Poops couldn’t resist to say the sky is falling in front of all of his Republican friends at his illegal meeting this morning;

“What might sound like a good plan and a win for the average person or family to have to pay a few cents less on consumables, depending on how it would be structured, could instead lead to decreased funding for essential services like street repair, snow removal, parks and rec programming, and funding staffing for our public safety team members,” TenHaken said.

Hogwash. When you have $80+ million in reserves and property taxes are thru the roof you can afford the cut.

It’s about budgeting (the city needs to adopt ZERO based budgeting). When we are taking out bonds for $100 million here and $77 million there, a bunker ramp disaster and millions and millions in tax rebates and TIFS, the city could easily manage without the food tax if they just stopped spending money foolishly.

Of course, the same BS comes from their collective mouths, like we may get an income tax. That will NEVER happen in SD. The likely scenario is the legislature raising taxes on all other items.

The way the initiative is written, cities in SD can still collect sales taxes on food, it only eliminates the state from that equation.

BUT, we could do a city petition to end the food tax in city limits, which is a distinct possibility.

The Chicken Littles in the world don’t want to give the little guy a break. This initiative will pass by over 70% of the vote and the only people that will vote against it are the rich that are worried about their property taxes going up more because of it.

It astonishes me that ANY elected official in SD would be against a food tax cut, especially the mayor of a city that has high levels of food insecurity.

I encourage EVERYONE to vote for the cut, and once we pass that, we move to taking it out in the city. Enough of this chickensh!t rhetoric.

I have been hearing rumors for weeks about some of the things in the bonds. I guess they may be released to the public tomorrow at the weekly presser (10:30 AM at city hall). Not sure though.

What I found out tonight (ironically a day before the big reveal) that several of the rumors were just that, rumors and nothing solid.

But this is what I do know. The city is considering buying a private fitness center with a pool and other fitness amenities like weights, basketball and racquetball.

I am NOT saying who it is, because as I mentioned several times, it is still a rumor, but seems more doable since the fitness center would be a nice fit for the city, but I am not sure why we are putting private facilities out of business to have the taxpayers subsidize them? I can see the cost savings buying an existing facility, but do we really need to?

NO.

And look at this private facility that just opened. Forty thousand square feet! I am assuming they are doing this facility to make a little revenue, so why does the city want to compete!?

Also, during the informational, Jensen asked finance (we have 37% in reserves) why we are NOT taking like $20 million out of the reserves and put towards the bonds so our interest payments are less. I was told just the bond payments and NOT the subsidies will cost us $5.7 million per year for the the next 20 years! Add subsidies for the refrigerated ice, and these facilities and you are looking at about $8-9 million per year.

And when will the council talk about the yearly subsidies? One councilor told me the administration still hasn’t given that info to the council. WHY!?

This is why I often am humored when our finance director comes to the microphone saying we need to preserve property tax increases and keeping the food tax otherwise we won’t be able to plow snow and fill potholes.

Baloney.

You have around $80 million in reserves. Why are you hoarding it? Some said the mayor wants to sit on the reserves for a downpayment on a new convention center. Who knows. When you collect taxes and there is more money coming in then you are spending, you either need to 1) spend it instead of bonding or 2) give refunds to people. I like #2.

Someone asked me why do you think the administration doesn’t want to knock $20 million off the loan? I said, it is because the city didn’t come up with the $70 million amount, ‘someone’ else did. My readers are smart, I’m sure you know what I mean.

I also find it amusing that the council is talking about the bond process publicly, released the amount, hired bond counsels, etc., yet they can’t tell us what is in there? Weird.

UPDATE: Looks like Don Swanson (parks director) explains a portion of the bonds, without mentioning the purchase.

I think this image says it best. A street light was taken out in front of Minerva’s downtown in front of Shriver. I laughed about the caution tape and the light was still operating. On the ground. Is it just me, or does the city seem a bit short staffed these days? Well, when you pay the COS a quarter million a year, and you don’t have well compensated staff to go out, and you know, shut off the light, so no one gets electrocuted.

UPDATE: I am being told the big reveal for Aquatics Bonds will be at the Wednesday Presser or at the State of the City address on Thursday. I assume they will release the details on Wednesday. Obviously councilors are NOT talking because the admin will put the data out there, BUT, at least two councilors told me they are concerned about how much we will be subsidizing the new facilities and that up until now the Parks Department and Mayor’s office has not released that data, as I am sure they won’t. As I mentioned before we already subsidize the Midco for over a Million a year. Add 2 or 3 more facilities and you are looking at a massive 30 year expense in maintenance, bond repayment and subsidies. So here is my request from the media. ASK THE QUESTION!!! HOW MUCH WILL WE BE SUBSIDIZING THESE FACILITIES?!

As I mentioned before, the current council’s last meeting is May 21. So between then and now they have to approve the aquatics bonds. The Parks Board has a monthly meeting around the 2nd or 3rd week of the month. As you can see, it has been suddenly cancelled. They were set to hear the bond details. I will be surprised if this council even gets to vote on the bonds, the way they continue to kick the can down the road tells me they are stalling. But why? I’m guessing the rumors I have been hearing about what is in there is probably becoming even more challenging to negotiate and you wonder if a deal may have fell thru.

Who knows?

I did have one small victory last week with the city and I will report about it in May once I review the materials.