10,000 available jobs in Sioux Falls, and we want to incentivize business to come here? It’s ludicrous. Factor in our schools are over crowded, affordable housing is a rarity (where we should be investing tax rebates) and building permits are through the roof. If anything we should be giving the tax rebates to the citizens to create more affordable housing and propping up our current infrastructure instead throwing it at Egg Roll factories owned by Koreans.

I also found this interesting in the article;

Another tip: You should list a wage with your opening.

“Statistically, if the wage is posted, even if it’s not the best, those job orders get more activity. If nothing is listed, the assumption is that it’s low,” Hultman said.

Nearly every business I talk to has increased pay, some significantly. Frankly, that’s not a bad thing, to me, in a state that has struggled with persistently low wages in some sectors.

I have often said the city council should pass a city ordinance that any job listed within city limits should have the minimum and maximum pay listed in the ad.

It’s time to end most if not all TIF’s in the city and tax rebates for the supposed (low wage) job creators and start helping the people who live and work in this city with more affordable housing and propping up infrastructure, and we can do it without welfare to big business. This is what happens when you have a partisan greedy mayor on cruise control and a former developer executive running the city as Chief of Staff.

Ironically, when she left the city the first time she met me for coffee. She told me the deciding factor to leave the city, besides the last mayor being a total jackass was that she was forced to write the Sanford Sports Complex TIF which she felt set a bad precedent for TIFs because of it’s size and that it was NOT for housing or blighted property. Funny how her feelings have changed on the Tifiliciousness of TIFs and doesn’t seem to bothered by the bad precedent she set.

The Big Lie (G/T-Tim Benson)

Mobster? (G/T-Tim Benson)

Maskless (G/T-Tim Benson)

UPDATE: Is TenHaken’s idea of Neighborhood Revitalization a Bulldozer?

UPDATE: I got an update last night. I guess the administration has been pushing hard on property owners along the loop on 11th street to buy the property so they can ‘revitalize’ it. Many property owners are thumbing the mayor and not agreeing to the offers.

A SouthDacola foot soldier reached out to me last night and confirmed something I have speculated about for a while. The city does have a plan to clean up the core and it probably involves a bulldozer and a wrecking ball;

One of those is neighborhood revitalization, and TenHaken today announced a new organizational structure to address it.

The newly created division will combine the city’s code enforcement arms under one entity that reports up through planning and development services. The team, led by Matt Tobias, will address “how do we take care of our core and make neighborhoods cleaner and acquire properties,” TenHaken said.

The bigger vision is to assemble and invest in land and amenities such as parks to create neighborhoods in the center of the city that appeal to residents and businesses, “so people aren’t looking to the ‘burbs but look inward,” he continued. “Some of the best neighborhoods are in the core.”

Notice the 2 words, ‘acquire properties’. This is essentially code for tearing down affordable housing that can be easily renovated in our core to tear it down instead and turn it into apartments or subsidized houses that don’t fit in the older neighborhoods. There is NO reason that these houses can’t be fixed up for a fraction of the cost and make excellent first time houses or retirement homes, but developers need to make a buck so they want to start from scratch.

They did a presentation on the proposal today at the city council informational meeting, and it had few details and a lot of things needed to be worked out. Councilor Brekke asked about TIFs and more importantly tax rebates. Councilor Erickson ripped them a new one about how the council had very little input on this and how they need to be involved. Yeah, no Sh!t Sherlock, wondering when the council was going to wake up from their Covid Coma and get back to making policy instead pulling a Biden in their basements.

I have been hearing that the city is negotiating purchasing large sections of property in the downtown and core areas that they can prepare for development and sell to large developers for subsidized housing. When I think of cleaning up the core, I think of rehabilitating the existing neighborhoods and houses. If you don’t think these smaller homes are not in demand explain to me why I get 3-4 offers a week on my small 1889 home in central Sioux Falls? BECAUSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS IN HIGH DEMAND and I am wondering how bulldozing these properties will address that problem?

I will be curious how this rolls out, but I think the major part of the plan involves a very large Caterpillar.

Over $35k raised for Sioux Falls School Board Race

When I hear things like this, I often shake my head and wonder why we have so much money in a school board race;

According to the four pre-election campaign finance reports filed Monday, so far, school board candidates have raised more than $35,000.

Notable contributions include former mayor Mike Huether and Augustana University president Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin giving to Anthony Pizer, while CEO of First PREMIER Bank Dana Dykhouse gave to both Pizer and Marc Murren.

I find it troubling that a position that pays very little has so much money going towards the race. When it comes to money in races like this, in which probably around 5-10% of qualified voters will even cast a ballot you have to wonder what the donors are trying to buy, especially in a district in which almost half of the students are on FREE or reduced lunches and many are living in poverty. Wouldn’t the $35k be more useful towards the food banks or youth mentorship programs?

The only thing the school board has successfully really accomplished over the past few years is higher taxes. I will admit that we do have a pretty good public school system in Sioux Falls when compared to the rest of the country, but I also think the school board needs to work on efficiency when it comes to how our money is spent.

I hope more people vote, but when you only have ‘voting centers’ in the Southern part of the city, we know how this rolls.

I am glad that many candidates are running, and that is one positive. I still have only endorsed Marc Murren and am still mulling over who my second choice would be.

City of Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken delivers his dirty SOC

While the replay is working just fine, when it streamed on the city’s FB page it didn’t start until about 11 minutes in. Even when they are streaming on social media they can’t get the video to work properly.

While Paul did introduce the council, he didn’t take a roll call vote, I wonder if you can even do an official meeting like this;

Section 3.03  Mayor’s duties and responsibility.

The mayor shall, at the beginning of each calendar year, and may at other times give the council information as to the affairs of the city and recommend measures considered necessary and desirable. The mayor shall preside at meetings of the council, represent the city in intergovernmental relationships, appoint with the advice and consent of the council the members of the citizen advisory boards and commissions, present an annual state of the city message, and perform other duties specified by the council and by article III. The mayor shall be recognized as head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law.

I was pleasantly surprised when he raised an initiative about cleaning up the core, something I have suggested for over a decade. While he was short on details, I welcome it. I asked a couple of councilors if they knew anything about it and they said notta. I would still like to see tax rebates in the initiative, but I will wait for details. While it is good he is working on it, it really should be the job of the city council to push this policy (kind of their job). I know that councilor Brekke has been working on this for several months and it is good to know the mayor has been listening. I don’t care who takes credit for good ideas, as long as they help the city.

He also proposed a Mayor’s Youth Council, while a worthwhile endeavor, telling us he wants input from the youth of the city, I’m wondering when he is going to get input from the adult taxpaying voting citizens? This same mayor has done ZERO coffees, cracker barrels or listening and learning sessions with citizens in his first term. He also moved public input to the back of the council meetings. He may want to hear from the kids in town, but not the adults.


I Also heard today that more TIFs for Downtown developers is coming down the pike in the area around Cherapa Place and the Railroad Redevelopment area. Brace yourselves. I’m still baffled why we are giving out TIFs when this city has a 2% unemployment rate and an affordable housing crisis with building permits going thru the roof. Developer welfare in the shape of growth for growth sake.


Not sure how a city councilor can inject themselves on county initiatives or state initiatives, but Greg has;

Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert has been researching licensing, locations, and even the number of dispensaries in the city.

“We need to do something in the interim, it wouldn’t be a moratorium, but something is so that we could wait until we have regulations because we don’t even know what the regulatory framework is going to be the counties have to wrestle with this as well are they going to allow people to grow marijuana in the county, that’s their decision, they’re gonna have to decide on that. But cities are also gonna have to make that same determination as well. So we both have our own jurisdictions and then we have our joint jurisdiction. So that’s where we need to work together,” said Neitzert.

Neitzert says he has briefed Mayor Ten Haken on his findings. Whether the city or the county will be ready for the legalization of Medical Marijuana, is yet to be seen.

State law dictates that city’s have to follow those laws. As Commissioner Barth points out;

Barth is frustrated in what he believes to be the stalling of working out the details.

“So, the powers that be, want Minnehaha County to put a moratorium on medical marijuana operations. Now they’ve had since last November, to try to get their ducks in order. They didn’t in fact they did everything they could to prevent it from moving forward. And now we’re getting to the tenth hour, and they’re asking us to take the hit because they have refused to do their job,” said Barth.

Of the fifteen years, he’s been a commissioner, this is the first time he’s seen a template to assist the county to write an ordinance.

“If it just goes into effect. Coming up on July 1 That’s the way it goes,” said Barth.

He is exactly correct, get your poop in a group and figure it out.