I’M BACK!

Before I do a recap of everything that has happened in our beautiful city over the past two months, first the reason why I returned. Honestly, I was starting to become bored, and missed writing about the events in our city. Secondly, I have had some soft ‘naggers’ over the past few months asking (begging) me to at least come back once in a while. I did plan on returning late this Fall once the weather got cold but the main reason I came back early is the utter incompetence at City Hall has been staggering, and just in a matter of months. While the local media has touched on some of the topics and issues, they, once again, have left out the small details that matter. For instance, did you know that it is most likely that Amazon is the new project being built at Flopdation Park (though I haven’t heard that officially from anyone in the know), but did you also know that one of the reasons the announcement has been delayed is NOT because of this mysterious company, it’s because The Development Foundation is trying to swing a deal with the city and using this company as leverage for a . . . wait for it . . . TIF! I found out about this last week. And get this, they don’t even know how much they want or if any company would be interested in it, they just WANT IT because they know at the end of the day our rubber stamp council will approve it even if they were proposing building a nuclear waste dump out there. Yes, folks, in the middle of a pandemic, with tax collection down, the developers still want their welfare, and this time, they don’t even know what for!

Either way, I’m glad I am back, and if you see this post, please share with friends. Also, the comments section is back on and as before, all comments will be moderated.

Now for a brief recap of what has been going on over the past couple of months;

• A few days after I started my blog break I got an email from a citizen telling me that the Midco Aquatic Center is slowly turning into a dump. The ventilation system in there is failing bad or not working properly and a lot of people stopped going because it is hard to breath, the therapy pool is being used as a kiddie pool and I guess there is significant rusting going on throughout the building (something we were promised would not happen).

• On July 14th councilors Selberg, Starr, Jensen and Ethically Challenged Neitzert were installed on the council. Mayor Stoneless said that he wanted to invite people around the world to watch the ceremony on internet, which is ironic because you can’t access the city website out of the U.S. You would think when you are trying to promote international business the site would work? That’s innovation folks!

• On July 15th the Sioux Steel Hotel project finally admits to a delay;

Lloyd Cos. will begin its Sioux Steel redevelopment in downtown Sioux Falls later than originally planned, pointing to pandemic-related market conditions the company said have “created a time of unprecedented challenge in multiple industries.”

When I first heard the rumblings about this I suggested to a city councilor that the TIF needs to be rescinded. They reached out to the Planning Director, the response? Crickets.

• There is also several rumors swirling around about Sanford Health. Since most of them are 2nd hand rumors, all I can say at this point, expect some surprising and big changes. Not all bad either.

• Councilor Neitzert’s ethics problems have been spiraling out of control over the past two months. I will have a post about it soon.

• Downtown Sioux Falls finally experiments in a plan I have suggested for years. Closing Phillips off. Of course they do it in the middle of a pandemic, provide no vendors (food and drink) and no picnic tables. It was dismal to say the least. I was told that the city didn’t bring any tables down because they lacked ‘manpower’ and no volunteers for beer tents. It was a disaster and DT business owners told me they were not included, knew little about it in advance and some worried about liability. Lame. I guess the idea came from the new tech director with the city who lives DT. Next time, don’t let a great idea flounder so badly.

• Councilors Errakticson and Kiley presented the ‘Transparency ordinance’ which is a good idea (shows who sponsors ordinances on the agenda) but I found it a bit ironic that Rick talked about how he supports transparent government while during the operations committee on Thursday (transparently held at 10 AM in the morning during the workweek) the proposals were ANYTHING but transparent and open. I also have a future post coming about this topic.

• Mayor Stoneless said the SFPD will be getting 150 body cams for the police. This was something that citizens have been asking for over 10 years. It will be interesting how many times the cameras get ‘accidentally’ turned off, misplaced, or erased. I’m a STRONG supporter of reallocating police funds to other programs that help with crime prevention before enforcement has to occur.

• After Mayor Stoneless’ budget address, and a quick one hour regular meeting that ended at 8 PM, the municipal band members found out that night that the city (Parks Department) is cutting their $130K yearly budget essentially, disbanding the band. They just celebrated their 100 year anniversary in 2019. While I understand maybe taking the Covid year off and scaling back, I find it a bit hypocritical of Paul, who proposes a almost $600 million dollar budget ($22 million dollar increase from the year before) that he can’t find the money for the band. If we can give $1.5 million to the State Theater they can find the money. I know that this is something the Parks Director, Mr. Pants on Fire himself, has had a wet dream about for years, he has attempted it in the past. Of course a lot of misinformation was spread around and Chris Hill, the director of the band showed up to a budget hearing to clear it up. Paul, the self-proclaimed ‘Arts Mayor’ (I guess taking multiple selfies of you and your manly friends working out qualifies as art) thinks that they should just raise the money privately or as Councilor Errakticson suggested ‘volunteer’. While I agree some changes should be made, cutting it totally is idiotic and just shows the lack of leadership and innovation this mayor has, especially on something so simple as scraping some bones together for this 100 year tradition. Many people have testified at meetings since the cut was announced with passionate support.

• Councilor Pat Starr is running for Minnehaha County Treasurer. All I can say is YEAH!

• The SFPD released plans for the police/fire training center and metro 911. Originally said to cost around $30 million now has skyrocketed to $52 million with a $5 million constingency fund. Here we go again. Crappy built facility so we need extra money lying around to fix crappy contractor work. Maybe we have learned something from all the times we have gotten the shaft on the Pavilion, the Denty, the Midco, the Admin building, and you wait, on the Triage Center and Bunker Ramp.

• Speaking of the Sioux Failing Downtown Parking Ramp, there was zero ribbon cuttings, or announcements of it’s opening. Yes, we must protect ourselves from the embarrassment from this colossal failure and fraud on the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. When the finance director was asked why no announcement, he said “We wanted a soft opening.” Hey Shawn, this isn’t a coffee shop, it’s a $26 million dollar F’up. Oh, and the opening has been soft. I ride my bike in there (to get awesome photos from the roof) and on most nights there is about 4 cars in there. That’ll pay the mortgage for sure.

• The city continues to fail at posting board meeting agendas 24 hours in advance. Cameraman Bruce showed up to the last solid waste board to tell them they couldn’t have the meeting because it was not properly posted. They quickly disbanded. Not sure what was on the agenda, but my guess is they are planning to keep the Covid inspired taking your cans to the end of the driveway permanent, which saves the haulers in labor costs that they probably won’t pass on to the consumers.

• City Leaders decided to have a ‘Diversity’ conference at the Downtown Holiday Inn, the problem? The all white panel forgot to invite any leaders with any diversity. It blew up on FB, I’m sure you saw it.

• At a recent city council meeting Councilor Errakticson decided to present us with the ‘Hot Mess Moms’. You can come to your own conclusions.

• Denny Sanford gave $12.5 million to the USD Law School so they could name it after Dave Knudson. I said to someone it would be like naming the SD DMV after Bill Janklow. Ironically, Dave didn’t even attend the school. Go figure. The school should really be named after the late Mike Myers who dedicated years to the program. God Bless his soul.

As I said above, there will be some more posts about some specific things that have happened this past couple of weeks. Stay strong and as always, Transparency and Open Government is essential to a healthy democracy and community. Now if we can get those at City Hall to figure that out. It’s good to be back, I think.



23 comments ↓

#1 TS on 08.28.20 at 8:15 pm

Glad you’re back, but I won’t be voting for pat star.
He honestly should stay on the council.

#2 BeerJew on 08.28.20 at 8:22 pm

Wooooo!

#3 SiouxEmpirePod on 08.28.20 at 8:39 pm

Welcome back!

#4 "Woodstock" on 08.28.20 at 9:11 pm

“YES!!!!!”

#5 Steve on 08.28.20 at 9:15 pm

Good to hear you’re back. Look forward to many more interesting posts.

#6 QAnon Anyone? on 08.28.20 at 9:43 pm

We now have the leader?

#7 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 08.28.20 at 10:42 pm

This blog’s return is good news, indeed. It will be instrumental in helping to exchange info to fellow patriots in code once the 2nd Civil War commences on November 4th.
#ThePopsiclesAreInTheFreezer #IWillMeetUAtTheBunkerRamp #IWillBeTheOneWithAMask

#8 "Very Stable Genius" on 08.28.20 at 10:59 pm

Not funding the municipal band is unAmerican. This idea was most likely conjured-up by one, or ones, who live south of 57th and in a land of taupeness.

What’s next, cancelling family film night in front of a naked David?

( – And Woodstock adds: “Yah, and to think that I was dreaming of picking up some Chick-fil-A on a warm July evening next summer, and then heading-off to Terrace Park to hear the municipal band”…. “Now it looks like it’s just going to be me and David chewing on a chicken bone instead” ….)

#9 Helga on 08.29.20 at 12:45 am

Welcome back!!! I heard several weeks ago that Amazon was going to build in Sioux Falls. I believe I heard it on the Bloomberg News channel. Funny I heard the news here before people in SF got the word.

#10 rufusx on 08.29.20 at 7:57 am

Amazon is the project. My employer is bidding on a segment of it. Hope we get it as that would mean I couldwork from home for a few months, vs. out of hotels.

#11 anonymous on 08.29.20 at 10:04 am

City employees will be happy you are back, I hear they are Big Fans of southdacola!

#12 Jerrah on 08.29.20 at 5:37 pm

Yes! Let the bitching begin!!!

#13 "Very Stable Genius" on 08.29.20 at 11:42 pm

So, let me get this right, South Dakota won the Wayfair decision so that other states, too, could collect sales tax revenues from out of state purchases, which might now originate in South Dakota, but where other states will get the revenue as South Dakota businesses will further struggle against Amazon due to the enhancement of Amazon sales against local retailers because of the facilitation that a warehouse, which is located in the “Wayfair State”, will provide.

In other words, if the Wayfair case was meant to offer a level playing field, then why are we now encouraging further on-line sales through this possible Amazon presence in South Dakota, and thus, its facilitation of greater on-line sales?

We can only answer that question logically, however, if we admit that Wayfair was about tax revenues and not about saving Main Street.

#14 scott on 08.30.20 at 9:57 am

so now we need to offer amazon a tif, to make up for them collecting sales tax? are we still supposed to support local business too?

#15 l3wis on 08.30.20 at 10:24 am

To be very clear, Amazon doesn’t want the TIF. As I understand the DF is using the deal as a bargaining chip to get a TIF for FUTURE businesses that want to come here. I also believe their little hat trick has been delaying the Amazon development. Proposing a TIF without a pricetag also has me worried, I think they will be looking for an OPEN CHECK TIF, what does that mean, it means as businesses come in, they will add to the TIF each time.

#16 Ogre Rants on 08.30.20 at 12:41 pm

So glad you are back, July was very sad without all the City corruption neatly corralled into one website.

#17 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.30.20 at 2:26 pm

Regarding the South Dakota vs Wayfair Case that opened the door for “States” to enforce their sales tax laws on “Foreign Transactions”.

Keep in mind, NO “American Citizen of one state is ever forced to pay a sales tax in a Foreign State. You only owe the ‘tax’ within the jurisdiction of which you reside or claim your citizenship in.

Two – Amazon was always going to eventually place a Distribution Center in South Dakota, this was in the works for quite sometime, it had no bearing on the court case at all.

The way the “Sales and Use Tax Laws” work – you as the South Dakota Citizen owe the tax on any purchase of real or tangible property you purchase minus property exempted from the tax. You owe the tax whether or not you purchase the item in-state or out-of-state regardless.

The problem was, while all of us business owners whom have business licenses, we are forced to pay the ‘use tax” on every foreign transaction outside the state, but privately – private citizens although they owed the tax, were NOT paying the tax each time they went outside the “state” or shopped “online”. In both cases – that transaction is “Foreign” to the State, despite the fact you owe the tax.

The LAW simply made it possible for the STATE Department of Revevenue to collect a tax normally due by the “CITIZEN”, from the “Foreign Company or Person” whom transacted with a South Dakota Citizen. It created prime evidence the transaction occurred, and upon proving that claim, if that Foreign Person was proven to transact with 200 American Citizens of South Dakota, or generate $100,000 a year from South Dakota Citizens – that proved they conducted business inside our “Borders” or lack of a better term – “Jurisdiction”.

As I go shopping in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska – I do so as a Domestic Foreigner. I can legally, as per the Constitution “Exempt” myself from their Sales Tax. I then deliver the goods/products back to my legal residential address (the source), and report the transaction to the State Department of Revenue. Afterall – Food and Clothing are exempt from sales tax in Minnesota, but as a South Dakota Citizen, i am forced to pay a tax on it; or why should I pay a 7% sales tax in Iowa, when I only owe a 6.5% Tax in South Dakota. I can save “money”. Knowing the LAW, means I can save money, let alone pay the ‘tax’ to the jurisdiction I am most loyal to.

In fact – as a Resident of Sioux Falls, I only owe a 2% Sales Tax to “MY CITY”. If I shop in Yankton, I can legally exempt myself from their tax, but I must report it to the Department of Revenue and pay the 2% tax directed to Sioux Falls. I can legally do so.

Be careful when exempting yourself from Foreign Cities “Sales Taxes” especially in South Dakota, they will report your tranaction to the STATE regardless upon “Audits” – which then creates a “Tax Claim” against you to pay the tax.

You can in fact ‘exempt’ yourself if you show your legal status as an AMerican Citizen of South Dakota. Cause remember – NO FOREIGN STATE can force you to pay a direct tax as per Article 1 of the U.S Constitution.

As for AMAZON – they are a MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION (PERSON), just placing them here steals jobs from our Local Business Community, Their PROFITS do NOT stay inside our State, they spend the proftis in FOREIGN STATES, so we lose tons of capital that could have been invested in our “State’?

Also note – MULTI NATIONAL CORPORATIONS are contracting themselves to the C.D.C Federal Policies. Policies are NOT laws, but – these companies are being paid off to lay off people, place million people on our unemployment rolls, while the Federal Government now pays them each $600 per week salaries. This, and these companies “FORCING” you to wear masks, or abide by Federal Policies is pushing an agenda upon the people whereas we normally have the right to self govern ourselves.

Think of this – The MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS are new age PLANTATION SYSTEMS that once existed prior to the Civil War. They offer low wages, cheap labor, obtain Tax Subsdies, Credits, and Benefits from the Federal Government, do business across State Borders, let alone Country borders, shipping jobs out of our State into another State.

It are the MULTI-NATIONALS whom are being used to push the Democrat Agenda of Slave or Cheap labor.

Read about a compay called UNICOR – a federal and state prison corporation to employ cheap labor across the United States paying as low as $0.05 per hour to provide products, services, commodities to Government, and Other Multi-National Corporations.

Sincerely,
Mike Zitterich

#18 scott on 08.30.20 at 3:10 pm

funny, it thought it was the republican agenda to have slave or cheap labor. isn’t that one of the things the state touts when trying to attract bidniss?

#19 grudznick on 08.30.20 at 8:18 pm

grudznick is pleased, and abides your return, Mr. E. You are destined to drink fine beers and poke thorns in the side of the fatcats who run your town.

#20 "Very Stable Genius" on 08.30.20 at 10:01 pm

It doesn’t matter whether Amazon in SD is dependent upon Wayfair or not. It’s the Wayfair decision, which the SD location will now facilitate, that allows SD to be an actor in helping to close down Main Street even though SD authorities claimed that a win in court for SD on Wayfair would help to save Main Street.

#21 Southern Towner on 08.31.20 at 7:50 am

L3wis, you should thank the guy from the north for the free advertising that you are back from your much deserved sabbatical. I’ve been wondering how many extra site hits you received from his welcome back message?

#22 Kristinoemisbomb on 08.31.20 at 4:48 pm

You were gone?

#23 "Woodstock" on 09.01.20 at 1:36 pm

“Yah, Kristi is the bomb and pro-life alright, and its okay to kill grandpa and grandma so that the grandkids can go to the bars, too”… “If every murder matters, then why doesn’t every COVID death? #StrategicBombing #CovidDeathsMatter