Entries Tagged 'Brandon' ↓

Brandon School Bond vote crushes SFSD record

This bond election was in NO way in comparison to the SFSD.

First by the numbers, this was a $17 million dollar bond, heck, the SF City Council passes bonds like that every other week. Our bond issue was $300 million with interest.

But the bigger point was the Brandon School District asked for NO increase in taxes to pass the bond. See, they just paid off a bond, so instead of decreasing taxes they simply are keeping them where they are at currently. It’s called planning ahead, something the SFSD hasn’t been doing.

I argued at the time of the bond we could borrow half and pay the rest as we go. In fact, that suggestion came from school bond task force member, Mark Cotter. It would have roughly saved us $50 million in interest payments (but who’s counting?)

Also, the election vote turnout in Brandon was less then stellar, about 8.2%. While Brandon elections normally don’t draw many people anyway, I think the fact that taxes were NOT increasing didn’t really interest people as being that important. Even if it would not have passed, they would have found a way to keep taxes where they are. I have never known there to be a property tax DECREASE in the region, or at least lately.

I still believe, as I told a SFSD official recently that the SFSD vote was tampered with, but NOT by the counters, but by the people who entered them into the system. I guess we will never know because the district wouldn’t allow us to have an independent audit of the results without paying them to supervise our efforts. How is that independent?

UPDATE: City of Brandon dropping bricks over water report

UPDATE: The State DENR is saying that the data below has been manipulated.

A Brandon City Councilor sent the below press release out to the media yesterday.

Brandon is having a 2 PM press conference over it. Grab the popcorn (make sure you wash it down though with pop and not tap water).

For Release Immediately 

City of Brandon, SD Fails to Meet EPA Safe Drinking Water Standards 

Anonymous Resident Provides Failing Radium Test to Social Media Site 

Brandon, SD — Immediately — As a previous clean water advocate and member of the Brandon City Council, Tim Wakefield became known as the water guru, starting a Facebook Page called Brandon, SD Residents for a Sustainable Future. Two years ago, Tim and many other residents brought up concerns on water quality and quantity issues plaguing the city. On July 28th a Facebook page named “City of Brandon, SD The Dirt” released test results clearly showing Radium levels in excess of the EPA Safe Drinking Water standards. Even in the lower comments of the test report the comment was made “Results exceed the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act standard.” At that time, Tim Wakefield reached out to that page via messaging asking for a copy of the report to verify that the report was valid. The individual that completed the test asked that the company completing the test be kept confidential as well as the individual taking the test. The request was made due to fear that the city would retaliate against the individual. 

The most concerning issue with this water test is that the test was completed after a highly touted IMAR filtration system was installed. The system was supposed to remove the radium better than previous systems. If the new filter media is failing clearly the older, less effective media had the potential to release above EPA limits of Radium. 

As a previous council member Tim Wakefield experienced firsthand the lies told to leadership by the staff. Tim Wakefield also experienced bullying tactics behind closed doors in executive sessions culminating with the need to hire his own attorney to represent him during executive sessions. Tim Wakefield made the final decision to relocate his family outside of 2 

Brandon, SD due to continued infrastructure concerns and ongoing fears that the city truly was not in compliance with their “award winning water” as the city would constantly brag about. Tim and his family sold their house to avoid further bullying from other members of city leadership and to provide the safest possible upbringing for his family. Tim has said it before and will continue to say it, “I do not even let my dogs drink this water.” 

Tim Wakefield often would relay information to other members of the leadership which continued to fall on deaf ears. Issues such as residents concerned about cancer in their children, one resident even heard their oncologist say, “we sure see a lot of cancer patients from Brandon.” 

Tim Wakefield would be comfortable sharing the test results on behalf of the resident who wishes to remain anonymous. 

### 

For more information, press only: 

Tim Wakefield, Jr 

605-690-3044 

Timwakefieldjr@outlook.com 

Below are the attached images from City of Brandon SD, The Dirt post dated 7/28/2019

 

Sioux Falls Former Mayor’s Communications person gets contract with the City of Brandon

A citizen from Brandon informed one of my foot soldiers today that the city hired Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut’s former Communications Specialist for a project.

Heather Hitterdal has her own marketing company. Brandon is paying her $25K to ‘improve their image’. I guess the crappy water in town is causing PR problems. Yah think?!

Instead of hiring a marketing person, they need to hire an engineer that specializes in city water supply.

I guess this citizen got concerned because he saw Ms. Hitterdal is named in the lawsuit against the former mayor for his flying elbows.

UPDATE: Brandon gets out the ‘Spanky Stick’ on a fellow councilor

UPDATE: Tim was on Belfrage this morning and explained why he thinks he was censured. He was one of six councilors to vote against hiring new police chief and he posted comments by a RESIDENT (not from him) on FB. The RESIDENT, not Tim, was accusing the city of fraud.

Start this fantastic video at 1:24;

I like how the Clerk practically yells out the charges, and the city posts this on there front page of website;

Not sure why there is large tubs of ice cream in front of the council, and I’m not even sure if Tim did anything wrong. But I find it a bit disturbing that they would censure a fellow peer without ZERO discussion, or allowing him to defend himself.

I think I am going to personally BAN myself from Brandon ‘Weirdsville’ South Dakota. I feel better already.

Brandon City Councilor’s 1st Amendment Rights were probably violated

I’m still waiting to hear more details on this fiasco;

The Brandon city council voted unanimously Monday evening to censure one of it council members.

Tim Wakefield tells KELOLAND News, he was censured because other council members don’t agree with his use of social media to bring public concerns to light.

He says the council is in the process of drafting an ordinance that says any council member can be fined $500 for that type of behavior.

Tim ran for mayor and lost last week. Tim’s platform was based on the condition of the water in Brandon (they have high levels of radium). Tim is an engineer that understands some of those processes, and while he was running for mayor he would often talk about Brandon’s water issues on Facebook. He has suggested that Brandon hook up to Lewis & Clark so the town has safe, clean water.

I guess the contention of the council was that Tim was on Facebook telling people he won’t drink city water. The council claims it is against the law (not sure if this is Brandon charter?) to say ‘bad’ things about Brandon’s city government or criticize them while serving in that government. Where do these small town Hayseeds come up with this stuff?

Just because someone is serving on a governmental board, doesn’t mean their 1st Amendment Rights are stripped of them, quite the opposite. Just imagine if Stehly was on the Brandon City Council, she would be serving a life sentence in prison for speaking out on Facebook 🙂

If Tim really wants to challenge this, Brandon could have a monster 1st Amendment lawsuit on their hands that could cost them millions if they lose, uh, I mean, when they lose.

I have never liked that town . . . Weirdsville is at it again.

Brandon/Sioux Falls City Council Joint Meeting (Public Input)

Sioux Falls City Council Invited the Brandon City government over to have dinner and conversation on December 20, 2018. Most of each Council showed up for a nice dinner in front of our cameraman Bruce.

As the only public, guess who was the only one to speak (tough guess for ya, right?). The night’s topic was regionalization of resources. Its about time and its about the right thing to do.

Sioux Falls & Brandon Public Schools seem to be confused about the term ‘Public’

”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” – Ben Franklin

Voting is the cornerstone of a free democracy, so where should this exercise take place? Well, probably in a public place, but Brandon & SF School District officials are saying “Not so Fast”;

Sioux Falls Schools officials have told county election managers that Hawthorne won’t be available for voting this election, citing security concerns.

Bob Bray, risk assessment manager for the Sioux Falls School District, said the building’s layout and scheduling make it hard to keep voters and students separate.

First off Mr. Bray, kids can be shot anywhere, parks, churches, walking down the street, and an election being held in your school is NOT going to increase that risk, and I almost question if you are using school shootings as an excuse.

Secondly, schools are publicly funded, and I almost question the legality of the districts denying access for an election, and would challenge Auditor Litz to dig up the laws on it.

Thirdly, the irony of all this couldn’t be more hypocritical. In a state where we scream and hollar about gun rights and being able to carry guns anywhere, we turn our backs on the very people who carry these guns and say, “Not in our facilities.” Well we can’t have it both ways. Until we change our culture about guns in South Dakota, there will still be shootings, whether they are accidental, intentional, or in a church or school setting, elections have little to do with when they occur.

Let’s end the paranoia, and stop the musical precincts;

Minnehaha County Commissioner Dick Kelly said he’s concerned the move will contribute to voter confusion during an important election.

“I think it is unfortunate you have to vote here one day, vote here another then vote here the next,” Kelly said

Litz agreed the search for polling places is a joint effort, requiring cooperation between the district and the county.

Never thought Bob and Dick would be the words of wisdom on this one, but they are right. Consistency helps with voter turnout.

The common sense of the city of Sioux Falls trimming the boulevard trees

(November 18, 2015)

Let’s talk trees. Especially the trees growing in the boulevard area between your house and the street. It is city property and in many cases you have been required to plant trees on it. They look nice and help cool the city but do you know the damage they cause?

The City Councils of Sioux Falls and Brandon got together for dinner at Leonardo’s Cafe on Wednesday evening November 18, 2015. Cameraman Bruce showed up also to capture the event for all to see and hear. There was a lot of talk about sewers, roads, car shows and more until closer to the end when Councilman Jamison talked of the boulevards. This part of the meeting is here for you.

We learn about Brandon’s determination to trim boulevard trees. To them, tree trimming is the responsibility of the city, not the homeowners. The city contracts with a certified arborist to trim the trees with branches below the safe height. As the Brandon members stated, it was cheaper for the city to hire the tree trimming on the city’s property than to leave it to inexperienced homeowners.

After the measurements, letters and ticketing the fines / fees were shown not be a cost effective program. They could hire the work done, have it performed properly and save not only the taxpayers but the city as well. At one point Rex Rolfing mentioned a Sioux Falls city plan to spend $1,000,000 to buy the equipment necessary to do the trimming plus hire employees to which a Brandon member stated they had other things they would rather spend a million dollars on.

Brandon & Sioux Falls joint informal city council meeting

The audio isn’t that great on this (mostly because of the ventilation system) but there are some audible parts. My camera man, Bruce, gets invited to sit at the royal’s table though;

Thank you for the gracious invitation allowing me to join your Brandon – Sioux Falls Joint Meeting dinner and conversation. The invitation was not expected.

It was very good to witness the open discussion of joint problems and issues during the meeting. For some of the issues discussed, it appears the Sioux Falls region in time could consider a more formal regional council similar to the Twin Cities Met Council to help operate regional services and joint planning.  The meetings you have started with the area communities is a great first step.

I had hoped to inform the joint meeting members of the work of the Minnehaha County Election Review Committee in a “public input” type setting. The informal nature of the meeting allowed me to explain our work. The time given me to explain and then answer your many questions was very enjoyable.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls & Brandon City Council holds first ‘informal’ meeting

UPDATE: Not sure if you noticed, but this meeting was only announced about 24 hours before it happened on the agenda page. That’s it, no press releases on the main page, no special announcements or even a camera man to film the event. And guess what else, while most of the SF & Brandon city council, including the Brandon Mayor were able to attend, our Mayor did not. In fact due to the lack of publicity, only one citizen showed up, and not only did he film it for me, he got invited to join the group for discussion. Let’s just say it is probably a good thing Mike didn’t show, several Brandon officials didn’t have many glowing things to say about him.

I’m told the meeting is NOT at Carnegie or being recorded because this is an ‘informal get to know each other’ meeting.

I’ll bring the snacks and handycam, who is bringing the beer?

meeting-b-sf