Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

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.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council set to approve/deny permit for private residential airport

It seems the march is on;

CONSIDER MOTION TO APPROVE, DENY OR AMEND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT #21-17 TO ALLOW EXPANSION OF A PRIVATE AIRPORT APPROXIMATELY ONE MILE WEST OF SIOUX FALLS

It looks like on Tuesday at a joint 5 PM meeting the two bodies will consider the permit for the airport. I am still wondering if the FAA has weighed in;

The airport shall meet all FAA requirements.

I have to admit I am still on the fence about this. The Minnehaha County planning commission approved this 6-0 and the Sioux Falls planning commission denied this 5-2.

While I think that rich folks can spend their money however they choose, and build ludicrous things like airstrips, my main concern is how it will affect their neighbors and the city and county in general. Your property rights end when they inflict harm on your neighbors. This will be an interesting meeting to say the least.

I suggest Minnehaha & Lincoln Counties use the almost $50 million in Covid recovery funds for a mass vaccination site

According to NACO (National Association of Counties) The two counties are going to get almost $50 million between the two of them from the latest Covid recovery bill. That’s a hefty chunk of change.

Besides helping alleviate medical costs for the uninsured, I highly suggest starting in April they setup a drive thru massive Covid vaccination site where individuals and families can drive thru to get shots simply by hanging their arms out the window of their cars.

Other states and cities are doing this or at least prepping for it as a fast and efficient way to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.

Sometimes good ideas are just that simple.

They are also recruiting volunteers from any sector (besides nurses, doctors and pharmacists) that are qualified to give shots like animal vets.

The health systems, the community health clinic, and pharmacies could join forces and set up such a site(s).

Sadly, I suspect they will blow it on something else, you know like the state did with the first round of relief money giving it to hotels, developers, restaurants and go kart tracks.

I hope the counties get their poop in a group and spend the money wisely, but like most places run by right winger nutzos greed and selfishness will probably win the day.

Lincoln County now posting meetings

If you go to our YouTube page you can watch past meetings.

Is the South Dakota Legislature considering legislation to appoint county auditors and treasurers?

There was a rumor roaming around the halls of the Minnehaha County Administration building that a District 13 Republican legislator is considering sponsoring a law that would allow county commissioners to appoint their treasurers and auditors instead of electing them.

I know what their main arguments will be, they want to appoint someone with experience in the field. But I am no dummy, that is a ruse. They want to appoint people they can control, and since most legislators and county commissions are Republicans that means these appointees will be Republicans.

I will tell you why I am against this move;

• Keeping our county officials who run elections and collect taxes as elected officials means accountability to the taxpayers not the county commission.

• There is more transparency from elected officials versus bureaucrats.

• This is a power grab by the SD Republican Party since they control all the other bodies of power in local government they can now snatch up one party rule in these offices.

• Less compassion and understanding with tax collection. If the treasurer doesn’t have to answer to the citizens, they can pursue all means possible to collect taxes and inflict harm and penalties.

• The appointed auditor may also set policies forward that inflict voter suppression in certain districts.

This is a bad idea all the way around. There are simpler changes to the law to get more qualified elected officers. First you could make the positions non-partisan (I would say this for the county commissioners also). You could also require candidates to at least have education or experience in accounting or auditing before they could be allowed on the ballot.

If it makes it to the floor of the legislature, which I think it will, it will likely pass and give even more power to the super-majority authoritarian fascist radical right SD GOP.

I have also heard the recently appointed (non-elected) auditor who replaced Litz got quite the pay bump over what Litz was getting. There was also some shuffling of deck chairs between the treasurer’s and auditor’s office due to conflicts of interest. Another reason why appointing these officers is a bad idea.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth calls out TenHaken’s Partisan Voter Suppression Bullsh*t

(Start video at 1:23:00)

I got a ‘friendly’ call from Jeff last night about his performance at the meeting;

“In Mayor TenHaken’s letter, when he talks about the integrity of the election, I have to question his integrity,” Barth said during the Minnehaha County Commission meeting.

This appears to be what I have said it was from the beginning, blatant partisan voter suppression by Mayor Stoneless, and Jeff reiterated that at the meeting. Just look at how he has moved the goal posts in just a few days, first it was about ‘Security’ and when he couldn’t get any traction on that he said it was about ‘State Law’ than when that didn’t stick he said it was about what they do in Iowa.

I will have to agree with Barth, it’s not about any of those things, it’s just plain Bullsh*t coming from a very weak individual who continues to fail at leadership. If Paul had any stones at all, he would come in front of the County Commission and explain to them in person why he won’t do it, or at least send the person who is really running the city, COS Beck, to explain it.

When Paul was elected he had a long history of making a living at being a partisan hack, so I had no question in my mind he would continue that tradition as mayor, and he hasn’t disappointed in that respect. Just like the last guy who made a living from being a salesman, he continued that tradition as mayor.

Folks, in Sioux Falls, Covid is not what ails us, it’s our government.

In the middle of a pandemic, the Minnehaha County Commission decide to beat up Treasurer Nelson

This is pretty nasty. One of the few offices with the county that actually is still open and risking their health and well being is the treasurer’s office and decide to pick on them. Nelson told me after the meeting she has asked for the plexi-glass for years and didn’t give it to her until now. (FF 1:12)

To bad they didn’t have this concern with the AG’s office. Oh, that’s right, that office costs us money while the treasurer’s office is essential for maintaining the budget and the bloated salaries of our county commissioners. They are nervous, because if that office closes all Hell breaks loose. The only concern our commissioners seem to have right now is if they can collect taxes from us, pathetic.

UPDATE II: The FIX is in on property taxes

UPDATE II: I went and talked to the equalization department today. After reviewing the increase, they explained to me that 90% of the increase is land value, in which is formulated different now. We also calculated that my taxes will probably go up $250 dollars next year, which is NOT $2 a month, just for the record.

UPDATE: I decided to go back and look at the records I could find

From 2008-2009 the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2009-2012  the value of my home went up 0%

From 2012-2016  the value of my home went up 10% (aprox 2.5% per year)

From 2016-2017  the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2017-2018  the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2018-2019  the value of my home went up 2.3%

From 2019-2020  the value of my home went up 21.9%

As I predicted and warned people, the school bond, the new county jail and the multiple TIFs we hand out are going to catch up with us. The $2 a month boloney they pitched us was a farce, because I knew they were going to make hay with the assessments. And sure enough they did.

My increased assessments year after year have been steady, but reasonable. I have owned my home for 17+ years and my property taxes have doubled in that time.

I have done little upgrades to my home, except replacing windows, doors, adding new rain gutters a privacy fence and re-shingling after storm damage. I have done NO upgrades to the interior of my house.

So imagine my surprise when I got this in the mail yesterday;

Well, I was NOT surprised, I saw this coming like a freight train. We can’t keep borrowing money in Sioux Falls and not have a way to pay those bonds, so they bleed it out of us through back door tricks like assessments. Can I afford a 21.9% increase in my assessed value? I suppose, but it also means a lot less money in my pocket.

It was interesting listening to the State Legislators talk yesterday at the legislative coffee about state funding of education. Two Republicans made great points;

• The state gives the districts money and the districts decide how that money is spent (salaries, etc.).

• Administrator pay in SD ranks at 15th while teacher pay is at 49th. I haven’t checked that stat, but I know at one time in was around 22nd. There is a obvious disparity.

• Low voter turnout at school elections. The past school bond and school board elections both had around a 4% turnout. Basically the legislator was saying, if you want to have a say on how your local district is being funded, maybe you should show up and vote in these elections. AMEN Brother! But I also have to add their is voter suppression when you use super precincts, no precincts in the northern part of our city and have district finance department employees ‘hand count’ votes, while the business director puts those counts into the system without oversight.

Who knew that owning a house that was built in 1889 could increase in value by almost 22% in one year? Not bad for a home that is 131 years old. What a joke.

Minnehaha County Commission limits public input to 3 minutes

For a long time, the MCC has never limited public input time, I don’t even know if they have a rule for it. Obviously with Roberts Rules, they can make up a rule before a special meeting, like they did on Tuesday before the refugee approval meeting.

While I understand telling people they should try to limit themselves to 3 minutes is a ‘nice’ suggestion, being a dictator about it, was a little annoying. MCC Chair Jean Bender was cutting people off left and right. At one point, the former director of the Multi-Cultural Center, Quadir Aware was told to end his testimony, and he went into a rant about the corruption of the MCC. Oh, the irony . . . .

I have seen public input that has lasted for over 20 minutes for one individual, and one time former Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut talked for well over 9 minutes during public input about drainage for his swamp lake home.

Like I said, the suggestion of 3 minutes was well within Roberts Rules, etc., but when it comes to a topic as important as refugee resettlement and our foolish president who implemented these rules, if someone went over 3 minutes, so what?! Besides, your meetings start at 9 AM, you really have all day to listen and hash it out, we all know none of you have ‘real jobs’ to get to, especially Jeff and Dean 🙂

Wall Lake Bike Trail idea has very little buy-in from residents

When this was first proposed to the Minnehaha County Commission, it sounded like a great idea. But, as we all know, great ideas die really fast when you don’t get buy-in from the residents. I was actually pretty surprised when I watched the MCC meeting on Tuesday that the group proposing this trail never got buy-in from the residents of Wall Lake.

Huge Fail!

Let this be a lesson that when you have a good idea (I still think it is) that you do your research and get everyone on board, or at least a majority on board.

Let’s face it, most people don’t like change, but I think this has more to do with privacy. People live on Wall Lake for a reason, they like the solitude, that’s a given. I wish this would have been more thought out and planned so the residents could still get their privacy while having a great quality of life project around the lake.