Keep using out-of-state contractors and keep watching the local economy spiral downward

Obviously, in the Free enterprise world, it is hard for the city to regulate what national franchises come to town, or how much of their profits they ship out of state. But when it comes to who the city chooses to do business with, they do have control, so why keep getting in bed with out-of-state contractors?

The latest is Lyft, which I think is great, as long as it has Uber to compete with. My issue isn’t with the convenience of Lyft, but how this National franchise probably isn’t playing by the same rules as our local cab companies, in other words giving the outsider the advantage. Seems odd that in the dead of the night under secret negotiations that did not include our city council, Lyft can now operate in Sioux Falls. So how did this happen so quickly? My guess is that Lyft isn’t following the same rules as the SF cab companies. Which is fine, as long as all of those regulations are lifted for the local companies also, which I’m guessing are not. Since our local cab companies will not be able to play the same kind of baseball as Lyft, they will eventually go bankrupt, and 25% of what you pay in cab fares from now on will go straight to California. So much for circulating in the local economy.

But there seems to be a trend here from the current administration. We also hired SMG and Ovations to run the Events Center. SMG is based out of Pennsylvania and Ovations out of Florida. Not only do their profits leave the state, they don’t promote any of the shows, so the out-of-state promoters all suck like a vacuum money out of our community. Add that to the fact that taxpayers have to pay around $10 million a year in a mortgage payment from our CIP (money that is supposed to be used on roads). As for the money the EC ‘makes’ that get’s put back into a rotating fund that SMG and Ovations uses as their disposal, so even if you believe the ‘operating in the black’ lie the mayor is constantly spouting, we as taxpayers in SF don’t see one red cent.

Besides Lyft, last week the city administration did it again, throwing more money out of town and out of state by hiring Nebraska company Landscapes Unlimited to run the municipal golf courses.

So while you can listen to our local politicians blame the Agriculture economy and Internet Sales for the lagging local economy, it is really the policy decisions of this administration that is sucking millions of dollars out of Sioux Falls each year.


#1 The D@ily Spin on 10.24.17 at 12:31 pm

I disagree about LYFT. There are a dozen local cab companies. They’re overpriced and unreliable. LYFT has strict criteria and does background checks. What works well is the same service translates to other states.

I agree about managing golf course maintenance. There are companies here who can do the same service for less money.

Other contracts may require special skills not available here. However, there should be priority for using someone local. There is not.

#2 l3wis on 10.24.17 at 1:15 pm

“There are a dozen local cab companies. They’re overpriced and unreliable.”

I agree, my point is that the regs should be the same across the board for the locals as it is for Lyft.

#3 guest on 10.24.17 at 2:49 pm

the local cab companies have an outdated business model and the convenience and price of lyft is far superior. Why should I rent a movie from blockbuster when I can just do redbox?

this should also help curb drunk driving

and I bet a lot senior citizens could take great advantage using this as an alternative to the other means of transportation or lack there off.

if someone was smart they would figure out how to do paratransit because we all know what kind of shotty program the city has now. just think how conveniant that would be for those people

#4 l3wis on 10.24.17 at 3:03 pm

Please, people, READ WHAT I WROTE! Lyft and Uber ARE good for our community. My point is that the traditional cab companies should be given an opportunity to compete by following the same rules as Lyft and Uber, then if they can’t, oh well. I just think it is unfair to allow an out-of-state vendor to follow thier own rules (besides taxation) why making the local guy follow all the regs. Have it one way or the other, not both ways.

#5 4byFord on 10.24.17 at 3:19 pm

Or you see that this is a victory for the city admin so you can’t help but complain about it…

#6 l3wis on 10.24.17 at 3:57 pm

Government operating in secrecy is NEVER a victory. These negotiations could have been done in the open, it would have just taken longer. I can almost guarantee there will be backlash because of the secret negotiations.

#7 l3wis on 10.24.17 at 3:59 pm

They did it for TWO reasons,

1) They didn’t want the local cabbies to find out

2) They wanted to trump another entity that was working on a deal with UBER.

#8 Warren Phear on 10.24.17 at 6:16 pm

The head guy for Landscapes Unlimited stated the other, per capita, Sioux Falls enjoys 25% more participation in golf than other similar sized municipalites. Yet, the city lost $400,000 last year? Why? Probably because SF golf rates are Joe Sixpack friendly. That is going to end starting next year. Look for sizeable increases in each of the next five years.

Lyft? They have issues of there own. Most concern insurance, bonuses, and the lie called the potential to earn $1400 a week. They will find out soon enough working for Mickey D’s holds more potential.

#9 scott on 10.24.17 at 7:29 pm

why would you want to drive for Lyft, when taking a $10 fare, you only get $2?

#10 LJL on 10.24.17 at 8:30 pm

I agree with all your reasoning. It was quick and quiet to avoid bad pub. i find the “citizen advocate” story to convenient and concocted.

Cab companies will fold quickly and drivers will switch to the new technology. Yellow cab will attempt an app service but will be too late.

Evolution keeps marching on.

#11 The D@ily Spin on 10.24.17 at 9:01 pm

What works is completition. There seems to be a better operation. It involves local drivers with local income. End result can be the national corporate concept and/or an affordable service. Let the market decide itself. What impresses me is there is now a state wide transportation network similar to Jack Rabbit Lines of the 1980’s. Bring us back with access also to Omaha or from Rapid to Denver via convenient land route.

#12 The D@ily Spin on 10.24.17 at 9:12 pm

We get left behind if we don’t accept evolution. LJL makes this point. Why were we 50th to allow LYFT? Now, let’s raise teacher salaries and give Sioux Falls Police the raise Huether denied them so he could find his privately owned 6 indoor tennis courts facility.

#13 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.24.17 at 10:44 pm

scott, is that number before, or after paying self-employment tax [and federal income tax, if you are among the 53% of US households who pay federal taxes] ?

#14 The D@ily Spin on 10.25.17 at 9:24 am

What most don’t realize is that LYFT allows Joe Sixpack an opportunity to write off his car at 52 cents a mile. If he’s smart, he’ll fudge. Gas is cheap and insurance is cheaper in this state. It’s possible to fully deduct or depreciate a new car every 5 years. Take away your annual car expenses and driving a few hours a day sounds good. Another benefit is your taxable income is lower and you pay less federal income tax

#15 Warren Phear on 10.25.17 at 11:57 am

There are a lot of reasons why I would not drive for left or uber. Primary would be the potential earn a real dollars comes at a huge price. In Sioux Falls that potential means working everyday from 10pm to 3am. If carrying on a meaningful conversation with someone who needs a ride home from a bar is your idea of stimulating conversation, then by all means, go for it. Another reason. Insurance liability. A nightmare. Here is a video made by a guy who drove for both services and he explains why it is not what is cracked up to be.

#16 Emoluments Clause on 10.26.17 at 12:27 pm

Don’t drink so much and try walking for a change…. It is a much cheaper alternative…. Just try it……