Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 15-16, 2019

City Council Informational Meeting • 4 PM • 10/15

A presentation on Cherapa II. We will get to see what the city and the developer have been cooking up over the past couple of months. I wasn’t made aware of the deal until last month.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM • 10/15

Item #7, Approval of Contracts.

There is an item to pay $73K+ to reconstruct the buffalo run images by Kiwanis and 18th Street. I still think just fixing the wall would have cost a lot less, and would have kept it’s artistic integrity. Hopefully a city councilor will pull this item so we can get an explanation.

There is an outside legal counsel expense of $41.5K for consultation on state loans for the water reclamation expansion. So explain to me 1) why do we need legal counsel to take out a loan from the state, who, BTW, receives about 40% of it’s sales tax revenue from Sioux Falls and 2) why this can’t be handled internally between the state and the city? So we need to hire a private firm to give us advice on how to loan money from another government agency? WOW!

We are getting a gift of a sculpture of a coach running that no one knows unless he was your coach, and even if he was your coach, he looks like all the other sculptures of a coach running (not sure how many other ones are out there).

It seems we have a couple of legal expenses concerning our lawsuit over the firefighting foam polluting our water wells. I still find it interesting that 1) we are suing over something that the city has told us publicly never harmed the public and 2) why do we even have a legal department when we consistently hire this stuff out? I still think we should just change our legal department into a two person staff of a paralegal/receptionist and a purchasing agent.

While I understand why we need to pay for a coin collection service for our downtown parking meters, why is the SF airport in on the deal? Are they paying the city for this service? Seems some explanation is needed.

Item #8, Change orders. $31K+ for ‘Unforeseen conditions’ at the Pavilion. Can you imagine getting a mechanics bill and there was a line item that was 33% of your bill that said this? Oh, yeah, you would question it.

Item #13, one of my favorite pizza places, Papa Woody’s is applying for a beer and wine license.

Item #32, 2nd Reading, Ordinance, the city council will be approving having ONE employee running TWO casinos to circumvent state law like many podunk towns across the state have been doing. I think this is a bad for employees safety and I agree 100% with Stehly’s opposition on this item. I suggested to her that she should offer an amendment that there should be only ONE unisex bathrooms in VL casinos to. She just laughed at me.

Item #38, 1st Reading, Ordinance, Beekeeping. It will be interesting to see how many peeps from the public oppose this. I guess when Belfrage posted about this on his FB page, he got his ass handed to him. My guess is that many supporters will show up to talk about how this is a great idea. On an unrelated note, today when I was closing up all my windows today on my house in preparation for winter, I found a sleeping bat. It was not happy I pushed it away from my house with a stick. I think that is the first time I heard a bat hiss. Creepy. I ran like a little girl.

Item #39, Resolution, Lyons Park is finally getting a sculpture placed on the lonely pedestal sitting at the intersection of 14th and Phillips. I kind of smiled when I heard about this at the Neighborhood Summit. I created a sculpture for this pedestal about 3 years ago that I was going to place anonymously one night and chickened out and never did it. I still have the piece, and who knows, it may show up downtown one of these days. Keep your eyes peeled. Let’s just say, you will know it was my work when you see it.

Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 3:30 PM • 10/16

The Commission will be discussing numerous items brought forward by citizens. They of course will ‘probably’ be deciding if the items below will continue to be discussed before they decide to put them on the Spring city election ballot or they may kill them all together. I’m not sure. My guess is that ‘most of the items’ on this agenda list will be killed. The interesting part will be the arguments they have against them. Let’s review;

Items A-B, Plurality voting presented by two different citizens. Even though the council passed a majority ordinance with a slippery amendment process (by former councilor Rolfing) the council has since refused to change it back claiming this should be ‘up to the voters’. So will the CRC decide to put this on the ballot? This one is hard to tell. Since the city council has refused to change this, it really is up to the voters, so it would seem logical to let them decide. But I can see the CRC’s argument against this that it hasn’t been ‘tested’ yet, so they will want to keep it around. When Senator Rounds spoke at an event last week he made a very ‘chilling’ statement, an attendee told me that he said towards the end that ‘More business people need to run for local races.’ In other words regular folks like piano teachers shouldn’t be on city councils, because they care too much about the rest of us working stiffs and not ‘business’. The majority rule is a game to disenfranchise the ‘little guys and gals’ from running for office.

Items C-D, these items are also similar and were suggested by the same two citizens as the above items. Requiring a super-majority to pass bonds (6 votes). I think the CRC will kill this right away. But it will be interesting to watch is if CRC member Anne Hajek recuses herself from the discussion since her husband Doug Hajek is an attorney for the largest bonding company in the state and the agency the city always uses. Ethically, this is a conflict of interest. In fact, Doug has told me to my face he opposes this (right in front of Anne). Of course he does, anything that makes it harder to pass bonds isn’t good for business. I hope Anne does the right thing and steps out of this discussion.

Item E, is something the CRC has been throwing around, making the city attorney a ‘member’ of the CRC but a non-voting member (or a voting member). Not sure what they are trying to accomplish with this one, since he already sits in the meetings already and advises. It seems they are playing a legal game. This discussion will also be intriguing and hopefully revealing.

Item F, they will go over their list of recommendations and other stuff they have yet to discuss.

I highly recommend people tune in to this meeting. The CRC will be laying the groundwork to kill a lot of these recommendations.


#1 Theresa Stehly on 10.12.19 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for posting this information for the public Scott. NO ONE else does this.

For the past 12 years, I have appreciated your interest in all parts of our Sioux Falls Government and your efforts to demand transparency, accountability and responsiveness from elected officials and Governmental employees.

You watch all the City Council meetings, County Commission meetings, Planning Commission, Charter Revision Commission and I believe the School Board meetings.

Of course, you get to add your opinions and reactions… it’s your blog. But you respectfully allow others to put their “two cents” in as well.

As you have mentioned before, we are on opposite sides of many issues, including political parties.(I am a conservative Republican, and you are a liberal independent.) But we both care about people, recognize that City Government is supposed to be non partisan and we desire Good Government.

I know that many people appreciate your efforts to inform the citizens about what is happening in their City government. It’s the Citizen’s money and the Citizen’s business. I invite all citizens to come to a City Council meeting at the “People’s Place”, Carnegie Town Hall. We meet the first three Tuesdays of each month at 7:00. You pay for everything that we do there.

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 10.13.19 at 7:35 pm

I would really like to take the ‘Capital Projects Bus Tour.’

Now, will that be something on “Demand”, too? Because I am without a car and need to go to my dry cleaner, that day.

And how long will the roundtrip tour from Pierre actually take? Could we stop at Al’s Oasis on the way home too, because that’s always fun.