‘I will be the most open mayor in the history of Sioux Falls’ – Mike Huether

Of course I was paraphrasing, but Mr. Openness talked about this all the time during the campaign because he often took Staggers ideas and repackaged them with a smile;

“As we have discussed, the items you requested were part of the drafts of notes and recommendations which were used as part of the deliberative process during discussions with different members of the City Council regarding the possible Events Center,” Cotter wrote in an email denying the request.

“The initial notes and recommendations are items that are specifically exempt by law from disclosure,” he wrote.

Huether campaigned on a platform of government openness earlier this year, but he has refused to share the presentation with the public.

Mike, you really look stupid with this one. And throwing your whipping boy out there to make excuses for you is weak.



22 comments ↓

#1 Steve on 09.21.10 at 7:14 pm

Why do city councilors deserve to know more about this than citizens who will eventually be asked to pay for it?

#2 Mike on 09.21.10 at 8:46 pm

the “build it downtown” people keep pointing to the 1995 study that recommends downtown but I would like to hear someone from that group explain this part of that report:

“If the relocation of the railroad tracks is not progressing on a course which parallels the Event Center development without adding significant cost to the Event Center, or if land acquisition is not
achievable at reasonable cost, the City should not hesitate in pursuing the project at the Convention
Center site.”

#3 Jim on 09.22.10 at 4:23 am

It’s a ‘sophisticated’ plan and they(councilors) don’t want to burden your pitiful mind with it. Elect uptight people and this is what you’ll get.

#4 Costner on 09.22.10 at 6:25 am

I think because the plan was much like a sketch on a napkin, and if they presented it as is people would dig in and just laugh.

There is no way they can do everything they want for $100M, and they know it. Their current plan is from a 40,000 foot level… no real meat or detail.

#5 Sy on 09.22.10 at 9:52 am

Paraphrasing someone who was in one of the Mayor’s presentations, but the reason Huether doesn’t want this topic being discussed right now is he wants to get his mock ups and his computer model going and take it to private donors first.

He then wants to sell it to Joe Sixpack that “look we have Costner Inc. who has stepped in for $20 million, so let’s get this thing built.”

The disconnect is typically those types of folks with the means to cut that kind of check always, always, always seek out the best ROI, even if they don’t actually reap it via a donation for naming rights. No one wants their name plastered on a white elephant, so to me it makes sense to do everything we can to avoid it becoming a white elephant, than the donor(s) will be more comfortable to step up.

#6 Mike on 09.22.10 at 11:33 am

he should let people see the private details. all of the other event center task forces were completely open to the public. to go through all this controversy, i wonder what in there is worth hiding that much.

#7 Ghost of Dude on 09.22.10 at 11:35 am

the “build it downtown” people keep pointing to the 1995 study that recommends downtown but I would like to hear someone from that group explain this part of that report:

The study was done in 2005.

If an events center is planned for that area, someone would light a fire under the ass of whoever is in charge of moving the tracks.
And had we acted sooner instead of throwing together another task force which was corrupted by the CVB people from the start, the land would be plenty cheap. There’s still a chance we can get Sherschigt on board with a reasonable cost for the land next to cherapa.

#8 l3wis on 09.22.10 at 8:14 pm

I could care less where it is built. But openness needs to be his #1 priority, especially when he campaigned on it. Hypocrite.

#9 anominous on 09.22.10 at 8:47 pm

Uh, someone should make a secret dead drop of these documents, at the plaque of mayor munson at the phillips to the falls arch of success, midnight thursday.

#10 Detroit Lewis on 09.22.10 at 8:50 pm

TRUST ME, I HAVE WORKED MY SOURCES OVER TO GET THESE DOCS, BUT THERE VAGINAS ARE TOO HUGE TO GIVE THEM TO ME.

#11 anominous on 09.22.10 at 10:47 pm

Are the secret plans tattooed on someone’s ass so they can’t be stolen?

#12 DDC on 09.23.10 at 12:06 am

Transparency? Wow, people fell for that line again?

At least republicans are nice enough to not lie about being transparent so you know beforehand that you’ll have to work for it.

#13 Costner on 09.23.10 at 7:03 am

Sorry to disappoint your DDC, but the mayor announced he will be giving a full presentation about the events center, so it wasn’t so much him trying to keep secrets… he just wanted to roll it out with typical “mayoral flair”.

#14 Steve on 09.23.10 at 7:22 am

he has said he will give a presentation, but he still won’t release he powerpoint he used to get the councilors on board.

His upcoming presentation could be very different then the powerpoint presentation he showed privately.

#15 l3wis on 09.23.10 at 7:23 am

Of course it will, it will be geared to the good folks of SF.

#16 Sy on 09.23.10 at 8:35 am

From the AL:

“Huether promises a “thorough presentation” at an Oct. 4 meeting that will incorporate much of what has been shown privately to city councilors”

“Much of which” does not equate to full disclosure.

“The request was rejected Wednesday in an e-mail from Public Works Director Mark Cotter. He said the presentation was “part of the drafts of notes and recommendations,” which are exempt from disclosure under state law.”

They are toeing the line though:

“It wasn’t an actual secret plan,” Cooper said Wednesday. “There’s no official document that the mayor is trying to hide from the public.”

Just drafts and recommendations are still being withheld, got it. So then, how is this next bit of info able to be determined:

“Cotter’s team has been working on two bid proposals for architectural and engineering design and a construction management firm to act as a consultant in the development and design. Cotter said he expects to have bid information available for contractors no later than Oct. 15.”

Contractors don’t bid on a vision, they bid on a plan. The Mayor is flat-ass lying and apparently Costner has signed on to carry his water.

#17 Sy on 09.23.10 at 8:36 am

Oops…forgot the link:

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20100923/NEWS/9230317/Events-center-vision-to-be-detailed

#18 Costner on 09.23.10 at 9:44 am

Sy: Contractors don’t bid on a vision, they bid on a plan.

Apparently you failed to read the very section you quoted:

“Cotter’s team has been working on two bid proposals for architectural and engineering design and a construction management firm to act as a consultant in the development and design.”

Thus they are bidding out the actual design and consultants to work on said design, they are not far enough along to speak to contractors about bidding the actual construction… not even close.

This just serves as more evidence that Huether does not in fact have a real plan already. He might have some high level ideas, but money hasn’t even been spent to get to the point he has a clue about the actual facility.

I guess someone else at the tile shop handles the bidding process.

#19 Sy on 09.23.10 at 11:32 am

So who’s eff up is this then:

“Cotter said he expects to have bid information available for contractors no later than Oct. 15.”

Note he said contractors; not designer, architect or consultant. Contractors are people who will be submitting bids for the actual work, not design work or consulting. No way will that be ready by Oct. 15 unless he’s already got some type of plan to go off of.

Maybe that was mis-spoken by our Public Works dept., who like Costner apparently doesn’t get the differences between a contractor, architect and a consultant. For those playing at home and don’t want to sound stupid, here’s the layman’s definintions:

Architect = person who designs stuff.
Engineer = person who makes certain what’s drawn can be built.
Contractor = person who bids work off of a blueprint or a set of plans. When said bid is accepted it becomes the basis of a contract.
Consultant = person who acts as a liason between all the above and the owner, who in this case is the City.

Either way, they are already off on a bad foot. For the budget they have set (which is also a political, not needs based number) we are looking at a simple concrete box. That kind of Wal-Mart approach to an Events Center could easily be handled by a Design-Build firm where the same company (stay with me here, Costner) designs & builds the thing, usually saving around 5%. Two of the largest ones (Kiewit & Mortenson) are in Omaha & Minneapolis and there’s 3 or 4 in Sioux Falls that could handle it as well, as long as they can fit it in between their hospital work.

#20 Costner on 09.23.10 at 7:10 pm

Sy: Note he said contractors; not designer, architect or consultant. Contractors are people who will be submitting bids for the actual work, not design work or consulting. No way will that be ready by Oct. 15 unless he’s already got some type of plan to go off of.

I suppose you could ask him, but my money is on the fact that either Cotter mis-spoke, or he mean to imply a contractor as in the absolute definition of the term… someone contracted to perform a service rather than someone contracted to actually produce a product (build).

Not sure where you get the idea I don’t know the difference between a contractor, architect, or consultant (or a design-build firm for that matter) since you were the one who seemed to be confused, but whatever helps you feel better about yourself is ok by me Brendan.

#21 Sy on 09.23.10 at 8:40 pm

Read this again (which you regurgitated) and then tell me who’s responsible for the actual design? You know, the one the Mayor is going to show us some of on Oct. 4.

“Cotter’s team has been working on two bid proposals for architectural and engineering design and a construction management firm to act as a consultant in the development and design.”

Remember 2 weeks ago there was no plan, only a vision. And 11 days after he partially shares his vision we have bid information ready to go to contractors.

Also remember that none of the 500K is to be spent before Jan 1. a hundred days from now.

This whole thing is fishy and it looks like we have some massive incompetance down at City Hall.

#22 anominous on 09.27.10 at 4:32 pm

I hope the architects make it all gothic revival looking like Dethklok’s castle.