During the city council informational meeting last night (sorry for the jacked up link, but the city has been busy trying to make it harder to access the videos and agendas-WHO USES DOUBLE SCROLL BARS!?) councilor Jensen was addressing the proposed mixed use ordinance.

The point of the new ordinance is to help encourage mixed use housing and retail in higher density areas. Something that is long overdue.

Councilor Merkouris suggested during the item discussion that maybe there should be more requirements when it comes to the type of varied construction and units a developer builds.

Councilor Soehl protested based purely on citizens griping to him about the transition between single family and multi-family and having to be the one to make the decision.

Well after almost 8 years on the city council, Mr. Soehl has finally figured out he is part of the policy body of city government and sometimes has to make decisions that affect real people’s lives. Who knew?

His partner in crime and fellow lazy leadership companion, Alex Jensen had an even better solution, let the developers determine zoning and development.

After I stopped laughing at the initial statements, I realized as Alex continued to stammer and mumble he was dead serious. He feels the development community should just determine long term growth and housing.

Well guess what Alex, we have allowed this to happen over the past 30 years and what it has created is a cottage industry of developers building McMansions and condos (with TIF funded parking ramps attached) while ignoring our workforce and affordable housing crunch in Sioux Falls. We let the industry fart around long enough it is time we changed ordinances to encourage this kind of growth instead.

Of course, I don’t expect any major changes during the cruise control administration. They will probably just take the initial proposal, water it down and have have the Pumpkin Policy Advisor re-write it.

The developers run the city and at least two city councilors proved it in their testimonies.


During the meeting last night councilor Starr asked for an item to be removed from the consent agenda. He also followed protocol and informed the department within the city the day before that he had questions about the item. No one showed up to answer the questions. So now the administration isn’t even bothering to show up to council meetings?


During last week’s operations committee meeting the council discussed how to hire and maintain city council employees. After listening to the discussion it makes you wonder who has been managing the city council employees? Certainly not the council or leadership. My suggestion all along was to bump up the pay a little to the operations manager and make him king sh!t of the council employees. If there is any problems he can’t deal with he can bring those to the council in an executive session. I am not sure why the council likes to make things so complicated? I think they only have 5-6 full-time employees, that’s less then a food truck.


I’m still baffled why the Mayor thinks he can ask for registration of a public event;

Mayor Paul TenHaken will deliver the 2023 State of the City address on Monday, April 17 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. that day. This year’s event will feature a special panel discussion on the Riverline District.

The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested by April 7 because breakfast will be served. Please note that seating is limited, but the address will be available to view via livestream on the City of Sioux Falls’ Facebook page.

First off, you don’t need to register for a public event, this is just a way to collect data on who may be attending and secondly, who is paying for the breakfast?

It seems they will also be shoving the Riverline District down our throats whether we like it or not, even recruiting Jodi to write a column about the possibilities;

Based on the comments, there is a clear reluctance from many who participated in this exercise to support a large-scale publicly funded sports venue. To be clear, I did not read all the comments and I have not seen the results of the survey that went with this, which might give a broader look at the sentiment. But each time I saw someone mention a stadium, the number of negative reactions far exceeded the number of positives.

Besides the very glaring and obvious sentiment taxpayers don’t want us to invest in a baseball stadium there are other issues that NO one wants to talk about;

• Besides infrastructure (like roads, utilities and green space) citizen taxpayers should not be involved in any type of purchase agreement with this land. We will take care of the infrastructure, let the developers take care of the investment

• Housing will be a challenge. Unless there is some long term plan to create a quiet zone in the area or remove the tracks all together, it will be a hard sell putting apartments next to the busiest train line downtown.

• Drake Springs limits permanent development. One of the main reasons a stadium or other outdoor venue is being pushed is because where the Drake Springs lie would cause water issues with any permanent structure. In other words because of the natural springs in a large part of this area, green space will be the ONLY option.

I’m not sure why the mayor is pushing this development so hard, but if I had to guess it is because some of his friends involved with this are looking to pad their pockets on the backs of taxpayers because that is how it is done in Sioux Falls. Play ball!

8 Thoughts on “Sioux Falls City Councilor Jensen; Let the Developers figure it out

  1. Very Stable Genius on April 5, 2023 at 12:27 pm said:

    Let the developers do it. It’s called letting the market solve the problem. Meanwhile, the people suffer.

  2. Denise on April 5, 2023 at 1:49 pm said:

    my hot take: Jensen stammered because the mayor gave him the talking points during the pre-meeting selfie.

  3. Jeff Barth on April 5, 2023 at 2:54 pm said:

    One of the tough things about these elected jobs is telling people what they don’t want to hear.

  4. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on April 5, 2023 at 3:46 pm said:

    Have you heard about the parody to the Alfie theme song? It’s called Selfie with lines like this:

    “What’s it all about, Selfie (Alfie)?
    Is it just for the moment we live?
    What’s it all about when you sort it out, Selfie (Alfie)?
    Are we meant to take more than we give
    Or are we meant to be kind?”….

  5. l3wis on April 5, 2023 at 11:52 pm said:

    I guess a couple of city councilors are going to try to ride public transit for a week to see what it is like. But one of the councilors said they would not. They told a citizen that the buses are dirty and he doesn’t want to catch something. That’s interesting. I wonder if this person has ever stayed at an economy hotel, visited a friend at the hospital, drank or ate at a crowded bar or restaurant, or been to a sold out show at the Denty? I hate to sound like his 1st grade teacher, but guess what, germs are everywhere. What he was really saying is, I’m too good to ride on public transit. You can make a pretty good guess of who this person is.

  6. scott on April 6, 2023 at 8:57 am said:

    like that one commercial kelo ran during covid said, “wash your hands, because germs and jesus are everywhere.”

  7. If the buses are dirty, then isn’t it that councilors job to make them cleaner? How can we be One Sioux Falls if some care not to be a part of the One?

    ( and the President said: “I don’t want to hear about the war…. Because I think we are losing it”…. )

  8. "Woodstock" on April 6, 2023 at 3:01 pm said:

    “Say, maybe these Christians kids would rather clean buses than paint plows, huh?”…. “It like Jesus washing feet”…

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