Sioux Falls School District Super Maher admits (capital) budget could be amended

When Lalley was asking Brian today about moving the school bond issue to the General Election to save taxpayers money on a stand alone special election, Brian went with the old standby argument that their budget must be turned into the state by September 30. Than Lalley asks, “But you could amend it after September?” and Brian says, “Yes.” Lalley also talks about how stand alone elections are expensive, he guesses $100K. Actually, if you do an entire city election, using ALL the precincts, it would be around $60-$80k. If they were to do it with the general, it probably wouldn’t barely cost them $20K.

When Lalley asked Maher about what kind of election would it be, whether it would be super precincts or NOT, Brian dodged the question and said that was up to the school board.

Make no mistake, they want a super precinct stand alone election to control the electorate, even though I still don’t understand how that will work. I still think it has a better chance of passage during the general.

Maher also said that the $190 million bond will be for 25 years. But when asked what the final cost of the bond would be, he said that he “Didn’t have that number.”

WOW! You are trying to sell the community on this bond and you don’t have the payoff amount? Poppycock! You know exactly what it is, and that is why you won’t give the public or the media that number.

Brian did say they were hoping for a 4% rate. If that was the case, that would put interest and principal at around $95 million, which would put the bond at about $285 Million payoff.

Maher also kept trying to sell us on the $2 a month tax increase without talking about the taxes compounding each year.


I asked Commissioner Barth this today when he told me about the possible County opt-out. I said, “Why is it that the county has to build a jail the same time the school district has to build schools at the same time the city wants to upgrade the water treatment plant? Can’t we spread this out over 4-5 years?”


I guess city officials have been throwing the 5,000 a year growth number out a lot when talking about the the new treatment plant. What they are NOT doing is saying where that number came from (the former mayor’s butt) and it’s breakdown. In other words, how many NEW workers are we seeing in Sioux Falls each year compared to new births and retirees? Also, I would like to know what percentage of our treatment plant is used for outlying towns that are paying us to treat their water? Why not double their rates instead? This would encourage them to either help pay for our expansion, or force them to build their own, which would increase our ability to treat more SF sewage.


#1 anonymous on 07.02.18 at 7:14 pm

Internal discussion about a potential bond issue has been going on inside the district for several years.

The Board and the Administration know the answers to all of the questions that Patrick Lalley posed to the Superintendent today.

Evasive answers from the top only support the public conversation about lack of transparency in this process.

Not being up-front with potential voters does not bode well for passage of a 190m+(?) bond issue.

#2 JKC on 07.03.18 at 12:44 am

How or why did a town with such demands recently build an Aquatic Center? And to think, some were recently asking to move the Canaries to a new downtown stadium, too. Private funds are going to build an Arc across our river as well, but where are the private funds to help pay for what the Board, the City, and County now want?

Its the private sector, is it not, that causes our low wages, which makes the costs of these proposals so daunting, right? So where is the private sector in helping to answer these needs? Sure Sanford has donated some land for a new high school, but it is going to take more than that, if the private sector wants to be a part of the answer and not the problem…

It seems if the private sector would raise wages in this town a lot of the complaining about the aforementioned proposals would go away…. But until they do, the question is not why so many governmental units are asking for more funding, rather the question is why is the private sector so stingy with its wages, while it builds an Arc, swims at the Aquatic Center in January, and wonders a “Field of Dreams” amongst the shadows of our City’s downtown in a municipality of many demands?….




#3 anonymous on 07.03.18 at 10:42 am

Sanford’s offer of land to the Sioux Falls School District is not for altruistic reasons.

The offer is self-serving.

The land they are proposing to donate is near the Sanford Sports Complex.

This would not only put hundreds of high-school age kids in close proximity to their athletic facilities, but it would also support the commercial development Sanford CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft recently announced Sanford wants to get involved in.

#4 Jon on 07.03.18 at 11:15 am

Well said JKC. My wife and I talk about this frequently. We spend so much money in this city building monuments and less and less seems to be going to street repair, keeping all of these parks weeded, etc.

This growth for the sake of growth will bite all of us in the rear in the future.

#5 matt johnson on 07.03.18 at 12:21 pm

most studies would indicate that raising the minimum wage in fact hurts low skilled workers as they get less hours or lose their jobs altogether; in Seattle (on implementation of higher wages) if hours were not dropped than prices were raised to offset the cost of doing business; it is easy to say the private sector needs to get involved, but there must be profits in order for them to give back; we have a very generous business community that would give less if they aren’t making as much money

#6 l3wis on 07.03.18 at 2:18 pm

MJ, simply not true. When the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies are making 400x the average worker (this number was around 40x in the late 70’s) there is plenty of room for lifting the minimum wage. Also, when people make more money, they buy more, which helps the economy.

#7 JKC on 07.03.18 at 4:12 pm

We need political leaders who will start taking the ‘Bully’s Pulpit,’ when it comes to wages…

They all talk economic development and workforce development (that last one sounds Orwellian to me), but that is really just about them, what about the workers? Where is their piece of the pie, so they can truly enjoy this “economic development.”

Oh, and Matt wants us to work for less. I guess we could make it up in the margins, huh?…. Because isn’t that the way the wealthy talk and think? 😉

#8 scott on 07.03.18 at 8:05 pm

it aways amazes me how the business community has so much money to give away, but things are always too tight for a raise.

#9 Rachel on 07.03.18 at 9:56 pm

Matt, do you have any research to support your position?

#10 sf worker on 07.03.18 at 10:24 pm

Me thinks matt johnson is not trying to live on $12 an hour in 2018…..

#11 JKC on 07.04.18 at 12:42 am

Yep, the business community always supports the Food Bank and/or the Banquet…. But how many of the people that they are “supporting” or helping then, are actually their employees?

#12 matt johnson on 07.04.18 at 12:46 pm

yes, I do have research to back it up- google what happened in Seattle; and you can’t buy more if prices go up- you can only buy as much as you did before at the higher price

#13 matt johnson on 07.04.18 at 1:00 pm

we can look at a common sense example where low paid workers are often found; let’s raise wages from $8 to $10; if labor is 50% of costs then a $2 burger now has o be raised to $2.30 – it is not just the salary, but the fica, workmen’s comp, futa and suta and other associated costs that go up; also raw material costs will go up as vendors charge more; so pretty soon that burger is priced at $2.50; you could buy 4 at $2 with an $8 wage or 4 at $2.50 with a $10 wage; the only one benefiting in this example is government from the collection of sales tax; value must be added to realize real wage growth

#14 scott on 07.04.18 at 1:49 pm

how many can you buy at $5 an hour?

#15 JKC on 07.04.18 at 7:54 pm


Henry Ford taught us long ago, that if he paid his workers a decent wage then they could afford to buy his Model Ts.

#16 anonymous on 07.04.18 at 9:41 pm

Potentially THREE property tax increases coming your way:

Argus Leader, July 3, 2018

Are your property taxes going up? Yes, if Minnehaha County adopts opt-out

July 2018

Each July the City Council votes to increase property taxes by the 2.5% allowed by State law.

September 2018

Vote on 190m+ (?) Sioux Falls School District bond issue:

Amount of property tax increase: unknown.

#17 matt johnson on 07.05.18 at 6:19 am

and who is making $5 an hour? someone said if wages go up you can buy more- my point is that that is not always the case- not arguing for lower wages as two of you have suggested or intimated- don’t put words in my mouth