Recently Joe Kirby wrote a post about why another slaughterhouse is NOT a good idea for Sioux Falls;
Slaughterhouses are a horrible fit for our community. Affordable housing and workforce availability are already huge concerns. The idea of adding lots of difficult, low-paying, low-skill jobs, the type that have traditionally been a drag on our progress and success, makes no sense to me. And expanding the presence inside our city of an industry which has long caused pollution problems in our river and air makes no sense. I simply don’t understand why we would want more of this in Sioux Falls.
I agree, I don’t want another slaughterhouse built, but I would much more prefer there was an effort to not only STOP Wholestone but to close down Smithfields.
The issue with this entire fiasco has nothing to do with Wholestone vs. the Citizens vs. the City, it has to do with South Dakota voters, including right here in Sioux Falls who vote against their own interests. When the City Council passed Shape Places, several citizens said this was a bad thing and wanted to see some changes to the zoning ordinances, so they referred it to a vote. The development community along with some councilors said nothing to see here, move along, and the voters ultimately passed the original plan.
The argument then is still the argument today, Shape Places took power away from the council to make conditional use decisions, and when you take power from our citizen representatives, you take power from us.
I think if the council still had that power instead giving total control over to the developers Wholestone would have been denied by the Council or scaled way back and it has little to do with water quality or air quality, it has to do with water supply.
Where do you think WF will get their water? The reason WF is building within the city limits has nothing to do with the labor market, it has to do with using city resources, they will be using a lot.
Besides letting the developers take over almost all branches of city government we have also let them plan this city instead of the government and citizens;
Granted, the city does a lot of planning. It has a parks plan, a capital spending plan, a downtown plan and much more. But I am not aware of any sort of comprehensive plan for our city with direct participation of the mayor and council. In support of that, some council members and candidates have told me they wished they could be involved in that sort of big-picture, strategic planning. If there was such a plan, I doubt it would have included the phrase, “add more slaughterhouses”.
This is something Janet Brekke stressed in her entire 4 years on the council. Her colleagues on the dais ignored her and did nothing. I think if she would have gotten re-elected and we would have changed a couple of other seats, Brekke would have been successful moving it forward.
Once again, in Sioux Falls and the rest of the state we continue to vote against our own best interests, and until that changes, you will see NO change in the status quo; DEVELOPERS RUN OUR CITY.