Reflecting on 2021 in Sioux Falls City Government, Part I

You will see a continuing trend in the current administration, a HATRED towards transparency and dozens of potential coverups;

• Mayor TenHaken said his goal for 2021 was to be the most inclusive mayor of all time in the city. I guess he has moved on in 2022 . . .

• The City of Sioux Falls got an ethics (violations) insurance policy.

• City Council gives out 3 TIFs in 2021 totaling around $144 million for condos, parking ramps and egg roll factories.

• The Sioux Falls Planning commission has serious attendance issues and conflicts of interest.

• Ghost Ambulance REMSA coverup artist, SF Health Director Jill Franken retires.

• City Attorney’s office covers up over a dozen ethics complaints and throws them out without public view.

• Accused and wanted child molester is found working at the MIDCO.

• Even with an entire department dedicated to technology the city continues to have issues with the online streaming of videos.

• Legal settlement with the DT Bunker Ramp still has not been accomplished (or maybe it has?)

• During a mask mandate discussion at a city council meeting TenHaken looses his marbles after being called out on how he tries to stop public input.

• After several years of panhandling issues in Sioux Falls the city puts up signs to tell people to stop doing it while panhandlers just stand under the signs and continue to do it.

• City blows COVID money on play things like butterflies, ice rinks and tennis courts.

• City opens TRIAGE center in which it continues to be underfunded and hardly makes a dent on the problems it was meant to solve.

• City approves a tiny house community for veterans.

• Multi-cultural Center Director is dismissed(?).

• City of Sioux Falls concocts Medical MJ dispensary rules behind closed doors making a mockery of the public process.

• Sioux Falls police chief retires(?)

• TenHaken decides to run for a 2nd Term but has yet to campaign or have an official FB page for the campaign.

• TenHaken continues to push behind closed doors to buy up property along the loop so it can be bulldozed for preferred developers.

• 2021 School Board Election has a 5.13% voter turnout.

• Councilors Jensen and Erickson hold a housing summit coffee, nothing came of it.

• Councilor Jensen’s sidewalk scooter ordinance is withdrawn because he fails to engage the public.

• Levitt has successful season even if the adult beverage vendor stretched the truth about being the major contributor to their annual budget. Still waiting for the 2021 budget numbers . . .

• Wholestone Farms, an entity owned by regional pork producers, plans to build a more than $500 million pork processing facility in Sioux Falls without ANY government handouts (TIFs). They are even considering building housing (apartments) for the employees.

• Sioux Falls Districting Commission changes Central District to include Whittier and Cathedral neighborhoods.

• The Charter Revision Commission throws out ALL citizen proposals for the April ballot, but the city council manages to put a salary increase on the ballot.

• The city sprays for mosquitos in broad daylight and claims it is safe to spray on humans and pets. When asked why they are spraying in daylight they claim they can’t get employees to work at night (a couple hours later).

• It takes private donors to SAVE the Tuthill hospitality home and they do it for half the price the city would have spent.

• City Attorney’s office makes a secret deal for a land swap with the developers of the Sioux Steel project and councilors are told they can’t talk about it publicly.

• Sioux Falls ONLY daily newspaper finally admits the failure of the EC entertainment district, and does it anonymously. Now that is integrity in journalism!

• City leadership does very little to encourage Covid vaccination leaving it up to the private sector to inform us.

• The city parks department takes my advice and posts safety signs along bike trail even though they read more like a Bible verse than a warning.

• There is a push by city council and the planning department to have the State Legislature change laws in 2022 to allow rebates on excise taxes, 0% TIFs and skipping the zoning process when it comes to building apartments next to residential. While dome deregulation and tax breaks would be great, they really need to start at the bottom.

• A (non) settlement is made with the defective windows on the Midco while no one is really held accountable and the SF MSM did NO stories about it. It’s like it never happened.

• The mayor’s youngest daughter gives us a new nickname for him, Mayor Poops. (I was surprised there wasn’t more media coverage on this 🙂


#1 Very Stable Genius on 12.26.21 at 11:23 am

Yet, he’s going to get re-elected with 73% of the vote. You watch. AND, like Thune, he’ll be around forever and be another member of the Karl Mundt Class of perpetual and ineffective leaders.

Except, this new class of Mundt leaders are more attractive and articulate, which makes them even harder to beat. McGovern scared Mundt in ’60, but I don’t think ThuneHaken will ever have a close race. Well, except for that senate primary in ’26 with Dusty and Kristi. That’ll be a fun one to watch though, and finally the “No” vote on masks might become politically profitable for him. I guess we’ll see.

#SoapOperaLooksLeadership #WhatDoYouMeanFBLiveIsDown?

#2 Sierra on 12.26.21 at 11:30 am

You forgot the filing of 2 open meeting violations pending at state attorneys office .

#3 D@ily Spin on 12.26.21 at 1:55 pm

Once there was the best city in the nation as per Money Magazine. Then came Huether and Home Rule Charter. A balanced budget became major debt from foolish unnecessary projects. Corruption made city leaders and developers wealthy but quality of life for citizens declined. Jobs didn’t pay the rent. Infrastructure suffered. Then came hope, a new mayor. It seemed he wasn’t going to make a difference. There wasn’t enough budget for his programs and a few of the wealthy applied pressure for more overpriced unnecessary development. At some point he became disgruntled and blamed the population. He prevented public opinion. His individual vendettas were nearly as bad as Huether’s. Nothing was working. He hid in his office guarded by armed security. When it comes time to elect another mayor, there will be a bigger mess. The problem started with unconstitutional strong mayor charter. The first mayor, Huether, was a narcissist who should have been jailed. Redirecting public funds into individual wealth is criminal. Surrounding cities are prosperous proud thriving wholesome communities.

Please prevent neighboring Home Rule Charter before quality of life and freedom become endangered. It’s not democracy when people are omitted from policy and ordinances prevent due process.