Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, 11/17/2020

South Dakota has just become the most dangerous place for Covid in the Nation;

Risk factors: No statewide mask mandate – 154.5 new daily cases per 100,000 people – 58.8% of Covid tests are positive

Few governors have been more defiantly anti-mask than South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, whose state is the epicenter of Covid-19 spread. The Mount Rushmore state is recording a staggering 154.5 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, on a rolling weekly average, according to the Harvard-Brown risk-assessment tool. Any state with over 25 new daily cases per 100,000 people is colored red on the map, which means it is considered “at a tipping point.” South Dakota’s risk level is more than 500% above that threshold, a breathtaking failure to manage the crisis.

That last sentence says it all; FAILURE. This is why it is important to support Councilor Starr and Brekke’s mask mandate and lingering ordinances on Tuesday. While I have been on the fence about masks mandates (I think it has more to do with giving private businesses the authority to kick people out who don’t want to follow their rules on private property and trespassing) I do think distancing people at bars and restaurants is important. I want to remind people, we all hope this is temporary and by next Spring a majority of Americans will be vaccinated. Your Civil Rights are not being infringed upon. If anything, if you go into a private store and refuse to wear a mask when asked to by the business, you are infringing on their property rights. And I would love for anybody to show me where in the Bill or Rights or US Constitution that you have the civil right to do what you want on private property. You absolutely don’t.

City Council Informational • 4 PM

October Financial Report (no supporting documents posted yet)

Regular City Council Meeting • 7 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts/Agreements, Sub Items 2-3,

Option to Extend: Extending agreement for contractor to provide executive coaching services and individual assessments on as-needed basis. AND Amending original agreement to include a two day strategy and vision planning for the Innovation and Technology for the next three years.

Why is the city subcontracting with a BUSINESS executive training program for over $20K? Just go to their website, they have zero mention of training or helping governments, they help BUSINESSES and train executives for private for-profit businesses. When are elected officials going to figure out that government doesn’t run like business. I don’t pay taxes to a for-profit entity, I pay them for services.

Item #21, 2nd Reading, Another $18 Million+ towards wastewater.

I asked someone the other day in city government, ‘Where has our public works director Mark Cotter been?’ Sure, he has been quietly working from home on things, but remember how much of a public, public official the former mayor made him? Why is our Public Works director in the shadows these days? I don’t know the answer, but many people are curious.

Item #22, 2nd Reading. So we spend $250K on Covid tourism and $20K on educating people about Covid spread. Makes sense 🙁

Section 2. That the use of the unobligated fund balance of $20,000 for the 2020 health budget is authorized to fund a public health education campaign to encourage preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Item #23, 1st Reading, Allowing city employees to carry over vacation time into 2021;

Any unused vacation hours remaining in an employee’s accumulated balance in excess of maximums identified above as of 12 midnight on December 31 of each year shall be forfeited, except as specifically set forth in this Code. The above-forfeiture provision shall not apply for the calendar year ending December 31, 2020.

This one would make sense if you had your employees work thru a pandemic and couldn’t travel, because they were working, but this ONLY makes sense in the private sector. The public sector has been working from home for months or not working at all, so we are going to reward them on our dime by letting them carry over ‘vacation time’? Really?! I can almost Guaran ‘F’ing’ Tee that if taxpayers knew about this and had a voice in the matter, they would say HELL NO! I have PTO I have to burn up this year, and I can guess my employer wouldn’t let me float it next year due to Covid. Rules are Rules folks, but it seems public employees don’t have to follow them. If the city council had any gnuts at all they would kill this in an 8-0 vote on 1st Reading, but it’s not their money, so it will pass.

Item #32-33, 1st Reading, Repealing the 5G Tower agreement in McKennan Park. Once again, our all knowing city attorney’s office has a monkey screwing the football and didn’t even know the names of the entities involved in the deal. Go read the documents online, it’s a laugh fest. While we want to embrace 5G technology, we have no idea who is providing that technology.

Item #34, Emergency 1st reading of business regulations.

Item #35, Emergency 1st reading of a mask mandate.

Item #36, a ‘polite’ resolution reminder from the mayor to wear a mask. I’m surprised he didn’t also ask you to eat a turkey sandwich through your mask next week. Now that’s a ONE Sioux Falls challenge I would like to see. Maybe we could livestream it on FB while reading a children’s book?

Item #37, Resolution, to add a storage freezer for a Covid vaccine. Finally some planning from the city. Probably the only item on the agenda Tuesday night that will get full support from the council. They should also purchase a microwave, I prefer my vaccine to be at least tepid.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I also want to point out that not only has our city government been derelict in their duties managing Covid, they also have been doing the same when it comes to open meetings. Besides titling agenda items to read like a Latin Mass Litany, they have been failing for months to provide citizens with hard copies of these ordinances at the meetings and not just at regular council meetings but at other public board meetings. Some would argue when you have 5 very capable council staffers that could do this, two of which make over $100K a year, that maybe it is laziness. Sure they follow the letter of the law by providing the documents online, but why doesn’t the state’s largest city do all the law commands of it? I don’t think this is because of laziness. I think this is being done intentionally and commanded by City Council Leadership (Neitzert) and the Mayor’s administration in their ‘HATEFEST’ towards open government. If that statement is untrue, prove me wrong. What sad, sad, sad individuals in their sad, sad, sad quest for power. And as for the city council staff that bows to these commands, you are sad, sad, sad public servants for not standing up to them.


#1 "Woodstock" on 11.15.20 at 3:46 pm

“‘Live free, or die’, some take this too literal.”

#2 D@ily Spin on 11.15.20 at 5:08 pm

Approval of us identified contracts? 18 mil for sewage but Where’s Waldo? Executive coaching? Socialism doesn’t need coaching. 250k to bring in more COVID and 20k to say ‘WEAR MASKS’. Carry over vacations! They’re already home. Doesn’t that count? A tower in McKennon Park. Why was this ever a subject? Business regulations, why start now? Masks, the usual, wait till we’re all infected. The mayor kindly says to wear a mask yet restricts free speech. A freezer for storing COVID corpses!

Maybe cancel everything and listen to Public Comment only. More relevant, productive, and interesting.

#3 Lockdown on 11.16.20 at 10:56 am

While true COVID is finally here and running rampant, we need to protect the ones that are at risk. A lot of the cases seem to be at prisons, schools, nursing homes, etc. honestly, I’m in B2B sales-out every day meeting people-and the folks I talk to just aren’t getting it. We are going to bars and local restaurants trying to help those people keep afloat, haven’t seen/heard much from them, either. I believe our rates are so high due to the fact we had so few cases when we had the knee jerk shutdown earlier this year to “flatten the curve”. We never should have done that. Remember how this went down? Schools closed, events cancelled, etc. That crippled the hospitals and employees were furloughed, let go, hours reduced, etc….even though they had next to zero cases of Covid to deal with. This was all done because of what was happening in New York and overseas. South Dakota should not have shut down-maybe limit travel to places like New York? I wish Gov Noem could have made the call to NOT shut down then. In my opinion, if we wouldn’t have done that, people would be much more acceptable of mask mandates, curfews, etc now. But, we have gotten a taste of shutdowns since March-for no reason-and we don’t like it.

Serious question, if masks work, and they are cleaning like crazy, why are prisons and nursing homes being devastated by this? Those should be the easiest populations to control? Visitors have been shut out of these places for months-yet the virus is going crazy there.

If it was just you and I out and about without masks, shouldn’t all the workers at Hy-Vee be sick? Lewis Drug should have had everyone home sick? Etc?

It is obviously due to ventilation systems and the amount of people in any given space. That is where we need to focus, until we fix that issue, it’s pretty obvious cleaning and masks just can’t control this virus…..but we have to do SOMETHING, right comrade?

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 11.16.20 at 6:33 pm

Is Selberg going to make the move to save ThuneHaken?
Neitzert will still vote “No”. He doesn’t believe in masks unless a conference tells him too. Erickson will also give a hesitating “No”. It’s so seductive how she does it, isn’t it? Speaking of her, whatever happen to the heels by the way?… Masks and heels, I saw a movie like that once….