Entries Tagged 'Greg Neitzert' ↓

UPDATE: Is Mayor TenHaken’s Deputy COS Staff, TJ, scared of Cameraman Bruce?

Bruce told me today he was able to ride along on the Capital Projects Tour with the city council and film most of it. He said it was very informative, and since it was a posted public meeting (working session) anyone from the public could come along on the bus tour.

Right before the bus was about to leave, the Deputy COS of staff to the mayor, TJ Nelson was approaching the bus to go on the tour, but once he saw Bruce getting on with his camera, he turned around and never came. Some councilors questioned what happened to him.

TJ must have gotten Cameraman Bruce confused with ‘The Living Man’ Christopher Bruce . . .

. . . Who announced today he will be sentenced in 8 days instead of December. He thinks he will probably get 10 Months. He also included a tidbit about the Mayor’s father possibly having a link to 5G expansion and the telecoms. I had heard some rumblings about that, but haven’t had anyone else confirm it with me. Maybe one of our talented investigative reporters in town could dig around on that instead of chasing the State’s Attorney on his drunken bike rides.

Posted by Christopher Thelivingman on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

UPDATE: Speaking of Mayor TenHaken, I guess him and councilor Neitzert are rumored to have attended the FCCLA conference in Texas. They both justified it’s relevance and being above the board because this group paid all expenses associated with the conference. They used to be called the FHA. I’m assuming they were hired as speakers at the event.

I have no doubt they are trying to groom Neitzert to run for mayor.

On a side note, I heard the Mayor has upped the ante on whoever will challenge Stehly (if she decides to run) from $100K to $130K.

Money, Money, Money, Mooonnnnneeey.

Councilor Neitzert makes some interesting statements

Oh, the irony of former chief bullsh*tter having a press conference about his 123 page book (that I presume has been extremely edited, or should we say ‘polished’) the same day Councilor ‘Mama’s Boy’ Neitzert makes his re-election bid;

“We need an honest, informed and principled leadership more than ever to address the many challenges and opportunities as our city continues to grow. I believe I have proven to be that type of leader.”

I’ll let the honesty and principled statements slide for now, we will have plenty of time to talk about those, but I hate to remind Greg that if he were truly ‘informed’ he would have NEVER fought for the Bunker Ramp, in fact, any city official (elected or not) that helped to push that thru was anything but ‘informed’ and maybe just a little bit ‘dishonest’. And let’s continue with that theme;

‘update annexation policies to foster more neighborhood cooperation’

The annexation task force did a quick 180 after Theresa Stehly used her own resources and time to notify NON-RESIDENTS of the potential annexation efforts by the city of Sioux Falls. She certainly did not have to do that, but because of her efforts the task force members, including Neitzert and Kiley found out what a pitchfork up their rears feels like.

And speaking of Theresa, she still hasn’t decided if she will run or not. But the rumor around the South of 57th street water cooler is that councilor Erickson and Mayor Paul are helping her potential opponent, Alex Jensen, with fundraising and organization. I also heard Neitzert’s potential opponent is getting a little assistance from a former mayoral candidate, no worries, it’s NOT the zombie guy.

I won’t be commenting on a couple of things

The complete meltdown of the SD Democratic Party’s financials and the mysterious absence of our State’s attorney has been in the news cycle recently. While I have a lot I would like to say, I decided that I will let these matters sort out themselves. There is a lot of rumors and gossip going around about both issues and until the truth comes out, it just wouldn’t be fair to speculate (even though I do that a lot).

Also, I don’t give a sh*t about either issue. Really, I don’t.

In other news, Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert will have at least one challenger this Spring. The announcement is coming this month, but most people probably already know who it is. I have never met this person, but if I had to sum up the race today, Greg would beat him. I think the only way to knock Neitzert out is to use the silly 50+1 rule against him and have multiple people run in his district.

At this point I have neither recruited or assisted anyone for a city council race for the upcoming Spring election.

WussCollege spreading BS about ‘Triple Check the Charter’

Besides the fact it is NONE of Pitty’s business what Sioux Falls citizens want to do with their charter, he seems to be reading into things and believing Councilor Neitzert’s continued distortions and propaganda while he is attacking private citizens for trying to make their city government better.

As you can see from the original document HERE, it is notarized by the city clerk. So do you think Phatty Patty will correct this? How about city councilor Neitzert? Maybe I should call his mommy and tell her he has been a very bad, bad, boy.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Neitzert & Kiley cry wolf

I really got a laugh out of Greg and Rick last night when they acted like a couple of babies crying over the legislative priority amendments calling them ‘last minute’;

“I just want to state I’m going to vote no on any amendment that’s brought tonight because, frankly, the process is broken because we’re just springing amendment after amendment without talking to anybody else at the last minute,” Neitzert says.

Council Member Rick Kiley also refused to vote on any amendments brought forward and said the Council needs to follow the process.

Kiley says, “It has to go back to the process. I mean, there’s been a number of us that have been hit over the head with the word ‘transparency.’ This is anything but transparent. And so, I, like councilor Neitzert, am not going to vote on anything that is brought forward for the first time this evening.”

The problem with their pouting session is that these amendments are far from last minute (they are NOT finalized until December – see below) and even if it was final last night, who cares? These are merely ‘suggestions‘ from the Sioux Falls City Council to the State Legislature. These ‘suggestions’ hold as much weight if an average citizen would grab a legislator at a cracker barrel and make the same suggestions.

The city council has been making amendments to these ‘suggestions’ for years.

I also found it refreshing that the city council’s operations manager, Jim David, was the one who had to show the council the actual timeline below. I have told councilors I have always appreciated Mr. David’s professionalism and integrity. He never sugarcoats things. I wish the entire council staff was like Mr. David.

Sioux Falls City Council follows the law, sometimes

I got a good chuckle last night when 6 of the 8 councilors voted to NOT allow a tax abatement (Starr & Stehly voted for the abatement), with councilor Neitzert saying basically he has no choice but to follow the law and deny abatement, but then later on in the meeting 7 of them vote (Starr voted NO to the change) to challenge state law on the pawn shop ordinance;

A Sioux Falls ordinance falls a little more in line with a new state law tonight. Earlier this year, Governor Kristi Noem signed a law that said local governments could not prohibit the sale or purchase of firearms. In Sioux Falls,  the ordinance required all pawn shops and gun dealers to cross check any merchandise with a serial number. The change approved by a 7 to 1 vote tonight replaces the word “gun dealer” with second hand dealer, which still allows for cross checking.

Not sure if the AG will challenge the city’s decision or not, but I find it a little hypocritical of Neitzert to say he must follow law, than votes for this. I’m all for tracking gun sales, but I would be curious how taking the word out ‘gun dealers’ but continuing to track gun sales is any different?

I suggested something similar with a city ordinance that says if a ‘weapon’ is stolen from your unlocked vehicle and used in a crime you could be fined. I felt saying ‘weapon’ instead of ‘gun’ skirted state law when it came to locally regulating guns.

I also think the council should implement a city ordinance that bans all ‘weapons’ from city buildings.

If we are going to base city ordinance on word games, let’s go all the way.

UPDATE: Are the council meetings turning into a game show?

UPDATE: City Councilor Stehly is proposing a cell phone ban at the council meeting. She is likely basing it on the Rapid City ordinance. She will do a presentation on the proposal at the Tuesday Informational.

I am actively recruiting candidates for the City of Sioux Falls council election in 2020

Unlike the group of rat finks looking for competitors to Stehly in 2020, I will be honest with you; I am actively looking for challengers to NW District Councilor Neitzert and SW District Councilor Selberg and if Stehly decides NOT to seek a 2nd term, we will be looking for a candidate in that race also.

No worries, you have some time. The earliest you really need to announce is this Fall, even though there are some people already talking about running against Stehly.

I have spoken with several people interested in challenging the two. With the parking ramp debacle, the chatter has increased quite a bit, and with all the failures over the past three years due to their rubber stamp mentality, many citizens are ready to turn a majority of the council into a citizen advocacy body and a real challenge to city administrators and big bizzo in town.

As you know, Bruce and I have ran many successful local campaigns (ironically one of our best was Neitzert’s 🙁 and we have had a couple of failures, but I think the 2020 election cycle will be a big one for us. As you know, Bruce and I try to champion candidates that are for two things, ‘Good, Clean Government’. We also don’t care about your partisan stripes, we have helped indies, Republicans and Democrats.

We are willing to sit down with anyone interested to discuss a campaign. While the consultation will be totally free and confidential, I can not guarantee we would take you on, but we are willing to listen and advise.

Sioux Falls Ethics Board Chair warns Councilor Neitzert about his FB joke

Tonight the city council was invited to a presentation and an after party for the Sioux Steel project. I know for sure that 3 city councilors did not attend the after party (you can guess who they are). Stehly asked an advisory opinion last week about accepting drinks and ‘HEAVY’ apps from the developer. The ethics commission couldn’t rule on the opinion because Stehly didn’t present evidence of the possible TIF request. Chairman Greg LaFollette was absent from the meeting, but in the past he has frowned on this kind of gift giving. Neitzert decided to make a joke about it earlier today and LaFollette warned him that it probably isn’t such a good idea. It will be interesting to see how many of the other 5 attended and chowed down on their ‘Heavy’ Tifilicious Snacks. Awaiting photos.

In other ‘Neitzert’ news, I guess he requested that all of the councilors sign a document of confidence in the new Internal Auditor that he would frame and present to Mrs. Nelson. He pretty much admitted that the document wasn’t an ‘official’ but would help in mending bridges. That bridge could have been solid if they would have hired someone with no conflicts.

Oh, and still no word if Shana will be replaced in the finance department . . .

An Open Letter to Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert

Over the past year there has been many things said by our esteemed councilor at public council meetings, on Facebook and in the media. It all culminated last week with the special meeting to hire our new internal audit manager and a discussion on the Greg Belfrage show between councilors Stehly and Neitzert in which Neitzert called Stehly a bully and a ‘LIAR’ he also inferred that councilor Starr was a liar to (which is actually a violation of council ethics).

While this was all going on Neitzert kept trying to say that the character of the new city council employee was being questioned, assassinated and denigrated. I still don’t know what he is talking about. In fact if you watch the council meeting or listen to anyone talk about her in the meeting, NOBODY questions her character only her qualifications. Some even state they are NOT questioning her character. If you are questioning someone’s qualifications for a job, that is NOT questioning their character – those two things are polar opposites.

So here are the FACTS that Councilor Neitzert claims people are ‘Lying’ about;

• Nobody on the City Council or during public input questioned Mrs. Nelson’s character. (I can’t speak to random comments on FB)

• While Mrs. Nelson has extensive financial and business experience (12 years) she has NO internal audit experience or supervisor experience.

• Mrs. Nelson has broad conflicts of interest with the city, not just with her husband as a director, but with the finance department she currently works in and a very close family friendly relationship with one of the sitting city councilors.

• Mrs. Nelson was warned in advance (before her nomination was publicly noticed) that the city council wasn’t in full consensus of her employment. She knew there would be a high level of scrutiny. This of course is NOT Mrs. Nelson’s fault, this ‘doubt’ was caused because of a poorly executed hiring process by councilor Neitzert. She still chose to move forward knowing it would be a contentious debate.

• Councilor Neitzert denies he ramrodded the process. He says that most if NOT all resolutions are noticed on a Friday and Voted on a Tuesday. While there is a lot of truth to that, most resolutions are benign, and have full support of the city council. They include things like gifting old equipment to other communities, appointing city board members, allowing SculptureWalk, giving out awards, etc. They don’t usually involve hiring a city council manager of this importance. They also are NEVER brought forward in a special meeting that has a singular objective (ex; golf contract). It was noticed on a Holiday Weekend, with NO attached documents that explained who Mrs. Nelson was or why she was qualified. It was also during a special meeting at 5:30 PM the following Tuesday. Her appointment could have easily been postponed for several weeks so the public could vet her. Just the day after her appointment Neitzert said it would be a full month before she transitioned into her position. So what was the rush? Councilor Stehly had NO choice but to put out a robo-call to inform the public this was coming down the pipe – FAST. While you may have had issues with her verbiage and tone, she did NOTHING wrong, or made false statements. It was ‘ramrodded’ and the parking ramp debacle was ‘controversial’.

• The city’s legal team blew off the nepotism and conflict of interest concerns as being ‘legal’ and since they were legal, in their eyes there were no problems. South Dakota has an ‘F’ rating in government corruption, mostly because we have NO ethics, conflict of interest or nepotism laws (or very weak ones).

• Mayor TenHaken never said whether Mrs. Nelson would be missed or even replaced (this would have been nice to know during a longer vetting process). You would think an employee with this much experience in finance, a person who implemented key finance software, and an employee who won an award (from the past mayor) would be valued by the administration and asked to stay. (I’m hearing from my city hall moles that there was a discussion about it, but since it was a personnel issue, and Mrs. Nelson would be bettering her career, they just let her proceed. If all this happened, I’m not sure why any of that is confidential and couldn’t be shared at the special meeting by the HR department).

• Councilor Neitzert said since he had 6 councilors sign off on her nomination he didn’t feel the need to get a total consensus. Though, during the meeting, councilor Brekke pointed out that most city council employees have a consensus of the entire council before getting approved. In fact, in the 13+ years I have been blogging about the city, the last time I can remember there was NO consensus of the city council was when they voted to terminate City Clerk Owen, and that discussion was behind closed doors with a public vote.

• After 3 weeks of job employment ads mostly online without the assistance of a job recruitment agency, the city got 15 candidates in which NONE of them had audit experience and only ONE of them was a current city employee, with an obvious conflict, and she was chosen. Some people call that ‘inside baseball’ but I won’t speculate any further.

Councilor Brekke suggested to Councilor Neitzert (who is the audit chair) that a broader search be done to find someone with audit experience. Her request was either ignored or rejected.

Councilor Starr, who was part of the hiring committee suggested early on that they hire a recruiter. They said it would cost too much, though Starr pointed out you could get one as low as $5K, and in most cases you don’t pay unless they produce qualified candidates. In other words, no harm, no foul. His suggestion was also discarded.

I think ‘the fix was in’ as soon as Mrs. Nelson turned in her application, and there was no going back from there. Just listen to what Neitzert said on Belfrage, ‘Shana is a Rock Star!’ Great, but why not do a broader search for a qualified ‘Rock Star’? And why totally ignore the suggestions of your fellow councilors? Who is the bully?

While I could care less if Councilor Neitzert wants to act like a Crazed Man-Child in the media, I am truly asking him to stop calling his fellow councilors liars, bullies, self-appointed victims and disrespecting and ignoring their opinions. If you disagree, you simply state that, and move on. If they have good suggestions about the hiring process, you try them. It’s really that simple.

As I have pointed out above, there is only one reason why this process when to Sh*t, and that person needs to take a hard look into the mirror. The only one who truly let down Mrs. Nelson through this process was the one leading the process, City Councilor & Audit Chair, Greg Neitzert.