South DaCola Podcast V: Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr

Pat talks downtown parking ramp, higher education, wages and city budget, and much more.


#1 Emoluments Clause on 08.22.17 at 12:26 am

“Wade Kolusion for Mayor in 2018…… Neel Kashkari, Treasurer….”

One of the things we need to start doing in this town is apply for jobs (even though we are already employed) just for the sake of the interview so we can ask them how much they pay. And then after they tell us its $ 10 to $ 13 a hour, then we need to tell them that their wages are to low and no thanks…. It could be the active equivalent of a sit-in protest….

#2 Emoluments Clause on 08.22.17 at 1:03 am

In the podcast a mention was made about how some employers in town do pay well. But like what was mentioned, I think the lack of high turnover with some employers plays into that reality. There seems to be a relationship between the wage scale of a Sioux Falls company and the employment longevity of most of its employees. Whereas, there appears to be an inverse relationship between the nature of the business, whether it has a predatory business plan or not, and how long people stay with a given employer, and thus how much the employers pay their employees.

Some of these call centers especially in town, with a sales floor in particular, have a predatory business plan that is not realistic long term for the employees because of a misery factor, but in a macro or aggregate sense it works for the profitability of the given company even if it means they have an employment strategy that resembles a revolving door of employees with a rather extensive training department. What might be seen as a great expense, the constant employing and training, and the maintaining of a training team, is offset by the employers meeting most of their sales goals in an macro or aggregate sense even if it burns out its employees, who are quite dispensable given the elaborate revolving door employee recruitment and training system they have. Also, this constant replacement of employees in this town by some employers helps to keep wages stagnant and it also helps to create even lower unemployment numbers, because there is always a need for new recruits to replace those that have left or have been fired only to be hired then by the predatory business across the street.

I might also add, that if someone is in denial about wage collusion in this town itself, regardless of how predatory business plans play into wage stagnation, then not only the lack of mentioning of wages in employment ads questions their doubt, but Kashkari’s recent comments at the Downtown Rotary Club more or less ends the debate, if you ask me. Kashkari would have not challenged the local establishment to increase wages unless he knew who he was talking too and who was the problem. Any smart capitalist nows that in order to succeed in business you need to offer what the others are not offering, but when that is not happening, yet businesses continue to survive and succeed, then it is a sign that they have cornered the market or have a monopoly, and how is wage stagnation not an example of owning a system or creating a monopoly, and thus controlling wages, especially when we are suppose to live in “Boomtown” with low unemployment numbers? Two factors you would think that would make wage control beyond the control of employers… Yet it seems not to be….

#3 The D@ily Spin on 08.22.17 at 10:29 am

Advising what a job pays works both ways. Some people want to work because it’s a hobby. Others weigh whether or not it’s better to stay home on welfare. Companies looking for hobbyists should say so up front.

74 employees in Parks and zero minorities? Why so many and add some color? They have their own logo and everyone on the board is from affluent areas. Newly elected Strong Mayor should bring Parks back into the Union and take down the confederate statues.

Lots of conversation about parking ramps. Why does Lloyd get all the benefit? Isn’t it time to steer public money toward other developers? Dunham died and Lloyd will too. Start grooming other resources.

Downtown is looking more and more like North Korea. Cookie cutter minimal apartments and parking. There’s a distinct border from the rest of the city. When city hall approved a TIF for nuclear missile tests, time to act.

#4 Bruce on 08.22.17 at 11:43 am

I was first made aware of the wage collusion in Sioux Falls while working in the credit card world 18 years ago. No wages could be paid or wage increases made without the expressed poll of members of the human resources club. This was a group who met regularly to set the wages to be paid by the members.

A call center employee could only receive $X.XX per hour. A programmer could only receive $X.XX per hour. The HR person I knew showed me the wages paid “menu”. I remember joking it was like an ala carte pricing program. Let’s figure out how to fit you into one of these categories so you can get a raise without causing the other employers to come down on the the company HR director.

To my understanding, this system has not changed.

#5 Sierra broussard on 08.22.17 at 12:29 pm

I dont hear about council make the chief getting the body cameras asap.Patt should of talked about that.

#6 Sierra broussard on 08.22.17 at 12:51 pm

If a shooting happens involving a police officer and a citizen or excessive force and there is no justification and or no video of the incident i can guarantee there will be the biggest protest and or riot in south dakota history.The chief is starting a fire will wont be able to put out .I advise they get them body cams in usage before a incident happens and violence errupts on the streets of siouxfalls.

#7 Emoluments Clause on 08.22.17 at 2:41 pm


Your comments on the “ala carte pricing program” are spot on. Having worked in such an environment too, I could not help but notice that often employees would try to get into the training department, in order, to make more, have a time out or pit stop with their careers from the crazy predatory environment of many call centers, and to protect their employment longevity as well.

I also worked in retail for many years and did quite well with it with national sales awards, but all a long the commission entity I worked in, at a Sioux Falls store, paid less in terms of the commission percentages than similar departments within the same company stores in Mpls., Des Moines, and Omaha. Even though those given departments did not generate any more sales than the Sioux Falls one, and often the Sioux Falls one was number one amongst them…. #StopTheWageCollusionNow!

#8 The D@ily Spin on 08.22.17 at 3:38 pm

Sierra is right about body cameras. A good officer will want one because it’s evidence he properly handled a situation. It’s the bad officers who don’t want one. Isn’t requiring them the best way to reprimand an unprofessional officer? I suggest everyone take a cell phone video for every police stop. The present environment is you must protect yourself more than you can count on their authority and respect for your rights.

#9 Emoluments Clause on 08.22.17 at 5:48 pm

Maybe the Tea Storm Chasers should chase all of the police calls in town just to document them with video…. It would give them some practice too and maybe the public would reward the TSC with donated cases of bottled water as well… (They are always asking for donations)….

Speaking of law enforcement, did you all catch that story about our Sheriff having in his possession the plate and silverware which Elvis used at the downtown Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls, when Elvis held his last Sioux Falls concert in June of 1977? I thought it was a cute story. Definitely a bromance there, huh? But seriously, I like our Sheriff. I don’t know him, but he seems to be a very nice and a very level headed person, but I got a kick out of how he ended up with that Elvis memorabilia. He claimed the hotel allowed him to have it…. I wonder if the uniform helped? He should go on the ‘Pawn Stars’ to see what Rick Harrison thinks of his Elvis provenance. 😉

I also got a kick out of the other officer, who seems like a great guy too, but is now retired, that they interviewed for this same story, who drove Elvis from the HDI to the (John Morrells) Arena at Elvis’s first Sioux Falls concert in 1976. That retired officer drove Elvis to the Arena in an unmarked car, which was a late model four door Buick that was owned by the officer’s parents. I would have loved to have been a mouse in the corner, when the son asked his dad if he could borrow their car to drive Elvis to the Arena …. (Honey, I told you our son should have never joined the law enforcement field. Just too much stress. Elvis? You can’t be serious?)

This whole news story had a true Mayberry quality about it too. It reminded me of the episode when Andy and Barney got the city all spiffed up because the Governor was coming to town…. 🙂