I will agree that the school bond would pass. There really wasn’t much opposition and with only the Argus and this blog giving voters ALL of the factual information. I don’t have an issue with the turnout (numbers) of 16,000 either. I figured it would be around that.

UPDATE: There is now a rumor going around that the SFSD is telling the media that Minnehaha County (auditor’s office) cancelled a contract with the SFSD to handle any of their elections. A county official told me tonight that NEVER came in front of the County Commission to review and I know that Litz said he was willing to run the school bond election if the SFSD asked him to. So who cancelled this supposed contract? Well, that would seem to be the SFSD. Also, as I understand it these ‘contracts’ are for EACH election when the election presents itself. In other words even if there was a contract, a NEW contract for the school bond issue could have been written up with the County Auditor’s office. I also know that Theresa Stehly had a one-on-one meeting asking, if not begging, the Superintendent to run this election through the Auditor’s office using all the precincts, absentee voting at the county admin building and machine tabulation and record keeping. It fell on deaf ears. So the bigger question is why would the SFSD now be starting this ‘rumor’? Are they trying to hide something? In my research there are no state laws barring the SFSD from handling their own election or using district employees to tabulate. It just doesn’t look good, at all.

But besides the stuff Bruce pointed out in his press release yesterday, I caught an interesting video on KELOLAND’s Facebook page of Brady Mallory. He was showing how volunteers were hand tabulating the votes. That seemed like a normal process except for all the SFSD administrators hovering over them (which some people complained about). But where it got even more suspicious was when Brady pointed to the TWO people who were entering the numbers into the computer (screenshot below – video coming soon) without independent oversight from volunteers watching to see if they are entering the numbers correctly.

A couple of foxes tabulating the Hen election

So who are these two? The Business Manager for the SFSD, Todd Vik and the Program Director for the SFSD, Doug Morrison. I’m certainly not accusing them of tampering with the vote, BUT, there certainly wasn’t anyone watching them to make sure they were doing it right. I spoke with Mallory this morning and he told me that he thought they were just entering the numbers for the website. So who was entering the numbers in the system?

Also, Bev Chase said on one of the TV stations last night that the ‘ballots will be destroyed after the election.’ while she is allowed to do that, she has to hold on them for 2 years before she does that in case there needs to be a review of the results.

This election should have been handled independently by the County Auditor or even City Clerk and tabulated by machine. At the very least it should have been monitored by Bob Litz or the SOS. There was NO independent review or watchful eyes.

Unfortunately in the past when we have had questions or complaints about elections we are told to ‘hire an attorney’. The SOS refuses to look into as well as the AG and the State’s attorney who has often used as an excuse “I have too many murder cases to worry about.” Even County Auditor Bob Litz has given up. The ACLU has also not bothered to look into it even though we warned them before the election that this was not on the up and up. I guess they are more concerned about bathrooms and abortion than they are about fair and balanced elections.

So why as a taxpayer should I have to hire a private attorney to investigate a government entity that I fund and an election that I fund? F’ing ludicrous.

I figured I would get a head of this before Tuesday. The writing is on the wall, the bond issue will likely pass with at least 62% of the vote.

There are a lot of factors, such as a special election in the middle of September, which will assure a low voter turnout with only those wanting this showing up to the polls. There is also the possibility of the E-Poll books and hand tabulation going awry, but even if it does, that won’t change many votes.

Yesterday the Chamber and other businesses endorsed the bond. One of them was Sanford. The Sanford endorsement made me chuckle considering the fact that Sanford got a $9 million dollar TIF for the sports complex (essentially money that will be rebated back to them instead of funding education). I guess it’s easy to endorse a $300 million dollar property tax increase when you don’t have to pay towards it.

One of the latest arguments from the Chamber Hob Knobbers is economic development and growth. “People won’t want to move here if we don’t have good schools.” Why is growth for growth sake a worthy cause? And with half the kids in the District on Free or Reduced lunches it is pretty obvious we are not exactly a high-wage community. I would think what a job pays would be more of concern to moving to Sioux Falls than good schools.

I have said a real economic impact on our city would be giving out FREE birth control instead of FREE lunches. You don’t have to educate or feed a kid that is never born.

So what is the real reason I think this will pass?

There is NO real organized opposition to this. While I am disappointed that the State’s Attorney, Secretary of State or Attorney General isn’t investigating possible violations of campaign rules or the shady ‘IN-HOUSE’ election, there isn’t much I can do to stop this steam roller. The ACLU was even asked to investigate the ‘super precincts’ to see if that was even Federally legal. No avail.

Sioux Falls is just going to get a little more expensive to live after Tuesday. With a $48 million dollar jail, $260 million dollar waste treatment plant and $300 million in schools, I have to think of the famous words of the Seattle band Mudhoney, time for leaving is now;

We are going to have 13 precincts and hand count a $300 million dollar tax increase;

5. Amending Previous School Board Action

    Bev Chase 367-7905

Amending Action 38091, adopted 7-23-18, by acknowledging for the record that the Board has directed the administration to designate the whole District as one precinct, use 13 Vote Centers for the Special Bond Election and further stating for the record that the administration will count the votes manually

This is beyond ludicrous. The School Board should be embarrassed they would ask voters for this large of a tax increase with 13 precincts and no record of tabulation by using a machine.

I used to tell Former Mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut that just saying something is transparent doesn’t automatically make it transparent. It seems our school board suffers from the same affliction. After I grilled them about the unknowns and the lack of transparency they bragged about how transparent the process has been without answering my questions, and they were pretty simple;

• What is the final cost of this 30 year bond? The Finance Director fumbled around this question only saying the last bond was paid off early.

• Are we using super precincts and E-Poll books? No answer.

• Will the county be handling tabulation and absentee voting? No answer.

• What is the compounding affect of the tax. Super Maher said, “You will pay $2 per $185K valuation.” No answer.

• How will you fund staffing/maintenance of the schools? No answer.

• Another lady asked how many homes will be destroyed building a new Whittier? No answer except that they haven’t picked locations yet. How do you have a dollar amount of new construction when you don’t know what land you are going to purchase?

• Why was the survey sent to non-voters? They said this was for ‘educating’ purposes. Just because some has the information doesn’t mean they will vote. The survey doesn’t mean a hill of beans.

Like I said, there was a lot of back patting about how they took 18 months to get here, but little answers to the important questions.

A question I have often pondered is, “If you don’t tell someone the information to begin with, is it lying?” No. But it is incredibly deceptive.

Nothing more disheartening then when government entities bring in hired guns and after the smoke clears they leave for greener pastures;

The South Dakota Board of Regents CEO and Director, Brian Maher, has been selected as a finalist for the next Nebraska Commissioner of Education.

Maher was with us in South Dakota for almost 8 years and in his two positions he has left quite the impact. He was rumored to have been brought in to get the school bond passed ($300 million bond debt). You remember that one with hand counting by district employees and computer tabulation input by administrators.

I hope the Nebraska board of education takes a deep dive into Maher’s history in South Dakota; saddling Sioux Falls residents with millions in debt and leaving the SDBOR in cultural disarray. Seems like some good resume builders. You also wonder what kind of pension, if any, Maher will be receiving from either the SFSD or the SDBOR (he may not be getting anything besides his salary, maybe something the media should look into).

Well at least he isn’t moving to California 🙁