Maher saddles the community with the largest bond in the history of the district, city and state than says ‘Bye’

I’m not surprised, in fact I think I just rolled my eyes when I read the news;

Sioux Falls School Superintendent Brian Maher is resigning, effective June of next year.

Dr. Maher has been leading the Sioux Falls School District for five years.

One of his biggest highlights was shepherding the passage of the $190 million school bond issue, the state’s largest.

I have heard rumors during his tenure he was hired to get the bond issue passed. While that part is obvious, I never realized he would leave so suddenly after that. So we paid him well over $1 million dollars (in 5 years) to straddle us with $300 million in debt and interest than he trots out the door. Mission accomplished.

While he says he ‘may’ not leave Sioux Falls, I wouldn’t be so sure. It took a lot to convince him to come here, and I get the feeling he really hasn’t embraced the community as much as he wanted to. I don’t fault him for that. Everyone has a sense of ‘home’ and if he feels like he needs to leave, who am I to stop him.

But what bothers me the most is how it seems he was brought in to get the job done – which he did, than leaves in a cloud of smoke. Public service really isn’t what it used to be – it seems their only mission these days is to raise our taxes and leave it to the taxpayers to figure out how to manage it.



20 comments ↓

#1 scott on 12.09.19 at 6:38 pm

i’d guess he also stayed just long enough to be vested in the retirement system.

#2 "Woodstock" on 12.09.19 at 6:44 pm

“In the Navy, we use to call this ‘Wham bam thank you maam'”….”I also noticed that the Cowboys released his son today, too”…..”Now, if only we could get the Colts to release Vinatieri, then maybe…….” 😉

#3 Susan Wismer on 12.09.19 at 7:34 pm

I really think the correct word to use is “saddled,” not “straddled,” though both you and the Argus have made the same usage error in the last 24 hours.

#4 l3wis on 12.09.19 at 7:49 pm

Susan, thanks for the English lesson, I seem to be getting a lot of them lately. I hope I don’t get fired over it 🙂 or maybe I do.

#5 The Guy From Guernsey on 12.09.19 at 7:51 pm

If Maher was brought in for the explicit purpose of gaining approval of bond financing for construction of a 4th high school for SFSD, then someone in charge was paying attention.
That (a 4th high school) was one of the most glaring needs in the district on heels of the reign of The Ice Queen.
The need became obvious during Homan’s administration. The high schools were over-full. The census of students in lower grades begged for action.
She had squandered any political capital which she might have earned largely on “me” issues (residency outside of the district, horses, expense account items, luxury personal vehicle, plum jobs for children).
She would not have had the juice to get that project across the finish line.
That Homan did not get approved construction of a 4th high school before she left the employmentof the district was supreme dereliction of duty.

#6 l3wis on 12.09.19 at 8:43 pm

I would agree we needed a 4th HS, maybe years ago. But instead of saving for it, or building up capital funds, they decided to borrow for the whole amount. I think they could have borrowed $100 million and paid for the rest of the investment in ongoing taxes.

#7 The Guy From Guernsey on 12.09.19 at 10:21 pm

I’m not certain that school districts in South Dakota are allowed to sequester money as “savings”. Didn’t the state legislature have a tizzy about that issue at one point? (“If we’re giving you state aid, you better not be sticking it in a mattress”).
They are allowed to levy tax receipts toward a Capital Outlay Fund.
Some districts could fund construction of a smaller elementary school from Capital Outlay. To fund construction of a high school from Capital Outlay would be difficult (impossible?), even for a district as large as Sioux Falls.
I won’t fault you if take exception to the extra lard which was placed into the bond question. Seemed like there were a lot of extras, some lacking specific definition.

#8 D@ily Spin on 12.10.19 at 8:57 am

Hit men such as this come into prosperous cities to strong arm a good bond rating and force unreasonable projects. Likely, from here, he’ll move into a Wall Street bond brokerage position. Sioux Falls is cycling into a down phase given the Ag economy, health care liquidity, low interest banking decline, and the trucking bypass Worthington to Sioux City. Once he’s gone, 100’s of millions bonding will be history because of the low rating and less budget. Show him out and slam the door on his derrière.

#9 anominous on 12.10.19 at 11:18 am

the students will all turn out smarter if they got rid of american football. biggest waste of everyone’s time there is in sfps.

#10 Unstable genius on 12.10.19 at 5:16 pm

*then. You’re getting worse. You can’t even make it through the headline? In all seriousness, don’t you have someone with a better understanding of English that can check your posts quick before you hit the “post” button?

#11 l3wis on 12.10.19 at 6:30 pm

It is actually pretty nitpicky;

Straddle; to belong in part to (each of several categories)

Saddle; to place under a burden or encumbrance

While I would agree the word ‘saddle’ is the better one to use, using the word ‘straddle’ wasn’t wrong or out of context. But I really don’t care. I don’t get paid to maintain this site by the readers, I really can write every word wrong if I want to. Our fearless leader of this great nation spells words wrong all the time on Twitter, he even spelled his wife name wrong once.

#12 Unstable genius on 12.10.19 at 6:33 pm

Your aware that then and than have to completely different meanings, write?

#13 l3wis on 12.10.19 at 6:35 pm

Yup, I know that when you spell it wrong in context it drives people like you crazy. Go back to reading the WSJ.

#14 "Very Stable Genius" on 12.10.19 at 7:24 pm

“Go back to reading the WSJ.”

LMFAO!!!!

( and Woodstock adds: “Yah, but it’s probably the local Chamber newsletter instead”….)

#15 LJL on 12.11.19 at 7:57 pm

Really an unfair to blame him.

Voters have the choice to reject the school bond. I don’t hear any outcry’s with this issue. Your the only bitching about this. The city needs more schools and we have to pay for them. If you don’t want to pay for funding school needs, move to somewhere in Zeibach county.

Will he be getting a golden parachute for leaving? Thats something to bitch about.

#16 l3wis on 12.11.19 at 8:56 pm

Well, if you would have read my several posts about the school bond issue, you would have read I supported new schools. What I disagreed with was two things 1) the size of the bond (I think it could have been HALF of what it is and we could have paid for the rest in capital outlay 2) that the election was a sham with NO precincts in almost the entire Northern part of the city. It’s easy to say something is needed and supported by the citizens when the process is a gigantic sham.

#17 l3wis on 12.11.19 at 8:58 pm

My bigger point is that Mr. Nebraska came up here and sat this in our lap, then runs away. Maybe his unemployed son can kick him back to Nebraska.

#18 scott on 12.12.19 at 8:26 pm

his kid will be signed by the storm.

#19 The Guy from Guernsey on 12.13.19 at 10:16 am

In before “Woodstock” with this tangential musing:
Say, speaking of the Storm, has Vinyl Taco replaced Borrowed Bucks as the spot from which Storm players gain supplemental income by lifting purses? Or given the new ownership, will Marlin’s Truckstop locations play a more prominent role?

#20 "Woodstock" on 12.13.19 at 9:35 pm

“Say, is it true that Vinyl Taco is down to their last vintage needle with done other to be had?”

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