Sioux Falls Project TRIM should be called Project Inconvenience

Hey Teacher, Leave those kids alone!

Okay, I was wrong about the city harassing me in reference to my tree trimming, they were actually harrassing an entire district.

I was discussing the issue with someone who lives in my district yesterday, and she received a letter also. The problem I have with the letters is that this is ‘blanket’ code enforcement. In other words, everyone in the district is assumed guilty until proven innocent.

The letters are not specific about what trees you should trim. Obviously, for me, it is easy, I only have one tree on my boulevard. But what about people with multiple trees? Or what about people who don’t need their trees trimmed? Did they get letters to?

Code enforcement should be on complaint basis ONLY. Blanket code enforcement is silly, it is assuming that EVERYONE in the district is a irresponsible home owner that doesn’t have enough sense to know when to trim our trees. Trust me, the last place I would go to get advice about responsibility and common sense is from a city employee. That’s why complaint basis works best.

I’m getting sick and tired of the city treating it’s property tax payers and citizens like little kids. No wonder it costs so much to run Parks and Rec, they are busy bugging law abiding citizens instead trying to find ways to save us money.

Which brings me to another topic;

Rumor has it the Parks director said my ‘numbers were off’ in my letter to the editor about the bloated Parks budget. I used a $33 million dollar figure instead of $31 million dollar figure which I guess is the actual operating budget (which would bring the per acre maintenance cost down to aproximately $10,800 per acre instead of $11,500), which IMO is still too damn much. But I guess his biggest concern was that I didn’t breakdown how the money was spent. Who cares. An operating budget is an operating budget, I simplified it by using the amount of acres and simple division. It doesn’t matter how you ‘break it down’ at the end of the day $31 million is still being spent by Parks and Rec taking care of our parks. With that large of a budget that is obviously complex, don’t you think we can trim some fat? I think so, and that doesn’t change a damn thing.


#1 Angry Guy on 03.04.09 at 8:10 am

Dividing their total operating budget by acres is an inaccurate representation of how those funds are spent. It would be the same as taking the cities entire operating budget and dividing it by the amount of parking spaces downtown to determine how much the city spends on plowing every year.
If you wanted to impress people with how much money the city wastes, find out what length the grass needs to be in the parks before they mow it and do the math based on the amount of acres in the city parks. Or are they mowing indiscriminately on a schedule rather than on a as-needed basis.

#2 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 8:25 am

You point out the obvious problem with beaurcracy, they over think and make everything so complicated when explaining things to the public, they of course do this on purpose. They want people to be confused. That is why they get nervous when a regular Joe likes myself simplifies things and puts them in relevant terms.

You should work for the city, seems you have the formulas down pat.

#3 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 8:29 am

Another example is what happened at the info meeting yesterday. Instead of expanding the existing restroom at McKennan Park, which is already in the middle of the park, they want to build a brand new restroom facility (24 x 48′) by the tennis courts (yes, a couple hundred feet from the existing restroom). Citizens in the neighborhood are the ones that actually brought up how wasteful this project is ($170,000) Yeah, for a freaking bathroom and storage garage!

Wasteful is right.

#4 Costner on 03.04.09 at 9:18 am

Code enforcement should be on complaint basis ONLY.

I couldn’t possibly disagree more. I’d rather have a code enforcement officer driving through the neighborhood that me have to call them three times a week for my idiot neighbor who decided to let his relatives live in his RV which was parked in the street or for the other guy who thought it was a good idea to leave a PODS container on his driveway for an entire summer or for the guy down the block who feels grass should always be 14″ tall and noxious weeds like Canadian thistle add to the natural feel of the area.

Will I call the city for things such as this? Sure – because they all impact my property value and lead to a mentality which says it is ok to do whatever, but I shouldn’t have to call.

I’m glad we have code enforcement officers and frankly I wish we had more of them. I realize they might go too far at times, and there is likely room for improvement, but I do appreciate what they do as they make our city a nicer, cleaner, and safer place to live.

#5 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 9:26 am

So you want to live in a police state? I don’t. I own my property, and I have certain rights and being spyed on by the very people that get paid thru the taxes I pay is a violation of my individual rights. Sioux Falls is becoming more and more unconstitutional all of the time. I have seen violations of the 1st, the 4th and the 5th amendment, there is even people who say the city violates the 2nd amendment (I don’t agree) but the argumenat has been there.

Costner, the US Constitution is the highest law of the land, and cities are required to follow it FIRST, no ands, ifs, or buts about it, the city of Sioux Falls has yet to figure that out.

#6 Costner on 03.04.09 at 9:46 am

I hardly think a little code enforcement is a police state. If you don’t wish to follow city laws and want to do whatever all you need to do is move out of city limits….problem solved.

As to your arguments about Sioux Falls being unconstitutional, I have yet to see a valid argument to back that up in respect to code enforcement. I agree the Constitution takes precedence above all else, but a city enforcing local codes is far from unconstitutional.

If so, you shouldn’t have a problem proving it in court.

#7 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 9:57 am

My point exactly, I’M AM FOLLOWING CITY LAWS, so why the letters and harrassment? Just like police should not ‘create crime’ code enforcement should not ‘create violations’ by sending blanket letters out. If my tree needs trimming, tell me which one and how much, otherwise leave me the fuck alone.

“If so, you shouldn’t have a problem proving it in court.”

I about spit my coffee out with that statement. Ask the guy who is suing the city over a violation, they have denied him a court trial, and he has spent over $25,000 in trying to get one and the city has probably spent well over $100,000 fighting a $200 ticket for a code violation that does not exist.

That’s the point I am trying to make about red light tickets, code violations etc, the city is NOT allowing a court hearing, that’s the problem and a direct violation of due process and the 5th Amendment of the US constitution.

#8 Angry Guy on 03.04.09 at 10:17 am

Wasting taxpayer $ to prove that the yellow lights are longer is just stupid and irresponsible. Plaintiff Guy can’t prove anything in court unless weactually see the papers stating that Minions (or someone) authorized the change.

You piss and moan about the city wasting $… what about this guy? You seem to want to blow his horn and poke the city in the eye over this ( I agree it’s stupid and the lights should come down) but it is more of a waste of money fighting this $200 ticket than building new bathroom facilities at McKennan Park.

#9 Plaintiff Guy on 03.04.09 at 11:01 am

I’m not fighting a fine but seek a declaratory judgement forcing the city to return to democracy. Post 1/2008, city kangaroo hearings are ‘judicial appeal’ from ‘either party appeals to circuit court’. Citations are an admission of guilt if you pay them. NEITHER party can appeal. Only the legal proceeding can be challenged. They can fine but not collect or force you to remove something if they (also) cannot appeal to circuit court. Ignore citations. The city has rendered itself uneffective. ‘Due process’ is a constitutional guarantee. If they wish to secede, they can live in the mausoleum at 9th and Main. Then, we must employ a new government focused on public service instead of self service.

#10 Plaintiff Guy on 03.04.09 at 11:15 am

I have a $200 fine. Per the ‘Findings of Facts’ there are no terms (no due date and no interest). I’ll pay it after I buy Microsoft. They can’t get a judgement or force me to remove the concrete because EITHER party has no appeal, only judicial review. Whoever wrote and edited city codes is no smarter than a 5th grader.

#11 Angry Guy on 03.04.09 at 12:05 pm

You sound kinda nutbar about the whole thing.
Maybe you should start publishing a basement magazine about how the Govt keeps you down. You could plaster your car with decals and buy a video store.

#12 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 12:18 pm

I find it hard to believe AG that you don’t believe in due process, but hey, you have said crazier things.

#13 Angry Guy on 03.04.09 at 12:38 pm

There are plenty of things about this red light camera business that I think are wrong and borderline unconstitutional. I think Plaintiff Guy is fixated on this because he found something to fight the city about and he’s probably a Type-A who can’t STFU to save his life. If he was looking to win over my or anyone else’s favor, he should slow down and type intelligent sentences in regards to his argument, and I might not think he’s such a looney who’s wasting everyone’s time and money with statements like “If they wish to secede, they can live in the mausoleum at 9th and Main.” WTF is that even supposed to mean?

#14 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 12:45 pm

First, just for clarification before you get yourself ass deep, “Plaintiff” is NOT the Red light camera class action person. That is a different guy, for all I know has never been to my blog, but I do know him and have spoken with him and he is NOTHING like “Plaintiff” secondly, “Plaintiff” is the one fighting the bogus code violation. I read the legal brief, trust me, it is bogus. He basically was handed a code violation that exists but had nothing to do with his concrete work. So he’s fighting them to change the system and I commend him on it.

#15 Angry Guy on 03.04.09 at 12:54 pm

Well I guess I should STFU myself. Thanks for the clarification, DL.
Sorry, PG. My bad… But seriously… even I proof read everything I type to make sure I don’t sound COMPLETELY crazy. Unless I’m blogging after 10PM, then all bets are off.

#16 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 1:06 pm

I agree with you AG, but if you read the 54 page legal brief, and went thru what he has, trying not only to defend his rights, but your and mine, you would be typing like that too.

#17 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 1:58 pm

The economy is doing so great in Sioux Falls we have adults applying for teeny-bopper temp jobs;,81444

#18 Plaintiff Guy on 03.04.09 at 2:13 pm

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I’ll always defend the constitution and respect the rights of others. Sioux Falls city government is a charter that refuses to abide by state or federal constitutions. They should be punished and forced to obey rule of law.

#19 l3wis on 03.04.09 at 2:19 pm

Funny you bring up the state constitution, I notice they like to do a lot of asswhiping with that at council meetings too.