Let’s clarify the $500K Pothole appropriation debate

I did the above toon in 2010 when the city was facing a similar situation.

I guess there is a lot of hurt butts since the pothole debate, on both sides. Not just on the council but citizens alike that are confused why a majority of the council voted this down.

Besides all the crying (that’s probably not helping the rising Big Poo River) it really isn’t that complicated.

As for the 6 that voted against the appropriation, I get why they did; the mayor and a city director told them the money wasn’t needed at this time. Okay, that’s fair . . . but . . .

. . . you also scratch your head why all of a sudden the council has decided to be fiscal conservatives in the middle of road crisis and a potential natural disaster? All eight councilors very well know that the appropriation is just a PIECE OF PAPER voted on by councilors and signed by the mayor and city clerk (if it passed). That’s it. It’s not taking $500K from anywhere. It sits in the bank and if the public works department NEEDS it down the road, they can use it. If they don’t use it, like I said it is just a worthless piece of paper. No harm, no foul.

I was surprised by all the rancor and disgust at Tuesday’s meeting. This was an easy vote. People are pissed about pot holes. They need to be fixed. This would have allocated an emergency fund if needed. If not needed it would go back into the CIP and spent on other projects. This should have been read, and passed 8-0 with NO debate or discussion.

Let’s face it, this was about the legislators proposing it, not the proposal. The public isn’t that naive, they see it week after week, they know what the ‘FIX’ is. Especially when you have a city councilor tell another city councilor that Mayor Paul told him he is “Thru (dealing) with Stehly”.

I continue to wonder why at least 5 of the councilors and mayor (when he breaks ties) continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Government is easy when you use logic and common sense. It’s not about who proposes the legislation it’s about the legislation. For example, Erickson proposing free bus rides for minors, or Kiley heading up the Annexation Task Force, or Starr’s idea to give land to the Glory House, or Neitzert proposing buffer changes or Selberg proposing a Siouxper Hero award. All fantastic policies. Having an emergency fund was a good idea. Tuesday’s vote didn’t make sense, and the 6 that voted against it only have themselves to blame for criticism. Just don’t stand over the river the next time you cry.


#1 Scott on 03.21.19 at 8:07 pm

Good article. Too bad it’s so sadly true. I, like so many others, am already tired of the Mayor’s puppets voting the same way every week.

#2 Duane on 03.21.19 at 9:08 pm

Stehly hurts her own cause. The whining is unbearable. The whole time she is presenting the resolution she can’t stop talking about how this is her right to do it. Just present it, debate and vote.

The whole thing was political theater. You prove it in this post. Passing it would have changed nothing!! There is an emergency fund and those funds can be requested if needed.

#3 l3wis on 03.21.19 at 9:21 pm

Duane, the funny part is I disagree with Stehly on a host of things, we have some pretty good fights. The other day I told her to let the mayor run the city, it’s his job. I said it was fine to write policy for an emergency issue, but NOT to tell Paul how or when to use it. I just felt that this one was pretty easy.

#4 l3wis on 03.21.19 at 9:24 pm

As for the carrying on, Kiley does the same thing, so does Neitzert. You can go around the dais and hear it on any given night. I think it is wonderful, that is democracy at work, nothing gets accomplished in a quiet room.

#5 Warren Phear on 03.21.19 at 11:59 pm

$500,000 in this town is chicken feed. As I recall, that is the exact amont the city GAVE to the huether tennis barn.

#6 D@ily Spin on 03.22.19 at 8:45 am

What the mayor and brain dead councilor majority needs is for the city to become known nationally for impassable streets. Already the city is known for extravagant play palaces and 6 figure gifts to developers. Foolish spending has lowered the bond rating. Hints of not having enough budget to maintain streets is enough to change the impression of boomtown into an example of urban decay. Is it time for zoning exceptions for corrals in our yards so we can saddle up for transportation?

#7 Bruce on 03.22.19 at 10:12 am

The city’s pothole budget was set for an average year during the summer of 2018, long before the winter began. Unless of course, the city budgeters were using the Farmer’s Almanac (or some on mystical high spirit) to tell them we might be experience a bad winter, the normal course would have been to budget a cpi increase to the budget.

Adding the framework to the process of budgeting additional money to the account is a normal process in every other legislative body. It is allowing through a policy by the policymakers the framework for more funds to be allocated.

The obnoxious way Neitzert, Kiley, Sellberg, Erickson and Soehl shot this down was their way to marginalize the two who offered this token to the administration. The five should have had a clean, non personal discussion of the merits of an open door to help a befuddled administration solve the issue without coming back, hat in hand, begging for more funds later after they have blown other project budgets.

#8 JD on 03.22.19 at 4:43 pm

Infrastructure, what the hell is so hard to understand. This city is an embarrassment! I mean this country!! People drinking lead, bridges falling down, state parks being neglected, etc., etc.. Why, because we are to busy with nonsense that keeps us disconnected from reality. This is full-blown fascism that we are living in. The Oligarchs are souless people in it only for themselves, “just ask John Thune”.

The problem with waking up…. it’s hard to go back to sleep.

#9 Blasphemo on 03.22.19 at 6:14 pm

“…because we are to busy with nonsense that keeps us disconnected from reality.” Damn straight, JD. YOU GOTTA WALK . . . . BEFORE YOU CAN RUN. Upkeep to infrastructure is not sexy, newsworthy, boastable or commemorative plaque worthy. Definitely not what the ego elitists want to be bothered with.