Councilor BrownKnows doesn’t think publishers are professionals & the audit committee censors a city department head, all in one meeting.


Not professional? Drive a snowplow for a living.

Last night at the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting Vernon Brown seemed to be confused about the consulting fees and professional services audit. In his eyes snowplow operators and publishers are NOT professionals and shouldn’t be called that in the audit.

Here’s the definition for you Vernon;




following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain:



a person who belongs to one of the professions, esp. one of the learned professions.


Obviously Brown does know what a professional is, he was attempting to spin the audit language. He goes on to say that engineers are professionals though. I would like to remind Mr. Brown that our greatest founding father was a publisher. It is a profession, a very, very important one. And if you think you can operate a snowplow without the proper professional training to do so why don’t you take a shot at it.

He brings in Rich, the head auditor to explain why snowplowing and publishing is under professional services, and ironically, Rich doesn’t play the game, I think, without realizing it. He says that snowplow contractors and publishers are put in the professional services column because ‘That’s the best fit’ and then goes on to say that they are ‘professional services’ and that’s why they put them there. So Vernon, what were you trying to accomplish? Misleading the public as usual? He ends his sad attempt of deception by saying hiring out contractors saves us money in the end, blah, blah, blah. If that is true, why wasn’t this audit presented last Fall when it was requested? You would think the public would be excited about that kind of news?

While Rich was present, Staggers decides to ask why the big jump from 2008-2009 ($19 million to $34 million)? Rich says that is mostly increased engineering consulting ($20 million). I assume that is the result of Munson’s bloated, get ten-million pet projects done before I get out of the office, CIP budget.


After the presentation last week of the audit, Councilor Staggers asks the audit committee if it would be okay if Rich comes on the City Link program, Inside Town Hall to explain the audit further. After no answer all week, he finally gets an email from the committee saying he would not appear 4 hours before taping, with no explanation. During the informational, Staggers takes them to task over the censorship, and reminds audit committee members, Costello and Jamison that they are council representatives on the committee and have a duty to inform the public. Litz defends their actions and says that they didn’t want it to become ‘political’. But Staggers says it has become ‘political’ because of the censorship. The audit committee felt that it would be inappropriate for Rich to appear with a councilor. I partially agree. I think that it would have been okay for Rich to appear with Staggers, AS LONG AS Confessions of a Driving Instructor movies the moderator was asking Rich the questions and not Staggers. But I think by censoring him totally it sent a horrible message. The normally quiet Councilor Anderson rips into Jamison and Costello over it, and says that by having only two councilors deciding to censor Rich’s appearance that they were proceeding into some ‘gray areas’. Costello does try to defend his decision by blaming the other committee members, but Staggers quickly punts him down and reminds him that the audit committee’s job is to serve the council and the public especially with two council members sitting on the committee.

Jamison says nothing during the entire exchange (must have been listening to AC/DC on his I-Pod).

It is well worth watching – it is one of the more heated exchanges I have heard in a long time, and Staggers comes out the victor in the end.

My opinion? I hate censorship, and I think it was blantant censorship on the committee’s behalf.