Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, it’s been awhile since I did one of these these, but there are some notables on the agendas worth mentioning.
Regulatory Oversight Committee Tuesday, January 16, 2024 at 2:30 PM* (*The meeting will begin following adjournment of the Informational Meeting)
Not sure how you have a 2:30 meeting after a 4 PM meeting? Anyway, they will continue to discuss the childcare issues in our town even though we know what the issues are and we need action, not more discussions. I encourage the council to implement ordinances that encourage businesses to take advantage of Federal tax benefits from helping with childcare costs. I would also encourage the city council to put together a resolution acknowledging that the BOE needs to be exploring more options when it comes to after school care programs and public pre-K options. Sometimes public money doesn’t mix well with private enterprise, I think childcare is a good example of this. But there are oodles of programs that can promote more affordable childcare, it just takes bold policy.
• Ethics Ordinance Update. I was informed this is just an overview of the recent changes.
Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub Items 6-7, Transit services for LifeScape and Dakotabilities, $900K. (We have been subsidizing these services for years, and that is a good thing, but it appears with a change in transit providers those assumed costs have risen. I still think the solution that councilor Merkouris has suggested is to just make transit free for everyone in Sioux Falls. Why subsidize one group over another? Basically if you are a veteran, a minor or disabled, you ride for free, or greatly discounted. There are also many other discounts people can apply for. End the silly hoops game. Expand the service areas and offer it for free to EVERYONE. I would even encourage a pilot program of 3 months in the winter and 3 months in summer, and see if ridership improves?)
Item #33, The proposed resolution adopts the job description for a new city council staff position titled, “Executive Support Coordinator”. (While I would not argue with council on whether they need more support staff or not since we probably haven’t added many council staffers in the past 100K of population growth. And with the destruction of the internal audit department by councilor Jensen, council staff has actually shrunk. I have argued for a long time that they need to eliminate the legislative advisor and marry those duties into the operations position. We already pay a lobbyist to handle that stuff, we don’t need a full-time staffer farting around with it. We also should just have two Co-City Clerks who have equal power and duties that they share. As for the new position, not a bad idea, but they should have also been a paralegal so they can assist the council on their main job besides constituent interaction, ADOPTING AND CREATING POLICY. They also need their own attorney. What concerns me about this new position is it seems they will have expectations of them above and beyond what a civil service employee should be expected to do;
While 99% of this paragraph is spot on, I don’t think a city council staffer should be resolving any issues with constituents independently. Emotions, politics, family, etc., can be involved when constituents have complaints for their elected officials. This is NOT the job of support staff. They should gather the information and dump that request into the council’s inbox.
This isn’t rocket science. If the job is to much for you, or doesn’t pay enough, resign. I never understand folks who run for office then act surprised they actually have to do something. Knuckleheads.
UPDATE: I have been hearing rumblings from council they are working on several different transparency and open government ordinances before some of them walk out of office this Spring. Several have been mentioned, but not sure which ones will make it. One of them involves a central calendar on the city website for public meetings and other gatherings and another involves live streaming city meetings on other platforms besides just SIRE and FB. There are also some other goodies coming in February 🙂 but I am just going to sit on my smile for now.