Events Center Campus Survey is government overreach, but that’s just one example

There is nothing wrong with online surveys. If you are willing to give up some form of security to help marketing companies make a little extra money, that is your bizzo. But when government hires a private company to do a survey that requires a name, address and phone number, then we have issues;

Today, Mayor Paul TenHaken’s Events Campus Study Group launched a public survey to gather input from the community on the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Campus.

Available at, the short survey asks for input on the current status of the campus and looks for feedback on potential improvements. Survey respondents will be entered into a drawing to win one of many $25 gift cards.

One of the other key questions is if you are a registered voter. None of this information is pertinent unless the city and the marketing company (Lawrence & Schiller) needs to collect data on you as a registered voter. Remember, Mayor TenHaken is serving his first term in elected office of any position, he has a long political life ahead of him (I hope not). L & S also does political consulting for a wide range of candidates across the state. This kind of voter data would be very valuable to both PTH and L & S. It is also not needed. Simply marking a box saying your are a SF resident should be good enough for this survey.

But this isn’t the only place the city is gathering data on you. They are also doing it with the phone app for reporting potholes and other issues. They are also doing it HERE on the city website and HERE on the GIS website.

They have also gotten away from posting really any video on the city’s main website and very few in YouTube. They have been basically using FB as their main source to getting out information. Besides the fact that some people don’t use FB, it goes back to not having to have a ‘login’ to access public information. They can also track you via FB.

The Brexit campaign to leave the EU used FB to manipulate the vote. It is under a massive investigation because of complicated UK laws that deal with voter protections. Using FB to collect voter and citizen data isn’t some fairytale.

There is absolutely NO reason a citizen should have to have a login to get public information. Public information should be available for FREE and without sharing your identity.

While I could go into several constitutional reasons why what they are doing is wrong, the bigger question I have is ‘WHY’ collect the data? Why does the administration and certain people within city government, and now apparently private companies, think they need our home addresses, names, phone numbers, age, email, voter registration? What does that have to do with a dying ball field?

This is a ploy to collect as much data as possible on us to manipulate future elections. It’s very Karl Rovian and certainly in PTH’s ‘wheelhouse’.

DON’T sign up to receive data. Don’t fill out these surveys. And if the government comes knocking on your door, tell them they need a warrant.


#1 Survey Filler on 06.08.19 at 9:05 pm

It would help if the survey actually worked. Several people have had issues filling it out, even after they said they’ve live in Sioux Falls and have done so for 10+ years.

#2 voter on 06.08.19 at 10:18 pm

last question on the survey was very interesting

Are you registered to vote in Sioux Falls?

#3 Blasphemo on 06.08.19 at 11:08 pm

PTH’s hunger & ambition read clear as day in his tense wound-tight-as-a-watch-spring physicality. He relishes using every tool available via his beloved internet. It’s in his DNA to jump at ANY opportunity to mine data which places any & all of his personal/political agendas at an advantage. He & his ilk worship at the altar of the most high god of manipulation.

#4 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.09.19 at 12:57 am

The “New Improved Thune:” “Now available in a suit with sneakers.”

Did you all see Thune’s recent answer about Trump, Mexico, and tariffs?…..:

A real “Profiles in Courage,” huh? Something tells me that PTH would have the same kind of answer for the bunker ramp or the railroad yard development area, if cornered…..#OneInTheSame….#WeCanDoBetter…

#5 Erica on 06.09.19 at 3:08 am

Has anyone been actually able to even complete it anyway? Seems they dont really want to hear from Sioux Falls citizens over the age of 18. At least that is my experience and several others who have tried to take the survey that I am currently aware of.

(Sorry about this coming through twice, the page reloaded and ended up being submitted on wrong topic)

#6 My Coke? on 06.09.19 at 8:27 am

PTH gets upset when someone is thirsty while at his office but he can steal your personal data for his political purposes?

#7 matt johnson on 06.09.19 at 12:22 pm

Karl Rovian? are you suggesting that only conservatives would attempt to capture this type of data? Obama bragged about his efforts with social media- and who runs those enterprises – Face Book, Google and so on? certainly not conservatives

#8 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.09.19 at 4:11 pm

I heard they’re bringing “New Coke” back:

The Mayor should conduct a study by stocking his personal office frig with it and Classic Coke, to see which the burglars prefer.

Something tells me, however, that supporters of the Mayor would support “New Coke,” because it’s something different like suits with sneakers… While burglars would be more likely to go for the real stuff, “Classic,” because you know what they say about cat burglars: “They know what to do….”

#9 SF History on 06.09.19 at 7:00 pm

Our community has a long history of ‘epic battles’ over issues like swimming pools, snow gates etc…

Sioux Falls residents have strong feelings about the SF Arena and the Baseball Stadium.

I have attended and will continue to attend all Events Center Campus Task Force meetings (with the exception of the first meeting which the Mayor barred the public from). Ten years ago, for 13 months, I also attended Mayor Munson’s 2009 EC TF meetings.

When I was at my first meeting this March, I was surprised at the composition of the study group. These are individuals with very little gray hair and very little historical perspective on local government and issues.

Without Teri Ellis Schmidt’s guidance as a resource person, this group would be floundering. At last month’s meeting, they even discussed developing the survey themselves until she advised against it.

Two of the major issues they will grapple with are the same issues which were on the table when the 2009 EC Task Force ended and it went on to a public vote.

Those issues are lack of a second on-site hotel and limited airline connections. Both of these issues were identified by the consultant (CSL) for the 2009 Task Force. Neither are easily solved.

Whatever this group’s ultimate recommendations are regarding the Arena and Baseball Stadium, my hope is they will be wise enough to recommend referring it to a public vote.

These are community decisions which need to be made by a much wider audience than a few survey respondents. Every taxpayer who wants to weigh in on this issue, needs to have a vote.

Look to the past, and avoid the messy battle of a petition drive to take this to a public vote.

#10 anominous on 06.10.19 at 8:09 am

do PTH only hire pretty people or do they just get pretty from being around him. Yes or No

#11 Blasphemo on 06.10.19 at 11:13 am

Quite obvious PTH regards persons only of his own generation (or younger) as being capable to “… move Sioux Falls forward so we can be better today and be prepared far into the future.” #onesiouxfalls. He REALLY needs a dose of humility, “MAN” (his fav lame hipster statement suffix added).

#12 l3wis on 06.10.19 at 1:26 pm

They are trying to recruit younger voters to get more involved with municipal politics, which is a worthy cause. What they are finding out that the largest voting block isn’t young when it comes to local elections. This has been done before on different platforms. My issue with it is using tax payer funds and resources to create a data base that will be used by individual candidates and marketing firms. If they want to recruit young voters, they can do it on their own dime.

#13 "'Extremely' Stable Genius" on 06.10.19 at 3:07 pm


It’s the sneakers that set them off.

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