From my email box • Todd Epp on Dr. Staggers as mayor

“Yeah, like, I support Mike Huether for mayor, even though I can’t vote for him. Becuz, like, I think Sioux Falls is so great, I moved to Harrisburg.”

I sent out a mass email yesterday steering people towards the Argus Leader interview of Kermit, I tried to only include people in Sioux Falls, but apparently I included a couple of people who don’t live in Sioux Falls (Epp lives in Harrisburg). In expected ‘Todd Epp’ style he responded to my email and pulled his normal ‘reply all’ (Like the other people on my email list actually give a rat’s ass about his opinion).

But now that I think about it, I would love to respond to his email, in the best way I know possible, on South DaCola.


Thanks for the Kermit Staggers info.

However, I think I can summarize Kermit’s positions on the various issues facing Sioux Falls thusly: No, I don’t like it, no, no, no, no, against, no, against, no, no, no, against, no, no, against, I don’t like it, no, no, against, and no.

It is pretty obvious that Todd did not bother to watch the interview, he would find out that Kermit is a very much a yes man, a guy who says, “Yes we can get it done if we work together to solve problems.” But since we are addressing ‘NO’s, let’s go there. I have often said, either Kermit is psychic or he has the pulse of the citizens. Here’s some facts about Kermit’s ‘NO’ votes;

• Kermit was against the Rec Center, voters agreed.

• Kermit was against the indoor pool, voters agreed.

• Kermit was against a tax increase to build arterial roads, that was supposed to be a 50/50 partnership. It turned out to be a gigantic boondoggle in which taxpayers have put in over 15x more then the developers.

• Kermit was against a 3rd penny sales tax to build an events center (ironically Huether, who Epp supports followed suit) and the legislature agreed.

Amazing how someone who votes NO all the time has a majority of voters agree with him. Heck, he even has his closest competitor agreeing with him.

Kermit’s a great pick if you think it is 1953 in Sioux Falls.  I’d rather see any of the other candidates win than Kermit.  At least they want to see the community move forward, not backward.  Sioux Falls needs a mayor who has ideas and wants to do things to improve the community, not just complain about spending money and being against anything that might make Sioux Falls more competitive and attractive to prospective, new, and longtime residents.

Todd obviously has spent too many days worshipping at the altar of Argus Publisher Beck, and reading the moronic comments on the Argus forum boards.

Kermit has proposed instituting a Hoover commission after he is elected (Bill Peterson suggested it too, but a day after Kermit proposed the idea, another candidate trying to ride the coattails of Dr. Staggers).

Kermit wants the city to move forward, but he knows you don’t have to do this by spending tax dollars. He has suggested;

• Deregulation to help clean up the older neighborhoods faster

• Revising the city ordinances and codes and taking out the unneeded ones

• Tax breaks and community development loans to small businesses to help with expansion

And Sioux Falls has an impact on the region and state that makes it vital that the community does well so the rest of South Dakota can do well too.  When Sioux Falls sneezes, the rest of the state gets a cold.

As a Harrisburg resident, however, I have no official say in the matter.  But also as a Harrisburg resident living in the shadow of the city, I do know I want Sioux Falls to be a place of job opportunities, good parks and recreational facilities, safe streets and neighborhoods, culture, and most importantly, a positive attitude.

You are right, you have no say in the matter, even though as a Sioux Falls taxpayer I subsidize your city through my taxes and water fees. Something Kermit wants to put an end to, and rightfully so.

We have that now and several of the other candidates, including my friend Mike Huether, will continue to foster such a Sioux Falls and improve on what other business, political, social, and cultural leaders have done in the past to enrich Sioux Falls.

This isn’t about Mike, but I knew you couldn’t resist mentioning him. You can yack away about Mike all you want, but Kermit has a proven record, Mike has ‘talk’.

For about ten years in the 1970s and 80s, I went to college, lived, and worked in Topeka, KS, a comparably sized community.  But because they had leaders like Kermit who basically were against everything, didn’t want to spend money, wouldn’t compromise, and only could see the problems with new ideas and not the opportunities, the community suffered.  It lost population.  It lost business.  More importantly, it lost it’s self-esteem and ability to bring people together to find solutions.  Topeka has only recently started to rebound because of leaders like Mike Huether (and some of the other candidates), who have had to change Topeka’s Kermit-like No/I’m Against Everything mindset.  As much as I enjoyed living in Topeka, a beautiful, historic city, I have enjoyed living in Sioux Falls even more because our community leaders in most every endeavor come up with solutions.  They also believe tomorrow will be better than today if we work hard, bring people together, see problems as opportunities.

This paragraph alone proves you know nothing about Kermit or watched the interview. Some things that Kermit wants to pursue in Sioux Falls if he becomes mayor are;

• Making the Pavilion more accessible and affordable to the public

• Securing a more private sponsorship of public art

• More transparency in government – you know, the little pest we call the First Amendment, that you know so much about, Todd 🙂

• And most importantly treating every citizen and their opinions with respect.

I commend you being involved so passionately in the political process.  But I find Kermit is a surprising choice for a young, creative person such as you who has made Sioux Falls your home.

That is why I support Kermit, because he is a passionate creative person who also has the intellect to succeed as mayor.

Kermit also has an amazing sense of humor, something I have never mentioned before. He is not a person to get ‘upset’ or ‘paranoid’ when he is attacked politically, in fact he often laughs and brushes it off. I haven’t had that experience with any of the other candidates running for mayor, in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them carry a mirror around with them. Be careful not to break it. Kinda wonder if that is what happened at the beginning of the Munson administration?


#1 James Milne on 03.29.10 at 7:03 pm

I’ve heard the Mr No argument many times, and once in awhile I may disagree with Kermit. I do recognize and admire the fact though that he understands that you can’t provide everything to everyone, to do so would mean financial ruin. As it stands Sioux Falls is not doing great financially because of attempts to provide things that are in actuality beyond the scope of government responsibility. As nice as an(other) indoor pool would be, it is not the governments job to provide one. Myself, and presumably Dr Staggers, are fairly strict constitutionalists (sp?) and as such it is only prudent and ethical to vote no on many of the issues coming up. This is the primary reason I will be voting for Kermit. If more of our elected officials had even half the understanding of our govt and it’s founding documents, this nation would be in a better place.

#2 John2 on 03.29.10 at 7:33 pm

Mr. Epp likely never saw a tax or a subsidy he didn’t like. The fact is that most governance ideas are bad ideas. The few good ideas require large amount of reflection, refinement, modification to make a governance idea useful. Doubt it – don’t, that’s the premise of why the US Constitution’s only been amended 27 times in 230 years and why very few bills introduced in congress ever become law. I’m all for progressivism and making things better (like the tiny start on healthcare) – but most of the ideas are either poorly thought-out or lack fiscal responsibility.

#3 Hamerhead on 03.30.10 at 7:02 am

If I remember correctly, Kermie was one of the main backers in repealing the Inheritance Tax while a legislator. This affected on a small number of South Dakota residents and greatly benefited the out of state trusts that are in SD banks. There was not a plan in place to recoup the lost revenues which was over $18 million. The state has never recovered from this and has also had an effect on the funding of education.

#4 Costner on 03.30.10 at 7:32 am

Here is the deal… nobody is saying we always need a mayor like Kermit, but we do need a mayor like Kermit RIGHT NOW. He can control spending and get our city back on track in terms of infrastructure improvements.

He will divert money into maintenace of our roads and bridges so we don’t end up spending more down the road when we are forced to replace roads due to insufficient maintenance.

He will put off the ‘feel good’ projects until we have a fair and equitable way to fund them, and he will clean up city hall and get rid of much of the bid rigging or behind closed doors under the table things which have been such a problem in recent years.

Maybe Sioux Falls needs a mayor who follows a different path every now and then – and Staggers is that guy. If people were actually honest about his record they could easily see how much more he is in tune with the actual citizens rather than just those who can afford $1000 campaign contributions.

#5 Plaintiff Guy on 03.30.10 at 10:32 am

I envy that he lives in Harrisburg where there’s democracy and constitutional guarrantees. He can watch the Sioux Empire fall as we drag the Munson plaque up and down Phillips throwing shoes at it.

#6 John on 03.30.10 at 11:37 am

If more of our elected officials had even half the understanding of our govt and it’s founding documents, this nation would be in a better place.

Like rich white men who were trying to avoid taxes. The same men who believed that a Black man was 4/5ths value of a white man. Not to mention how the founders of our country felt about women!

And if you are worried about spelling try this:

#7 James Milne on 03.30.10 at 3:58 pm

Yup, throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am going to guess you think the US Constitution is up for personal interpretation then? Don’t forget the same document was amended by those you seem to despise, see Amendments 13, 15, 19, 21 and 24 to name a few highlights.
A fun little blurb on the 3/5 compromise, seems slave owners wanted them counted as a whole! The northern states opposed slaves being counted as one, instead offering half or 3/4.'nuff said.
As for women, you mean it was cruel or mean to expect them to take care of the home and children while the husband did the physical work? Correct me if I misunderstand your position.

#8 John on 03.30.10 at 4:21 pm

Barefoot and pregnant. A man for all times.

#9 James Milne on 03.30.10 at 6:57 pm

I am amazed you would think that about women. They are the bond for so many families that to think a majority of people are that mean just saddens me.

#10 Steve Jacobson on 03.30.10 at 9:22 pm

Kermit was also the candidate who said the private report on the Multicultural Centers should be published on the Internet.