Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

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.

1,000 foot setback for Med Cannabis dispensaries is ludicrous

Most setbacks for facilities like this are 300 feet. But the IM 26 task force is suggesting 1,000 feet from parks, schools, churches AND residential. One cannabis advocate said to me, ‘That means NO dispensaries basically anywhere in Sioux Falls. Not on Minnesota Avenue or 41st street.’ They also pointed out to me that when they looked at a map and did a GIS approach to the setback they could only find a couple of spots in Sioux Falls.

The rumor going around is that Mayor TenHaken is the one who instructed the task force to make the setback so strict. I still don’t understand how we continue to allow Sioux Falls Mayors to stick their noses in policy issues. He is violating city charter.

As I have told the mayor and council publicly, your views on the morality of using legal cannabis is NOT your problem. You must uphold the laws on the books and not make it so difficult to distribute a product that the voters of South Dakota deemed legal.

I expect several lawsuits challenging the setback if passed. I also expect it to be passed, because that is what authoritarians do. I also think there could be a petition drive in Sioux Falls to change the setbacks in city ordinance.

And with the delay in the verdict on Amendment A, I don’t expect the SD Supreme Court ruled in favor of it. I think they will agree with the lower court. You also have to remember that the high court takes the summer off, so don’t expect a verdict until this Fall.

IM 26 Task Force Meeting, Wed July 7

I guess 8:30 in the morning, on a Wednesday after a National Holiday at the Library (not recorded) seemed like the most open way to have this meeting. Oh, silly me, I forgot the current council and administration have a deep dark hate towards transparent government;

Agenda

  1. Introductions
  2. Recap of state and local actions since last meeting
  3. Presentation from planning teams on current joint boundaries and growth areas
  4. Task Force discussion regarding joint jurisdiction framework
  5. Input from non-Task Force municipal representatives
  6. Timelines to adopt a Medical Cannabis Zoning Ordinance (City, County and Joint Jurisdictional)
  7. Additional updates from Taskforce
  8. Next steps
  9. Public Input

I guess I am still clueless why they are meeting since they have already said they will do NOTHING until the state puts together guidelines. No worries, the tribe will hook you up while our county and city doddle.

Medical Cannabis Licensing discussed today at Minnehaha County Commission Meeting

FF: 46:00

Item #12) Briefing to Consider Direction for Possible Draft Ordinance Regarding Initiated Measure-26 (Medical Marijuana) – Eric Bogue

They received a briefing from the Deputy States Attorney on the topic today. It looks like the the County Commission will just sit and wait for the state to act. Commissioner Barth read the rest of the commission the riot act. I agree with him, let them sell it anywhere or make rules and regulations.

Minnehaha County & City of Sioux Falls officials looking to limit Medical Marijuana distribution

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth informed me yesterday that Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert, Mayor TenHaken, Minnehaha County States attorney Dan Haggar and Sioux Falls City Attorney Stacy Kooistra have been cooking up a proposal with the help of the Municipal League to ask the Minnehaha County Commission to put a Moratorium on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries until after January 1, 2022.

They do have some fair arguments. First off the July 1st implementation of the law is quickly approaching and the city and county has yet to set up licensing fees and licenses for these establishments. So instead of having secret meetings, how about trying public meetings to get the job done?!

While it is fair to say that they can ask for a small delay, those delays are usually only good for 30 days.

Barth told me he would NOT vote for it if it did get on the agenda and also told me he trying to make sure it is not done in the dark of the night in an executive session.

The biggest issue with this is that we have known since November that this is legal and the Governor’s office and legislature farted around way too long.

They need to get it in high gear and figure out how it will be regulated by the state, ASAP, and the county and city need to move fast and determine the licensing instead of having secret meetings about how they want to delay this.

What baffles me is that Medical and even Recreational is inevitable, and instead of dragging our feet we must act as elected officials to make sure this is implemented July 1st because of the will of the voters.

Hopefully we will hear more about this idiotic move in the coming week. I do know that Barth has been talking with both TV stations about the issue.

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000’

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.

Private Sioux Falls Airport gets deferred & the city plans to blow Covid money on NEW infrastructure

Well if you blinked your eyes yesterday you may have missed the Minnehaha CC/Sioux Falls CC joint meeting. The whopping 12 minutes of it.

Like the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting at 4 PM, the meeting wasn’t playing correctly on SIRE. They still don’t have it fixed and it seems they don’t really care. I guess the city is ran by a lot of Hi-Tech losers, who talk a big game but cannot deliver. Kind of reminds you of what that guy tells you on Sundays about your path to paradise.

Besides the fact that you could not watch the meeting online, it started right at 5 PM right when people are getting off of work.

They deferred the airport item due to a delayed FAA study, then asked for general public input at the end and that was it. I arrived at Carnegie right after it was done. I wanted to address both bodies about the excessive panhandling that has been going on all year long, what they were planning on doing about it, and some of my ideas to fix the problem (like fining people who give from their car windows and signage about ordinances and laws). But when you don’t live stream a meeting and start it as everyone is getting off of work, it doesn’t give you much time to attend.  I’m not sure who the rocket scientist is that thinks scheduling a meeting at 5 PM on Tuesday is a good idea, but . . . oh that’s right, the same authoritarian fascists who have a war on transparency in our city.

Speaking of the Informational Meeting (that was cutting out) what I could catch of it, and from the propaganda piece they sent to SF Bizzo it seems they are trying to sugarcoat how they are spending the money;

Of that, $4 million would be added to the pool of funding for arterial street expansion.

One of the things that has frustrated me is that the city continues to spend millions on new parks, new roads, and expansion while ignoring our core infrastructure. I have always preferred the mantra, take care of what you have first & if you can’t feed em’ don’t breed em’. So while they are spending our tax dollars on subsidizing corporations that pay little to no taxes & crappy wages they are sticking it to us on the back side;

The assessed value of the Platinum Point 52-unit town home complex in south Sioux Falls jumped 35 percent last year — and the developer said it’s just one example of a troubling trend.

For 17 years of owning my home the biggest increases I saw were 2% but most years it was 0%. Last year they nailed me for a 22% increase, which got reduced a bit, and this year they hit me with a 14% increase. As I have been warning people, this is what happens when we have an out of control TIF and tax rebate program to the developers, also we have an affordable housing crisis in Sioux Falls with an inflated housing market and straddle that with criminal justice costs in the County increasing (drug crimes) and a School District on a $300 million dollar spending spree and what you get is a greedy tax collection system. I have argued for a long time this is unsustainable and it’s bound to get even worse.

You can’t keep raping the little guy for more in property taxes & fees while blowing the money on more NEW infrastructure while you can’t maintain the current crumbling infrastructure in our core.

Recently a local government official told me after having a conversation with someone who studies affordable housing and poverty in Sioux Falls they said the problem is hard to fix but easily explained (paraphrasing);

“The gap between the rich and poor in Sioux Falls has widened greatly over the past 10 years, and widening even faster now. There isn’t a middle to upper middle class in Sioux Falls anymore. You are either living in poverty or close to it, in debt up to your ears, or extremely rich.”

There is also the problem with transparency that is not only affecting the citizens and our tax increases but information is being withheld from the city council by the administration. According to charter, the council is the body that is supposed to be making decisions on policy, budget, taxation and fees, not the mayor’s office.

Of course, none of this will end unless people start speaking up. While we will blab at the podium for 2 hours about masks and kids crying about it, we say nothing while our government is literally taking us to the cleaners and telling us nothing about how they are doing it.

Greed is destroying our community and it is being done by ‘supposed’ Christian leaders.

Maybe they need to listen a little bit harder to that guy on Sunday.