TenHaken’s 100 Day plan ain’t bad

So I read it over, and he has some good proposals in there, including a lot of stuff that should have been done years ago or repealed, here’s some that stuck out to me;

• Being coordination with Fraternal Order of Police Leadership to set framework for contract negotiations.

(Mayor Huether’s relationship with the unions has been toxic. He used them to get elected than he kicked them to the curb. Not sure if a conservative mayor will have much tolerance for the unions. Jolene was endorsed by them.)

• Meet with GOED Commissioner, Scott Stern, and review full report on state level economic development opportunities and the related impact for Sioux Falls.

(As I understand it from talking privately with State lawmakers, Huether has destroyed that relationship, a long time ago).

• Audit current downtown development proposals currently on the table and define City support based on return to the community.

(Thank You! This has often been my complaint about the use of TIF’s and public/private partnerships downtown – what kind of payback is the average tax payer in Sioux Falls getting out of it? Little to nothing.)

• Evaluate training needed for departments such as Building Services to ensure that staff have the resources and skill sets needed to drive efficiency, innovation and customer service throughout their departments.

(Number one complaint from contractors in this town, the efficiency of the Building Services department.)

• Conduct media roundtable with all local outlets to address concerns and opportunities for better information dissemination from City Hall.

(Will South DaCola be considered media in a TenHaken administration? We will see.)

• Rescind the current confidentiality executive order on all city employees and reimplement a more realistic and enforceable policy with senior level staff.

(This is an easy one. Any sane future leader of our city would tear that document to shreds. It is a possible violation of Federal Law in it’s current state.)

• Implement a more formalized City Council public input process to return decorum and professionalism to meetings.

(While I’m OK with some adjustments to Public Input, I don’t think it needs a major overhaul. I have often argued it is who is chairing the meetings. I would also like to see public input allowed on 1st readings).

• Reinstate CIP and Operations committees, including City Directors and Council in CIP budgeting process.

(Realistically this is the way it is SUPPOSED to be, the council should be assisting with the budget from the beginning, not peeling off the duck fat after it is already cooked.)

• Conduct internal usability and access audit of siouxfalls.org using existing analytics data.

(Yes, I beg of you, get rid of our POS city website and replace it with something that is useable and reliable instead being taken on a wild goose chase every time you go there.)

• Appoint an internal team to identify data that should be made available to the public and the most effective method to do so.

(I don’t think it would take a ‘team’ just a city attorney who says “Personnel and pending litigation is not open, everything else is.” This isn’t rocket science folks.)

• Begin discussions on restructuring of the existing property tax abatement programs to ensure that, when utilized, the city sees a return in economic growth and affordable housing creation.

• Demonstrate commitment to neighborhood revitalization through committing City resources (through both operating and capital improvements). Work directly with core neighborhood associations and neighborhood planners.

(Goes back to my contention on TIF’s. Instead of handing out millions in abatements to a handful of wealthy developers, let’s help thousands of residents with equitable housing and cleaner neighborhoods.)

• Assess SMG contract with PREMIER Center, Convention Center, Arena, and Orpheum Theatre and revenue forecast for said venues.

(I would go a step further and require them to take some risks by promoting shows which would bring in millions of more revenue for the city each year.)

• Meet with Sioux Falls Skatepark Association leadership to understand project process and how the city can play a supportive role.

(Duh! Enough tennis courts already, let’s SKATE!)

While I still am supporting Jo, because I think Paul is a little weird, it’s hard to argue with some of his ideas, but let’s face it, these are common sense government initiatives that should have been implemented a long time ago, and I wouldn’t doubt a list from Loetscher would look pretty similar (Wink, Wink, nod, nod, Jo).

Oddly enough though the short timer in the corner office at city hall couldn’t resist to have a rebuttal, in which he put his chief minion on it, Tracy TurdBaker, and it is quite the turd he cooked up. Some are even questioning if legally the city can make comments like this as it appears to be in violation of campaigning rules and regulations. I don’t think a sitting mayor or anyone in his administration can comment on candidates positions in a city issued press release. I hope someone files a complaint;

For Immediate Release

Date:           April 18, 2018

Contact:    Tracy Turbak, Director of Finance


Background Information Regarding Statements Made Today

Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Below is some background information regarding statements made today in relation to Sioux Falls City government.

Every City department, not just the Police Department, has been affected by budget tightening due to sales tax revenue concerns. Discretionary spending, including out-of-state travel and training and much more, was reduced across all areas. For several years now, consistent with prudent business practices, all travel and training requests that exceed $1,000 from any department undergo a greater level of scrutiny and require additional approvals. Families and businesses make tough spending decisions when times warrant it, and City government has been doing the same. Taxpayers expect nothing less.

The confidentiality executive order was developed solely at the request of Human Resources, not the Mayor’s Office, and has nothing to do with secrecy. Rather, it is about ensuring reasonable parameters involving confidential information of our residents, including citizen payment information, credit card numbers, protected health information, criminal records, and much more. Most employers, public and private, have very similar policies and provisions to safeguard information. Sioux Falls citizens certainly expect their government to keep their private information private.

The Communications Specialist position was created in 2012 to provide additional information and communication to the public from all City of Sioux Falls departments, and not just City Hall. This has proven very effective in an ever-changing communication environment. The 12 City directors and others have had the full authority to speak to the public and the media on every and any topic and have been active in doing just that.

Sioux Falls City government values the stewards who are willing to serve on behalf of our citizens. We also understand that much is learned once elected to serve and then serving in the capacity. If there are questions from the candidates, we would encourage them to contact the departments to find out the details on any question or concern.

What a Hoot! Let’s review;

The confidentiality executive order was developed solely at the request of Human Resources, not the Mayor’s Office, and has nothing to do with secrecy.

Ah, kind of does. If the EO was more narrow and specifically talks about citizen and personnel data, I would agree, but it is so broad, it is an obvious assault on public information flowing freely from City Hall. The secret siding settlement tells us everything we need to know about Mike Huether and his policy on transparency. He doesn’t believe in it’s existence.

The 12 City directors and others have had the full authority to speak to the public and the media on every and any topic and have been active in doing just that.

Yes. They have actively been spreading propaganda like a manure spreader before spring planting. Ever notice how this administration has never admitted or apologized for a mistake. And when one has occurred they deny it.

Mike, take a deep breath and realize you are done May 15. Hopefully we will never see you in ‘public service’ ever again. You have made a mockery of city government and public transparency.


#1 Confused on 04.18.18 at 7:51 pm

When you say “they” endorsed Jolene are you saying the FOP has endorsed her? I don’t think the FOP has endorsed anyone yet.

#2 Rachel on 04.18.18 at 7:56 pm

Paul is Mike..in a slightly taller , but more subversive form

#3 MK on 04.18.18 at 8:09 pm

The council approves the budget. Then Huether had Turbak hire finance people who then tell the various city departments they can’t spend the money that the council approved for them to spend.

Not only does the ridiculous $1,000 limit need to go, so do the “business analysts” Huether created.

If a director is competent enough to be running a department, they don’t need oversight from an entry-level bureaucrat whose job appears to be to build the surplus fund.

How on Earth does some business analyst with 3 years experience with the city know better than the police chief what the police department needs?

How is this same analyst allowed to override spending that the council approved?

The whole finance, I mean “business” department Huether and Turbak created needs revamped.

#4 J on 04.18.18 at 8:13 pm

I’m surprised by the positive reporting on Paul. Must want to keep on his good side for those media round tables, huh? 😉

Jolene’s move, I guess. Wouldn’t hurt to put out her objectives for the first few months.

#5 l3wis on 04.18.18 at 8:19 pm

J – LOL. I don’t suck up to any politician. I want clean open government, I don’t care who delivers it, and I certainly won’t praise them for doing their job.

#6 Ronald Raygun on 04.18.18 at 8:34 pm


#7 Matthew Paulson on 04.18.18 at 9:17 pm

Not surprising that Huether issued a rebuttal. He sent me a chastising Facebook message after my editorial endorsing Paul was published in the Argus. Apparently he does that a lot.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 04.18.18 at 9:21 pm

As far as having a plan goes, I thought Jo’s performance was light years ahead of Pauls when it came to this KELO interview. I am sure many of you saw it:


And with all due respect, “President Raygun” is right, don’t legitimize one who is merely an articulate and attractive candidate for the 1 %.

Much talk has been on this blog about whether the citizens of Sioux Falls have learned anything from eight years of Huether, given ThuneHaken’s recent political success; but an other question is whether we have learned anything from the Thune experience, and if so, then it is imperative that we do not legitimize ThuneHaken’s political fortunes; which will end up being at the detriment of many working and middle class citizens in this town and beyond if we allow his political career to take off from here….

#9 Lemming on 04.18.18 at 10:10 pm

Who are you and what did you do with Detroit? I was about to rename your Blog SouthDa-Jo-La due to your recent aw shucks crush on her and the daily beatdown on the internet guy. I agree with many of your points, but what really blows me away about all of this is how the outgoing (note he is on his last legs) Finance director throws out these last bombs at HR about how “it was all their idea”. Pathetic!
Maybe it was because Mr Internet said he would shrink the Finance Department (and for the love of mankind eliminate project managers while you are at it) and add where employees are actually needed. A little retribution on the way out?

#10 Jon B Jovi on 04.18.18 at 11:01 pm


#11 Lincoln County Delegate on 04.19.18 at 6:21 am

Jon B Jovi – I saw on Facebook that the local AFL-CIO chapter had a paid ad pushing their endorsement of her.

#12 No Go Jo on 04.19.18 at 9:02 am

I’m pretty sure Jo blew her chance with any City law enforcement when she let a state trooper and a fed benefit fraud investigator come up with the put a desk in a community center and call it a precinct scheme. May want to seek input from someone who has actually worked in a city when forming a plan.

#13 D@ily Spin on 04.19.18 at 9:19 am

Sounds like TenHaken has been reading here. I favor Jolene but it’s possible the republican majority will elect TenHaken. No matter who’s elected she/he needs follow up support. What’s most important is to replace Huether secrecy and sorcery.

#14 Warren Phear on 04.19.18 at 9:51 am

Ain’t bad? Neither was this.


#15 Lincoln County Delegate on 04.19.18 at 10:39 am

Agreed D@ily Spin – Huether’s way of running City government has got to go. I was overjoyed and frankly a little surprised at how big of a margin Janet Brekke won her race. If that’s any indication, the people of Sioux Falls want a change.

#16 Peter "Mega" Pischke on 04.19.18 at 2:10 pm

I do take some issue with the attitude towards public input. But the majority of the list is pretty solid.

As for unions I don’t think Paul is union-averse. I’ve never heard him speak against them in any real way.

#17 Peter "Mega" Pischke on 04.19.18 at 2:11 pm

Its nice to see Huether and his team staying Classy!

#18 Sioux Falls, South Dacola, Year in the Review (Part II) — South DaCola on 12.25.18 at 12:32 am

[…] • TenHaken’s 100 day plan goes to Sh*t! […]