Entries Tagged 'City Administration Building' ↓

Congrads?

I guess I have never heard that word before, but when you are either high or drunk or both most of the day, spelling isn’t really a virtue.

As I was at the Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit listening to our guest speaker talking about all the things we do the opposite in Sioux Falls, and the Mayor talking about his favorite topic ‘bad neighbors’. Bruce shows me a photo of a sign that was nailed to his side of the fence in the middle of the night.

And he is the bad neighbor.

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The ‘Extremely Helpful’ city staff at the citizens ‘Beckon Call’

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As this whole administration building thingy got wrapped up today with the mayor’s press conference at NOON (we will have video up soon with my commentary) and his multiple lies and unanswered questions, I did get a good laugh out of the ‘service’ the petitioners received from the city employees. Like I said, it helps to laugh at these people and their bizarre excuses.

Mayor Huether started the press conference with an apology to city clerk Tom Greco and the city attorney and their families for the way ‘they were treated’ throughout the process. I almost burst into laughter.

First off, I find it hard to believe that Greco was at Bruce’s ‘Beckon Call’ when it came to questions about the petition. This is the same Tom Greco that sent a middle of the night email rant to Bruce about his sick kid and military service. But there was also this interesting email sent out by the city attorney back in July to the mayor, city council and city directors, and it is NOT about caramel popcorn and peanuts;

From: Pfeifle, David

Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:06 PM

Subject: Argus inquiry on possible initiative for new building bond ordinance Tom Greco and I were contacted by Joe Sneve about a possible initiative effort by Bruce Danielson. An initiative effort would need to gather at least 7,000 signatures to produce approximately 5,750 valid signatures, based on historic failure rates. Tom would then need to conduct the random sampling process to validate the petition. He would review 10 percent of them according to SD Administrative Rule. This process can take two to four weeks, depending on various factors, including whether someone challenges the petition and demands all the signatures must be validated. Assuming a petition contains sufficient valid signatures, Tom would then present the petition to the City Council for further action. The Council can either automatically place the item on the April 2018 ballot or order a special election to be called no earlier than 30 days from the date of the ordinance calling for a special election. A unique situation is present when bond sales are involved. We both informed Joe that it would be extremely unlikely that this effort could lead to an election and canvass to occur before bonds would be sold in the first part of October. Once bond sales occur, state law prohibits the use of the initiative process to “nullify the purpose” for which bonds have been sold.

David A. Pfeifle, City Attorney

Wow! Where to begin? I’m out of breath just reading this boloney roll.

a) It is actually 5% and we did reach that threshold with 6,400 signatures

b) The validation process takes between 4-6 hours with 2-3 people. Based on what past clerks have done.

c) Fiddle claims that if sufficient and valid signatures were attained and the city council was able to call an election before the bonds sold, it still would not stop the sale. Well, that would have been up to a judge. As the minimum wage petitioners proved, since they referred it to a vote, it stopped the law from going into affect.

While the mayor made this ‘personal’ by apologizing to the families of Greco and Fiddle, I will not. But if the mayor, the courts, or the city council think or believe Greco and Fiddle were at the beckon call of Danielson and did everything in their power to help them, it doesn’t take much to buffalo them. As you can see from the email, it was evident from the beginning they were going to stall and railroad this anyway they could see fit. Hardly helpful to process, in fact quite the opposite. Maybe next time the mayor needs to apologize to the public for having such poor and vindictive public employees working for this city.

I knew we were going to lose

As I have mentioned before there are two things I know about our current state of city government and my analysis of it;

  • It is predictable
  • I’m a cynic

Given that, I told Bruce from the beginning to not do the petition drive, I knew in my heart that we could never overturn the mayor’s decision to move forward with the project.

Even if the oath was correct, we would have had a terrible timeline to deal with. First off, you would need at least 6 councilors on board to call a special meeting to call an election, that would have had to happen before the bond sale. That would have been an impossible feat in itself.

But let’s say that magically happened, you would have still had to go to the courts to get them to delay the bond sale for the election.

I’m not saying our mayor, our courts or the city council is crooked in the process, I’m just saying the planets would have needed to align, big time.

The worst part about this is that the citizens lose. Whether you are for or against the building, you still did not get to decide. Much like the aquatic center, only one person got to put their rubber stamp on this.

It’s easy to be angry. I am not. I have often told my readers that if you can’t laugh at politicians, you will only end up hating them. I laugh a lot.

Local politics matter, pay attention, present your voice. Recently the Oakview neighborhood got ahead of an issue, and they succeeded, you can make a difference, but your timing is essential. On the Admin building, our clock ran out.

At the end of the day we can be thankful for one thing; term limits.

City of Sioux Falls Finance Director seems a bit confused

Tracy announced this yesterday after the petition hearing;

Unless the courts advise us that we cannot legally proceed, the intention is to sell bonds in October. No official date for selling the bonds has yet been set.

Funny, because according to Moody’s the sale will take place on Tuesday;

Rating Action: Moody’s Assigns Aa2 to Sioux Falls, SD’s Sales Tax Rev. Bonds, Ser. 2016A

Global Credit Research – 27 Sep 2016

New York, September 27, 2016 — Issue: Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, Series 2016A; Rating: Aa2; Rating Type: Underlying LT; Sale Amount: $19,970,000; Expected Sale Date: 10/04/2016; Rating Description: Special Tax: Sales

So which is it Tracy? More games from city hall.

Judge Salter will rule on the validity of the petitions by tomorrow

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According to the AL’s Joey Snevaboloney’s live tweets, the hearing finished. There were two things that stood out from the Judge. He asked the city clerk, Tom Greco, if there was a difference in voter registration between the state and the city. (of course there isn’t, and Salter probably knew the answer, but wanted Greco on the record, he answered ‘No’).

The judge also admitted towards the end of the hearing that he will be ruling on the validity of the signers. This is important, and our argument all along.

Petition Hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, September 28

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Judge Salter presiding, Courtroom 5B, 8 AM.

During the interview with Belfrage this morning, the mayor proclaims at the end of the interview that the administration building is a ‘Done Deal’ and it’s good that the council has moved on (the 5 that voted against the advisory vote). Before that though, Belfrage asks an interesting question that the mayor doesn’t answer, Greg says that even if the petitions are approved, it’s just an advisory vote anyway? Not quite, and maybe the mayor didn’t catch that. If the petitions are found to be valid by the judge tomorrow the city council can still certify them and ask for an election, in fact they must. That election is an initiative ordinance. In other words, it is NOT an advisory vote, if the citizens vote down the selling of the bonds, it MUST go into effect.

And that is where I take issue with Mike’s comment ‘Done Deal’. The bond sale cannot take effect until Monday October 3, and even if that sale is ordered on Monday, it could take months before they are bought in the market.

Depending on what judge Salter decides tomorrow, this could be far from being a ‘done deal’. But once again, the mayor is using wishful thinking. But who can blame him, he got the EC and the Indoor Pool using the same philosophy.

 

Business Journal Editor opposes the proposed city administration building plan

It’s no secret that Ms. Schwan was opposed the current ‘plan’. On her ‘100 Eyes on Business’ show with Lalley she spoke out that it wasn’t a plan that would spur economic development. At that time she stated if it was a private office space, maybe, like Docutap.

Then she did some digging around.

Last week Jodi emailed me with a simple question, “Who is moving into the new building at what are the floorplans?” I pretty much confessed that the employees moving into the building is a mystery, except for some rumblings about the engineering department.

Then she did some more digging;

And there, sitting right on top, was one of the reports I had felt was worth saving: an analysis that recommended how to address adding office space for city government.

“Office Space Utilization Analysis,” read the report, dated 2008 and completed by The Winkels Group. Inside was a detailed analysis of current and projected city office space needs as well as phased recommendations starting that year and continuing potentially through 2025.

Please continue;

In fairness, rough plans for the new administrative building show similar counters. But that doesn’t compensate for further separating city staff and surely causing confusion for the public. It is quite possible that someone needing to resolve an issue could have to visit both City Hall and the new administration building – and perhaps go back and forth multiple times between the two.

This is only a small part of what contractors, architects and developers were telling us while standing at the back door of the County Admin building. They also need to go to the county several time to get the planning work done. One contractor told us of six trips between the county and city to just build a small project, still not done because of the countering issues of dealing with both. The people we talked with wanted to have a way to simplify the process and the new city admin building actually makes their work harder.

I guess I just don’t see or feel the rush to start this building project, especially given that borrowing the money is the proposed funding solution – and we’ve borrowed more money than ever before over the past few years.

I feel more comfortable risking a slightly higher interest rate environment than I do obligating more sales tax right now to repay bonds at a time the city is already cutting back on other expenses. But that’s just me.

And that’s just it, economically, the plan just doesn’t add up. Most support having more administration space, but this plan falls flat on it’s face. Don’t take my word on it, just ask Jodi.

This is about citizen rights

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Former Rep. Manny Steele writes a letter about Tuesday’s vote;

The only fair way to know was to give the citizens an opportunity to vote.

The only council members true to the citizens at the Tuesday night council meeting were Theresa Stehly and Pat Starr. They honored their commitment to the people.

The other three: Greg Neitzert, Kristine Erickson and Marshall Selberg, who first voted for the people to have a vote, turned against the people and threw them under the bus.

The reasons given to flip flop were weak at best, and a real cop-out. They gave up and surrendered to the mayor when the citizens really needed them.

I am, as many others, extremely disappointed in them.

Yes, this was an ‘advisory vote’ but it would have shown some solidarity amongst the councilors who fought for this repeal to begin with.

Signatures be Damned, September 13, 2016

6,400 voter signatures were turned over to an evasive, uncaring, untrustworthy city of Sioux Falls government and what happens? The majority of the City Council on September 13, 2016 essentially said go home and leave us alone.

The April Council had been played like a cheap fiddle by the administration and their leadership by postponing the bonding date to October 1. The 5 to 3 July successful repeal vote of the Council was dramatic, successful but short lived when the mayor vetoed the action the next week. The repeal leaders had given up.

One idea was floated by members of the 5 but who could do an impossible thing like a 5775 signature petition drive to force a vote? The petition drive was born at the only moment it could have. When there was an action to fight. Any sooner and it would have been in conflict with everything else already in action.

The effort to collect the signatures was fought from the moment of the Mayor’s veto on July 27 by the town’s administration. The lack of support from the city clerk shows how little he understands about the rights of citizens. Even with the issues petitioners received, 6,400 signatures were collected in less than 20 days with more than 95% verified. Bravo Sioux Falls voters for caring!

The citizens of Sioux Falls are continuing to learn how little those encased in the power process care about the future of the town or population. As long as they can borrow money without oversight, who cares? Every time the power group seduces another member to do their dirty work, it shows another reason why a corrupting system needs to be fixed.

We brought in new Council members this year who used this project and the fight against it, as center pieces of their reform of process campaigns. At the one yard line, all suited up, with several more plays available, our strongest players collapsed when hit with feathers. Looks like we brought pillows to a game instead of footballs. Asleep at the wheel of power with one yard to go? Nice play.

But how do you feel?

Why passing the Advisory Vote was important

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It’s nice knowing you have won when the game hasn’t even finished.

I get why the opponents voted against the advisory vote, or at least I understand ‘some’ of their arguments. Basically ‘if’ the bonds sell on October 3, the election would be moot.

But that is still an ‘IF’ and why they should have voted for it anyway. They made it sound like it was a ‘done deal’. It is not. Councilor Stehly said it best, ‘Defeatist Attitude’.

Here are some things to consider;

• This is election would cost the taxpayers nothing if it has to be repealed

• The mayor still has time to delay the bond sale

• A judge could issue a temporary restraining order on the bonds

The way the council spoke on Tuesday night, they acted like the bonds have already sold.

But the most damaging part to voting down this election is that there was NO solidarity shown amongst the 5 councilors that stuck together in the past. I believe and attorneys much smarter than I think that showing that solidarity on Tuesday night would have gone a long way in a courtroom on September 28.

But according to the other 3, we have already lost.

As I said Tuesday night during public input on this item, there are no winners are losers when it comes to this issue, this isn’t a ‘fight’ about the mayor vs. the council or the city clerk vs. Bruce Danielson. This is simply about allowing the citizens to vote on a project that will cost us well over $40 million at the end of the day.

As one of the commenters said last night “What are we scared of?”