Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary says Noem was naughty, AFTER the election

I was wondering if the club was going to say anything about Kristi lifting footage from Jamie Smith’s appearance, oh, but they are concerned;

Some members of the Downtown Rotary Club in Sioux Falls were not happy that Gov. Kristi Noem’s campaign pilfered video of a meeting the club had with Democratic governor candidate Jamie Smith.

In a note to club members, President Cindy Peterson acknowledged the discontent.

“Please know there has been extensive discussion on if, when, and how to respond,” Peterson wrote. “Downtown Rotary is a nonpartisan organization and prides itself on being a place where important conversations happen. Our club’s neutrality cannot be compromised by implying a side in what is a political debate.”

The ‘time’ to respond would have been immediately after the ad was posted. It does no good to slap people’s hands after they clobber their opponent in a statewide election. Kristi doesn’t give a sh!t!

“As we look forward, the board will discuss our current process and policy regarding meeting content and determine how our club regulates the rights to the footage and how it is used in the future,” Peterson wrote.

I certainly am NO expert, but they could have posted a disclaimer on the bottom of the video that says the Rotary requests permission to use their videos in political and non-political ads. They also can put a copyright on the videos. They can do very little about people who may share their videos on social media or blogs, but those are NOT campaign ads.

I think the Rotary knew what she did was ethically wrong, but since a large majority of members are Republicans and small business owners, there was no way in Hell they were going to slap her around before the election. What members of Rotary were upset? The two democrats and one independent that belong to the club?

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Homeless Task Force meeting videos are getting more and more delayed

UPDATE: I was informed this morning that the meeting video will not be available due to the audio missing. Not even sure how that happened?

This is the 3rd time I have requested from Chair Merkouris that the video from the latest task force meeting be posted to YouTube. Considering it is Saturday now, it is highly unlikely we will see the video until Monday. I find it interesting the closer they get to making recommendations the meetings being posted are an afterthought.

Most people can’t make the 4 PM Monday meeting time, and why I have asked for it to be live streamed. I have not won that battle. For reference and someone who is familiar to how videos are posted to YT, it literally only takes a couple of hours to post a video, if that, and usually the computer does all the work with very little interaction from the person uploading the video.

A couple of things so far that has come from the meetings is funding a pilot program for a street teams, funding a Helpline software program (to connect the different services and clients) and possibly upping the funding to the different homeless services.

Bunker Ramp Developer Proposals need to be made public

The Anti-Transparent government running city hall wants to move forward on the failed Bunker Ramp project with even less transparency than what got us in this pickle to begin with;

Powers and chief of staff Erica Beck also have updated the City Council multiple times, answered questions and solicited feedback.

“It’s important to note that some of the interest is because of the confidence we’ve been able to share with the industry and because of the collaboration between the administration and council,” Beck said. “We’ve been transparent that we’re conveying the questions, concerns and comments … and I think that will lead to a process and ultimately applications that may be more than what we first thought we might receive. We’ve received a lot of good feedback both internal and external of the city and state for that matter.”

The city plans to use a negotiated sale process to either sell or lease all or part of the site, including potentially the ramp itself.

A committee of city and community representatives will lead the evaluation process and make a recommendation. The team will start reviewing submissions in January, but there’s no hard deadline yet.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with an initial review process to boot out the ridiculous, underfunded and impossible, serious finalists and contenders need to present their proposals publicly to the city council during a special informational meeting as long as they meet investment criteria (a little problem we had the first time around).

It certainly sounds like to me a process has been set in place that will make the final decision of who takes over the property up to the non-elected planning staff, the non-elected mayor’s staff, the mayor himself and handed over to the council for rubber stamp approval.

And who can resist a property that has PLUMP utilities;

I would challenge the city council to demand that at least 3 finalists need to present publicly their plans to the council, and allow the council to have an up or down vote on those proposals.

As of right now, it would be like going to the shoe store and asking to see all of their running shoes they have in size 8, and the salesperson bringing out one pair from the store room stating, “These are our best shoes sir, you don’t need to worry about what else is in stock.”

One of the biggest reasons corruption and bad decisions are made not just locally but nationally is because those decisions are made in the dark with very little if any input from the public. Bring the public along this time and it could be less complicated.

As I have predicted, the developer will probably be a usual suspect that will get all the handouts and goodies anticipated with a deal like this. There will either be a much lower purchase price or lease agreement negotiated(?) and a tax break or TIF to boot. No developer in their right mind wouldn’t go after this opportunity WITHOUT asking for the full reach around from the city, and they will quickly oblige, heck it is even mentioned in the proposal online;

For property that is being considered for sale, the value of the property is established by a market value appraisal prepared by an independent appraiser hired and compensated by the City. Projects that will provide tangible public benefits may be eligible for various forms of financial assistance, such as tax increment financing (TIF) and property tax reduction. Consideration of the purchase/lease price, incentive request, or other request of the proposer will be weighed to determine the best project and offer to the City

In other words ‘just ask’ and you may get what you want.

Wholestone, Video Lottery, Ticket fees and Data Harvesting

There has been a lot of talk about the upcoming election. One of the topics is Mayor TenHaken’s participation in the Anti IM 27 campaign and if it is it is legal. I have been warning people for years that PTH’s former job was being a political partisan marketing hack, and little has changed. He continues to ignore the ethics of being a politician while setting precedents when unchallenged. Paul not only is betting the farm on his input to the opponents but I also think he is doing this to harvest statewide voter data for an eventual run for Governor or Senator. It makes me laugh when Paul says he hates politics and doesn’t like being a politician, but he has done it his entire professional life and now is using PAC money from a PAC he runs to make a political stance. We will see how this plays out. I think the race is in a dead heat, but if Paul is successful in getting his SF mayoral supporters in line with his feelings on MJ he will set another precedent right in front of our faces. Even if IM 27 passes and foils his ambitions (he will still have secured the voter data), I still encourage members of the IM 27 campaign to file ethics violations against him for his political stunt as a sitting (lying) mayor.

Even if the Wholestone Slaughterhouse ordinance fails or passes (I think it will get between 70-80%) it will ultimately be decided in a court of law and NOT by voters. Why is this? For the same reason I voted NO. It is a poorly written measure that doesn’t address property rights and current zoning. Liking the concept or not doesn’t matter here, it is about law and city ordinances, and since the city council didn’t have the courage to do something about this in January here we are. Thousands of disenfranchised voters and a very nervous judge.

Speaking of the ordinance, council chair, Curt Soehl, decided it was a good idea to write a letter to the editor in support of the NO vote. I was told the entire council was advised to publicly keep quiet about the ordinance until after the election, Soehl obviously ignored them. Funny how this guy likes to tell councilors how to conduct themselves during meetings but does whatever he wants to on the side. Not just an authoritarian, but a hypocrite.

The Events Center Campus is a dump and always will be, that isn’t coming from me, that is straight from councilors yesterday at the informational meeting;

Neitzert called the proposal to spend more at the events center complex a “sunk-cost fallacy,” and unless the plan includes overhauling the entire neighborhood and creating a walkable road network, he doesn’t anticipate much success.

“We’ve been proven wrong twice,” he said. “It’s just a tough area. It just is.”

Maybe Greg learned something from his Bunker Ramp vote. The 3rd time isn’t always a charm.

Speaking of Greg, last night with the support of the mayor at the council meeting found ways to limit video lottery at a handful of casinos but did argue that it will take some stronger ordinance changes in the near future to affect change. I can guarantee lobbyists for the VL industry in SD are already nagging lawmakers to make changes to state law so they can have these mega casinos that hand out free beer. Like Wholestone, this will also be decided by a court, and also like Wholestone the City Council acted too little and too late. The city council should have been working on this for the past two decades.

A few weeks ago I addressed the city council about having a $5 dollar bond payment ticket fee at the Denty to help pay down the mortgage. This week they turned around and gave a ticket fee to the general fund of the Sports Authority for ‘Marketing’ with NO oversight. Of course this is the same city council that continues to subsidize the operations of the Pavilion while spending millions on building repairs while the Pavilion sits on a $5 million dollar savings fund. Yet some how the city may have to scrounge the money together for an additional warming shelter this winter.

The screenshot below is from the last Audit Committee meeting Councilor Jensen chaired. It was so nice of the taxpayers of Sioux Falls to fund City of Sioux Falls logo wear for councilors (instead of a simple $10 lapel nametag magnet) so that when they actually show up to a live streamed public meeting they could be promoting their Dr. Oz and Alex Jones vitamins. #justrolledoutofbed

Found on Facebook

The Bunker Ramp got its first mural submission. Not sure it lasted long 🙂

Mayor TenHaken proposing sale/lease agreement on Bunker Ramp BEFORE developer selected

As I have stated in the past, the selection of who takes over the Bunker Ramp will likely be a usual suspect, and probably already in the hopper. But all assumptions aside, the mayor has sponsored a resolution (Item #59) to put framework in place BEFORE the developer has been chosen. Cough, snicker, laugh, cough;

Background & Objective: This Resolution outlines the City Council support to consider both a lease and/or sale of the property at 140 E 10th Street (Parking Ramp site). It outlines the goals and expectations of any proposals that will be received through the Negotiated Sale process.

It seems this time around they are trying to get ahead of any questions about who is chosen. I look at this as a good thing, besides who is negotiating this sale, likely behind closed doors.

They still struggle with the concept of transparency, and if used the first time around (they had three bites at the apple) we wouldn’t be in this place.

There has been a lot of discussion about what went wrong with the original project, just like how did a slaughterhouse get approved without conditional use permits, why is homelessness and violent crime exploding and musical chair rotating video lottery casinos.

It seems this administration and council have learned very little from the past, but they are trying really, really, really hard (not to blow out the candles during their meetings).

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken’s Next Gen PAC gives $10K to Anti-IM 27 group

UPDATE: I have seen some poorly thrown together pressers before, but this one took the cake. During the briefing which featured mostly TenHaken, he was asked about the monicker ‘Reject IM 27’ he said it isn’t a slogan just some materials that his PAC, Next Gen came up with. They also tried to link homelessness to Rec MJ legalization. If I wasn’t surrounded by Republicans I probably would have busted up laughing. Sheriff Milstead also went after a retired veteran and SFPO for supporting IM 27. I didn’t catch everything he said, but I think he questioned his mental state. I also enjoyed Maggie Sutton’s phone going off while in the middle of the presser. Several reporters asked questions, but I think one of the TV stations cameramen really went after them about why they are so opposed. Patrick Lalley with Sioux Falls Forum also asked PTH about his conflict if it passes and he has to implement policy. Paul pretty much said he would use the power of Home Rule Charter to limit access. This is pretty bold statement considering the city still has to follow state law and the council approves all ordinances. Lalley also asked Minnehaha County State’s Attorney, Dan Haggar about what the city and county are currently doing to combat illegal MJ use right now. There was a lot of stammering. A few days ago PTH posted a video on his FB page where he tricked his youngest daughter into believing MJ edibles were real candy to prove a point. Here’s the deal, potheads won’t be going to schools handing out edibles. Unfortunately polling for IM 27 has it a neck and neck race, and if SF doesn’t carry the measure, it won’t pass.

Leaders(?) will have a presser tomorrow to spread more baloney about the harmful effects of marijuana. The only thing IM 27 does is decriminalize possession of small amounts of recreational MJ for adult use. There is nothing in the measure that sets up dispensaries or a taxation system. That will be the job of the legislative ‘leaders’ to take that on if the measure passes. There is also NO exemption for use of the product under the age of 21 (just like tobacco and alcohol).


As mentioned by the chair and proponent of IM 27, if legalizing Rec MJ across the country (about 20 states) has been so harmful and detrimental, then why hasn’t any of these states repealed the legalization? It’s simple. Because the benefits of legal MJ for adults outweighs any issues that may arise from legalization.

The opponents are trying to make this about the kids, but it has nothing to do with kids, enforcement or taxation. If the leaders in this state really want to make a difference, they would climb aboard and find a logical way to regulate, sell and tax Rec MJ for the betterment of all.

I encourage anyone who supports IM 27 and know what the opponents are pushing is total BS to show up to the presser tomorrow and call them out on their stats. It’s time we publicly call them out on their games and the dark money funding their opposition campaign from the mayor’s PAC’s donors.

The ‘Real’ ZombieWalk will happen this Saturday, Oct 29th

There was a fake ZW this past Saturday by a renegade group of derby folks. No worries, since you probably missed it, the real deal is coming Saturday!

I was so happy to be a part of the first few years of ZW helping with design. After a two year hiatus the original ZW will Return! Here is a video from the first year in 2006;

Is the revamped Facade Easement program just political payback?

I saw this coming a mile away.

When the program got reinstated earlier this year I knew what was up. Councilor Soehl pushed for reinstating the program while his campaign’s treasurer was restoring a building in Pettigrew Heights. Look who got a grant, item #6, sub-items #4-5;

Conditional Façade Grant Agreement for building commonly known as 100 South Grange Avenue, Boulevard Properties, LLC, $95K

This is for the proposed coffee shop at 9th and Grange that already got special zoning and street parking. This is a massive conflict of interest on Soehl’s part and he should be charged with an ethical violation. It is the epitome of quid pro quo.

And it seems the mayor’s very special campaign donors are getting some facade monies;

Conditional Façade Grant Agreement for Lucky’s at 224-226 S Phillips Avenue, Blackstreet Partners, LLC, $25K

This of course is part of a conglomerate of investment and development partners who have given thousands of dollars to Mayor TenHaken’s campaign and pro-Haken candidates.

Gee? I wonder why the facade grant was reinstated? Ethics be damned!

Sioux Falls Homeless Task Force meeting from Oct 3 has yet to be posted

I was unable to attend last Monday’s meeting and I have noticed that after 8 days it has yet to be posted on YouTube. I still don’t understand why the meetings cannot be live streamed as they are recorded at Carnegie, but to take 8 days to post a video that can easily be converted and uploaded to YT within a couple of hours is troubling. So unless you could have left work early last Monday and attended in person you have NO idea what was discussed. Transparent government at its best!