Don’t think the SF Parks and Rec spends money recklessly for what we get? Think again.

A friend of mine spoke to a 19 year veteran divisional director of the Kansas City Parks and Rec department recently and gave me some interesting figures when compared to Sioux Falls.

KS: 470,000 residents served
SF: 150,000 residents served

KS: Parks and Rec department trims the trees in the blvd.
SF: Forces residents to trim city owned trees or fines them.

In fact the director said it is illegal for residents to trim the trees and they will be fined if caught. The reason is because of liability reasons. The director ‘was amazed’ that a city attorney in Sioux Falls hasn’t squawked about it since it is the city’s liability. IMO it has to do with HOME RULE and the way our ordinances and code enforcement are written around it.

KS: Maintains 300 parks
SF: Maintains 69 parks

KS: Employees 300
SF: Employees 150

Now here’s the interesting part;

KS: 2009 Budget $35 million
SF: 2009 Budget $33 million

Not only does Kansas City serve 3 times more residents and 4 times more parks then Sioux Falls for the same money, they also trim CITY OWNED TREES with that budget. And their usage season is longer because of milder winters. So if you think we are getting a ‘bargain’ with our Parks and Rec department, you have completely lost your mind, in fact, taxpayers are getting screwed.


#1 Costner on 05.01.09 at 12:41 pm

As great as your blog audience is, you really need to put this into a letter to the editor and get it submitted to the Argus. Most of the citizens have no clue about our parks & rec budget.

#2 l3wis on 05.01.09 at 12:50 pm

Isn’t that unbelivable? Either KC isn’t spending enough or we are spending too much.

You be the judge.

#3 Costner on 05.01.09 at 2:28 pm

I’ll take obvious answers for $1000 Alex!

#4 Plaintiff Guy on 05.01.09 at 2:43 pm

HOME RULE is socialism. Per section 2 of city ordinances there is no appeal from city actions, only judicial review. They’ve shut out democracy. Careful, don’t fall out of their tree. Even though they’re liable, you get no damages. On the other hand, ignore them. They’ve prevented their appeal into a court to enforce citations or force action. My lawn will be growing 3 feet high this summer in protest.

#5 John2 on 05.01.09 at 4:48 pm

Amazing. This is further evidence that we South Dakotans are in love with government. We support it at all costs. We grow it and pretend it’s economic growth. We wouldn’t know efficient, effective management if it hit us in the face.

#6 Plaintiff Guy on 05.01.09 at 5:12 pm

John2, welcome to this click. Local government is propaganda. Tonight they had their political cattle call for Swine Flu attention. Judy Booswoman showed us granny should be ignored. ‘Dave’ said some of nothing. These people are paid 6 figure salaries when they hardly deserve welfare. Sioux Falls is a wonderful place for the people but cannot be preserved without new leadership.

#7 l3wis on 05.01.09 at 5:21 pm

I think our parks system is wonderful. I know a traveling salesperson from MPLS who comes here quite a bit, he is a jogger. He said it is one of the most beautiful bike trails he has ever seen. I guess my problem is, are we paying too much for what we are getting? A city 3 times our size pays the same amount, has more parks and actually gives back to the taxpayers by taking care of the city owned trees. When councilor Jamison said “Sioux Falls is leaking money” He ain’t a kidding. It’s leaking out of our pockets into special interests. I think there needs to be a petition drive to change city ordinance that it will be against private business to lobby city hall.

#8 Plaintiff Guy on 05.01.09 at 6:02 pm

Lobby city hall? We need leaders who know how good it is here and want to give back. Dave’s contractors and Dave are rich from fixed bids and an outrageous budget. The same thing is practical and half price with competitive democratic process. Parks, yes but cut costs. Bike trails, the best relo/sales/tourist tactic. “We get around our city in less time with no fossil fuels via natural trails”.

#9 redhatterb on 05.03.09 at 7:56 pm

As long as we have the current city administration in office, there will be overspending. They have to start taking into consideration what the public wants.

#10 l3wis on 05.04.09 at 6:56 am

That would mean they need to start talking to the public instead of mailing out 3,000 surveys to a select (mystery) mailing list.