Snowgate Petitions turned in today

Around 8,300 petitions were turned in today. I would like to personally THANK Theresa for heading up this endeavor. Say what you want to about her efforts, she did this petition drive for the citizens of Sioux Falls. She is slowly becoming an old pro at this. It took her and over 50 volunteers under 10 weeks to get the signatures. Beyond making sure it gets on the Spring ballot, Stehly has told me she will not be that involved after that. She thinks this is up to citizens if they want them or not. I did tell her though that I will actively educating the public on their advantages, and after the council calls the election date, we will have a marketing plan in place.


#1 My Two Cents on 11.27.12 at 8:12 pm

Taxpayers will have few things to complain about in a typical year in Sioux Falls with an average of 40-42 inches of snowfall: A three inch snow event will take about 30% more time for the streets to be plowed. A four inch snow event, approximately 35%. And the plowing will result in narrower streets, slowing traffic and increasing safety concerns. A five inch snow event probably isn’t practical to use snowgates. A cheaper alternative for the taxpayer, is for Sioux Falls to continue its snow removal program without snowgates, divide the city into quadrants, and hire private contractors to follow the plows and clear the driveway accesses. Nobody likes to deal with a dammed up driveway after they’ve shoveled it out, but either way, it’s going to cost, but there are less expensive, safer alternatives that’ll get the job done without the unintended consequendces.

#2 l3wis on 11.27.12 at 10:04 pm

Yes, it will take longer. Duh. But let’s do the math, you are talking 20-30 hours more. Yeah, significant. But then compare it to the 45-60 minutes it takes a homeowner to clean out the berm X the number of households. You are talking about 65-80 THOUSAND MANHOURS! Lost wages, because they are showing up to work late, lost quality time with their family, health risks, etc, etc, all because we want this to happen fast?! Give me a break.

Do you scoop out your own driveway? Doubt it.

“and increasing safety concerns.”

That is why snowgates are a good idea, SAFETY. People should be able to get out of their homes, safely. Not to mention eliminating the windrows in intersections when they are plowing streets.

People act like this is a handout. C’mon, I pay taxes for snow removal, do it right, or don’t do it all and give me a refund.

#3 Craig on 11.27.12 at 11:30 pm

I’d like to know where “My Two Cents” gets the wild numbers. 30% more time for a three inch snowfall? Really?

I’ve seen snowgates in action with my own eyes. I’ve seen how fast the plows are able to operate, and I’ve also noticed they don’t have to continually backup to clean intersections they have just passed through.

What I haven’t seen is the narrowing of streets that some claim will occur. I haven’t seen plows driving significantly slower, and I haven’t seen snowblowers and shovels blowing the ridges of snow right back into the streets in those areas where snowgates were tested.

You know, it seems there are a few distinct groups of people who are very much against snowgates:

* Snow removal contractors who are currently paid to remove the ridge from the driveways of those who are unable to do so themselves.

* Snow removal contractors who would like to get in on a fat snow removal contract to remove the ridges via a skid loader etc.

* People who are against practically all city spending unless absolutely necessary (the types of people who think sidewalks are too expensive and that the soft bases on the softball field are frivolous expenditures).

* Hospital executives who expect fewer heart attack patients.

* Funeral Directors who expect fewer clients.

* Snow care equipment salespeople who may sell fewer snowblowers or shovels.

* People who are ignorant about the true impact of snowgates and who have formed their opinions based upon rumor.

* Any combination of the above.

(Note some of these are sarcastic… while others are sadly based upon actual individuals)

#4 My Two Cents on 11.28.12 at 7:10 am

As a matter of fact, I do shovel my own driveway. Sometimes, I even shovel my neighbors. And I pay taxes like you. All I’m saying is be prepared for an increased snow removal budget.

Nobody’s saying this is a handout, so there’s no need to be snarky or sarcastic. But taxpayers will assess if they’re willing to pony up for that service, or look at more cost-effective ways to get the job done.

Duh, indeed!

#5 CH on 11.28.12 at 8:26 am

This is one taxpayer “espense” I am willing to pay for!!
Thank you Theresa!

#6 Guest Poster on 11.28.12 at 8:39 am

Two Cents, why would we have skid loaders running behind the all plows to clean out a driveway? Do you not see or realize the cost of the additional equipment. With fuel, labor and motorized equipment costs it would throw it out of the picture. I would even fight the alternative as waste.

We have equipment going down the street and the available technology to do a better job if we have elected officials who care to make a decision. Save a few, we do not have ‘leaders’ on our school board or city councils.

In the absence of real leaders, the people have to push for decisions. The people showed their ability to make informed decisions our ‘leaders’ would or could not make, on the fall 2012 state ballot initiatives. It upsets the elected officials to have their non-work or terrible work over-ruled. The votes bought and paid for by the vested interests are not usually for the voting public’s interests.

Citizen activism continues to march in South Dakota. In exchange for one party government owned by the lobbyists and their corporate sponsors, the people are able to rise through the mud thrown on them to win at the ballot box.

I trust the owners of this country to make the best decisions when they have the facts. On the other hand, if we were able to get them to understand politics should be a two way street and not a one party way, we probably would not need as many public votes on issues.

#7 Detroit Lewis on 11.28.12 at 9:41 am

Two Cents – Yes, it will cost more and take longer, BUT, we first have to clarify something. Buying the snowgates will come out of the 2nd penny CIP fund. This is the same slush fund that funds things like parks and entertainment. If we money for monkey hot tubs, we have money to buy the gates. It is a matter of budgeting. Remember, the way the mayor sold us the EC was that our taxes would not go up. This is the same philosophy with snowgates. The snow removal budget comes from the 1st Penny, operational. This tax cannot be raised without legislative approval. It will be a matter of budgeting. They will just have to budget more towards snow removal and cut in other areas. Pretty simple really and painless.

#8 Pathloss on 11.28.12 at 10:07 am

The sooner driveways are clear, the sooner we’ll be out paying sales tax. I should think the city would see this. For heavy snow, make a pass then make another pass, like you always do, except clear driveways then. I should think ‘Two Cents’ could use the overtime dollars as a city snow plow driver.

I’m disappointed but expected how the city downplayed petitions acceptance. Time to boot out the loan shark mayor. He should have received 8,300 signatures himself. It’s enough citizens to vote him out and we will if elections are monitored by the state or feds.

Sorry Theresa. I’ve been treated similarly, maybe worse. It’s hard to accept that we are slaves in his majesty’s kingdom.

#9 Poly43 on 11.28.12 at 10:14 am

MTC….where are you getting your figures from? Seems straight from a very slanted opinion of the street dept. head. They work fine in Bismarck. In fact, in Bismarck gates are rendered ineffective only after a TEN inch snow event. How many of those do you suppose Bismarch has had since they adopted snow gates in 2000?

Again…where are you getting your skewed numbers from?

Figures don’t lie…but liars figure.

#10 Pathloss on 11.28.12 at 10:20 am

This petition could disappear. It’s their favorite trick. If you ever have business with the city, bring a court reporter and witness. You don’t need a lawyer. Courts do not recognize their government. For civil procedures, they’ll cite you and threaten you but they have no authority and you have no voice (even with petitions). It’s disgusting and certainly not democracy but we must wait and elect a mayor who will repeal HOME RULE CHARTER.

#11 Pathloss on 11.28.12 at 10:27 am

We’re screwed when Huether declares himself dictator like yesterday in Egypt. They have a new Pharaoh. City government is similar to Nazi government of 1933 when Hitler terminated elections and declared himself chancellor.

#12 Craig on 11.28.12 at 1:06 pm

Dan – you should start a blog and document all of your daily rants. It would make some interesting material and could even become required reading for those majoring in Psychology at SDSU.

Either that or just up the meds. Your call.

#13 Wayne Fanebust on 11.29.12 at 12:04 am

Congratulations to Theresa!

I admire her grit and determination, but I must confess that I don’t understand the passion behind the project. I mean it is not as if it is a push for a cure for cancer. It is simply a feature added to a service. Before I vote a yea or nay, I will do my own benefit/cost analysis.

#14 l3wis on 11.29.12 at 3:50 pm

Kinda ironic, isn’t it? The billions we have spent on finding a cure for Cancer, and have not found it (yet continue to bio engineer crops) while snowgates will only cost a couple of thousand dollars more a year and save residents from back injuries, heart attacks, lost wages, etc, etc. Seems like your cost analysis is pretty simple.

#15 Wayne Fanebust on 12.01.12 at 1:02 am

Thanks for the help. You just convinced me to vote “No.”

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