Entries Tagged 'Curt Soehl' ↓

We don’t need no stinking audits

The Sioux Falls 2022 City Election is getting interesting. Why has there been so much anger by certain members when legitimate questions are asked? Why is there so much anger when any audits are talked about? Ask your candidates how they stand and what they might want to hide.

Sioux Falls City Councilor, Soehl is very beatable

Make no mistake, beating an incumbent city councilor is not an easy task, ask Jensen who had to spend $127K and lucking out by having primary voters (who rarely vote in city elections) help him achieve the task.

Obviously it doesn’t hurt that Soehl now has two challengers, a well-intentioned, all around family guy and a fierce citizen advocate. We could likely see them in the run-off or one of them crushing the 51% threshold.

But what really makes Soehl beatable is that he really isn’t an incumbent because the Central district he was elected in doesn’t exist anymore and you really don’t need the McKennan park elite’s vote to win in Central.

The re-districting commission now have included parts of Whittier and Cathedral neighborhoods. Match that with Pettigrew Heights and you have pretty strong working class voters.

While it will be a challenge for the other two candidates to battle with an incumbent, Soehl is really an incumbent with NO home and will NOT be re-elected.

Sioux Falls City Council Central District Candidate announced this past weekend

I had heard rumors of another doctor running, but apparently it was a pharmacist from Avera;


My name is Jim Burzynski, and I am running for the central district seat for the Sioux Falls City Council. Come on down for a cup of coffee and sign the petition to add me to the ballot. Let’s get a new voice for the core neighborhoods that have been neglected for too long.

I’m glad to see Soehl has at least one challenger, and it looks like he is a professional who has support from the All Saints Neighborhood Association. Ironically, his wife, Dr. Connie Taylor works in the same department as council candidate Dr. Sarah Cole at Avera.

I’m actually surprised the cheese and wine Democrats are putting someone up against Soehl. But on the other hand if you look at Soehl’s lackluster record it shouldn’t be a surprise.

Sioux Falls City Council’s Property Tax Refund proposal is Hypocritical


So Councilor Soehl is sponsoring an ordinance for the city’s portion of property taxes to be refunded to low income seniors (1st Reading, Item #50)



â–ª A Simplified Process: Those who qualify for state assessment freeze program will be automatically enrolled.
â–ª Must make application at the County for the State’s Assessment Freeze Program (existing process) by April 1 of the year preceding the year in which City will issue refund.
â–ª Refund will be equal to the municipal property tax, but may not exceed $500 annually.
â–ª City Council must renew program each year by resolution, and make an appropriation.
â–ª If approved, first refund payment issued on or before March 31.



While I certainly don’t have an issue with offering this program it surely wreaks with hypocrisy. While Councilor Starr, the co-sponsor, has consistently voted against property tax percentage increases, most of the council has not. They have also approved millions in TIFs for luxury condos, parking ramps and egg roll factories which raises the taxes on the rest of us (mine went up 7.5% from last year) and they have yet to present a doable plan to combat affordable housing in our city.

All of this comes of course just a couple months from a city council election. Hmmmmm.

I’m all for keeping taxes affordable for low income seniors, but you have to wonder if it is at the cost of the rest of us. I have been arguing for awhile that we are being extremely overtaxed in Sioux Falls. Somehow we have $10 million laying around for infrastructure of a private non-profit research facility (even though a well maintained road goes right up to the development and water and sewer probably run right underneath it) and a couple million for employee retention bonuses (without a vaccination mandate or incentive).

If the city council wants to help out with property tax relief, why don’t we start with the people who are paying the lion’s share? I think the city council needs to start cutting property taxes, for all of us, and eliminate TIF’s and tax rebate for the big guys all together.

There will never be ‘Regular People’ serving in Sioux Falls city government ever again

We saw the writing on the wall when Alex Jensen and his cabal of donors had to spend $127K to beat a self-employed piano teacher by around 90 votes. The regular guy/gal is no longer allowed to compete.

Just look at the usual donors on the financial reports (someone should tell Andera that she can’t add her smaller contributions up twice 🙂

It is the same group of rich Republican businessmen and mysterious dark PACs (so some of these rich people can hide their identities) that are once again funding the campaigns of the NON-regular people (except Islam who seems to have half the state of Michigan gunning for her and they all work at the same hospital 🙂

You have to chuckle when Clowncilor Marshall Selfish actually suggested that the reason the members needed a bigger salary is so more regular people could run. That’s rich considering he never mentioned that you actually need the money up front.

We could change this with a couple of easy steps;

• Get rid of the Home Rule Charter as it exists and give more power back to council and,

• Publicly finance the races so everyone is on the same playing field.

We of course first must throw out the current charter, and there is a stew brewing on that one along with some other goodies I will share very soon.

So it looks like we will have yet another city election where a handful of people vote for the very people who are lining their pockets with donations from the banksters, bondsters and developers that are turning our city into a corporate welfare state.

This is the current lineup for the election;

Mayoral Race; Paul TenHaken, David Zokaites, Taneeza Islam

Central District; Curt Soehl (No challengers)

Southeast District; David Barranco (No Challengers)

At Large (A); Janet Brekke, Bobbi Andera, Dr. Sarah Cole

At Large (B); Rich Merkouris, Pam Cole

Sioux Falls City Councilor Curt Soehl plays an interesting game tonight

At the council meeting tonight, Soehl recused himself on Item #45, which is a rezone of an historic building in Pettigrew Heights to be converted into a coffee shop. I’m am not sure why he recused himself because he never told the council and the public, but my guess is he may be investing in the project but I do not know for sure. Let’s just say he has a conflict and admitted to it, whatever it is.

After coming back he co-sponsored item #53, a resolution to pull $120K from streets to re-establish the core facade program. He claims he has NO idea who would want to use it but has heard several people are interested.

So imagine my surprise when the main developer of Item #45 was interested in applying for the program after his rezone was approved.

Coincidence? I think not.

So how is it that Soehl walked out on the coffee shop project because of an assumed conflict, then turns around and sponsors a program that MAY benefit the project he has a conflict with?

Hey Curt, we can connect the dots . . . unfortunately you cannot. This will be brought up time and time again when your re-election campaign heats up.

UPDATE: Apparently the Developer of the Coffee Shop is Curt’s re-election campaign treasurer

Open Meetings Violation Filed against the City of Sioux Falls

The below document is actually a ‘notice’ to the city that one will be filed next week with the State’s Attorney office. I believe that it refers to presentations during the consent agenda in which the Chair (Mayor TenHaken) did not ask for public input. It was also the responsibility of the City Attorney, the City Clerk and the Chair of the Council, this is why they are mentioned in the complaint.

I also want to clarify, I wasn’t the one who caught this, I missed the part in the meeting when this occurred as I was on a phone call (I watch the meetings live from home). Sierra is the one who actually caught it and took action on her own.

The irony of all this is that I just told the Charter Revision Commission last week that public input at city meetings was broken and needed to be fixed.

Stay tuned, much more to come next week.

If the Sioux Falls Districting Commission picks option C11 it would be a game changer for the Central District

While there are many options for the Districting Commission to review at their meeting on Wednesday, options C9 and especially C11 would be the biggest changes to the district in years. Not only would you make the Central the largest by population, you would really make it a core district again.

The discussion should be interesting.

Hopefully many candidates will be challenging Councilor Soehl for the Central District in the 2022 municipal election since he has been an utter failure delivering very little to the residents and homeowners of the district and more concerned about handing out millions in TIFs to DT parking ramps we don’t need while letting the residential streets of the core turn into the roads of Baghdad.

Sioux Falls City Council Chair Soehl is quite the Authoritarian

The newly elected chair, Curt Soehl, has quite the authoritarian streak. Yesterday while chairing several of the meetings he kept limiting public input to 15 minutes or about 3 people. They should not be scheduling these meetings back to back and should be spreading them out over a couple of days. But this does not give him an excuse to limit public input, it is a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment in reference to prior restraint.

While I thought maybe this was just a one-time decision someone told me he pulled the same trick today at the 10:30 AM, downtown library Working Session. Hey, I get it, they don’t like open government, that’s why they have meetings in the middle of the morning at the library instead of Carnegie, but now it seems they want to limit it also to the ones that can actually attend. I have never seen so much disdain towards the public’s opinion on matters. Yes, the council hasn’t been very open for a long time, but now there seems to be a lot of openness about NOT being open. They seem to wear it like a badge.

As for the meeting itself, it was a bunch of Covid money handouts to the Parks Department projects including more tennis courts, because you know, it is such a huge sport in Sioux Falls, LOL. I am often reminded of this when I drive by the parking lot at the Huether tennis center with 2-3 cars in the lot. Wondering if we will ever get our Half-Million back.

Speaking of open government and transparency, during the working session yesterday, I found it a bit bizarre that the council hasn’t asked the very people who wrote IM26 (Medical Marijuana) to be a part of the discussion. Wouldn’t you want the very people who wrote the successful measure to help advise you on what is in it? Or do we want to just do whatever we want to (basically sitting on our hands) then come up with regulations without their input then let them sue us? Seems counterproductive to me. Not sure the council or county commission has done their research (not likely) but the national movement to decriminalize marijuana has a lot of Benjamins behind it and they take their investments seriously.

This is what you get when you have a local government that works behind closed doors, is not transparent, limits public input and does the bidding of big business instead of the work of the people. All the hub-bub about TIFs, Mary Jane regulations, zoning, etc. doesn’t mean a hill of beans if you don’t operate government in the open. As I said last week, only crooks, scammers and schemers do business behind closed doors. Add authoritarians to that list.

Sioux Falls Councilor Soehl gets elected Council Chair and Jensen Vice-Chair

Soehl didn’t even bother to show up tonight and got elected Chair (he was vice-chair). While Jensen hasn’t even been there a year, he got elected vice-chair, even though Brekke or Starr deserved the position. This was obviously political and partisan. Brekke and Starr tend to question the other councilors and administration and probably the reason they were not nominated. I don’t think Starr was interested but I think Brekke did want to be vice-chair. Further proof in this town and city government it is who you know, not what you know. Erickson got elected to operations committee even though she is done in about a year. Probably one of the most pathetic council chair elections I have ever seen, but certainly not shocking.