Is it time for Mayor Huether to suffer the consequences of his lies?

Mark Twain once famously said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mayor Huether must have one heckuva a memory.

Recently at an October city council informational meeting, Sioux Falls City Councilor Rex Rolfing asked why some people on the council mistrust the administration. Was this a trick question or one of his bad jokes?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know mayor Huether lied to us about the siding settlement. Not only about the actual settlement amount, but many details of what the settlement was really about (a roof, not siding).

Transparency in government has become a hot topic in municipal government with a pending Spring election. The candidates are plastering their Facebook pages with catchy quotes and memes. But this shouldn’t be a fleeting affair.

The mayor and his directors claim that secrecy saves taxpayers money. Oh, really? In 2012 the New York Times reported that Federal Government secrecy costs national taxpayers $13 billion a year. I’m guessing with Trump in charge that has probably doubled.

Locally, we have no idea what it has been costing us, because they have been keeping that secret also. The city’s insurance provider, The South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance (funded by taxpayers across the state) paid the legal counsel defending the secret settlement in court. The amount they spent on that? Like I said, sorry, that’s a secret.

Recently the city used another secret RFP (Request for Proposal) Committee to pick the new golf management contract. The administration has argued if the process would have been opened to the public nothing would have gotten accomplished. We will never know, because the process was secret.

Are you detecting a trend here?

Many of us in the community have been speaking out against closed government and head way has been slow going. I have argued it is because elected officials who used secrecy and lies against us are rarely or ever punished. EB-5 & Gear Up are great examples of this. In fact one of the main players in the EB-5 scandal was rewarded with a US Senate seat.

So what about our Mayor lying to us? Should there be repercussions? Definitely. I have suggested to several councilors that he should be AT least censured by them. I could care less if he has 7 months, 7 days or 7 hours left in his term. He lied to the public, it cost us money, and he should expect the consequences. Why is this such a difficult hurdle to jump over?

Many have defended the mayor and his lies because he ‘got things done’. Yes, by lying to us, using secret negotiations and incurring enormous debt while raising fees at a record rate. Even Larry the Cable Guy would say this ain’t right.

I call this the ‘Janklow Mentality’ someone Huether has compared himself to. The ‘Janklow Mentality’ is it’s okay to do bad things to some of the people, some of the time, as long as you do good things for most of the people, most of the time. Did I mention I really don’t miss Bill’s leadership(?). Elected officials should always try doing what’s best for 100% the people 100% of the time. Citizens are not winners and losers in some kind of perverted game cooked up in Pierre or at Sioux Falls city hall. We fund this government, we own it, it’s ours and we demand you hand the keys to the castle over and all of it’s secrets.

The worst part about this is that the mayor has never apologized for his lies, in fact he denies he even lied, on a multitude of policy decisions. I will refrain giving my analysis of that, this rant is getting long enough.

So will the secrecy ever end in city government? Only if the public and the mayor’s elected peers are willing to make him pay for his misdeeds. I fear we lack the courage to do that though.


#1 The D@ily Spin on 10.23.17 at 11:19 am

When he must come up with a lie, he lies that he lied. He should sell used cars. He’s already hawked 35% credit cards. There’s a political future for him as wing man for hiding nukes or WMD.

#2 anonymous on 10.23.17 at 9:07 pm

The consultant for the indoor pool projected the operating costs for the first year would be $750,000. By the time the pool opened, Director Kearney had moved that number to 1.5m.

Tracy Turbak had to have done some serious number shuffling to show that it ended the first year in the black!

#3 l3wis on 10.23.17 at 9:14 pm

It didn’t end in Black. I think they said revenue was $1.2 with a $300k loss.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 10.25.17 at 9:51 pm

If he were Trump republican, he could twitter about the fake media. There’s truth. There’s honesty. There’s those that hide behind misrepresented public sentiment.