Besides raising utility rates (Items #47-54) and hiring a new city clerk (Item #60) the council is also proposing this (Item #45);

The proposed ordinance removes any mention of an internal audit job title. The proposal also includes language that allows for a co-source internal audit function.

After a brief discussion with the Audit Committee they have decided to move forward with using outside services for Internal Audit. I am adamantly opposed to this. While other communities do this, it is rare. They either have NO internal audit or an actual internal auditing department.

I do understand that every community has to weigh their options when it comes to this department, but we are not making this change because of evidence of improving the system or to save the city money this is being done out of utter laziness of the council. They should do a national search to hire an Internal Audit manager with audit experience and 1-2 more internal auditors. Instead spending the council’s budget on monogram’s shirts (that they wear under their corporate monogram’s black sleeveless puffy vests) they should hire a consultant to provide them applicants. If we got around 200 applicants for city clerk, I would think a national search for auditors would be gang busters!

BTW, the word ‘Internal’ is in the department name!

I have no problem letting outside entities take a peak at the work the internal audit staff is doing, but we should not be jobbing out this important department out of laziness.

As I predicted the policy banning petitioners from certain areas of the courthouse grounds was unconstitutional, and a Federal judge agrees for now;

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a policy recently approved by the Minnehaha County Commission that would have restricted where petition circulators could gather signatures near two county buildings in downtown Sioux Falls.

I also predict the commission will cave on the lawsuit and this will never make the light of day in a courtroom. Unlike the city, the county isn’t real keen on fighting lawsuits, especially ones that have the constitution on their side.

While I do know the name of the former Republican Legislator who pushed a petitioner, I am keeping that under wraps for now just in case it becomes an issue in court.

Maybe our new auditor needs to read Kristi Noem’s book, because she could use some help in her second rodeo.

UPDATE II: At their discussion today, Council Vice-Chair Alex Jensen said the reason audits have been down is because of staff turnover. They currently have only one full-time auditor. So why not hire more people! What a concept. As the city’s human resources department has been handing out hiring bonuses like candy maybe it is time to take that approach to finding more auditors. The city isn’t looking to hire a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist, if you hire a employment consultant to do a national search I can almost guarantee you would have qualified applicants within 30 days.

The committee voted to explore a hybrid model for the internal audit in which they would have internal staff and external auditors. I am adamantly opposed. It would make more sense to just hire a couple more auditors instead of fiddling around with private CPA companies auditing our departments. The name of the department is ‘internal audit’ and it should remain that way, internal.

If you look at the agenda for Wednesday’s Audit Committee meeting you will see this;

• Internal Audit Outsourcing

I was told today by a city hall mole that the council was unaware of this recommendation and that is likely coming from *COUNCIL LEADERSHIP.

While we do use some outside auditing for the city it is important to maintain an internal department that is a check on the administration and it’s financial systems. The council needs to be in control of this department. If we outsource internal audit there would no longer be an internal city government check on the mayor’s/department’s spending power.


The recommendations of internal audit on NON-RFP’s shouldn’t surprise any of us;

Recommendation 1: We recommend updating EO 104 to reflect the current qualifications-based selection practices. We also recommend that updated verbiage provide significantly more detail outlining the procedural steps (soliciting proposals, vendor qualifications, staffing evaluation panels, documenting evaluation panel outcomes, and negotiating contract price/specifications) and documentation required to enhance internal controls, accountability, and consistency.

This applies to how the city hands out Architecture and Engineering design contracts (City spends about $10 million a year). When NOT using the tried and true system of RFP (Request for Proposal) things are kind of being done in the dark with NO paper trail;

Finding 1: EO 104 Language Out of Date.
• We found that Executive Order 104 lacked adequate, current detail to provide a uniform procedure for securing A/E professional services which is the purpose of the Executive Order. Additionally, some of the procedural language currently included is out of date with current practices. EO 104 refers to a guideline no longer available from the American Council of Engineering Companies of South Dakota.
Finding 2: Lack of Documentation for the Selection Process.
• We were unable to verify if several of the procedures for selecting A/E services were in compliance with EO 104, City policy, and best practices due to lack of supporting documentation stored with the contract in Munis. Documentation must be maintained to provide support and transparency for the QBS process to be in line with best practices.
Finding 3: Maintenance of Approved A/E Firms list does not comply with EO 104.
• Engineering currently does not maintain any qualification documents on the A/E firms selected for projects that don’t need to undergo an RFP. However, EO 104 states that, “It shall be the responsibility of the Engineering Department to establish and maintain an approved list of A/E firms that have submitted qualifications for each type of professional services that may be sought by the City of Sioux Falls. The selection of all services are to be limited to those firms on the approved qualified list.”

There is no list of NON-RFP qualified bidders, no paper trail (or at least one saved), no qualifications or requirements listed and no reference to the selection criteria. In other words this is entirely up to the administration as to who gets picked based on a secret process.

The council really needs to put their foot down and demand we eliminate the NON-RFP process for these contracts. It’s dark; figuratively and literally.


Informational Meeting • 4 PM

• Downtown Parking Ramp Update by Erica Beck, Chief of Staff

• Parks and Recreation – Ice Plex/Tennis Center Updates by Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub-Item #16, Professional Services Agreement for Site Selection, Study for Sioux Area Metro Consultant will complete a site selection analysis of a maximum of five sites, including the existing site and planning-level cost estimate for a new transit office and garage facility for Sioux Area Metro. TSP, Inc., $94,600. (while the city may want to tell you that they are just considering moving the Bus Barn, it is pretty obvious that they plan to move it for a developer that wants the current location. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this site, it just needs to be remodeled and upgraded. I also find it a bit odd with the hundreds of city employees that work in engineering and public works that we can’t study a proposal internally.)

Item #12, 1st reading, Background & Objective: Ordinance supplements the Sales Tax Fund by an additional $2M for arterial street improvements resulting from platting fee projected revenues in excess of budget expectations and $70K for Police to purchase a vehicle using federal grant dollars; and supplements the General Fund by $100K for Fire due to high fuel costs; $500K for Parks and Recreation primarily due to high fuel costs and spring storm damage repairs; and $400K for the Planning Department based on higher than anticipated lodging at ESF BID tax revenues that are subsequently transmitted to Experience Sioux Falls. (The $500K for parks cleanup is kind of surprising since we are told all the time that the city keeps track of storm cleanup so they can get Federal reimbursement).

Item #13, 1st Reading, Background & Objective: This is the development agreement between the City and Nielson Development for TIF #26. This agreement is for up to $2,140,000, plus financing costs of eligible expenses to assist in funding the development activities required to create an accessible housing subdivision, which includes the site improvements infrastructure, utilities and professional services to develop the site. The end result will include 65 single-family housing units that will be priced below the South Dakota Housing First Time Homebuyer pricing. (this is a TIF that will NOT be passed on to the new homeowners. It is simply keeping the costs down for the developer and the banks that are funding the development. It has also been stated in the media that this will do nothing to provide affordable housing.)

Items #14-15, Resolutions, Background & Objective: Resolution to approve a new five-year facilities management agreement for the Events Center Complex with ASM Global Arena Management, LLC for the period of January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2027. ASM Global Arena Management, LLC is the current facility manager for the Events Center Complex.

Background & Objective: Resolution to approve a new five-year food and beverage services agreement with Ovations Food Services for the period of January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2027. Ovations Food Services is the current food and beverage service provider for the Events Center Complex.

(Notice in the audit meeting on Thursday below that they have audits of these facilities ready but are NOT releasing the information before the 1st reading tonight. I have also implored the council to pass a bond ticket fee of at least $5 per ticket to help pay down the bonds. Councilors and management have complained that promoters would not come here if that attached ticket fee applied. Hogwash. The fee doesn’t take profits away from the management company, the promoters or the artists, it is an additional fee paid for by the very people who use the facility. If you can afford a $150 dollar ticket fee and $9 Bud Lights, you can afford the extra $5 to help pay down the bonds.)

Audit Committee Meeting • Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 4:00 PM

I find it interesting that the Audit Committee is reviewing audits of the Denty 2 days AFTER the 1st Reading for Contract renewals for the Denty at the city council meeting. There is also NO attached documents in the meeting link letting the public know what is in those audits (I’m sure they will magically appear on Wednesday). Makes you wonder what is in the audits that they cannot show they to us before the meeting tonight.