The charter revision commision decided today to make their meetings ‘working sessions’ and have them in the commons room instead of the main room (so they won’t be recorded) The public can still attend and give input. Surprisingly enough Knudson was the only member who defended keeping the meetings recorded. She argued most people will be working at the 3:30 PM time they hold the meetings, and they should be able to view them later on the internets. She said it was about ‘Openness and Transparency’ in government. Bravo De! The working sessions, where they will make changes to the city charter in the unrecorded meetings can be attended by the public. And when they finally vote on the changes at the end of the year, they will be recorded.

When De suggested that all the meetings should be recorded, you didn’t hear a peep out of the rest of the members, except that it will be ‘easier’ for them to work in the other room, one member said ‘they liked the table’ in the Ante room. I think after last year’s SNAFU, the CRC wants to keep what they are doing on the lowdown. This is unfortunate. KUDOS to Knudson for a least making an attempt at keeping the meetings recorded.

I received new information today that the SD Democratic Party, or at least one of their operatives, supposedly, was helping De Knudson to raise money for her campaign. I only have two sources, so I’m not going to say whether this is true or not, just speculation at this point, BUT;

1) It would explain why a young Democrat like Jesse Vavreck was asked to step out of the race.

2) It would also explain why Knudson was asked to speak at a Democratic forum and not Staggers.

3) I also found it a bit odd that so many loyal Dems I talked to supported De.

This should come as no surprise, Dave and De Knudson were Democrats for years, but like Bob Litz, they realized if you want to move up that political latter you have to register Republican, except it didn’t work for Dave or De. At least their son is smart enough to stick with the Democratic label running for the State Legislature, even though I think Manny Steele is going to cream him.

I find it a bit humorous, that even when the SD Dems put all of their resources behind a Republican they even lose, in fact I find it completely, side-splitting hilarious. It wasn’t like Kermit beat De by a couple of votes, he handily beat her and did it with a grassroots campaign that spent 20% of what she did.

For the record, I never thought I would support a conservative candidate like Staggers, but I like his record on fiscal responsibility and transparency in government, something the faux Republican Knudson never has had a record on.

I also find it a little disappointing that the Democrats wanted Kermit to lose so bad, they had to back a Republican. Who says the two parties can’t work together? Except this time the result was quite disastrous, and quite embarrassing.

If this all really went down, as I have heard it did, I hope the Dems learned a lesson from it. Support your own next time, you know, like Jesse Vavreck.

(PS – I also heard they tried to help other candidates that were running against Republicans in the council race.)

(Click to enlarge)

The Knudson campaign whipped this mailer together on Friday (digitally printed) and sent it out. Once again she is misleading voters on Kermit’s record (we will get to that in a moment).

But what concerns me is that Knudson cites the AL as a reliable source. Why not reference the actual council meetings his supposed opposition took place so voters can have a chance to view the meetings online and see the actual recorded votes. I’m not concerned about what a politician has to say to a newspaper, especially how the AL editorializes, I’m concerned how they vote on an issue, and why they voted that way.

Secondly, who did the research, and found these newspaper articles? Or does Knudson have an insider working at the paper? Wouldn’t surprise me.

UPDATED w/article citations (Dr. Staggers contributed to the following)

Regarding the Events Center statement – February 17, 2010

This article actually reaffirms my position on the Events Center that I did not want a subsidy or tax increase.  De’s card inaccurately references this article to say that I opposed the Events Center.

Councilor Kermit Staggers reiterated he was against raising taxes or subsidizing the events center. He said it would be appropriate to have a plan ready for the new mayor to review.

“Whoever is the new mayor of Sioux Falls is going to have a tremendous amount of say in this events center,” he said.

Regarding the zoo, Westside Library and River Greenway – May 19, 2009

The article deals with a second so-called quality of life bond of $18.5 million that deals with a new junior football complex, doubling the cost of the greenway project, more money for the zoo, and a new library. Earlier, a first so-called quality of life bond for $25 million had been passed for funding the Drake Springs Pool, remodeling the downtown library, and for baseball fields at Harmondon Park.  I voted for this bond issue. Once again, regarding this second bond issue of $18.5 million that De’s card references, I voted against it in addition to Pat Costello and Kenny Anderson.  I know the three of us were particularly upset about the dramatic increase in spending for the greenway, and also whether this was an appropriate time to go into debt having previously passed a $25 million bond issue.

In the end, Costello and councilors Kermit Staggers and Kenny Anderson Jr. voted against approving the bonds.

Costello earlier grilled Rowenhorst about debt accumulation in less than 30 months. Concern exists about Capital Improvement Program projects’ effect on the budget, he said.

“We have new police officers we want to add and a new fire station we need in 2011,” Costello said. “I’d like to know what the impact will be on the operating budget before we do this.”

Regarding the SF Development Foundation – January 31, 2008

This article brings up one attempt of mine to reduce the city subsidy of this private business foundation.  I STRONGLY SUPPORT THE PRIVATE EFFORTS OF THIS FOUNDATION.

Regarding the Main Branch Library – January 15, 2008

This article deals with adding $1.5 million to the remodeling of the library.  Having already voted for the money to remodel the library, more money was now being requested.  This is a good example of the city engaging in extravagant spending.  Myself, Pat Costello, and Gerald Beninga voted against this extravagant spending.

Councilors Gerald Beninga, Pat Costello and Kermit Staggers voted against the increase, calling the projects unnecessary.

Costello called the flooring system a “luxury.” He said that it would be less expensive to run cables through the ceiling, and he questioned the need to install the expensive flooring in all of the library when computer terminals take up a small amount of space.

“This is just simply a luxury item. There is no clearer example than this.”

Staggers said the city would still get “a very nice library” even without the $1.5 million increase.

“We’re not cutting down on spending at all. We just continue to spend, spend, spend.”

Regarding the Washington Pavilion – September 18, 2004 & March 1, 2003

The September 18th article deals with my attempt to reduce the subsidy of the Washington Pavilion.  In March 1, 2003 I am actually applauding Washington Pavilion for actually making a profit.  I DO NOT OPPOSE THE WASHINGTON PAVILION. I want the facility to make money!

Council member Kermit Staggers said that is too high. He has presented more than a dozen amendments that would cut spending.

One of his biggest targets is nonprofit agencies that have requested money. He said public dollars shouldn’t go to those groups.

“The most important thing is for the public to be aware of some of these subsidies,” he said.

While Staggers and Jamison are calling for cuts, council member De Knudson proposes increasing the subsidy for the Sioux Empire Arts Council by $12,820 to a total of $37,000.

What I have always done on the Council is to look critically at all spending and to advocate eliminating spending which is wasteful. Unfortunately, De has never looked at spending in a critical way.  Her response seems to be that if anybody is critical of spending, then they are against the facility or program.

As I sidenote, I remember watching or attending several of the above mentioned meetings. Kermit was not always alone in questioning spending, especially with the Library improvements and the River Greenway (which has jumped from $2.5 million to over $10 million when completed).


Even more shocking is that she has spent over $42,000 – RUNNING FOR A COUNCIL SEAT! For somebody who is simply running to block Staggers from being on the council again, this is frightening on many levels. It really shows how out of touch Knudson is with the average Joe (spending almost 3x times what the job pays in a year). This has to be a new record in city politics.


This proves two points I have made about running for office in Sioux Falls.

1) IT takes a lot of money, and that is why the average person doesn’t have a chance, even if they knock on many doors.

2) The elite businessmen and developers run this town, and they are not about to give up their power.

On a positive note though, if Staggers beats Knudson, he will prove that the money machine can be toppled.