Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Minnehaha County Commission introduces Public Input Time Limits & Broken Ice

While I would love to blame the Commission for the authoritarian move to put a time limit on public input, it seems the Trumper election deniers have ruined it for the rest of us. The group (who obviously believe Trump won the election) have been berating the Commission over the past couple of months about election integrity and all the supposed problems with our elections like drop boxes, mail in ballots and of course fake news.

So the Commission has decided to change their long standing rule of NOT having a time limit on public input to now having a 5 Minute limit (with a cute little clock on the big screen) and similar to the SF School Board a sign up sheet, to which the chair said was to make sure they are spelling the public inputers names correctly. It is also a very nifty way to turn them over to the NSA, CIA and FBI ðŸ˜Š

While I totally understand the annoyance of ignorant morons who watch to much Newsmaxx (the city council has the march of the Anti-vaxxers that show up each week), I think instead of changing a long standing public input rule maybe the commission needs to change the rules of engagement with the inputers. I think a lot of times at public meetings, whether it is city council, school board or county commission some of these issues can be quickly resolved if you would just answer their questions on the spot. They may not like the answer, but if you are clear with them that they got a response there would be no reason to show up week after week complaining about the same stuff while building up their conspiracy theories.

After watching this, I have come to a different conclusion on ‘general’ public input. It really isn’t about the time limit, the position on the agenda of even decorum, it’s more about the governmental body interacting with the public during this time. But you will never get that since most of the local governmental bodies are run by authoritarians who want to keep their backroom deals and schemes secret. Just watch how the chair of the Lincoln County Commission runs the meetings . . . scary stuff.

ICE RINK AT EVENTS CENTER MALFUNCTIONS

The Denty having to cancel the Stampede games this weekend due to malfunctioning icing equipment is a flashing warning sign of what is coming for taxpayers. If you think the $10 million a year mortgage is draining us, wait until major upkeep and maintenance starts. The building is getting to the age that this stuff needs to start being budgeted for (7+ years old). Just look at the Pavilion, a place that was supposed to cost us $19 million has probably gone far beyond $100 million in maintenance and upgrades over the past 20+ years, and this is just a small facility compared to the Denty. A city official told me recently they will have to start budgeting major maintenance expenses starting next year (like siding replacement) and the price tag will NOT be small. I still think the Denty (besides the bunker ramp) was one of the stupidest investments this city ever made that sends around $20 million in profits straight out of town and out of state every year never to be recirculated locally, and don’t get me started on the location!

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.

How did Lincoln County Commissioner Tiffani Landeen even get elected?

On occasion I will watch the Lincoln County Commission meetings now that they stream on YouTube. I asked someone the other day that knows some of the other commissioners, “How on earth did Landeen even get elected let alone the chair of the commission?” His response was that several of the commissioners use one word to describe Landeen; AWFUL.

If you watch how she conducts the meetings, how she treats petitioners, how she treats the fellow commissioners and how she votes it is baffling that someone like this can be on a governing body. Especially Landeen’s history as Turner County’s states attorney and her misguided seizure of a supposed puppy mill with a warrant that was cooked up without any real evidence.

“Christensen sued HSUS, Turner County officials, the now-defunct Second Chance Rescue Center,  and its founder,  Rosey Quinn,”  wrote Hult.  “Christensen’s federal lawsuit dragged on for more than five years.  He succeeded against Quinn and former Turner County state’s attorney Tiffani Landeen-Hoeke,  but his claims against HSUS and other Turner County officials were dismissed.”

While I consistently disagree with local lawmakers on certain votes and policy decisions, and do call for them to resign due to conflicts of interest and being generally ignorant or unfit for public service, when someone like Landeen comes along you really scratch your head and wonder how someone continues to get elected in different branches of government.

Is the Fairgrounds Task Force a backdoor way to sell the land for a quarry?

Well, we should have seen this coming a mile away;

Minnehaha County commissioners will consider a resolution Tuesday on whether to establish a task force that would review and establish a future vision for the William H. Lyon Fair Grounds.


“It’s very much a concerted effort of the entire commission,” Commissioner Dean Karsky said. “We just know we need to address it, the public expects it, and we feel the fairgrounds deserves the attention it needs.”

The only thing to address is a purchase agreement. It is no secret that a North Dakota company wants to buy the land for a quarry, but before they can do that, they have to figure out what to do with the fair;

In creating the task force, the commission “seeks to focus future county investments, community support and donor gifts, both for facilities and general operating support, to best meet the needs of the community and the intent of the Lyon’s gift,” according to the resolution on Tuesday’s agenda.

In other words since the County and Fairgrounds have failed to sell significant naming rights over the years, the place has gone to the birds, I have suggested for a long time this was done on purpose so they could eventually sell the property for a quarry. No body wants to invest in it. There has also been an underground campaign by the potential buyers to sway Lyon family members.

Make no mistake, this taskforce is just smoke and mirrors over selling the land for a cement quarry. Why beat around the bush, just put the sale to an up or down vote of the Commission right now. I can tell you why it hasn’t been put up for a vote, because it would be very close and controversial, but after 12 months, the commission will change and they may have the votes to sell, and trust me, it will get sold as a quarry.

My suggestion is to sell it, but to the highest bidder, and since what’s under the fairgrounds is worth more than the rat’s nest sheep barns on top of it I would also suggest selling the mineral rights under it. My suggestion would be a significant down payment with a contract for deed over 4-5 years that the county could use for relocating the fair. My suggestion would be to Hartford where the town has been actively pursuing economic development, and I really don’t like Brandon, because, well it’s Brandon (Hartford should really sell shirts that say ‘F’ck You Brandon’)

A county official suggested to me it should be put to a public vote, and my response is that most residents in the county (which mostly live in SF) would vote for the sale. It would probably be a bigger landslide than the SF School Bonds.

Maybe it is time Minnehaha County just throws in the towel and starts a new fresh purpose for the fair somewhere else. Sorry Hairball, you are playing Hartford next year. But look on the bright side, it isn’t Brandon.

Will Minnehaha County sell the Fairgrounds for Quarry use?

A few years back on a couple of occasions there was a very public push for a concrete company in Sioux Falls wanting to buy the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds because of the rich quarry reserves below. It was rejected by the County Commission. The fairgrounds are county property, and while they do have some infrastructure cost sharing with the city, the actual property was gifted to the County by the Lyon family. I may be wrong on my history but I think when the land was gifted for the fair it was farmland out of the city limits.

There were two issues with the sale a few years ago. 1) The Lyon family did NOT want it sold for a quarry and 2) The County didn’t have a plan to replace the fairgrounds.

Moving forward, the company has supposedly renewed their appeal for the property, according to one of my county sources. This time around they are claiming the Lyon family is on board, but my source is telling me the commission cannot approve the sale because the commission’s counsel has told them they cannot legally sell it for that use. The other issue is where will the SE Fair be moved to? And what would it cost to replace the grounds? The suggestion floating around is to just put a big tent up each year for the fair. How festive in a 1920’s Ringling Brothers sort of way.

While I could care less if we have a fair each year (just brings up bad memories of being in 4-H and how much I hated it) my concern is having a gigantic hole in west central Sioux Falls. I also wonder what the city would think about that attractive hole?

We will see how public and transparent this battle becomes.

Lincoln County Tax Levy Vote proves local officials are NOT doing the work of the people

I do agree that it was only an 8% voter turnout, but either way, it was a blowout. I have felt for a long time that both County Commissions, the City Council and the School Board are NOT listening to what the citizens want, or in this case, don’t want. They simply show up and vote for tax increases on the minions so they can turn around and give contracts or tax breaks to the welfare queen developers, banksters and bonders.

The system is rigged.

We no longer have representative government in the Sioux Falls Metro Area or even in the state. This is what happens when you have one-party rule by authoritarians who only serve the ruling class. Don’t believe me? A majority of all of the members of all of these governing bodies are Republican. I think the only members that are registered Democrat are Pat Starr, Jeff Barth and Kate Parker (there may be a couple more, but they ain’t telling anyone.)

The irony of the Tax Levy revolt is that it was spearheaded by Republican voters! That is why it still baffles me they continue to vote for the very representatives that don’t listen to them.

I told an older Democrat not to long ago that no matter who the majority party in local government bodies is, you will continue to get tax and fee increases. The difference is the Dems will spend it on the citizens and the Repugs will spend it on their welfare queen developer bankster buddies.

Minnehaha County Commissioners release statement about DJ Buthe

MINNEHAHA COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS STATEMENT

August 27, 2021

DJ Buthe was employed as the Minnehaha County Highway Superintendent between December 2011 and February 2021, at which time he resigned to accept the position of Public Works Director for the City of Brookings.

The FY 2020 construction projects expenditures for the Highway Department were approximately $4 million over budget which led the Minnehaha County Board of Commissioners to engage Eide Bailly to conduct an internal controls examination of the Highway Department. Eide Bailly was engaged in early February, 2021, and the report was completed as of March 30, 2021. Eide Bailly reviewed policies and procedures, budget reports and supporting documentation, contracts/agreements and change orders, and conducted interviews with employees focused on identifying strengths and weaknesses within the controls over their respective positions. Eide Bailly determined the deficit was related to a flawed process to track encumbered funds. Corrective action has since been implemented by the County, including the purchase and use of additional software designed to prevent this budget deficit issue from recurring.

Lincoln County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council Joint Jurisdiction agreement on MED MJ zoning lacks legal logic

Yesterday at the joint meeting, Lincoln County Commissioner Joel Arends tried to get out of planning staff (both city and county) where they came up with the 1,000 foot setback. Once they rolled out the Mariachi band and did an extensive dance, they still couldn’t give a reason. That’s because it was directly pulled from their behinds. Seeing they were not going to win that argument, the city attorney Paul Bengford decided to move the goal posts and say this was about meeting a deadline and newspapers and NOT the setback. It was quite the turd polishing, and exhibited just how inept our local government officials and appointed staff is.

I think they truly believe the public is that naïve.

But the best part was when Councilor Neitzert said it was ‘absurd’ to allow citizens to vote for the legalization of drugs (marijuana). Waiting for our elected officials to legalize it is even more absurd, because they would never act. I joked to someone before the vote in November that even if the Feds decriminalized MJ today and allowed states to regulate it would take South Dakota a decade to put in the regulations if you waited for the elected officials to act.

The only way anything beneficial to the citizens happens in this state is through direct democracy. Waiting for our representatives to help us is the true measure of absurdity and their war on the initiative and referendum process. Keep poking the bear, because that just emboldens us.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council Joint meeting over a Barn on a dirt road

You gotta love it when Councilor Kiley’s strategy of telling half the story gets shot down. He often tells only partially what is going on to support his argument. Last night he tried to compare a wedding barn facility in rural Minnehaha County on a dirt township road to wedding barns annexed into the city limits. The problem is he left out the part they were annexed in the city limits. He also did this a few weeks ago when he tried to accuse councilor Starr of saying firefighters stand around too much. Starr did say that, but he wasn’t referring to fighting fires he was talking about mutual aid with calls of service for ambulance. In the past they had to wait for our rinky dink ambulance service to show up before administering care, now they are allowed to assist before they arrive eliminating them ‘standing around’ on ambulance calls. Kiley has been pulling his ‘half the truth’ arguments so long, he just can’t resist, unfortunately for him he failed last night and the rezone was approved. He probably told friends and colleagues after the meeting that he still prevailed because some of the votes were the same as his 🙂

Also the FAA told the private airport folks no dice. I knew they would, it’s just too close to other residential areas and as Greg Jamison pointed out the FAA says it would cause flight pattern issues with the main Sioux Falls airport. I guess those poor rich folks will still have to drive the whole 3 miles in their Range Rovers to Tea Town. I feel so bad for them . . . maybe we should start a Go Fund me for a valet service?

I also made some comments on agenda item #5 and some other ones about panhandling and TIFs during public input. I have been throwing around the idea of taking panhandlers to the neighborhoods our elected officials live in and let them ask for money there. That would be fun to watch.

Shell email circulating to local politicians

This same content email has been sent multiple times to different local officials over the past week, the only thing that changes is the greeting and the signature;

Dear M——,

As your constituent and your boss, I demand that you do everything in your power to ban Vaccine Mandates and Passports. This is an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty without due process and is a critical issue to me. It is unconscionable that Americans freedom of movement would be threatened in an attempt to coerce people to get vaccinated, even as Anthony Fauci is urging masks be worn by the vaccinated and unvaccinated. I’ll be watching how you vote.

Sincerely,

I can tell you from talking to one of the elected officials who got this, there was some frustration, but if you want to make a point, you should probably write your own email instead of copy and pasting from InfoWars.

As for vaccination mandates, by private employers, I don’t agree unless you work in a critical field like healthcare, education, public service, transportation and food processing. I also think it goes against worker rights, especially in a right to work state like South Dakota, ironically where an employer can fire you for any reason, vaccination requirement or not. Employers in SD have the right to have ANY requirement, uniforms, shoes, or shots. While I think anyone eligible should get the vaccination, and if you don’t you are freaking moron (you really are) I don’t think your employer should be telling you what to do when it comes to your health. Besides, if your employer has to tell you this, they really should consider what kind of people are working for them 🙁 Trust me, I understand some people can’t get get the vaccination. I have several friends who have been told by their doctors not to get it. Most of those cases have to do with Cancer and blood clots. But a vast majority of Americans are eligible. As of today 96% of American doctors are fully vaccinated. If you don’t like your employer telling you what to do, be smart and go get a shot and you can avoid all this crap, oh and you might live.