Ask ‘Mayor Meltdown’ a question

I wanted eggshell colored wallpaper not off-white!

I have been hearing a lot of gossip lately that the mayor has been micromanaging the event center’s construction, in fact, I guess it has even earned him the nickname on the worksite, ‘Mayor Meltdown’.

Not sure if he is micro managing the construction or design, but if he is, may I suggest he concentrates on more important things, like running our city.

During his latest ‘Ask the Mayor’ episode, he tells us a couple of interesting half-truths.

“When I was running for mayor, I would be campaigning Downtown, and there wasn’t a lot happening down here (sic).”


He said this after he was asked about the 2025 DT committee. While I would agree after handing out TIF’s like candy, there has been a lot of construction going on DT, but Mayor Munson and the former council really put a lot of energy and investment into DT. Once again, Huether is trying to take credit for something that has been in the works for over a decade.

Speaking of taking credit, he also comes up with this interesting response when asked about Spellerberg pool;

“The city council has asked that drawings be made up of an indoor and outdoor pool for that location (sic).”

Well, he got it partially right, they did authorize the expenditure, but it was the mayor and parks department that asked these drawings be done, and during a work session, that I attended, several councilors beat down the parks director over whether this was legal before a vote on the outdoor pool ballot issue this spring.

But of course, as usual, Mayor Meltdown will take credit, even it isn’t due.


#1 Mark on 10.17.13 at 1:15 pm

Looks like Dennis the Menace as a toddler…

#2 Al Anon on 10.17.13 at 1:47 pm

Apparently he forgot that he told a few of those sleepy downtown shop owners when he was campaigning that he favored a convention center downtown as a way to revitalize it, then as mayor cast the deciding vote to build at the arena.

Meanwhile, there’s still zero development action at the arena area and downtown is booming. Looks like he owes Steve Hildebrand and the other downtowners an apology.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 10.17.13 at 2:04 pm

To heck with his apologies, he needs to stop lying about this crap and stop taking credit for things he had nothing to do with.

#4 anonymous on 10.17.13 at 2:31 pm

47,000 TAX DOLLARS are being expended to INFORM voters about the indoor/outdoor pool issue at Spellerberg.

In reality, the $47,000 is being spent to provide “legal cover” for the Mayor and his administration when they are out selling the idea of a $20m indoor pool at Spellerberg Park.

This is not the first time the Mayor has pulled this stunt!! He did the same thing when he used public funds to promote an events center.

#5 hornguy on 10.17.13 at 4:16 pm

As I recall Al Anon, during his campaign MMM’s primary push was to get an arena done on the cheap. One of his big differentiators was that he was going to get this done for less than anyone else.

That arena location has always been awful. It’s a proven economic rathole where no right-thinking business wants to locate, and yet somehow building a *bigger* arena was going to be the thing to revitalize that area? Yeah, nothing’s going to revitalize that area short of a full-on, taxpayer-funded takeover.

And MMM’s was a good message because if there’s one thing that appeals overwhelming to South Dakotans, it’s doing s@#$ on the cheap. K-12 schools, higher ed, roads, Walmarts, you name it – cheap rules here along with the other c, cronyism. As an auslander, that’s always been clear to me. This town is filled with parochial, small-town, patrician nonsense at its worst. It’s a handful of rich people ruling over underpaid worker bees who have been brainwashed into thinking they should just be grateful to have jobs in the first place.

#6 anominous on 10.17.13 at 6:02 pm

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, hornguy!

#7 Titleist on 10.17.13 at 11:38 pm

Speaking of meltdowns, Congresswoman Noem votes to shut down the government and then to default on the debt. All over the Affordable Care Act? No leadership in Congress from Noem.

#8 Nature Lover on 10.18.13 at 4:22 am

I love alliteration……MMMM……mighty meltdown mayor mike……mighty mike meltdown mayor……MMMM

#9 Craig on 10.18.13 at 8:45 am

“Meanwhile, there’s still zero development action at the arena area”

Well that isn’t exactly true. First, we can’t expect to see a lot of development prior to the EC actually being done, because in order to benefit from the increased traffic in the area, you sort of need the traffic.

However there are a few projects happening down there, and a couple more along Russell that may or may not have happened without the city expenditures in the area such as the Russell improvements and the EC itself.

Also, a couple of pieces of property have recently came up for sale on the premise they will be redeveloped. This includes the Hoy Law Offices just to the North of Russell and the Moose Lodge to the SouthWest. Will these projects come to fruition? Hard to say – someone could easily come in and use those properties for more office space with the hopes their property values will increase over the next five to ten years.

I wasn’t a fan of the EC being built there… but then again I wasn’t a fan of building an EC in the first place. However I think it is far too early to judge whether it will spur development as we will need to see what transpires a few years down the road.

Just look at the 26th St. development West of I-29 – Lowes came in and Hy-Vee came in and people thought that area would be booming. There was thought that the Lake Lorraine area would be developed and the entire area would explode, but here we are years later and we have seen a few strip malls and just recently Sioux Falls Ford finally bought the empty land between Lowes and Hy-Vee, yet we still haven’t seen a single chunk of the Lake Lorraine developed even though originally they planned to have hundreds and hundreds of condos built there by now.

Does this mean that development was a failure? No not really… it is just that most development takes a lot longer than people think it does. This is why the only thing added to Phillips over the past few years after the millions spent to improve Phillips to the Falls has been massive piles of goose shit.

So as much as we want to predict the future and claim the EC is a failure, we really need to wait and see what happens. If that area is still a ghost town five years from now… then yes many will be able to shout “I told you so”, but it is premature to do so prior to the doors even being open.

#10 Karma on 10.18.13 at 9:12 am

Uhh – let me give you a heads up, it won’t. That area didn’t develop after the convention center was added and we were GUARANTEED by the experts that business would boom. (In fact, I think Anne Hajek has actually publically stated that she is embarrassed that her name is on that building). Also -Russell St. was already on the agenda to be fixed prior to being sold a bag of goods on this new EC. Will I attend the new EC? – you bet, but if the best thing we can come up with is the new building itself and a new street, we better hope that every stinkin’ event that takes place out there sells out. Oh wait – the DMV is out there now. BOOM – it’s exploding out there.

#11 hornguy on 10.18.13 at 8:28 pm

I’d bet that highly-desirable farmland at 85th and Cliff that twenty years from now, there still isn’t going to be boo up by that arena. There are just too many parts of town to locate where traffic counts are poised for greater growth and that are closer to other sources of economic activity and major residential areas.

I appreciate Craig’s argument, but that argument conveniently ignores that we’ve already seen how unsuccessful an arena at that location is in terms of generating high-impact peripheral development. There are decades of history. We can’t simply ignore that on the basis that the new arena will be bigger. A couple of hotels, a restaurant that changes names every few years (is it Boonies now?), that place next to the bus stop that can’t hold a restaurant for more than a year at a time, and a bunch of run-down hotels that seem to be catering to meth addicts and prostitutes? What a wonderful gateway to this fair city.

I’ll take the traffic at 69th/85th and Louise/Western/Minnesota/Cliff hands down before I plunk a business in a quasi-industrial wasteland anchored by an Arena that’s only running major events a handful of nights out of the year and is on almost nobody’s commute path.

#12 Testor15 on 10.19.13 at 10:12 am

Exactly right Hornguy

#13 rufusx on 10.19.13 at 10:19 am

Here – here – Hornguy!!!

#14 rufusx on 10.19.13 at 10:23 am

As I gather -the main reason that Lake Lorraine hasn’t developed has to do with some variation of “Family Feud”ing.

#15 CCFlyer on 10.19.13 at 1:40 pm

Lots of respect for you, Hornguy. Great points.

The Events Center and its neighborhood are an embarrassment to this city.

#16 PrairieLady - Gayle on 10.21.13 at 10:29 pm

I would whole heartedly agree with Hornguy too, as that is what I thought from the beginning. Actually, neither site was good because there really was not enough space for parking and expansion in the future. Why not put it near both interstates for easy access, expansion and plenty of room for new businesses to come into the area. If you want expansion, why put it in a very limited, cramped area? Never made any sense to me. Kind of like building a mansion in a slum in my opinion.

#17 anominous on 10.22.13 at 2:06 am

You guys all forget it was gonna be for these big livestock shows Mayor was concerned about not attracting. You can’t have all them people dragging their manure-y trailers up through Platinum Valley. I mean, we got gated communities to protect up in there. And churches and stuff.

#18 anonymous on 10.22.13 at 2:03 pm

anominous on 10.22.13 at 2:06 am

You guys all forget it was gonna be for these big livestock shows the Mayor was concerned about not attracting.

I’ve heard the Mayor mention this several times.

Livestock shows take very specialized facilities (ex., large areas where animals can be bathed). The new events center in Sioux Falls was NOT designed to handle livestock shows.

I wonder how many people bought into this idea?

Just another example of MMM selling the public false promises!

#19 anominous on 10.23.13 at 12:26 am

Anonymous- on 10.22.13 at 2:03 pm

“Livestock shows take very specialized facilities (ex., large areas where animals can be bathed). The new events center in Sioux Falls was NOT designed to handle livestock shows.”

Sounds like that one time when someone very important wanted to entice the Minnesota Vikings training camp to move to Sioux Falls but couldn’t because the Sioux Falls Public School district wouldn’t build a bunch of big ice bathtubs at Howard Wood Field. 🙁

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