Entries Tagged 'Corona Virus' ↓

UPDATE: Is it time for the Sioux Falls City Council meetings to allow Public Input remotely?

UPDATE: I was told that the inputer was just there to complain about the healthcare institutions in general and NOT Covid. I guess she has contacted the council in the past about her struggles. I will say though that you can talk about anything at public input, especially things happening in our city and she was NOT out of line talking to the Mayor and Council about her issue.

Since the Covid scare started, our city leaders and some employees have had the comfort of being able to work remotely. In fact, I don’t think I can find a single council meeting since then that ALL 8 councilors were sitting on the dais at the same time. There has always been at least one absent or on the phone during the meetings.

I actually support this and it goes back to when my good friend and city councilor Kermit Staggers fell ill and they were giving him a hard time about showing up to meetings. In fact they were down right nasty about it.

Kettle meet black.

But I also believe what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I believe that citizens should be allowed to testify on any agenda item or for general public input remotely and shouldn’t have to give a reason why.

Trust me, there would have to be an ordinance written to allow this so it is handled with decorum;

• You would call in advance of what you would be speaking about, state your name to operator, the town of your residence and be told if there is any violation of decorum the chair reserves the right to hang up on you. You would also have to repeat this when you are taken off hold and allowed to speak.

• After your allocated time is done the phone would automatically hang up.

• Since there is a time delay, while you are on hold the meeting would stream in real time and you would be que’d up by the operator.

There are numerous reasons why people may prefer to testify remotely; mobility issues, snowbird, sick, disabilities, public speaking fears, etc.

It really doesn’t matter, if the council can do this whenever convenient for them, the public should be able to also. The state legislature allows it during committee hearings, I also think several other local boards allow it like the SF Parks Board.

PAUL ADMITS AGAIN TONIGHT HE DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS

During public input tonight a nice lady approached the podium during general public input to talk about some issues at the local healthcare industrial complexes. I think she was getting to talking about the hospitals being understaffed due to Covid but was cut off at 3 minutes. After Paul cut her off he told her to take her issue up with them. She asked if the city government was concerned.

No. They are not.

Paul told us he didn’t sign up for this and that’s why the private healthcare providers again today had a press conference that did not include local leaders. Paul can’t be bothered with a pesky virus, he is busy handing out $1 rentals.

South Dakota State Representative Mark Willadsen gets laughed at during the Legislative Coffee

Class Clown Willadsen

It all started with a question from moderator Melanie Bliss (FF to 1:18);

‘Will the legislature outlaw masks and vaccine mandates?’

After one legislator answered, Mark takes a stab at it;

. . . I think we have had great leadership . . . (Referring to Covid and the Governor)

After the very audible laughter from the crowd, you could hear Bliss say ‘Thank You’ to which Mark says fine, and you could tell he was very angry. Bliss coninues, ‘I didn’t say thank you to you I said thank to them because they stopped laughing. Mark then continued about all this great leadership and how the schools and state stayed open.

What I have always found ironic about that statement is that it is false. Many state, education, and City of Sioux Falls employees worked from home for months while the rest of us either trudged through at our private sector jobs or took unemployment because the businesses were closed especially in the hospitality industry.

It is probably why he was laughed at. When you say ridiculous things YOU will get a reaction.

Minnehaha County Commission Approves Bonuses without Vaccination Mandate

What has baffled me about all the local government bodies across the state approving Covid bonuses for employees from federal money is the lack of a mandate. While the mostly conservative SCOTUS has thrown out government mandated vaccinations it seems puzzling to me we would give bonuses to county employees for working through Covid yet not requiring them to be vaccinated. They mention that the jail staff had to be exposed to Covid but don’t say anything about requiring them to get a vaccination. I don’t think any public safety officer or government employee should receive a bonus unless they prove they have been fully vaccinated and boosted. You would avoid officially mandating it, and you would create an incentive to get it. It seems silly to me that we would reward people for working through Covid yet allowing the ones without a vaccination to expose citizens that come in contact with them.

What about the healthcare costs for taxpayers of unvaccinated county employees?

The massive hypocrisy of local governments willingly taking Federal Covid money and dispersing it as Covid retention bonuses without the requirement of vaccination is mind boggling.

No City or State Officials attend Covid Press Conference today in Sioux Falls

To say I am not surprised would be an understatement;

It was only Avera and Sanford doctors and media relations staff along journalists at Thursday’s news conference. In many previous news conferences, people with the South Dakota Department of Health or City of Sioux Falls have also attended. 

While I appreciate them reaching out, I ask why we are relying on the private sector to inform us? There is NO mention of this presser on any of the City of Sioux Falls multiple media sources.

A candidate for mayor said this in an interview;

Taneeza Islam, a lawyer who announced her run for mayor in October says the more information the people have on COVID-19 the better. She would like to see weekly updates from the mayor’s office and…

“When the city council voted to encourage masking, the people of Sioux Falls listened, all they needed was little extra encouragement, that was not a mandate, and I’m not talking about new regulations but just the mere encouragement for people in our community to take this seriously once again really explain how serious it is needs to come from the mayor’s office,” said Islam.

As I have mentioned before, the mayor’s job, according to charter is to not legislate and write policy, the job is running the day to day operations of the city. That means informing the public and instructing staff to keep the public safe, but he seems to want to blame people in Councilor Neitzert’s district for the problem;

“The northwest quadrant of our city for instance has a much lower vaccination rate than the rest of the city so we’ve done research to understand why is that and how can we counteract the messages whether it’s, in some cases its just availability and we’ve set up a mobile vaccine unit that goes out to those communities,” said TenHaken.

What I find ironic is that TenHaken, with the power of executive order, could mandate a vaccination requirement for ALL city employees, or at least those in close contact with the public, he doesn’t need the blessing of the city council. I see police officers all the time not even wearing masks in public. Towards the end of the story, Tom Hansen said that the mayor said the city is dealing with skeleton crews in many city departments because of (covid) sick city employees. I have argued that a vaccination mandate for city employees is a taxpayer protection for our investment in their health and well being. What do you think it is costing us as citizens for healthcare costs associated with covid for employees who choose NOT to be vaccinated? I have even said we should give city employees a bonus for getting a shot.

Islam went a step further on her FB page;

Being mayor isn’t just sharing good news, it means having hard conversations about challenges facing our community. It means using the tools in your toolbox to keep our city safe.

I like that last sentence 🙂

Besides Covid, this city faces many more challenges, but you will never hear it from Poops. I have no issues with the power of positivity, I have no issues with having faith in a higher power, I have no issues with lauding the great things going on in Sioux Falls. But effective leaders take the good with the bad. Mayor Poops philosophy is we just ignore the bad, hide in your basement, tell some dad jokes, heat up the gravy and it may just go away.

Sioux Falls Holds a COVID press conference today, but you won’t find it on any of the City’s media

Maybe the video is on the CITY WEBSITE? Nope. YOUTUBE? Nope. FACEBOOK? Nope. But DakotaNews covered it. Our Health Department Director, Dr. Chima was present, but nobody else from the city. I guess our fearless leader took the day off . . . and this guy wants a 30% raise? LOL.

Did the City of Sioux Falls Health Director ask for a vaccination mandate for city employees?

I don’t know the answer to that question because obviously there has been NO mandate at this point, and I don’t expect the city’s top employee manager, Mayor TenHaken, a (closet) right-winger, to mandate one. I believe he could do so by executive order, but lacks the spine to do it.

Several of my city moles have told me that Dr. Chima, the Health Director, did ask that the city has a vaccination mandate. If that is true, he was obviously denied, which is no surprise.

I have also heard from people visiting Falls Community Health that many people working at the clinic don’t wear masks even though the CDC requires a clinic receiving Federal money should require the employees to wear masks. Supposedly one person working at the clinic was asked wear their mask was and they said, “The mayor said I don’t have to wear one.”

I wonder how the CDC and Medicare would feel about that and future Federal funding of the clinic?

I find this concerning, because this place does receive Federal and Local tax dollars, and common sense would tell you that when working in a medical clinic you should be wearing a mask. The private clinics require it and follow CDC guidelines. Heck, Burger King employees even still wear masks.

I fully support vaccination mandates for taxpayer funded employees. As major employers like Sanford and Tyson Foods have proven, compliance is over 95%. Mandates work and the handful of employees you would lose wouldn’t be missed. Maybe the city has $49 million laying around for severance 🙁

Dr. Scott Gottlieb says Noem handled Covid the worst of any Governor

Hey, Scott, we know. But hey we got Freedom! I’m just not sure what else we have 🙁 FF 9:38

Should Mayor TenHaken Mandate Covid Vaccinations for City Employees? YES!

Like I have already said, we could avoid all of this if people just voluntarily got the FREE and EFFECTIVE and SAFE shot instead of making this a political issue.

While I kind of understand the back and forth on mandating vaccinations for private sector employees (Noem is not only allowing it, but she is essentially promoting it) I feel that public employees who receive their pay and health benefits from taxpayers should be required to be vaccinated, especially if they work with the public (which is most of them). This has more to do with me as a taxpayer investing in the city employees health and wellbeing and wanting them to be healthy instead of sitting in a hospital on a ventilator or out of work for a few weeks.

President Biden announced today sweeping vaccine mandates, and since the city of Sioux Falls receive Federal dollars, they really should follow suit. So should the counties and school districts within Sioux Falls.

I find it a bit hypocritical of our Health Department promoting Covid Vaccinations to the general public when they are not encouraging it with city employees. I wouldn’t even be opposed to a $100 bonus to city employees who get the shot. Or have someone from Falls Community Health go around to the different city offices and give them the shots in the comfort of their workspace.

It often seems odd to me the mixed messaging we are getting from our elected officials on Covid. Do as I say, not as I do.

UPDATE: Covid Prevention and West Nile

Lately the city has been posting like mad men on Facebook about how spraying for mosquitos is safe, the problem is they still have failed to explain to citizens why they are spraying pesticides on people in broad daylight. One citizen even nicely asked in the thread, “What is the name of the product or the chemicals you are using?” The city rep responded, “We will get back to you.” I checked yesterday and not only has the question NOT been answered the question was deleted. Interesting.

UPDATE: The city did respond, the Active ingredient Permethrin, which can cause health issues.

According to Health Canada, it “may pose a risk to aquatic organisms, bees, beneficial insects and birds.” 

Inhaling Permethrin can irritate the nose, throat and lungs. â–º Exposure to Permethrin can cause headache, dizziness, fatigue, excessive salivation, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting. â–º Permethrin may affect the liver.

But this isn’t about the censoring efforts on the city’s FB page, this is about the comparison of West Nile prevention to Covid Prevention.

The city spends oodles of money each year spraying for mosquitos for the prevention of West Nile. So far this year, one person has died from the disease (not sure if they were a SF resident). While these prevention measures are appreciated, in reality there is a lot of things you can do to protect yourself without the city blanketing our vegetable gardens with pesticides and killing beneficial bugs. The irony of all the prevention we do with skiters and a disease that kills very few compared to what we have done in our city for Covid prevention. Even though the FEDS handed us $50 million to do something about it,  we are going to spend that money on butterflies instead (but not the butterflies we kill with skiter spraying).

As we are going to peak again, the city’s health director, Dr. Chima said in a press conference yesterday (in which Mayor Poops did NOT attend-must have been rearranging his medals and trucker hats in his garage) that only 50% of SF residents are fully vaccinated and another 6% have at least one dose. So what has been going on with the covid vaccination education program? While citizens have NO SAY on whether they can spray us down with pesticides  they have been doing very little to encourage people to get a FREE and EFFECTIVE and SAFE vaccination, in which they have a choice to get. TV, radio, billboards and YouTube should be cluttered in this town with PSAs about the importance of vaccinations. Cricketts (they apparently are not affected by skiter spraying).

Seems bizarre to me all the energy and treasure we are spending on a disease that kills very few* while blowing Covid money on play things. The city has probably spent more money combatting EAB (Emerald Ash Boer) then combatting Covid.

I am still baffled how Covid and vaccinations have become so political and it doesn’t help that the people who have made it political (the Trumplicans) are running our city and state. It’s too bad there isn’t a vaccination for elected officials preventing ignorance, that would likely save more lives then a Covid vaccination.

*I do support West Nile prevention, I just think we can do it more organically and take on some individual responsibility.

Most employers in South Dakota CAN mandate vaccinations

There has been a lot of back and forth in South Dakota about all of our FREEDOM and LIBERTY that our Box of Rocks Governor has been spouting about, and how she doesn’t support mandates. Unfortunately, Noem has no authority when it comes to private employer mandates. The state legislature would have to change state law in order to prohibit private employer mandates;

Employment relationships in South Dakota may be ‘terminated at will,’ which means an employer does not need a specific reason to fire an employee. This is the same concept as an employee not needing a specific reason to quit a job. Generally, the only exceptions to this rule are when: A contract for employment exists.

Of course, you do have the option to quit if you don’t want to get vaccinated, but you can’t prevent your employer from mandating it and neither can the governor. When authoritarians talk about all the FREEDOM we have here, they are referring to the ruling class, NOT us.

My suggestion is to just go get a shot or a doctor’s note if you are too high risk to get one and you don’t have to worry about your employer mandating it.