Councilor Neitzert says people had ‘Moronic’ arguments against parking ramp

The the Sioux Falls City council got a presentation (FF: 33:0o) update on the Village on the River project at the informational meeting.

When talking about the costs associated with the parking ramp portion of the project, the city engineers(?) admitted that they had to put in a special foundation to support the ramp and hotel.

As we have argued from the beginning the ramp is costing more, not because of the number of spaces or size of spaces but because we would be footing the bill for the special foundation for the hotel.

Councilor Neitzert claimed that some people (I assume other councilors, blogs and the media) had ‘moronic’ & ‘dishonest’ arguments about cost per space and that it is costing more because of the special foundation.

Costs DOC: Site-costs

If there was anything ‘moronic’ about our arguments, it would be that Greg and the other councilors who voted for this boondoggle fiasco of a public private partnership didn’t listen to us when we told them the foundation was going to cost more due to the height and size of the hotel, not the parking ramp.

So who are the morons? Certainly not the councilors who voted against this project. They knew all along why it was going to cost so much, because the developer took us to the cleaners.

Also, councilor Brekke asks why the developer for hotel portion doesn’t have a performance bond. Funny, the administration didn’t have an answer.


#1 Briggs on 09.18.18 at 7:09 pm

This would make a good ad for anyone who runs against him in 2020…

#2 Blasphemo on 09.18.18 at 7:47 pm

Response, Councilor Neitzert?

#3 Jon on 09.18.18 at 8:34 pm

I will certainly not be voting for Mr. Neitzert in the future. He’s changed a lot.

#4 Blasphemo on 09.18.18 at 9:17 pm

Councilor Starr took a masterful swipe at Neitzert during the 9/18/18 Council Meeting, by putting Neitzert’s “moronic” & “grownup” snipes right back on him, while countering Neitzert’s rationalization of the property tax increase. Good on Pat Starr. Neitzert is a little young to be so disrespectful of others’ opinions, especially those with more years of life experience than he.

#5 GREG NEITZERT on 09.18.18 at 9:55 pm

Sure, I’ll take a stab. First, Councilor Starr did have a good response. Props to him on that – seriously.
Those would not be my most artfully chosen words, I’ll say that right up front. Gotta admit when you fall short. We say a lot publicly and occasionally we do not use the best descriptive words. That was me a couple of times today and I will own that.

As it regards the ramp, there was and is good reasons to oppose it, although I support it, but a lot of smart people oppose it. My aggravation were the talking points like “this ramp costs double what it should”. It simply wasn’t accurate or even close. I hesitate to pick another adjective, but it was just way off. That’s what I was referring to with my commentary, arguments that had little to no grounding in fact.

As it regards the adult comment, again lousy descriptive word. My point was it’s easy to vote no on such things because virtually no one would be mad at you for voting against an inflationary property tax increase. I should have simply said I will not do the easy thing.

Hope that clarifies. Lousy word choices. Some will accept that and some will roast me here on this blog post, either way I’m good. We all have to take our lumps and be willing to be humbled now and then.

#6 JKC on 09.19.18 at 1:58 am

Everyone, who is elected to office, should be required to read ‘Animal Farm’….Oh, and every voter too, in order, to prepare for the possible inevitablity.

#7 Warren Phear on 09.19.18 at 9:42 am

I cannot watch the link provided because my Apple devices are not supported by city technology. Maybe our new IT guy can fix that? So, I’ll wait for the always dependable Bruce rendition on youtube. I look forward to seeing and hearing the Neitzert comments.

Greg, til then, can you explain why approved the 2.1% real estate tax increase?

#8 GREG NEITZERT on 09.19.18 at 1:04 pm

The SIRE upgrade is Council project and is just about to happen. Its long overdue and will be great to see. Part of it had to do with the vendor who created the software being acquired by another vendor, and various other issues that delayed conversion of the software to the newer standard. In addition the software is not just used for agenda and video management for city meetings, but is used for document management across the city so it had to be coordinated. Anyway, overdue but coming soon.

In regards to the property tax increase, not something I relish doing at all. However as I stated we have inflationary pressures like everyone else, we aren’t immune in that regard. Our costs for materials go up, wages go up, as one example our unions are negotiating the newest contracts for many of our employees, etc. Costs are not remaining static. In addition we have growing demands for services. People want us to do more things, fill more potholes, plow faster, even add more services we than we do now. We have to keep up with inflation and demands for services. It’s very difficult to keep up with that demand and inflationary pressures if the income side stays static. Something would have to give.
As I spend time with various departments it is clear to me in many cases they are stretched.
The city is growing way faster than our employees are to service the needs. It’s people who fill potholes, fix water main breaks, street sweep, clean out manholes for storm and sanitary sewers, do building inspections, the list goes on and on.
People are noticing that some of those things are taking longer than before, or they do not think we are filling enough pot holes. We have to keep up with that demand. There is no way we can do that if we forego inflationary increases.

#9 l3wis on 09.19.18 at 1:10 pm

Greg, sorry but the inflationary argument is shallow. With record growth and building permits over the past 5 years, there is NO reason to increase tax rates, the extra growth and taxes coming in should cover expenses.

#10 JKC on 09.19.18 at 4:34 pm

“Inflationary increases?” What is this, the 1970s? There is always some inflation, in most cases, but inflation is not a serious issue right now, but what is a serious issue, is the hyperinflation in the pricing of median priced homes in this town, which will soon offer a windfall to the City in its property tax collections….

#11 Warren Phear on 09.19.18 at 7:52 pm

Greg, I will use the very successful scam the school district used to pull off their scam. A $185,000 home in SW Sioux Falls has taxes of $2800 a year. The new 300 million school bond raises that $24…FOR NEXT YEAR. The new 2.1% tax increase raises that same $185,000 home by another $60 a year, FOR THE NEXT YEAR. How about the following years? When will it end Greg?

Sioux Falls has been our home all our lives. We grew up here. We raised our family here. We buried our parents here. They were also lifelong Sioux Falls residents. Now, we live in a city that is taxing us out. Do we want to leave? NO. But this city is leaving us no choice. Our home has been increased by 35% in assessed value, just in the last 4 years. It is already assessed at more than we could possibly hope to get for it when we sell. Simply stated. We have been priced out of SF. Somebody failed, and it is not us.