Detroit Lewis makes a rare appearance at the city council meeting

Actually, believe it or not, I have not addressed the new council and mayor yet, and to tell you the truth, I didn’t think I would last night, but after hearing Mr. Stenga (another citizen) speak I felt compelled. But before I got up and spoke some interesting things happened.

I walked in as the meeting was just getting started, so I sat in the back row, where some old dude was standing taking pictures, I got a grin from Litz and Jamison and a worried look from Brown (as usual). Before public input, they do their normal dog and pony show where they hand out awards, magic 8-balls and candy.

One crystal statue went to Bob Litz, it was his last night on the council, then he got a standing ovation. I think besides the guy in the wheelchair, I was the only other person not standing and clapping. So while this is going on, I notice the old dude next to me is taking pictures like crazy, like his son was Bob Litz or something, so I looked at him closely, and he gave me this mean frown, in which I figured out who he was, and I just started chuckling to myself (and kinda laughing in his face). It was no other then my BFF, Joel Rosenthal (I think). He must have ran Litz’s county auditor campaign? Who knows, who cares. And people say I’m the grumpy angry one, you need to smile more Joel.

Anyhoo, enough ranting, I spoke about how the public has yet to vote on the Events Center (starts at 17:30) I would like to thank councilors Jamison and Erpenbach for their reassuring smiles during my rant. I appreciated it.

Oh, BTW, good luck Bob.


#1 Poly43 on 02.23.11 at 8:55 am

Very good presentation l3wis. To the point, and reverberates what many in SF think about this issue. I Have only watched your couple of minutes worth. Did anyone on the council or the good mayor respond to your address?

#2 Scooter on 02.23.11 at 9:00 am

Fantastic! Did anyone listen Scott? Or even heard what your point was? Or were they too busy rolling their eyes? Every time I hear Mike talk about the events center, I hear the Beatles song, The Fool on the Hill in my head…

Also the official video record stamp at the beginning stated that the meeting was conducted on Monday February 22, 2011. Maybe we should increase the salary of the city video person so he or she can buy a calender.

Another point, the meetings invocation took only 1-1/2 minutes. The last city council meeting video I view (date not known), the invocation took over 8 minutes! I am sorry, I would have walked out at the 3 minute mark if I was attending.

#3 Angry Guy on 02.23.11 at 9:03 am

Today’s Random City Council Meeting rant was brought to you by Cazadores Reposado and your local Snow Plow Driver’s 214.

#4 Sy on 02.23.11 at 9:04 am

Very passionate and poignant speech, but my guess is if you went further as to what we should be talking about so you can keep your food down is: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs…correct?

Well, as I’ve always said, there’s really a very limited number of things a City can do to actually create those jobs. One of those in a City our size is to focus on economic development, and that goes beyond marketing.

The Arena was a risky venture back in ’61 and we had no idea what and how it would evolve over the years, but the $2 million or whatever we borrowed and spent on it back then has paid us back many, many times over despite the fact the area around it hasn’t (& won’t) taken off. Same thing has happened in our neighboring cities in the last 15 years, if done correctly these facilities grow the pie and grow it nicely.

#5 l3wis on 02.23.11 at 9:15 am

AG – You gave me the laff of the day.

Sy – I don’t doubt the EC will have an economic impact, but for Christ’s sake, this is a democracy, let the voters decide. If they want it, I will support it. But enough discussion of ‘ideas’ let’s start talking mortgage.

Poly – No response, in fact you could have heard a pin drop. I have never heard it so quiet. Not a sneeze or cough. Which is okay. The best way to defeat your opponents is to ignore them.

#6 l3wis on 02.23.11 at 9:17 am

AG – Actually it was Patron, sorry to disappoint.

#7 Sy on 02.23.11 at 9:58 am


“but for Christ’s sake, this is a democracy, let the voters decide.”

and they will, which as you know I support. I just for once would like to see an informed voter go into the booth.

The question is more complex than: “Do you want an Events Center”. People need to know all those details that are in Mikey’s little powerpoint and they should also have an understanding on what the impacts will be, both to the City’s ledger and to them personally.

And again, I think the only way you can possibly sell this plan to the voters is to assure them you’ve done everything within reason to maximize the return on the investment. As it sits today, we haven’t done that.

#8 Sy on 02.23.11 at 10:06 am

Oh..and speaking of Bob, he brought up the “contiguous floor space” argument as to why the Arena makes sense in the last CC meeting.

I personally think they will try to manipulate the data to show that we could’ve had X, Y & Z Conventions had we had over 100K square feet of space to offer them. Unlike the concert industry, the convention industry is looking for more than just capacity to fill a room, they look for airfare, hotels and dining/entertainment options so they can sell a convention as an “experience”, not just for the attendee but for anyone the attendee is bringing along.

The only way we will ever be able to sell Sioux Falls as an “experience” destination will be to start over from scratch and go where we have some existing things to build off of, and that is simply never going to occur at the Arena area no matter how much money we throw at it.

#9 Angry Guy on 02.23.11 at 10:27 am

I typed Patron, but thought it would be too much work to copy and paste the special character in Patrón so all the dunderheads wouldn’t think I was referring to you being a regular visitor to the council meetings. Besides, Cazadores is just as good without all the pretentious douchey after taste.

#10 Poly43 on 02.23.11 at 12:56 pm

Let’s get to the heart of this thing Sy. Something you EC people seem to not want to talk about. How is it going to be funded?

#11 l3wis on 02.23.11 at 9:01 pm

Poly is right on this issue. At the end of the day, what to most South Dakotans think about? What’s this gonna cost me and how am I going to pay for it. I think if the city came up with a funding package that was attractive, they could put it on the ballot and pass it, then we can talk location, size and design. I’ll go back to my original argument, when you are looking to buy your first house, you get approved for your mortgage first before you go shopping, this is no different.

#12 Sy on 02.23.11 at 10:28 pm


“I’ll go back to my original argument, when you are looking to buy your first house, you get approved for your mortgage first before you go shopping, this is no different.”

Other than for your scenario to hold true to Sioux Falls, the Arena would’ve been your first house that you paid off a couple decades ago. Assuming your personal financial history was as good as Sioux Falls, you could easily spend a few grand designing your own home as a replacement and certainly take bids/get costs prior to running it past your banker.

and Poly as I’ve said before, to fund the construction the City could float muni bonds to the tune of $80 million while the private sector could reasonably be in for the other $20 million. At or around those levels, the City can pay the P&I with a combination of sources like the B&B tax, user fees, advertising fees, parking fees, skybox rentals and with the additional sales tax revenues from the ripples (is any). On a annul budget of $300 million there’s ways to get it done without touching property taxes and/or raising taxes on Joe Six Pack.

I’d also like to see the State take a bite, as they will benefit too…maybe they could waive the excise tax on the project.

#13 Sy on 02.23.11 at 10:32 pm

Let me clarify on JSP, if he has discretionary income and decides to attend an event/game at the place, than yes he might pay a little more $$ in taxes for a new facilty.

Not sure if any of that is part of the Mayor’s non-plan plan, but I guess we’ll see.

#14 Bender on 02.23.11 at 11:38 pm

Scott – You have mastered the art of the dramatic pause in your speech! Although I rarely agree with you, I’m on board with this issue. I wish they’d put this one to bed. OurManMike however is determined to make the events center his legacy

#15 l3wis on 02.24.11 at 4:42 am

Bender – thought you would like that. I’ve been watching too many old movies.

Sy – The yearly operating budget will be the kicker here. I don’t think too many people will quiver at the bonds. But when people see how much it takes just to supplement a 1900 seat facility like the Pavilion, they are gonna wanna know what it will cost to operate the EC.

#16 l3wis on 02.24.11 at 6:45 am

Not to mention the yearly interest and principal payments, which goes back to my mortgage debate. I’m not saying we can’t afford it, I just think people in our community want to be prudent about it. Can we get a bigger bang for our buck? South Dakotans are frugal.

#17 l3wis on 02.24.11 at 6:47 am

And lastly, like I said at the meeting Monday night, we still have yet to talk about it. Sure you have talked about it, and I have talked about it, but not one single task force wants to face the reality. The last one was doomed for failure when they brought up the additional 1 cent tax. Location is important, but as far as I am concerned, it is #3 on the list.

#18 Oliver Klosov on 02.25.11 at 12:23 pm

l3wis – your thoughts and feelings were surprisingly well thought out and expressed. You should however remove your hat when indoors.


“Also the official video record stamp at the beginning stated that the meeting was conducted on Monday February 22, 2011. Maybe we should increase the salary of the city video person so he or she can buy a calender.”

What are you, some sort of calendar Nazi? By the way, you misspelled calendar.

#19 l3wis on 02.25.11 at 1:01 pm

I removed my hat for the council prayer and pledge of allegiance. This isn’t the 1950’s, it’s okay to wear hats indoors now.

#20 anominous on 02.25.11 at 1:57 pm

Does the bailiff still chase everyone around to make them take their hats off in the courtroom down there?

#21 Oliver Klosov on 02.25.11 at 3:24 pm

l3wis – I realize it’s not the 1950’s, but class never goes out of style. Take your hat off when you’re indoors.
I know you’re a free-wheeling-cutting-edge-independent-progressive-stick-it-to-the-man-alternative-music-listening dude, but take your hat off when indoors. You’re not 12. CT’s with a suit would be fine, just take off the hat.

#22 l3wis on 02.25.11 at 10:56 pm

I’m punk rock to the core, and I know you will never understand that, but if you ever meet me in a dark alley, and you cock off, I’ll kick your fucking ass.


#23 Oliver Klosov on 02.26.11 at 12:12 am

There’s little doubt I could use a good ass kicking. However, considering your stubby little midget arms I’d say my substantial reach advantage would keep me safe. Nonetheless I will try to avoid cocking off when in dark alleys.

#24 l3wis on 02.26.11 at 6:17 am

I meant sunlit ones 🙂