This was the analogy Mayor TenHaken gave at the State of the City address when a public event was suddenly hi-jacked by people who want to make a lot of cashola on the Riverline District.
To Poops credit he did make some admissions such as the difficulty of building housing in the area (he said people were not suggesting housing, even though I read most of the comments when the survey was live and there were many housing suggestions). He also brought up the natural springs in the area (without mentioning that building on top of them with permanent structures would be difficult). But where I had to giggle a bit was when Paul suggested that the comments about building a baseball stadium in the area were ‘Hot & Cold’.
Before we get to his lipstick job he applied to this very ugly pig, what made it even more amusing is Paul’s seemingly lack of gravitas when trying to sell the public on this. I read most of the comments, to say they were hot or cold isn’t untrue, but about 90% or more were pretty damn cold on the stadium idea.
Over a year ago a citizen involved with community and neighborhood planning told me about a closed survey they sent out to a specific group. The link provided accidentally got shared with others and someone who wanted to see different results decided to have a little fun. The survey was filled out by the same IP address over 100 times. My point is, surveys can be fudged and are NOT scientific. I have yet to run into one single person who wants to see a new stadium built downtown.
There will be a privately funded economic impact study done soon and hopefully have results in July. Unfortunately this $200K private study will be funded by 20 private banking firms in South Dakota. What’s that saying about thumbs and scales?
Personally I think this would be a fantastic spot for a multi-story convention center with a green space attached that could be used for conventions. The obvious problem with this scenario is we already have a convention center and this would probably be a $100 million dollar project (funded by taxpayers). We could repurpose the current convention center as a rec center, but once again, where will the money come from?
I am all for the Riverline District, but I think the private investors and banksters can manage this all by their lonesome and if the city needs to put in a yield sign or a swing set, we can assist.
Poops says he doesn’t like the term legacy but pretty much wanted to make the Riverline Project his legacy. He may get it, and he may not like the results (think buckled siding, failed HVACs and Bunker Ramps).
I can almost guarantee if there is a proposal passed by the city council to bond for a multi-million dollar rec center or stadium, the signatures WILL be collected and it WILL go to a public vote which will need a 60% threshold to pass muster.
I guess the proposed pool bonds are rumored to be at or above $70 million.
Towards the end of the address, Poops recognizes Dawn Marie Johnson who is running for School Board with an election less then a month away. While I didn’t hear him mention she was running for school board, it certainly was dubious timing to recognize her accomplishments (during a public meeting funded by taxpayers). There are campaign rules about using public funds or venues to promote a candidacy. Just last year David Z was cut off at public input for violating those rules. Granted, I am unaware if Dawn knew he was going to do that, (and an attendee told me that he didn’t even see her there) and in no way is it a reflection on her or her campaign, but Paul seems to think he is some kind of king maker after the last city election. If I were Dawn, I would politely ask Mayor TenHaken to keep his endorsements to himself, she will do just fine on her own.
FACEBOOK AND RESERVATIONS
At the beginning of the SOC, Poops asked for people to eat up. Kind of confused that there would be any leftovers with all the reservations.
Public meetings are just that PUBLIC. Not only should there have been no muffins and coffee (unless paid for by a private donor) there certainly should NOT have been reservations. I was informed it was light grab and go pastries and the city did pay for them.
This also should have streamed in SIRE (city website meeting page), siouxfalls.org/live, CityLink, YouTube and Facebook. The media department has the technology to do this if they so choose. Heck, Dakotanewsnow even figured out how to stream it.
Also, public meetings (unless part of a pre-arranged presentation to the council or public input) are not a place for private investors to try to sell us on something we have no interest in buying. The SOC is a time for the mayor to share with the public the past and present accomplishments of city government and what the future holds, which PTH did do in between the school board endorsements, pie in the sky baseball stadium proposals, telling Jensen to stand up, looking for Tom Greco and trying to determine if a map is orange.
I will defend PTH on trying to utilize technology to reach out to the public, but shouldn’t this utilization come with more openness and transparency? Who am I kidding.