I said after this last city election I am going to try to focus on blogging about policy instead of the people who make the policy.
Let’s face it, over the next two years most policy is going to come from the mayor’s office with little to no discussion before passing a super majority of the council.
So instead of targeting the people who approve and write this policy, let’s target the policy inself. Hopefully I can stick with it 🙂
WHO IS OPPOSING THE ANTI-SLAUGHTERHOUSE PETITION?
I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but I have been told by a business leader in Sioux Falls there is a person(s) and they will tell me soon. They also said it may be surprising.
Also interesting that the chief lobbyist of the petition drive isn’t releasing who is funding his group. But that will have to eventually be released because of campaign finance rules.
IS A SIOUX FALLS CITY COUNCILOR MAKING A CAREER CHANGE?
There is a rumor floating around that a certain city councilor is leaving their current job to work in another field. So far, according to their work profiles online, they have not made that move yet. We will keep our eyes peeled since their new full-time employment could have some conflict of interest issues when it pertains to their votes on the dais.
WILL MY HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE COVER THE NEW SIDEWALK ORDINANCE?
Many people have been asking me about this change;
The owner(s) of such real property shall be liable to the city for any and all damage or injury caused by such neglect and shall be responsible for the costs of abating the public nuisance.
I am still baffled how a city can pass an ordinance that makes a homeowner responsible for injury that may occur on city owned property? Am I now going to be found responsible for a car accident in front of my house? I have argued for awhile that if property owners are responsible for all maintenance, and now insurance coverage, for the sidewalk in front of that property and boulevard, that property should be reverted to the property owner, and they can decide when and how they want to maintain it. I would probably tear out my sidewalk. The only person I see ever using it is my mailman, and he usually walks across the yards anyway.
As for the goofy grant program proposed by the city, a better alternative would be to go into these core neighborhoods with 2,600 violations and fix the whole street, curb and gutter, boulevard, sidewalk and lighting and forgo a complicated bureaucratic mess. But that would take forward thinking policies. All this grant program is is flim-flam puffery disguised as a solution.
WILL THE NEW EAT WELL PROGRAM BE JUST A WELFARE PROGRAM FOR BIG GROCERY DELIVERIES?
The $400K grant has to be specific. It has to provide affordable solutions to getting food to poorer neighborhoods. This is good. Councilor Brekke suggested using some of the money to create more community gardens and promote urban gardening. I know people in Sioux Falls that garden all year long inside and outside. I think we should spend the entire amount on it. We could also do classes on canning and other ways to preserve the food for winter months.
We should also use the money to create small fruit tree forests in our parks. We already pay dearly for maintaining our parks system. Does it really cost any more to maintain a fruit tree vs. a regular tree or bush?
What will most likely happen is a program that will subsidize the big grocery chains in Sioux Falls to deliver food to people’s homes. Unfortunately this is NOT a long term solution like urban gardening and once the money runs out, the program ends.
Like the sidewalk grant program, it would have just been easier to have a public meeting with citizens and stakeholders and carve out a city wide gardening and fruit forest system, but instead we are going to allow applicants to write the policy while collecting the money.
Once again, terrible policy because of the lack of vision, leadership, common sense and most importantly the war on open and transparent government.
A recent winning council candidate said that if elected he would make it his mission to engage the public. I think the first proposal to come out of his mouth on the dais is to pump the brakes on this and to engage the public about ideas, you know, the people paying for it.