Entries Tagged 'Christine Erickson' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Operations Meeting full of some very dark proposals including killing public input

The City Council had its Operations Committee meeting in the dark of the morning Thursday at 10 AM. I wonder why there was NO public input? Trust, me, this was done on purpose so the public could not attend, especially with some of the crap they were proposing. Once again, like the mayor, the majority of the council, the RS6 now, HATE transparency and openness, it is at the core of their very dark agenda for the city.

The meeting started out with a proposal for more per diem money to the council for logo wear city council apparel. I think right now they receive around $50 a year and they want to increase it to $150 per year. What confuses me is that they could just buy each councilor a simple magnetic name badge (for around $15 bucks) that they could wear on any piece of clothing, heck, buy them two. Just another example of how they waste taxpayer money on something they don’t really need.

I found it interesting that CountCilor Alex Jensen wasn’t wearing city logo wear but a First Premier pull over, nice touch. Reminds me of when Jim Entenman was wearing his Harley Davidson shirts to council meetings. Got to get in that shameless promotion yah know. Also, we can’t forget the thousands of dollars that were funneled to Alex’s campaign thru his employer’s upper leadership and various mischevious PACs. You better wear the damn shirt Alex!

Another change is for the consent agenda. They want councilors to give a 24 hour notice to city hall if they are going to pull something from the consent agenda so the city director/manager responsible for that item can come to the meeting to answer questions, because their time is valuable or something. Nutzert rambled about wedding anniversaries and kid’s birthday parties. Because, when you make a 6-Figure a year salary from the taxpayers of this city you shouldn’t be bothered for 5 minutes to answer a question about city spending when you should be a Chucky Cheese with your kids. Puhhhleese. There has always been this consistent argument, that I knew would gear up after the RS6 was installed, that city employees personal lives on a Tuesday night are somehow more important than the public’s business. They know they have an expectation to come to these meetings, and like I said, they get paid a hefty chunk of change to do so. If you can’t make it because of an important family event, ask someone from your department to fill in. This seems like a responsibility of the director in charge of that department instead of the city council.

They said city councilors don’t have to give the notice, but if they don’t there is no requirement for the director to show up. So basically it is a ‘Pass’ for the very people who are supposed to be serving us (because you know, they get a paycheck to do so).

I have often argued that the consent agenda should be read at the meeting, and after it is completely read by the clerk, items can be pulled. That’s true transparency.

During the meeting, non-committee member, councilor Brekke chimed in from the podium and suggested that the mayor’s office started giving informational meeting updates like they used to, but ended suddenly. We all know why, because of his simmering hatred towards transparency. Just look at the Covid press conferences, vanished, while our numbers are spiking.

The meeting got more interesting with a move to eliminate open discussion at the beginning of the informational meetings and renaming it council comment or report. Basically they can comment about something they are working on, but NO policy discussion, they once again blamed time constraints even though there is NOTHING in the city charter about time constraints or time limits at meetings. If a meeting runs to long, they can recess and come back at another time. Heck the Board of Ethics recessed twice over Greg Nutzert’s ethics hearing. This is a way of keeping more policy decisions from citizens. Disgusting.

The best was at the end of the meeting when, ironically, during open discussion CountCilor Jensen suggested moving public input to the end of the council meetings and eliminating public input on 1st readings. Oh, he was very soft and careful how he presented it, but it was clear when he said something about doing ‘business’ first, what he meant. Councilor Nutzert quickly chimed in and said he would assist him on it, but they may have to take an all expenses paid trip by a right wing partisan hack group to come up with a plan (I jest). I have often argued you put public input first because the public’s opinion is much more important than the business of the council, you know, the people who fund this government and come on their own time to do so. A business coming for a rezone or license is part of an expense of doing business and has little to do with the issues and policies of this city. Citizens should always be at the forefront of local government. I knew this was going to happen when Theresa left, and they have the votes to get it done, so it will probably happen. While I will do my best to fight it, unfortunately this is what happens when a majority of the council has this fascist view of transparency. Total Darkness.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson thinks it is a ‘Mystery’ that Councilor Neitzert is costing taxpayer’s up to $7,500 to defend him against an ethics complaint, a second time

I often chuckle when Erickson accuses Stehly of being the crazy one on the council. Kettle meet black. Tonight at the city council regular meeting when councilor Starr pulled the consent agenda item about the potential $7,500 legal fee for Neitzert’s ethics complaint for outside counsel defense Erickson accused Starr of releasing confidential information.

I about died laughing.

Starr encouraged her to read the Argus Leader. It is all there in black and white.

Once again, I was laughing.

Christine seems to think that since the public already knows there was an ethics complaint against Neitzert that was thrown out on a technicality that the public doesn’t know the 2nd time around it is also against him. Who did she think the 2nd complaint was against with the proper legal reference this time around? Bugs Bunny?

While none of us have seen it in writing it is against him, isn’t the writing on the freaking wall?! Duh!

But I guess we are all conspiracy theorists. Nope. We are realists.

UPDATE III: Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly asks for ‘Reasonable’ accommodations for the recount

Update III: Recount will happen at 9 am next Wednesday, June 24

UPDATE II: The one thing that often makes me laugh about the right wing talking machine is how stupid they think people are. The latest statement made me scratch my head from that POS blog 40 minutes to the North;

Sioux Falls City Councilors do receive a salary. And the word is that Theresa continues to get paid as long as this drags out.  I’m told that in addition to monthly car & cell phone allowances, councilors receive a paycheck which Theresa will still have coming in as long as this recount takes.

Does he realize, whether Theresa is on the council or Alex, they would both be getting paid. It really is a neutral sum. Taxpayers are still on the hook either way. He is really grasping at straws.

UPDATE: Theresa has confirmed the appointment of Retired Judge Rodney Steele for the neutral party representing the City Clerk in the recount. While I have never been keen on Judge Steele’s light sentence for Wild Bill for running over Randy Scott and blaming it on a Diet Coke, I still think he would be a fair juror. I just think if she keeps denying applicants, this could go down hill even more. Let’s get this recount on.

Thoughts?

I want you to know, I took a lot of joy in the fact that Stehly chose Randy as her attorney. It reaffirms her commitment to NON-PARTISAN government in Sioux Falls. It doesn’t matter what color of stripes her representative comes from, as long as they can put up the good fight. He will.

But it often harkens back to when I helped Councilor Erickson with the school start date campaign, and how she gathered up assistance from all stripes of the political spectrum, as she should have, now she seems to spitting and spattering out the tired old partisan hackery of Theresa being a (lifelong) Republican but asking someone of another party to help. Oh, Christine, how you have lost your way. And to think I had high hopes for you.

I hope and believe the laundry list below gets a good washing.

You have to remember, this is NOT a referendum on Big T and Alex, this is a referendum on the job City Clerk Tom Greco did. Remember, before Tom was hired he wasn’t even registered to vote (yet we asked him to run our elections). That’s kind of like asking a diesel mechanic to be in charge of the church bake sale.

While most will be rubbing their brows about the Jensen team (I am not, I expected this motley crew) Greco’s first choice of Jack Marsh left me baffled. I said to someone today, “Does Tom think Theresa is that stupid to accept his first choice?” Oh, Brother.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson lights the fake protest fire

It appears that Councilor Erickson is the one that sounded the alarm about the fake FB posts about the buses from Fargo. I will defend Christine on one point, if you see something, say something. This is a common theme when it comes to domestic violence. I will commend her on taking action. But my criticism is NOT in saying something, it is about going thru the proper channels. She should have quietly relayed this info to the SF Police Chief Matt Burns and Sheriff Milstead and let them take action. It is not the job of a city councilor to investigate threats. That is the job of law enforcement.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson tries to redefine ‘Precinct’

In the city council informational meeting today there was a presentation on leasing space for a Southwest Police Report to Work Station. During the meeting Erickson said that this is NOT a police precinct. Here is the best definition I could find on what a police precinct is;

In the United States, a police precinct is a geographical area patrolled by a police force. The term “precinct” may also refer to the main police station for such a geographical area. Practices and cultures of policing often vary considerably from one precinct to another.

She can claim whatever she wants to, to defend the mayor’s hypocrisy during the mayoral campaign, but, if it walks like a duck, it’s duck.

SD State Sen. Kris Langer on Inside Town Hall

I was a little disappointed, I thought Kris was going to show us how to make her favorite cocktails. Why this person wasn’t thrown out of the legislature on her behind is beyond me. I would also note that someone running for re-election should not be using a taxpayer funded platform like this. But once again the ethics rules don’t apply to Republicans in this state, because they didn’t do anything ‘illegal’. Freaking Clowns.

So will Mayor TenHaken and Councilor Erickson publicly endorse Jensen now?

(screenshot of Erickson’s FB page. Look, Alex has a name tag already!

So now that the ethics debacle has taken place, will this now give Paul and Christine the green light to publicly endorse (not just give money) Neitzert and Jensen, essentially saying that Julian and Stehly are not fit for office? And if so will Brekke and Starr follow suit and publicly endorse Stehly?

Neitzert said this on FB about the decision;

Yesterday the board of ethics ruled it was not only legal but ethical for Councilors to donate, endorse, and host fundraisers for other Council candidates. Same goes for the Mayor. And thus common sense and free speech won. And those using the board of ethics as a weapon during the campaign season to try to malign good people and attack their political opponents failed miserably.

I know, it reads like a line from a Shakespearean tragedy.

The issue with this kind of endorsement is the reason Brekke asked the question. Why? They are not really endorsing anyone, they are just saying that Theresa and Julian are not fit for office, so she needs to be replaced and Julian shouldn’t be able to serve.

It’s a different situation with Julian because he isn’t the incumbent, but with Stehly, she has a record. All we have from Jensen is a short rubberstamp legislative career chocked full of discrimination and higher tax votes. They are certainly not going to endorse Jensen based on his record, all they are saying is we need a rubber stamping seat warmer to replace Stehly.

This has been my biggest frustration with the race so far. We know Stehly and Neitzert’s record, we also know that Julian has had several public events saying what he stands for, he even helped with Jolene’s campaign. But with Jensen we have heard virtually nothing. NOTHING.

How can you say he would be better than Stehly when we don’t even know what that ‘better’ means? It is pretty clear to me that an endorsement of Jensen isn’t an endorsement at all, it’s just a dig on Stehly, and it’s extremely unethical, and any logical adult can see right thru the charade.

Ethics Board confuses law with ethics

I’m hearing the ethics meeting today lasted 3 hours, and they ruled that there was nothing wrong with the mayor endorsing council candidates or giving them money.

VIDEO COMING

One board member dissented, I believe it was Greg LaFollette.

I guess board member Jack Marsh was being a real stinker.

The essential argument was 1st Amendment rights and the SCOTUS ruling of Citizens United. But the constitutionality of this has nothing to do with if something is ethical. One city councilor (I think Erickson) went as far to accuse Brekke of trying to make the mayor ‘look bad’ and unethical.

The board members felt that we have a very ‘ethical’ city government and were concerned someone would question their ethics.

LOL. Isn’t that why we have this board?

Of course none of this surprises me. The establishment special interest crowd is often saying if it is legal it is ethical.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson keeps whining about having a job, I thought she was self-employed?

I had to chuckle a little during the Operations Committee meeting yesterday of the Sioux Falls city council when councilor Erickson argued against longer informational meetings. She kept referring to the councilors having other jobs and commitments and not being able to make certain meetings.

First off, Erickson runs a rental, real estate and Air BNB business with her husband and is essentially self-employed. But really, does that matter? You signed up for running for city council, you knew your responsibilities and duties (served two terms) before you ran, and you are paid to be there. So please, your excuses ring hollow, BTW, let’s look at the council’s ‘jobs’?

Erickson – Self-employed

Neitzert – works from home

Stehly – self-employed

Brekke – retired

Soehl – retired

Kiley – semi-retired(?)

Starr – self-employed

Selberg – Real estate agent (semi-self employed, but does work for a company)

So out of the eight city councilors, only two of them are not either retired or self-employed, and those two have pretty open schedules.

Christine, stop whining, you know what you signed up for, and you know most if not ALL of councilors schedules are flexible due to their ‘jobs’.

Belfrage’s Planned Cat Fight gets foiled

I was told a few days ago that Sioux Falls City Councilors Janet Brekke and Pat Starr were invited to come on Belfrage’s show next Tuesday. I guess yesterday, Belfrage asked for a change of plans, he wanted Erickson and Brekke to duke it out over ethics.

Brekke refused to participate in the matchup.

While some may say she is chickening out, I don’t see that way at all. First off, this process needs to go through the proper channels, the Ethics Commission, before having any public debates about it. Brekke asked a realistic ethics question, she is awaiting a hearing and an answer.

But secondly, I don’t think Janet is that naive. We know how Greg feels about Erickson and Mayor Selfie, he would have stacked the deck against Brekke, because let’s admit it, Greg likes Red Meat.

I have always had respect for Janet, but after hearing this revelation, it just got a lot greater. As for Greg, well you know how I feel about that putz.