UPDATE: Argus Leader ED board holds back important details in their attack on councilor Stehly

It’s often easy to attack someone when you leave out the important parts.

UPDATE: After talking to a few folks about this editorial tonight, I think a better approach would have been to write the article about the dysfunction of the council as a whole. They all have their faults and strengths. Not one single councilor is to blame for the breakdown. While some are louder than others, sometimes inaction can be just as harmful as too much of it.

Ever since Mr. Myers took over the helm at the AL the place has been on a steady decline and it culminates in their attack on a city councilor. It’s funny how he has so many choice words for a person with a high level of integrity, like Stehly, but doesn’t have the courage to call out one of his key staffers or even fire them after they majorly screwed the pooch. And better yet, it didn’t even make the pages of his fine paper, worthy of a front page story, he just put the person back on their beat like nothing happened. Of course this person never committed a heinous crime like calling someone on a Saturday before Easter . . . the SHAME! The Shame!

I first want to apologize to city councilor Theresa Stehly, I feel bad she has to take the full weight of this diatribe even though she has had support from other city councilors and most importantly citizens on these issues. I’ve known Theresa long enough to know that she just doesn’t wake up in the morning and decide to be on the wrong side of an issue. She listens to her constituents and even reaches out to those with a differing opinion. I can’t say that about the rest of them. She’s an AT-LARGE elected representative of the citizens FIRST! The news media, developers and any other whiny ass, give me, give me, give me organizations in this town should be at the back of the line. The lion’s share of taxes and fees that fund this government come from the citizenry as a whole. We support this community through Federal income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and ever increasing fees. She represents us more then any city councilor has since the council form of government was formed under the Home Rule Charter.

What makes the attack even more suspicious is it comes out just hours after the paper put up a story about the failing parking ramp. Another story Cameraman Bruce had to give the paper on a silver platter, just like the EC siding and the EC secret settlement. All along the way, it has taken us ‘unqualified’ journalists to light a fire under these paid ‘qualified’ journalists. I was actually laughing when recently Mr. Myers wrote about the SNAP suit and mentioned how hard the paper went after the EC secret settlement. He failed to mention that it took Bruce and I weeks to convince them that the settlement stunk, and they fought us along the way, yet now Myers is playing ‘We are the Champions’ on the headphones in his brain.

Why do I bring up the Parking Ramp? While councilor Starr did support Stehly on trying to stop the project, Theresa was the only one vocal enough to say this was a bad deal, many citizens agreed. So instead of praising Theresa for standing against this colossal f’k up, they write an editorial lambasting her about not voting for an unqualified candidate for the Internal Auditor.

But let’s review all the things Mr. Myers and his prestigious ED board left out to make a more compelling argument against Stehly;

Two days after the call, councilors Neitzert, Christine Erickson, Marshall Selberg and Rick Kiley issued a press release condemning Stehly’s automated call and rebutting her claims that the months-long hiring process was being “ramrodded” through.

It may have been a ‘months long’ hiring process (which it wasn’t), but magically after only 3 weeks of online ads and 15 unqualified applicants they decided to pick Mrs. Nelson instead going back to the drawing board. They also were so proud of the selection they posted it on the agenda without a BIO or background of Mrs. Nelson 4 days before a special council meeting over a holiday weekend. But, you know, that’s not ramrodding . . . WTF? It is also interesting that there has never been a stated reason why the last auditor left so quickly after being appointed and whether the administration is going to replace Mrs. Nelson. The three councilors had a very good reason to be skiddish.

Stehly accused Neitzert of calling her a liar.

Listen to the interview for yourself, Neitzert does call her a liar and being slanderous, an actual violation of the city council’s ethics code, but notice how the ED board twists it. Not only was it an ethics violation, it was also untrue. Nelson’s husband was one of the players behind the VERY controversial parking ramp (as we are finding out) Shana has NO experience as an internal auditor or supervisor and has several conflicts. Please, identify these ‘LIES’ for us. NO one in the media or on the majority of the council has been able to prove what Stehly was saying was a lie(s).

As pointed out in the editorial, the city council has been dysfunctional, and it started way before councilor Stehly came aboard, she has just shined a light on the dysfunction of the rubber stampers and the big wheels that fund their campaigns and it has them really pissed off, and now they apparently have the ear of the ED board.

I told Theresa to wear this as a badge of honor, it must have been a slow week at the paper to have to attack an individual like this. Apparently Bruce and I need to step up our game and give them more things to investigate.



11 comments ↓

#1 Warren Phear on 05.03.19 at 9:02 pm

There will be blowback on this one. Ask any of thousands of island residents who were subject to annexation by force. This is it for me. Argus subscriber since 1972. No more.

#2 USD on 05.03.19 at 9:16 pm

Don’t step up your game with giving them information. I suggest spilling the dirt you have on them.

#3 l3wis on 05.03.19 at 10:37 pm

USD, I could dedicate an entire blog to the personal indiscretions of our local media makers. It would be funnier than TMZ. That’s why I often crack up when people call them ‘professionals’ while us bloggers are ‘gadflies’.

#4 l3wis on 05.03.19 at 10:41 pm

WP- I am often amazed that the 4th Estate in SF has been non-existent for well over 20 years.

#5 Blasphemo on 05.04.19 at 9:50 am

This is a reaction typical of a cornered, frightened little creature. Gannett has gutted them, leaving a pathetic print product that amounts to a front page and a sports section. Word is the front door is locked 24/7 now – no receptionist in the lobby any more. The “editorial board” are just empty suits. A death spiral, clinging to the wishes and influence of the few advertisers & their cronies which are left.

#6 anonymous on 05.04.19 at 10:02 am

WP, ask anyone in Split Rock who they have to thank for making them aware they were on the table to be annexed, and there answer will be……

Councilor Theresa Stehly.

#7 anonymous on 05.04.19 at 10:05 am

Everytime a snowgate clears the end of your driveway, who do you have to thank for making that possible….

Current City Councilor Theresa Stehly

Former City Councilor Kermit Staggers.

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.04.19 at 2:26 pm

Let’s see, the railroad development idea is now challenged by easements and a lack of interest by developers, funding for the hotel/ramp is now in question, no one goes to the indoor Aquatic Center, the siding still looks awful on the EC, Badlands Pawn is no longer a part of the Sports and Entertainment District, and no money for gym or the arts in our schools (Although, we have two unique and extravagant “workforce development high schools” in town.)….. But, but, we do have country western shows here from time to time, however, at the EC for $150 a pop with $10 beers and a tech savy Mayor to go with it…..#LivingTheDream….(#WhateverHappenToTheVerizonSubpoena?)

#9 Warren Phear on 05.04.19 at 6:22 pm

Anon…Splitrock was 243 of the 1065 properties affected by annexation. Theresa is a “rockstar” to all of these property owners. Had she not grabbed the bull by the horns on this issue, there would have been 4 meetings on monday afternoons in a cubby hole at the DT library. Thanks to Theresa this issue saw the light of day. The meetings had to be moved to Carnegie to accommodate the turnout. Would have never happened without Theresa. We were at all the meetings. Have you ever seen a deer in headlites? Exactly what our councilors looked like each and every night of those meetings. Theresa was THE turning point on this one. The results of this would have been much different without her activism. Which begs the question. Can a person serve as both councilor and citizen activist? Short answer. You DAMN right.

#10 anonymous on 05.05.19 at 1:17 pm

Remind me again…

who were the two Councilors who forced our ‘open Mayor’ to allow the public into his ‘closed-door’ Events Center Campus Study Group meetings!!!

#11 scott on 05.05.19 at 3:08 pm

if you google office rental or whatever in sioux falls, gannett is trying to rent out a good portion of the argus building.