A Newcomer’s Perspective on Sioux Falls

This was an interesting read, the thing that made me chuckle the most from their post and the comments is how much people are irritated by the political corruption in South Dakota, but you never hear much about how bad it is in the local media. Sure they do stories about it, but they really don’t hammer on how serious it is. It was refreshing to read real comments about it after this post.

I will touch on the finer points in the post;

This is for all the people asking what it’s like to live here. I honestly didn’t know this place existed before about a year and a half ago and I moved after one week of searching for a home. I’m from the north east and was living in the deep south for about a decade so the Midwest and South Dakota were not on my radar at all. I feel like I have a good perspective as I have lived in a handful of other states so here we go.

The problem is SF doesn’t promote itself to ‘people’ it only promotes low taxes for businesses, and they think by bringing in these businesses they will bring in the people, just like flies are attracted to turds.

This unfortunately does not apply to the developing areas which are 110% parking lot sprawl.

I already live downtown, but if I also worked downtown I would probably never leave or drive a car very often. Everything I need or want is within 10 minutes walking time. I have never understood how the rest of the town is being developed, always baffling to me.

Also I have never lived in a place where you have to fix the sidewalk.

Me either. It would be different if the town coffers were broke and we were NOT giving all of our 2nd penny infrastructure money to play things. The city CAN afford to fix its own sidewalks and trim the trees in the boulevard, they just choose to pass it onto the citizens. I have actually suggested a petition drive to change this in city ordinance. If it got on the ballot it would pass by more than snow gates did. The city could also just assess each property owner a little bit more in property taxes to pay for these services, but that would require them to work and do math.

The food scene is amazing compared to other cities this size.

I agree 100%. I travel quite often and I can honestly say we have top notch locally owned restaurants in Sioux Falls. Franchise crap, not so much.

There are constantly events largely free that are actually worth going to. Riverfest, The Parade of Lights, and Levitt at the Falls provide a great atmosphere for anyone. 

I think the Levitt has been an incredible asset to the community, I just wish there was more transparency and less restrictions.

While I find the state politics a dumpster fire that doesn’t come across in day to day life.

We are somewhat isolated from that in Sioux Falls, but our local government entities seem to suck up to the Queen in Pierre quite a bit even though Sioux Falls leans moderate.

It seems new development ignores what people love about the town (or at least what I love). The downtown area is being developed but the other areas are just large shopping centers or housing. If they spread the vibe downtown around the city we can avoid where others have struggled.

This is the number one issue facing development, housing and economics in Sioux Falls, rebuilding our core and creating density. It seems there is a desire by leadership to want to do that, they just want to do it the old school trickle down way, which just won’t work. It’s never worked. When rebuilding the core we must start from the bottom up and stop spray painting the sidewalks.

State politics. This is obviously personal but in the year I have been here it’s been scandal after scandal with no end in sight. People just seem ok with it because it’s their team. The state can do better red or blue.

Like I said at the beginning, most people ignore it because the media doesn’t dig into it deep enough and people are so busy with their lives they don’t see it going on. They also don’t want to get involved. But this person is right, whether it happens in Pierre or Sioux Falls, it is one scandal after another.

Overall I love it here. Everyone who has visited me has loved it. I hate the thought that I will inevitably have to move. It feels like home.

I would say I ‘like’ it here, for some of the reasons they mention but also it hasn’t gotten to big and so far it is pretty inexpensive to live here, if you have a decent job. I think we could drastically change Sioux Falls for the better if we had more of a bi-partisan city government and told the developers, banksters and bondsters to get in the same line the rest of us do. We should also take big money out of local races. Sioux Falls is still a good canvas to work from we just need a more diverse palette in local government to get there.



10 comments ↓

#1 rufusx on 12.01.21 at 5:31 pm

Just ban FYI – I can tell you from personal experience, in Los Angeles, the 2nd largest city in the US of A, the owner of a property is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sidewalks, except (just like SF) on the “Main Drags” – those 4 or 6 lane through boulevards. However, businesses on some very busy streets – like Ventura Boulevard – are still repsonsible for those sidewalks.

#2 scott on 12.01.21 at 7:00 pm

just waiting for the “if you don’t like it here, leave” people to chime in. how dare someone point out things that could be improved upon.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 12.01.21 at 7:17 pm

Our regulated bike trail is the greatest asset this town has.

#4 l3wis on 12.01.21 at 7:34 pm

Ruf, my contention has been, just increase our front end assessment and fix the sidewalks so it is paid for by all of us. I have brought this up with fixing up the core, when the city comes in to fix the street they should be doing curb and gutter, new lighting, and replacing all the sidewalks and re-seeding the boulevard and trimming the trees. What’s the point in fixing the street and curb and not bothering with the sidewalks? It’s silly.

Scott, people often harrass me about not having more positive news on my site. 1) I am an individual editorialist with an opinion, not a news site 2) there are plenty of other sites to go to if you want positive news and 3) I think wanting change to make things better in Sioux Falls is a positive thing, you don’t have to agree with my ideas, but I don’t think me suggesting them is a negative thing. I appreciated his honesty on things. And the truth is always a positive thing.

VSG, I rode the trail over to 41st street and there are several more signs with different kinds of messaging. One said, ‘STAY TO THE RIGHT UNLESS TRYING TO AVOID GOOSE SH!T’

#5 Very Stable Genius on 12.01.21 at 9:26 pm

Are you serious?! Is he really that confident of the fundamentalist vote? #Mulligan

( and Woodstock adds: “What has happen to decorum?”…. “Shxt, nothing matters anymore”…. )

#6 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 12.01.21 at 9:44 pm

I was in Canada once and the word was moose and not goose. It was near Moose Jaw. What a pile. It usually begins with a good jaw. Reagan had a Meese. And we’re surprised? Don’t forget Gomer Pyle. They always pack the night before. The bike trail has geese. Shouldn’t it be “GEESE SH!T”? Or does the plural suggest a problem, while the singular suggests an answer? It’s like city government. Zero in, so it looks as though you’re in control of the matter without becoming everyone’s Nero. Because, just cruise control through it all and watch for the shxt! #ReallyBigArmyWorms #ShxtHappens #WhyDoesntSomeoneCleanupThisShxt? #MoreSpentShellsThanGilibertos

#7 Theocratic Republic of SD on 12.01.21 at 11:35 pm

Normalized corruption. Nothing to see here folks. Move along and enjoy the food truck offerings.

#8 A Smash & Grabster on 12.02.21 at 10:06 am

Food trucks are fly-by-night. They symbolize the spontaneity of our time. They come and go like an easy date. Just when you love them, they leave you. Best to enjoy the moment. Nothing lasts forever. It’s why the media is fascinated with them. It’s the documentation. The vindication. The joy. The excitement. The unusual. It must be a slow news day. Next! Is that a new boutique over there? What about a car wash story? Or better yet, what about a food truck story, where it’s stuck in a car wash place (Protect the taco meat!). There you go. Food for thought. Keep on trucking.

#9 D@ily Spin on 12.02.21 at 12:44 pm

People will not accept outside critique. Much of what’s said reveals what is wrong or could be improved upon. I’ve lived elsewhere and agree this is the only city where home owners must repair sidewalks in public right-of-way. Focusing development downtown has taken away from newer surrounding areas. Affordable housing is more important than vacant offices and retail.

For those who say ‘if you don’t like it here, move’ I’ve taken your advice. Homes are affordable and available within 10 miles of city limits. Residential appreciation in the city has priced many out of town where appraisals and property taxes are reasonable. Areas where sales tax for mail order is 6% not 7%. Developers will have to start corrupting neighboring suburbs. City politicians will have to live on prescribed salaries. Their work will be finding ways to handle bond debt and repair a tin Events Center.

I will monitor Sioux Falls issues but can’t vote here. I’ll still testify or give depositions for Sioux Falls court cases regarding citizen rights or the unconstitutional charter.

Enough is enough. What’s left of the middle class and retirees could soon join me.

#10 anominous on 12.02.21 at 1:26 pm

is it really illegal to ride e-bikes on sidewalks if theyre privately maintained? How can anyone object to that?

the public bike trail is a low-maintenance service road for utility and CoE vehicles in places.