Two Sioux Falls City Councilors supporting troublesome school bond issue

Councilors Kiley and Erickson have joined the drum beat of public officials who are encouraging people to vote yes for the school bond issue. It is well within their 1st Amendment rights to voice their opinions. What is troublesome though is that we have elected officials who support not only a dubious election but a very wasteful bond loan. For every $3 we put towards this in tax dollars over $1 goes towards interest and bond investors. Over a $100 million of tax dollars that will never be spent on education.

Another city councilor has worked behind the scenes to try to get the election to use ALL of the precincts, no E-Poll books and have the vote be electronically counted by the Minnehaha County Auditor. Their request fell on deaf ears.

The E-Poll books failed in the primaries because the company that created them no longer services them (Hart Interactiv) and another company, B-Pro has stepped in to try to get them to work. If the E-Poll books don’t work properly there is no way of knowing if people voted multiple times, and if they are hand counted, there is no way of knowing if ballots have been tampered with.

While the election process and extreme waste of tax dollars is troubling in itself, it upsets me even more that we have two public officials promoting this.

Talk about a lack of fiscal responsibility and democratic principles.


#1 D@ily Spin on 08.31.18 at 12:23 pm

I expected Kiley to support this but Erickson is a surprise. Without the county auditor involved, this is most certainly a rigged election. At least Putin has to use devious tactics to control an election. This method illegally suppressed the popular vote. Where’s the ACLU?

#2 JKC on 08.31.18 at 6:14 pm

Wasn’t it Erickson who recently told us that we should not fear the potential burden that TIFs place on School Districts, because the State recognizes these TIFs and makes up the difference to the Districts?

Well, if that is the case, then where is the “generous State” when it comes to addressing the current local District’s needs for an additional $ 190 million?




#3 Rachel on 08.31.18 at 10:47 pm

According to the Argus, the average tax increase is 2 bucks a month. That’s a soda. Is the Argus Leader wrong? The bottom line is that Sioux Falls Public Schools are pushing capacity. Teachers are underpaid. The school system provides not just basic education but basic necessities and care when parents can’t. If you have a better solution, please discuss it..

#4 l3wis on 09.01.18 at 3:34 pm

Yes, Rachel, $2 a month on a $185K valuation. But what is disappointing is that a 1/3 of that tax (over $.66) never goes to education, it goes directly to interest and bond investors. If we only borrow 1/2 now, we would save almost $60 million in interest, and pay the other half we need with capital outlay each year. Either way our taxes will go up, but the alternative plan has more of your tax dollars go towards education instead of interest.

#5 Matthew Paulson on 09.01.18 at 5:44 pm

Scott – Have you talked to anyone that’s put together bond deals before? You’re making a lot of assumptions about when loans will be taken out, what the deal terms will be and how quickly they will be repaid. These factors have a significant impact on what the district will or won’t pay in interest. I suspect if you dig into the details the supposed savings on your alternative plan would quickly disappear. The school district would be borrowing the same amount. It’s not like they’re magically going to save 50% of the interest burden by taking out half of the bonds now and another half a few years from now.

#6 D@ily Spin on 09.01.18 at 6:31 pm

What happened to video lottery would pay for schools? It just seems there’s always an emergency that takes a corrupt and contaminated illegal vote to address.

#7 l3wis on 09.01.18 at 7:37 pm

MP – I think saving $60 million in interest payments while getting the same result is a pretty good idea.

#8 Matthew Paulson on 09.01.18 at 8:06 pm

Me too! Now, show me the math how we save $60 million under the alternative plan.

#9 l3wis on 09.01.18 at 8:12 pm

By borrowing only HALF and paying the other HALF with capital outlay funds over the next 5-10 years. How many freaking times do I have to explain this simple math?!!!

#10 anonymous on 09.02.18 at 11:36 am

This is not just l3wis making the suggestion to use a combination of bond money and capital outlay funds.

It is the same suggestion made by TF member and SF Director of Public Works, Mark Cotter, at the third task force meeting.

Obviously, this is an individual who deals with multi-million dollar budgets every year.

I was at the meeting, Doug Morrison (who was representing the district at this point in the meeting), COMPLETELY blew Mark Cotter off when he made this suggestion!!

What the district has done is compile a complete list of all their wants including 40m of misc projects and wants it all financed with bond money leaving the capital oulay funds available for what…..

It would be informative for voters to know……before they vote!

#11 Rachel on 09.02.18 at 9:48 pm

13, how do we build something on half the amount? I honestly think and strongly believe that our schools need funding and I agree that it needs to be done wisely.

#12 Rachel on 09.02.18 at 9:51 pm

Ah, I see you elaborated and I jumped the gun in my reply 13. Thanks.