Talk about getting your ass handed to you (H/T – Craig)

Craig:Not that anyone reads things beyond the first page of this blog, but the Brandon bond vote failed horribly.  Those in support of the new park managed to collect less than 7% of the vote.  That’s right – over 93% of the voters voted against a 12.5MM park that would have added $300 in taxes per $100k of value.

Saw this one coming from eight miles away.  Just another example of how out of touch city leaders are from the citizens.”

BRANDON, SD – It’s back to the drawing board for Brandon’s City Council and its plans for a city park.

1,940 ballots cast Tuesday voted against plans for a $12-million renovation to Aspen Park.

134 voters were in favor of the proposal to updated the town’s pool and add softball and baseball fields.

If the bond had passed it would’ve added $300 in property taxes per $100,000 of value.

WOW! I knew this would probably fail, but the bigger failure is the proposed plan the Brandon city council came up with. It reminds me of when the SF city council approves of something and the public is strongly opposed, or vice versa, like snowgates. The Spring municipal election should be very telling of just how much the public agrees with their local government officials. Apparently in Brandon, they don’t have much confidence in their proposals.


#1 hornguy on 10.30.13 at 2:47 pm

How clueless do elected officials have to be to proffer an issue for a vote that loses by 86 points? I mean, maybe you can chalk a sliver of that up to poor advocacy, but this just reeks of local politicians that are out of touch.

#2 anonymous on 10.30.13 at 4:53 pm


Kind of like snowgates and swimming pools in Sioux Falls…..

#3 hornguy on 10.30.13 at 7:45 pm

Brandon taxpayers who wanted that project dead had a huge reason to turn out and make sure it was defeated. Nobody in Sioux Falls is that vested economically in either of those ballot issues.

Snowgates will win comfortably – there’s a reason nobody on City Council wants to actively oppose them.

As for the pool? I’m pretty sure that swimming pool issue won’t be decided by 86 points. I honestly don’t think the majority of this community gives a flip about building a pool at Spellerberg, period. The choices are an overpriced indoor pool that can be used year-round or an outdoor pool that people use four months a year.

I’d personally be grateful if there was a third option – don’t build a pool at all. I’d be all over that. In fact, if it was on the ballot, I think it would win.

#4 Scott on 10.30.13 at 8:14 pm

They should have known this was going to fail. We’re always told that any bond issue or whatever is only going to cost us a few cents or a couple of dollars a year, and everybody forgets that those minor figures add up as they discover more and more pet projects they want us to finance. This ONE project was going to cost each taxpayer hundreds of dollars. Working backwards and telling them that it’s less than a cup of coffee per day was clearly not going to work.

#5 rufusx on 10.30.13 at 11:53 pm

hornguy – don’t know where you’re pulling that 4-month outdoor pool use notion from. There ain’t an outdoor public pool in the STATE that gets more than @80 days of use a year.

#6 hornguy on 10.31.13 at 1:40 am

Rufus, in haste I was probably being generous just to give them the benefit of the doubt.

#7 Testor15 on 10.31.13 at 8:26 am

From the PayWall Leader:

“… “I did think we would get more support from the people who use the facilities,” she said.

The Brandon Valley Baseball Association and the Brandon Area Youth Softball Association are the biggest users of the park, with a total of 1,100 players registered last season….”

So they thought approximately 500 young families with limited reserve funds now would be willing to pay for the new bonds. Yea right.

Let’s see, take a $300,000 house, raise the property taxes by $900 a year. Where is the money going to come from? How about the discretionary funds used to let the kids play organized sports in the very parks being updated.

Now Brandon will (or not) be voting for a new school, raising their taxes by $50 or more per year. What fun will the kids be having without the $50 in discretionary? These people by and large moved to Brandon to have lower taxes and still own a piece of the American suburban dream. As with most suburbs, there is a lot missing. Brandon, Harrisburg, Tea, Crooks and others are limited suburbs of Sioux Falls. These towns are growing with Sioux Falls sprawl and the town leaders don’t understand their place in this big bad world.

#8 rufusx on 10.31.13 at 9:18 am

But testor – those “town leaders” are elected from and in fact ARE those very same people that moved to Brandon for the very same reasons others have. They did not drop from an alien craft sometime in the far distant past. They are not “outsiders”. They do (or don’t) “understand their place” every bit as much as do the rest of the populace of the city.

“Understand their place”; now there’s an unfortunate phrase. Good God , talk about an elitist attitude….. Where is that place testor? Back of the bus?? Short bus??

#9 Detroit Lewis on 10.31.13 at 10:07 am

I found the line in the AL story today interesting “Business owners wanted park upgrades because people were coming to Brandon for tournaments and the business owners were not making money (sic).”

Well then why don’t the ‘business owners’ take up a collection and fix the park.

#10 Detroit Lewis on 10.31.13 at 10:08 am


#11 Testor15 on 10.31.13 at 6:15 pm

Ruf, sometimes it is very tiring trying to explain basic human needs versus wants.

#12 scott on 10.31.13 at 8:23 pm

How would business owners make money with the upgrades? People are still going to go to Sioux Falls when their kid is done playing.

#13 OldSlewFoot on 11.01.13 at 8:38 am

The $300 – 1,500 tax hike on a single family home had to be the whole deciding issue on the lopsided vote. That is a big price for taxpayers for what is basically a single use project. The timing of two days before your 2nd half property taxes were due probably didn’t help either.

The city of SF could absorb the $15 million baseball/softball facility at Harmodon Park much easier than Brandon could. Just another line item in the city budget.

Well at least they have Automania.

#14 OldSlewFoot on 11.01.13 at 8:47 am

Scott – Brandon has 2 hotels – a Comfort Inn and a Holiday Inn Express plus eats and entertainment. I guess they feel they can fill these hotels and keep people there with the right tourneys.

They really have no capacity to hold a baseball tournament for kids over 12 years old. The tourneys get spread out to Valley Springs when they do have them for older kids.

High school age Baseball tourneys is where you can make money for the baseball association. I am sure that was the thought by that group. The 10 years I coached in Brandon, the BBA never had any extra money at the end of the year. Dues were high, but so are expenses. I personally bought our catcher gear one year I coached Teeners.

#15 hornguy on 11.01.13 at 5:57 pm

Brandon’s a textbook example of why sprawl sucks.

You have a hole-in-the-wall, working class bedroom community that gets taken over by a bunch of rich people who want cheap land and to get away from that horrible, oppressive “city life.” Then after a few years, they realize the schools are mediocre, there’s nowhere to eat, and nothing to do at night, and so they start trying to duplicate everything they tried to get away from, just on a smaller scale.

The people I feel really bad for out there are the older residents that have been there for long time and are totally getting their property taxes abused by a bunch of upper middle-class newbies with entirely different quality of life standards.

#16 rufusx on 11.01.13 at 9:06 pm

hornguy – the “old people” that have been in Brandon for a “long time” may number 10-12 people by now. 40 years ago, when I started building there – the population was around 130. Most of the people who did both the initial development and were the first “wave” of new residents – were blue collar folks – not the “wealthy”. Many of them Morrell workers. But then again – today’s equivalent of their union negotiated wage in those days would be around $60/hour, and they had excellent healthcare, pension, etc. So perhaps by today’s standards they were “wealthy”.

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