If we kept tally of the money, that would require us to be accountable


Balancing the checkbook in the Sioux Falls finance office is not a high priority, in fact, it is not a priority at all.

Somehow, I am not surprised;

A key element of the federal government’s $787 billion economic stimulus program passed by Congress in February is telling taxpayers how much money is going where.

But in Sioux Falls, that number is tough to find.

City Finance Director Eugene (Montgomery Burns) Rowenhorst does not keep track of the money.

Heck, that guy has trouble keeping track of his thoughts let alone a couple million bucks.

That duty falls to Mayor Dave Munson’s chief of staff, Jodi Schwan, who was named the city’s stimulus coordinator for United States Conference of Mayors stimulus planning requirements.

“We don’t keep a running tally. We just look at it at a departmental basis,” Schwan said.

“Yeah, like, next thing you are gonna, like, want me to do, like, is keep track of my Macy’s receipts, and how many pairs of shoes I have, like, bogus, man. It’s all good, doll, no worries.”

“It’s just not something that we have a need to compile,” Rowenhorst said.

Because my multiple consultants and 0ver 20 employees are too busy spinning and twisting the tax revenue numbers, they don’t have time for this stuff. And when we provide too much information to the public, then we have to be accountable when we fuck up.

City Councilor Pat Costello agrees. “I don’t know that the total dollar amount is that important. We know that we have been getting some stimulus money.”

And if I run for mayor and get elected, I will continue the Munson administration’s bookeeping practices; Close? Good enough.

State Bureau of Finance and Management Commissioner Jason Dilges said that as of Friday, the state has spent $124.5 million out of a total of $761.5 million it potentially could be awarded.

“It’s extremely hard to track,” Dilges said. “We are applying for grants every day and spending money every day.”

Shit. The state can’t even make sure license plate tags have adhesive on the back of them, what makes you think they can do simple accounting?

At least one city office has started its own reporting procedure. Sioux Falls Transit planner Debra Gaikowski initiated a grant-fund tracking feature on www.siouxfallstransit.org. As the money is spent, it lists each project description, the contractor or supplier, cost and completion date.

“They are really promoting oversight on this money, and I thought this would be a good way to get that information out there,” Gaikowski said.

Debra, hope you have your resume updated, that kind of talk and action will get you fired.


#1 John on 08.18.09 at 6:08 am

I thought Jody was cheif of PR you know doing fluff tv pieces that no one sees. She is responsible for something?

#2 l3wis on 08.18.09 at 6:48 am

Scary Huh? Millions of dollars being allocated by a TV beat reporter.

#3 John on 08.18.09 at 7:41 am

Who is paid a six figure salary with no experence. No experence is one thing if she is capable of doing the job. Mr Burns doesn’t think so!

#4 l3wis on 08.18.09 at 8:29 am

Let’s not even go back to the salary debate. I betcha the next mayor won’t even hire a Chief of Staff, especially if it is Staggers. All she is, is a glorified secretary, and the mayor already has one of those.

#5 John on 08.18.09 at 12:35 pm

SF needs a real cheif of staff. Someone to be incharge. Someone with leadership experence and knows how to run a large organization.

None of the current candidates for Mayor have that experence.

#6 l3wis on 08.18.09 at 12:40 pm

None of them have a clue except Staggers, who has 16 years of serving in public office.

#7 John on 08.18.09 at 1:36 pm

Serving in public office doesn’t qualify you to run a multi-million dollar city budget. It gives you experence on policy. There needs to be an administration person to be cheif of staff. THe bad cop in the good/bad cop relationship.

#8 l3wis on 08.18.09 at 8:05 pm

Instead of the dumb cop and even dumber cop?