Entries Tagged 'Dean Karsky' ↓

SF City Council Chair & Chamber Board Member goes back on his promise to the Ethics Commission


It’s okay to lie about being ethical, because I own goats.

Last night I handed out the below verbage during public testimony. It was concerning Dean Karsky and his dual membership to the city council and Chamber board of directors. Dean did not recuse himself from voting on any of the items, he just sat there. He didn’t even ask a city attorney (the main one was absent) if he should recuse himself. Apparently Dean just lied to the Ethics Commission about recusing himself from voting on Chamber related items.

Tuesday November 4, 2014

Recently Council Chair Dean Karsky attended an Ethics Commission meeting to ask them if it was okay for him to serve on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. They said it would be okay because Dean proposed he would ‘recuse’ himself from voting on any agenda items that are directly related with the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. The Ethics Commission agreed with Dean’s proposal.

Tonight I submit to you several agenda items that Council Chair & Chamber Board of Directors Member Dean Karsky should recuse himself from due to conflicts of interest with Members of the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce. By voting to allow Chamber members to do business with the city you could assume a conflict of interest because Councilor Karsky could give an unfair advantage to Chamber members versus non-members.

The concerning items are as follows;

Item 1) Approval of contracts, several Chamber Members are getting contract approvals with the city. They include; Infrastructure Design Group, Inc., Sayre Associates, Inc., Vision Video Interactive, LLC, Stockwell Engineers, Inc., Short-Elliott-Hendrickson, Inc., Soukup Construction, Inc., Thompson Electric Company, Friessen Construction Co., Inc., and several other snowplow contractors.

Item 2) Change Orders. Chamber Members include; First Rate Excavate, Inc., Beck & Hofer Construction, Inc., Krier & Blain, Inc.

Items 3-8) Fuel contracts, Chamber Member, Howes Oil

Item 10) Liquor Retail License renewal, several businesses are Chamber Members

Items 11-13) Malt Beverage transfers, Chamber Member, Staybridge Suites

Item 17) One day wine license, Chamber Member, Active Generations

Item 18) One day liquor license, Chamber Member, Avera

Item 28) Water tank lease agreement, Chamber members, Soukup Construction, Sioux Falls Two-Way Radio


All other items concern internal city business, change in ordinances or re-zone housekeeping, and don’t present a conflict for Council Chair and Chamber Board of Directors member Dean Karsky.

Looks like SF City Council Chair Dean Karsky is going to be recusing himself from A LOT of votes.

I see Dean pulled the trigger and got a seat on the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of the Directors (Notice he has doesn’t mention in his title that he is city council chair). Since the SF Ethics Commission Kangaroo Kourt cleared Karsky of any unethical behavior (even though it clearly is) he decided to sit on this conflicting board. Karsky promised the ethics commission (and the citizens of Sioux Falls) he would recuse himself from voting on any council items that have anything to do with Chamber business. It will be interesting to watch the meetings with Dean spending most of his time in the overflow room.


The Villagers have spoken already, LEAVE PUBLIC INPUT ALONE

A friend recently sent some questions to the entire Sioux Falls city council about some different topics, one of them was about the public ‘engaging’ the council during public input (and how it isn’t happening). Council Chair, Dean Karsky responded in this manner;

I have been toying with the idea of moving the public input to the Informational Meeting as it would allow for more interaction with the Council and possibly engage the public more with us.  Still working on the pro’s and con’s of doing so, input on the matter is welcome.

Here is my input Dean, LEAVE IT AS IS!

There is absolutely no reason why the council can’t ‘engage’ the public during public input at the city council meetings. During the Munson administration, the council interacted all the time with the public.

If this is a matter of ‘time’ I should remind the council that they are getting PAID to attend the meetings, and the public, which comes on their own time to testify, pays those wages. If they don’t like hearing public input, or they think the meetings are to long, or they don’t get paid enough, then please, resign. There is nothing more annoying then a politician running for office then complaining about their duties once they get elected. Then why did you run?

Lastly, I do partially agree with public input at the informational. In fact several of the citizen advocates in the community have discussed that it would be nice to have public input at the informational. The problem with only limiting it to the informational is timing. The meeting is at 4 PM when many people cannot attend because of work conflicts. By all means, have public input at the informational, but also keep it at 7 PM to so working folks can testify.

Once again, the council is out of touch with the public on this one, just like snowgates, they seem to want to do the opposite of what the public wants for their convenience. Their convenience is of little importance to good government, the public’s convenience is.

SF City Council Informational Meeting 10/7/12

So now Dean just proposes ordinances without talking to the rest of the council, just the homebuilders association?

While this is a great debate to have, I think the issue isn’t the building permits,

1) There was a bad hailstorm

2) Building services has one speed (very slow) and can’t keep up

3) Dean is trying to look important (again)

At the end of the day, this will probably fail, building services and contractors will catch up, and the head of the department can go back to having a beer at Monk’s at 5:05 each weekday.

The Pros & Cons of a Building Permit for roofing

I can see both sides of this argument;

Believe it or not, June’s hailstorm is to blame. It has created a back log of paperwork and home inspections for city employees in the building services department.
Since June, over 6,000 re-shingling permits have been issued in Sioux Falls. The influx of permits has one city council member asking, do we really need permits to re-shingle a house?

Since golf ball sized hail hit portions of Sioux Falls, life at the office has been pretty hectic for Chief Building Official Ron Bell.

“Last year we had a record number of building permits that we’ve ever had issued. I believe that number was just under 8,000,” said Bell.

More than 11,000 building permits have already been issued for this year. Over the last eight weeks, Bell said contractors have been coming in with 80 re-shingling permits at a time.

Bell said at this time last year they had only issued 1,500 re-shingling permits. This year, they are at 6,700.

It’s taking its toll.

“The thing is, is that by the amount of permits that are happening at the counter, the staff doesn’t have the time to devout to large commercial projects,” Bell said.

“We are delaying large construction projects because we are processing re-shingling permits for homes,” City Council Chair Dean Karsky said. “It makes no sense.”

Karsky said that’s why he wants to pull the city’s requirements for re-shingling permits.

“Building permits should be unnecessary for simple maintenance and most communities regard it as maintenance and not as construction,” Karsky said.

Contrary to Bell’s belief that the re-shingling permit gives homeowners a ‘safety net,’ Karsky said not so much.

“Contractors have to be licensed within the city of Sioux Falls, and with their license, they have to post a $10,000 bond,” Karsky said.

Karsky said that process won’t change permit, or no permit.

Believe it or not, I do agree with the city, to a degree, it is kind of a safety net if a city building inspector approves something, and that work is bad. A friend recently had to have some roofing work redone, thankfully she used a contractor for the work and was inspected by the city.

But I also see councilor Karsky’s point of view. Seems silly to get a permit to re-roof a home, say for instance you want to do it yourself over a period of time in different sections. Should you be required to get a permit to work on your OWN home.

IMO, a solution would be to get a permit if you use a contractor, and not require a permit (unless you want to) if you are doing the work yourself. For example, the city requires you to get a permit to build a deck on your home (don’t know a lot of people that build their own decks that get one.) Had a friend go through a nightmarish ordeal with a city building inspector when he decided to get a permit to build his own deck. Let’s just say, he got to build the deck twice.

There seems to be this attitude in the city building department that people can’t do their own remodel/building projects and should always hire a contractor. That is silly, and probably one of the main reasons the city code enforcement department harassed Danielson for 20 years, because he wouldn’t hire a contractor.

City Council plans to rearrange meeting schedule so Karsky can have a conflict of interest


I want my goat and I want to eat it to.

I guess councilor Dean Karsky still doesn’t see a conflict of interest with serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board and the City Council at the same time. He is going as far as to get the city council to change the meeting schedule in October so he can attend the Chamber’s annual meeting (Item #12).

So let’s rearrange seven of the councilor’s normal schedules so ONE city councilor can attend a meeting that presents a clear conflict of interest. Why not ask the Chamber of Commerce to change their schedule?

The Ethics Commission (Kangaroo Kourt) contends there is NO conflict because Karsky will excuse himself from voting on anything doing with the Chamber. So I guess when any business that is a Chamber Member comes fourth Karsky will be excusing himself, yeah right. What is even more troubling is will Karsky excuse himself from non-chamber members asking for a license or permit that are in direct competition with a chamber member? If Karsky truly keeps his word on excusing himself, he won’t be voting very often, might as well just sit in the front room of Carnegie and watch the council meeting on TV, or better yet, just resign from the Council, the Chamber can have you.

I am wondering when Dean is going to pull some ethics out of his butt and realize this is a very bad idea to be serving on both boards. Of course, he has probably been mentoring Mr. Ethical himself, Mayor Mike.

So which is it Karsky, City Council or Chamber Board?

Karsky is about to be elected to the SF Chamber Board (DOC: CHAMBER ) He says he will recuse himself from voting on anything involving the Chamber while on the City Council. That will be nearly impossible. Chamber members come before the city council weekly asking for various licenses and permits and rezoning.

So Dean, which is it? The City Council or the Chamber Board? You are going to have to make a decision. Because I can guarantee you that if you serve on the Chamber Board and the Council at the same time and you vote to approve something for a Chamber member, you will have an ethics complaint filed against you for every time you don’t recuse yourself, and NOT by me. Many business people in town are very concerned about the relationship.

Seems someone wants their cake and wants to eat it too. Just building that resume for your 2018 mayoral run, aren’t you Dean? How would you like to add ‘unethical’ to the list?

Dean Karsky for County Commission 2016


I would be great on the County Commission, especially for the goat farmers in rural Minnehaha county.

I read in the Argus Leader today that Karsky is considering a run for County Commission. I have been watching the Commission meetings lately, and I can tell you they conduct business quite differently then the city council, they also have a tighter budget. First off, the commissioners sit on a bunch of committees and put in a lot more time then councilors do (they also get paid more). The discussions on the commission are also more in depth and issues and agenda items are vetted pretty thorough before the commission votes.

If Karsky thinks that first off, he has the time to serve on the commission, and secondly thinks his rubberstamping style on the council is going to roll on the commission, he is in for a big surprise.

Good luck Dean.

SF City Councilor Dean Karsky kicks the TIF political football out of bounds


Oh the games our council plays (Item #11), and how easily they manipulate some of the players like Karsky;

The council voted 5-3 last week to postpone the decision until the April 1 meeting. But Councilor Dean Karsky wanted to push it back even further, giving the council time to have a less formal discussion about TIF rules before making a decision. A workshop is planned for April 10 — two days after the election, but Karsky said that was not a factor in scheduling it then.

“It’s not a political advantage or disadvantage to either (candidate),” he said.

While I agree there should be solid discussion on the topic and something ‘doable’ be put on the council agenda, Karsky couldn’t have it more wrong when he talks about political advantages. Huether and Erpenbach very much wanted this topic to go quietly in the night and die, or at least get shelved until after the election. I’m not sure what kind of carrots or candy was offered to Karsky by those two, but it must have been pretty good.

The Cowardly 5; Erpenbach, Rolfing, Entenman, Aguilar, Karsky

Trust me, I knew how this was going to go down tonight. I knew it would probably fail.

But the process was not honored. Five councilors didn’t honor their oath to US Constitution to uphold democratic ideals, holding timely elections per request of citizen petition signers. It’s shameful, lustful, greedy, and COWARDLY. These are your five councilors that are COWARDS!

The worst part is that Council Coward Chair Erpenbach decided to implement one of her made up, pro-censorship, anti-1st amendment rules and limiting public testimony to 20 minutes (Think SF School Board meetings). That is why I was not allowed to speak, though I raised my hand.

If I would have had the opportunity (But apparently this city now is a dictatorship ran by a coward called Michelle Erpenbach) I would essentially said this;

I have been watching city government longer then any of you have even served up here. You are very predictable, but I am hoping tonight I would not have to predict the normal, self-interest, cowardly action to protect the ruling class from the working class of this city. I think it is incredibly pathetic that I even have to come here and beg my elected officials to uphold their constitutional duties they swore on in an oath. This is a slam dunk, your constituents have followed the letter of the law gathering these signatures and turning them in. Your job is easy. Vote YES to secure a timely election, any other action would be shameful, cowardly and unconstitutional.