Entries Tagged 'Dr. Sarah Cole' ↓

Sioux Falls City Councilor Merkouris proposing a Homeless Task Force

At the Tuesday’s Informational meeting during open discussion councilor Rich Merkouris proposed a resolution to form a Homeless Task force that focuses on east 8th street downtown.

This of course is long overdue and I applaud Rich for taking the initiative to tackle this at his 3rd meeting.

One of his fellow new councilors, Sarah Cole decided to skip her 3rd and 4th meeting of the council. Of course, councilors only have to attend one meeting a month, but it doesn’t look real good skipping your 3rd and 4th meeting after just being newly elected and not even phoning it in. I do understand she is a medical doctor and emergencies do happen . . . one of the reasons I didn’t think she had the time to dedicate to the job. Nothing against her personally or her profession, I just don’t think they work well together.

*Sorry I was out this past week on a little R & R, so I am a little late on this stuff.

Mayor TenHanken’s Latest Interview

I guess I missed this interview from a couple of days ago;

In the past four years, his city department head leadership team has changed considerably. There are new police and fire chiefs, new faces leading public health, planning and innovation. He has a new finance director and city attorney.

“So I spent four years building that team, and now for the next four years, we’ve got the team together, and I think we can do a lot.”

He has really spent the past four years dealing with a revolving door. Many people he chose after being elected to his first term have left. He has had to appoint a new city attorney, a new planning director, a new health director and police chief. He has also had to appoint 2 different Fire Chiefs. He is on his 2nd IT and technology director. He has also lost a deputy chief of staff, a housing director and his chief cultural officer. I am unclear what he means by building a team?

Often times whether it is in the private sector or public sector many times directors and department heads leave an organization because of (lack of) leadership. Sure, retirements do occur, but with this much turnover in just 4 years you have to question the relationship he has with his city directors? This may explain why his administration is so busy fiddling with the legislative process instead of running the city (his duties under the charter).

“Everyone wants to know what are we doing about housing, and I can tell you it’s just so challenging right now, with land costs and with attitudes about infill development,” TenHaken said. “If we can move two or three houses or create small programs to give developers a little bit of cost savings, we’re just hitting singles. There’s no home runs to be found.”

That’s because the housing crisis will not be solved in Sioux Falls until we solve the wage problem. We also can’t be constantly cramming affordable housing into certain neighborhoods, it has to be spread throughout the community. I know it is NOT an easy thing to fix overnight, but what groundwork has been laid over the past 10-15 years or even past 4 years on this issue? I will continue to cross my fingers that the city will implement real programs to fix up our core, build density and create more housing, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in this current city government makeup that they have any long term solutions.

There also will be a project to complement the downtown parking ramp on the north side of 10th Street east of Phillips Avenue, TenHaken said.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “We’re going to soon be announcing the timeline and process for interested parties to begin expressing interest in the site, so I think it will be good in the second term to get that underway.”

So the ink has barely dried on the check we sent to the defunk developer of the Bunker Ramp and we are already going to send out an RFP on what to do with the site? Which says to me, someone has already pitched the city an idea (we can make our guesses who this developer will be). Not sure what you could do with the site, but I have often suggested a multiple story studio apartment building.

Trying to solve the issue of child care is a bit like tackling housing, he said.

“There’s no silver bullet solution, but the discussions we’re having and the work and partnership we’re forming with the school district is something that’s never been done in the city before … kids and families is something we’re going to lay overtop of almost every decision we’re making.”

I often shake my head when community leaders across the country think they have some simple, unique solution to fixing the child care issues in their communities. Two things that could drastically change that situation in Sioux Falls would be higher wages and Federally funding for Pre-K education. Government is NOT always the solution, but in this situation non-profits, churches and private schools can’t solve this by themselves, there needs to be a government safety net for the kids that fall thru those cracks. So what is standing in our way? Partisanship, which brings us to his final thoughts;

“I think the next political cycle is going to be very ugly, so how do I as a mayor try to maintain a spirit of unity and a One Sioux Falls mindset when national news and all these forces tell us there are constant things we need to fight about, and that’s why (I focus) on the 95 percent of where we’re alike to keep moving forward.”

He is correct, politics have become ugly and getting worse. Why? Because Republicans like TenHaken have made local traditionally non-partisan politics into partisan. Everything has become about one-party rule, even on a supposed non-partisan branch of government like city council. I saw this rear its head during TenHaken’s first campaign, it got worse in ousting councilor Stehly and recently Brekke. It has become an all out death match to the end. And I’m not talking about a difference between Republican or Democratic philosophies, those are easy to break down. It is a devision between the elite, authoritarian Republicans and the traditional fiscal conservative Republicans and social conscious Democrats. The authoritarians like Noem and TenHaken are in charge and they will do anything in their power to squash a dissenting view on how to tackle an issue. Solutions come from bringing every view to the table. This is why they had to eliminate Theresa and Janet, they asked too many questions, and you never question the King.

I would like to think that things will be different in Sioux Falls in next 2-4 years, but with cruise control government, a lack of transparency, a rubber stamp council and very little planning or vision, I think we will still be talking about the same challenges in the Spring of 2026, just more exacerbated.

NEWLY ELECTED SIOUX FALLS CITY COUNCILOR SARAH COLE ALSO DOES AN INTERVIEW

It is such an honor to be elected to this seat on the City Council. I always encourage my kids about being the change that we want to see in the world. There are things that happen in our world that we have no control over, but we can control ourselves and our response to those issues. 

Yeah, it’s called voting in local elections. I still find it incredibly ironic and hypocritical that the first vote Cole cast in a Sioux Falls city election was a vote for herself 🙂 and the media has yet to touch that with a ten foot pole. Her absence in participating in local elections tells us all we will need to know about what her performance will be on the city council. Thank goodness the Mayor already setup a team of fellow rubber stampers for her so she doesn’t have to fart around for 4 years setting up that groundwork.

If Citizen Dr. Sarah Cole hasn’t found the time to vote in city elections, how will she find time to be a Councilor?

As you may know, Sioux Falls city council candidate, Dr. Sarah Cole hasn’t voted in any city or school board election since moving to our city. I would assume if this was NOT true, she would have made a statement about it, she has NOT. One of her other opponents is not much better, Bobbi Andera, only voting one time in 10 years in a local election.

As I mention in the title, I struggle supporting someone for public office who hasn’t even bothered to take 10 minutes to vote. Does this say something about the time she will dedicate to her job if elected?

I found this article about doctor’s voting records revealing;

One in four physicians didn’t vote in all of the last three presidential elections. So, what’s their excuse?

Dr. Nidhi Goel, a hospitalist at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, offers up a suggestion: “I think everybody will use the excuse of time, which is fair, but then kind of not so much. Because we can find time to do things that are important.”

When Dr. Cole mentions in her latest mailer integrity, it kind of falls on deaf ears. How can we expect her to show up to meetings? Will she be absent, not only in votes but in responding to constituents?

Dr. Nidhi Goel, a hospitalist at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, offers up a suggestion: “I think everybody will use the excuse of time, which is fair, but then kind of not so much. Because we can find time to do things that are important.”

And she’s right. Lack of time is a key reason doctors give for not voting. Researchers who study voting patterns have theorized that doctors vote in lower numbers because medical schools attract people who like science more than civics. Other studies have indicated that many doctors feel like their work has enough social purpose, so they can skip voting, guilt-free.

If this is true, why does Dr. Cole want the job?

Think about it, do you really want to know that your doctor is voting for the candidate you can’t stand? Some doctors stay out of politics for the same reason, so they don’t alienate their patients.

This the same reason why many business people stay out of it, not to alienate customers. Shouldn’t Sarah be worried that a decision she makes on the council may make her look bad affecting her practice and employer?

“We are very linear thinkers,” Lam says. “We base all our decisions, or we try to, on data, on things that we see, on observations. That’s not necessarily the case in policy, where you’re trying to convince people. From a physician’s standpoint, from a scientist’s standpoint, it’s incredibly frustrating to realize that the data might be completely outweighed by one or two stories.”

Lam warns that politicians also make decisions based on who shows up to vote: “If they see that the physician community doesn’t come out to vote as often as, say, the attorney community, then they will probably be more likely to listen to the attorney community than to physicians. Because you don’t turn out to vote.”

I am sure Sarah is a fantastic physician. I have actually heard from colleagues and parents of patients she is good at her job. But being a good doctor may not make her a very good lawmaker as mentioned above.

After Mayor TenHaken’s intimidation tactic on Janet Brekke was revealed, it is even more obvious she was recruited for a job she probably has no desire to have and Poops probably feels he has to make up ground for Sarah due to the lack of her enthusiasm. I also find Councilor Greg Neitzert’s mentoring a little strange considering he is sitting on that very dais because someone mentored him and has since turned his back on those mentors.

If Sarah loses, and I think she will, it will be interesting to see how quickly her relationship with Neitzert and TenHaken deflates.

It turns out, taking good care of patients includes showing up Tuesday morning to pull that lever.

And if she can’t even bother to do that, I would suggest you vote for the incumbent, a former city attorney and prosecutor who will make the time to serve us, Janet Brekke.

Sioux Falls City Council Candidate Merkouris doesn’t believe our Police should follow National Standards

During the council debate on Thursday night Janet Brekke said she will work with Chief Thum to try to implement some national standards for the police. In her recent mailer she said;

• Secure a stable Police Department training budget so our officers have the latest instruction available.

• Support Chief Thum’s 3 new initiatives to engage young people so they don’t become offenders.

• Strengthen relationships between patrol officers and neighborhoods.

Apparently this really irritated candidate Merkouris who went on this rant;

While I would partially agree you don’t take all National standards and hope they work in Sioux Falls, you still have to look at what could work. I was very surprised how agitated he got over it, considering the problems we are having with our police and other city employees. There have been 4 arrests over the past couple of months of city employees. Two for abuse and two for child porn.

There was also some other ‘dog whistles’ on other candidates postcards;

David Barranco said this;

I have two strong boys . . .

and continued on the back;

We must not assume someone who shares our values will prevail on April 12.

You can take that how you want to, but I think Barranco is painting his opponent as someone who lacks values and it is a low blow.

Sarah Cole also made some false claims on her latest mailer;

I am not a politician.

I hate to break it to you Sarah, but when you run for office you become a politician. As a recent female business leader said to me when TenHaken made the same claim, “He is extremely tone deaf.”

Politician; a person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.

Sarah continues her rant;

The people of Sioux Falls deserve a city councilor that will serve with integrity and respect for others. I won’t play games or pick petty fights.

The timing of this statement after TenHaken tried to intimidate Brekke is interesting to say the least especially coming from a POLITICIAN who has never voted in a single city or school board election in the community she wants to serve.

I think on Tuesday, your choice is very clear; Reistroffer, Brekke, Pam Cole and Cody Ingle.

Sioux Falls City Council Candidate Sarah Cole has never voted in a city or school election

I may not vote in city elections, but I make a mean cup of coffee.

The other opponent in the race isn’t much better, Bobbi Andera, she has only voted once.

Now, I am not sure how many primaries or generals either have voted in, this is just municipal and school board elections. But I’m curious how either one of these people think they can serve the city as elected official if they have never voted in a city election? Proves how much either one of them has been paying attention.

The one thing I have noticed about people who vote in local elections is they understand the issues, the ones that don’t, not so much.

Bruce Danielson compiled this data from several sources and compared to back data from other years.

Larry, Curly and Mo

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

UPDATE: Does a Specialist Doctor have the time to Serve on the Sioux Falls City Council?

UPDATE: I found Cole’s boilerplate website. After the 5 minute read, I’m really not sure how Cole would be much different than what we currently have on the council. She does belong to a book club though.

As someone joked to me, “Don’t you know we need someone from both hospitals on the council now since we have a banker from Sioux Falls #1 Bank.”

Unfortunately, their joke will probably come true.

This week a Specialist Doctor in Sioux Falls announced they are running for city council and while I could comment on several fronts why they don’t qualify, I am mostly concerned about their time constraints. As I have been told by peeps in the medical field, they probably can rearrange their schedule to make it work, but what’s the point? This person literally has NO political foot print. I can’t even find if they have served on ANY non-profit or semi-governmental boards in the community.

It is however pretty obvious why someone with such a busy schedule was ‘picked’ by the golden team, because they would make an excellent rubber stamper who would never question the mayor’s agenda and quickly move stuff along and get home in time for bedtime stories.

While I agree we need all walks of life serving on the council, I would much more prefer to see more piano teachers than specialist doctors. Representation of the common Jill and Joe on the council has almost disappeared and that is because of the enormous amount of money poured into these races by the SD GOP and Developers in this community and the Rah Rah Taupeville Churchies. It would be impossible to compete with the kind of money this candidate will raise. The only hope is the incumbent in the race (Janet Brekke) can ride into a second term based on her incumbency and solid voting record of mostly supporting the council agenda over the past 4 years while fighting for more transparency, legal clarity and long term planning.

While I commend this person for wanting to serve, I question if they even have seen a council meeting or know how city government works and that is exactly who the cruise controllers want.