During the regular city council meeting last night the council touched on several topics;


The director/president/CEO of the Pavilion told councilors during the contract renewal last night that they needed a $5 Million dollar ‘reserve’ in case they have some struggles. While I would agree they do need a slush fund, most of those reserves should be in an endowment fund that earns money thru it’s investment. It is insane that the city continues to dump millions each year into the Pavilion for maintenance and operating while the Pavilion stuffs private and Federal contributions into a savings account. Councilors defended the reserve. Of course they did.


I do support the increase, which is actually very minimal to even the largest property owners DTSF;

Druley did not specify what Raven’s new assessment would be, although a 377% increase over the assessment’s current cap of $1,700 would come to $8,109.

I’m glad our local paper hasn’t taken away their reporters calculators . . . yet.

I find it shocking that TWO properties (Raven and Sunshine/Norberg Paints-which are in the same building) can have this sort of deferral control over the council. This was vetted by DTSF and after it was explained to me it is easy to understand and why NO OTHER downtown property owners that have valuations over $1 million have come out opposed to this;

Batcheller has said the change would affect 88 buildings in the district and bring in another $160,000 per year, and estimated that Cherapa Place’s expansion and the Sioux Steel district could account for another $115,000.

It’s really not that much money, but that didn’t stop the threats;

And she floated the threat of the company leaving the downtown area as well.

“Raven is accountable to its shareholders and its board, and it’s harder to justify its presence in downtown Sioux Falls as expenses increase relative to the benefit they get,” Druley said.

See yah later!

What was NOT mentioned by the council or Raven’s legal counsel is that Raven is no longer a locally owned business. It is now owned by a very, very, very, wealthy Italian family. I have assumed after the purchase that the new owners will look to consolidate and possibly leave Sioux Falls anyway and there is very little the city can do to stop it. I hope that doesn’t happen, but we have NO guarantees it won’t.

Also not factored into their crocodile tears is that Raven has benefitted from the millions of dollars taxpayers have invested in the River Greenway making more of an attractive workplace downtown. The promotion of DTSF has also benefitted Sunshine Foods, the only FULL SERVICE grocery store in the center of downtown. I have been shopping there for 30 years, and I have seen how the store has improved it’s image in step with DTSF improving it’s overall image.

Funny how the council will keel over when ONE hired gun lawyer makes veiled threats but when dozens of citizens show up to the meetings to oppose rezones, bunker ramps, etc., they ignore the warnings.

The council should have just voted YES last night to the increase and thanked Raven for their concerns. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.


While I applaud the efforts, we can’t ignore the 700 pound turd floating down the river;

Entenman notes that 78 percent of the stream miles of the Big Sioux watershed – which is the size of New Jersey – are impaired, meaning the water quality doesn’t meet certain standards, either through contamination with E. coli or other issues, primarily from runoff – from agricultural practices to city streets and residential yards.

Unless you can get the property owners (mostly ag) along the Big Pioux to actively stop that runoff, you will NEVER be able to clean up that river.

“What is the point in putting multimillion-dollar buildings on the shores of the river if it’s polluted,” Entenman said.

I have asked that question for decades.


After Noem and the state legislature’s right wing radicals approved open/concealed carry laws there has been a large increase in gun violence in the state’s largest city. I don’t think that is a coincidence;

Court records indicate Billion was shot with one of four stolen guns from the McKennan Park neighborhood. They were all taken from the same truck.

And there are ZERO consequences for the incredibly irresponsible gun owner, but they do have to live with the guilt, poor fella;

It’s something people have to live with and I’d say that’s one of the unintended consequences if you happen to leave your gun in an unlocked garage, car, house whatever it may be and it ends up stolen,” Sioux Falls Police Information Officer Sam Clemens said.

While I don’t think this reckless gun owner should go to jail, I do think they should face a very heavy fine and be banned from ever owning a gun. While the city has had ordinance bans on tobacco and alcohol use in our public parks, fines for not trimming your trees or scooping your sidewalks and bans on texting and driving the state legislature and city council seem to lack the courage to punish irresponsible gun owners when their stolen property is used to murder our citizens.

I am hoping with the influence the Billion family has in our community they would pressure the legislature, the governor and the city council to implement reasonable gun control laws so there is a least some consequences for not securing a deadly weapon.

10 Thoughts on “Sioux Falls City Council Tidbits

  1. D@ily Spin on December 7, 2022 at 10:39 am said:

    The Wahington Bazilion needs a slush fund but 5 million is absurd.
    Taxing downtown business could curb growth. Sales tax should be enough. The county collects property tax based on valuation. Not a good idea for city government to impose more.
    To late for the Sioux River bypass. Any dredging would invoke a federal cleanup. This is a NY style Love Canal. There’s no cure. Keep this problem quiet as long as possible.
    It’s a Republican state. Gun control, not gonna happen. The best hope is federal restrictions. Them Dems are in power. With but a few more massacres, there will be stricter regulation. Meanwhile,wear your vest and wait for bullet proof cars to come in an electric version.

  2. D@ily Spin on December 7, 2022 at 10:48 am said:

    No doubt Raven will be leaving. There’s a better location near or across the Mexican border with cheaper labor, better transportation, and good weather. The only thing Italians recognize farm states for is flour to make pasta.

  3. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on December 7, 2022 at 1:21 pm said:

    There used to be an enclave of Italians out in Edgemont during WWII. Think of it as an imprisoned CCC camp. That’s why Edgemont is still known today for its pizza: Uranium stone cooked pizza, YUM!

  4. As if anything gets enforced in this town.

  5. Very Stable Genius on December 7, 2022 at 8:24 pm said:

    The original gun owner, due to his/her negligent handling of his/her gun(s), should be subjected to a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court for the death of Mr. Billion…. And, all guns should have to have an insurance policy attached to them to address such a possible negligence.

  6. Mike Lee Zitterich on December 8, 2022 at 1:18 pm said:

    The BID Tax is adopted by the property owners of the ‘area’ and not charged to no one else. But to Raven’s poit, they should be part of the conversation, as they are the largest property holder in the Downtown Area, let alone, are residing on “Historic Property” near what was Seney Island. They have been on the property since the late 1920’s, and should have a voice in the public matter. I do support any group of business property holders of a given area to work together to create a Business Improvement District, I am trying to work with property holders in the West Sioux Area between Russell Street and Madison Street and I-29 in the west, to Minnesota Avenue to the east. All property holders in the have to be onboard to assess a any form of a ‘tax’ to the business activity wihin their district. The “FEES” are then used to operate their organization in for maintenance, repairs, business services, public ammunities, improvements etc. I have no problem with this, so long as they are all on board. Look at Downtown today, compared to 1980. I supported the the tax increase, but also supported Raven’s right to delay the discussions for 1 to 2 weeks. More Education the better. Raven may have some solutions…I only wish we had more Business Improvement Districts in town.

  7. Negligence? on December 8, 2022 at 2:32 pm said:

    You guys do realize open carry has alway been legal, right? Concealed is the only thing opened up, as it should…makes you lib’rals scared of metal and plastic feel safe? It’s really sad that someone can steal someone’s property, use it in a shooting, and you want the owner to pay? Maybe make laws against theft, murder, and robbery? But no, you want to attack LEGAL gun owners. There’s one in my car right now, loaded, and it stays there so I have it when needed.

  8. Say, ‘Negligence?”

    The problem with your logic is that I would agree you have the right, for now, to keep it in your vehicle and loaded, but the vehicle is locked, right? Else, it’s negligence on your part if the gun is ever stolen.

    With every right there’s a mutual responsibility. If you are negligent, then you are not being responsible.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Why did I know they would start coming out of the woodwork again?”… )

  9. Again, if someone steals my gun, why would I be held responsible? Isn’t there a law (and a commandment) against it? Shouldn’t the theif transfer liability once the piece of shit steals it? OR, is it because the theif would most likely be a Democrat?

  10. Again,

    It’s what lawyers call the deep pocket. The owner is most likely the dp and not the th(ie)f. And the dp is no doubt a part of the chain of responsibility.

    ( and Woodstock adds: “When it comes to woodwork, there is nothing worse than cheap paneling”… )

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