Entries Tagged 'Kristi Noem' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Re-Cap, Sept 16, 2020

The big story of the night actually occurred two minutes before the regular council meeting even started. The Argus broke the story of Amazon coming to Sioux Falls with the governor confirming it by saying;

Her office, she said, has been “heavily involved” in talks with Amazon for months.

Which is funny because she basically punked the mayor’s opportunity to announce the project. While I don’t tend to believe many SD Republicans (or any Republicans for that matter) I do believe she probably had more to do with cutting the deal than our hardworking mayor (snark) who is usually busy reading childrens books in his garage on FB Live or Selfie Biking with his manly friends.

But this comment from Noem shows her true colors;

“It’s about time. We’ve been waiting for them,” the governor joked during an interview with the Argus Leader. “It’s good news. It’s more jobs — higher paying jobs than some other areas of our economy — and it’s a good opportunity.”

Notice the line ‘than some other areas of our economy’. LOL. Yeah, it pays better than McDonalds or Taco Bell . . . Woot! Woot!

Maybe Noem punking Mayor Stoneless is the reason he put his himming and hawing into high gear Tuesday night. It is becoming more and more annoying and tiring listening to the mayor grunt, sigh, huff and puff and generally snort into his live microphone during the meetings. Not only is it very audible, it is incredibly disrespectful of those who disagree with him. He acts like a little kid who is getting scolded. Please Paul, knock it off, or just turn your gavel over to the ethically challenged Council Chair, which is ironic considering his biggest grunts came when Mr. John Cunningham’s sister, former South Dakota NAMI director, Phyllis Arends, spoke during public input about her disappointment in the way the Board of Ethics and the City Council treated her brother. Surprised she didn’t ask if some of them suffer from mental illness (she would know). I have heard from friends across the country who used to live here and still follow the council proceedings that when they watched the hearing last Thursday, they were baffled by some of the actions the majority of the council took and the mayor and the obvious bias and arrogance of them. In fact, I have talked to very few people who watched the episode that didn’t think it was a show trial. I have joked they should rename the council, Sioux Falls City Council Theatre Company. Though their actions were despicable and disgusting (Kiley) at least they were entertaining in a FREE performance in the park sort of way.

This year’s budget passed 7-1. Councilor Starr was the only one to vote against the budget, which got another sigh not only out of Paul but also out of Councilor Erractickson (who was in her normal rampage mode). Starr told me before the meeting that he intended to vote against the budget for several reasons, but the main reason is that the council is approving a budget without having a signed contract with the city’s 3rd union, AFSCME. As I understand it from peeps in the union, they voted down the contract offered from the city of a 0% raise for 2021 in a 98-3 vote. Ouch!

The council did restore municipal band funding, but for only one year, and formed a task force to ‘study’ it. That only took 100 years. Towards the end of the meeting during final business, Brekke brought up the fact that they skipped over public input for that amendment in the meeting. It seems Chair TenHaken and his unreliable City Clerk Greco are getting sloppier and sloppier while conducting meetings. That was evident during Nutzert’s hearing. In fact, it was pointed out to me that there was probably a public input and open meeting violation during that hearing because the resolution they presented that night for dismissal did not get a 24 advance notice to the public and there was no public input once presented. They should start holding these meetings in a clown car so we can start taking them more seriously.

Along with the budget approval, they approved the property tax increase, I think, at a 7-1 vote, Starr voting against it. Besides the fact that they shouldn’t be approving tax increases during a down economy, what made it an even bigger slap in the face was the arrogance of the council approving an open ended TIF for Flopdation Park, a multi-level TIF that will suck money out of the property tax fund and the individual property owners will have to prop up for international companies coming here because of cheap labor. What makes it even more arrogant is that the Planning Department ‘recommends approval’. I still ethically challenge that appointed city employees can ‘recommend approval’ of a massive tax increase on citizens while giving massive tax cuts to corporate welfare recipients. I think elected officials are the only ones that should be making recommendations. The only thing planning department employees should be able to say is if the TIF applicant filled out their application correctly. Of course the administration and the council use this as justification to pass this blatant handout to the super rich.

In the consent agenda the city council approved the additional funding to the CVB to promote the city this Fall and Winter. Hey, come to Sioux Falls and have yerselves a Covid Holiday! When Starr asked Finance Director Pritchett what metrics will be used to see if there is any results from the funding he was speechless. The rumor is that the CVB uses Mayor TenHaken’s former(?) company ClickRain for promotion. Would like to look at that contract. I think with people suffering in Sioux Falls from unemployment, under employment, food and rent instability, the last thing the city needs to be doing is promoting Covid holidays in Sioux Falls.

The West Mall Theater beer and wine license got deferred to October 6th. The License Specialist for the city said they needed more time to put their security plan in place. Of course Councilor Erractickson had to point out that is why they didn’t get it the first time around, even though they DID present basically the same security plan the State Theater did. It’s about who you know folks.

The Bump Back ordinance got approval on the first reading, which was no surprise. There of course were many tears shed over 6-Figure a year Directors not being able to find gainful employment if they could not bump back after essentially FAILING as a director. I would have to disagree, I think the former planning director found a part-time job at a garden shop and the former fire chief I guess mows lawns at a golf course. So much talent wasted! The shame! The shame!

There was also an incident, once again, where homeowners were fighting a storage unit in their backyards and how the developer didn’t bother to give them any notice. Shocker. Starr was able to defer the matter longer. Christine and CountCilor Jensen voted against the deferral.

But towards the end of the meeting I started wondering if Councilor Ricky Lee Kiley is determined to become the most narcissistic councilor ever to exist in the history of the city. While Councilor Starr was happy to announce the adoption of his daughter, and councilor Brekke was pointing out the failures of how the meeting was conducted, Ricky Lee cut Janet off and had to announce his daughter’s birthday? Really? What a jerk.

Noem stiffs struggling South Dakota workers while bailing out their low wage employers

Well, I am not surprised, I knew Noem would find a way to bail out businesses instead of workers with the Covid money;

Gov. Kristi Noem will use nearly a third of the $1.25 billion in pandemic relief funds that South Dakota received this spring for a small business grant program.

Noem announced via her social media accounts Thursday afternoon that $400 million in CARES Act dollars allocated to South Dakota will be designated for small businesses that have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.

Of course, we all know what a government ‘grant’ is, it is a handout, never to be paid back, and highly unlikely to trickle down to these business’ employees.

I suggested early on that this money go directly to individual South Dakotans so they could it invest back into our communities, whether that is paying bills or saving money for healthcare or for higher education, instead, she does what she does best, piss it down the legs of businesses that will hardly trickle that golden shower down onto the rest of us. I would really like to see how much of this money will be used to expand these businesses and hire more workers at living wages or a way for them to just pay off debt. I’m sure the legislature will conduct a study on it next year. Yeah right.

Dusty Johnson ONLY dignitary to wear mask at Rushmore event

All I can say is ‘BRAVO’ to Dusty to have the courage to wear a mask and not be worried about being shamed. Of course he was in the back row and not sitting with Rounds and Thune on the president’s stage. I guess Rounds was wearing a mask to but took it off before the Great Pumpkin showed up.

A lot of people took notice also that the governor must have been hitting the weights, the tanning booth and popping the water pills in preparation for the big night. It’s funny how she had time to get her appearance perfect but couldn’t memorize a couple of minute speech. Oh, that’s right, it’s only about appearance with these folks, substance is for another day.

City of Sioux Falls Tidbits

After an incident over the weekend where SFPOs were caught cussing out suspects, the Chief of Police claims there is nothing to see, move along. As I have been saying for years, further proof we need body cams, but as he said last week, no policy changes. Shocker. They also need some diversity training and paid physical fitness time.

Sales taxes are in the crapper, but no surprise. As about 15% of the workforce in Sioux Falls lost their jobs and nobody was spending any money – we saw this coming. I just hope the budget hearings that start tomorrow prepare for this.

Speaking of money, the city could get up to $41 million in Covid money but Mayor Multi-task doesn’t think we need it. The covid crisis is far from over, and as you noticed, the cases in SD remain on an even keel and are NOT going down. If this continues into the fall and winter, we may need some of that money to combat the crisis further. Nothing wrong with planning ahead, wait, this administration doesn’t know what that means. Let’s just keep the libraries and pools closed, that’s the ticket!The Public Transit board met today but no one really knows what is on the agenda because it wasn’t posted on the agenda page. Of course this is a violation of open meetings laws not having the agenda posted (except in this mysterious zoom document). But they have been violating those rules for a couple of years now, why do anything differently?

Governor Noem, a crazy cat?

A Facebook friend sent me this today, they used my infamous Screaming Noem image to make a funny. Not sure what it means, but made me laugh. I created the image years ago from a photograph I saved from Noem’s blog when she was a state legislator. Meow.

Sioux Falls Council Candidate Forum, NW District

Neitzert’s political heros? TenHaken and Noem. Hilarious. He also said that he looked up to Paul’s leadership because he has the ability to admit when he is wrong. Gee, Greg, when are you going to apologize for your votes on the auditor, the admin building and bunker ramp? Oh, that’s right, you are a hypocrite. Nevermind.

Is Corey Lewandowski pulling Noem’s puppet strings?

As I started digging around on Noem’s recent bullying efforts with the Mayor and now the Tribes, one name came up quite a bit, Corey Lewandowski.

You may or may not know that Corey was Trump’s campaign manager for president the last time around. He has also consulted the president during his presidency.

As several blogs have reported, their is a rumor swirling around that if Trump gets re-elected, he is going to tap Noem for Secretary of Agriculture. This supposed secret deal was concocted by Corey, and the rumor is he is pulling the puppet strings with how Noem has been reacting to the pandemic. Including pushing back on stay-at-home orders, telling our mayor what to do (and getting him to apologize publicly and say he was wrong and she was right). I’m also sure the sudden change in getting tough on the tribes has more to do with Trump and Lewandowski than it does with Noem. A freaking paralegal could tell you that the state has NO jurisdiction over the reservations.

See, Noem wants that cabinet position so badly, she will do anything, including handing Rhoden over to us as governor. Pierre will become one big Rodeo Cocktail Party . . . wait . . . it already is.

I wish our media would do some more digging around on this. I can tell you the TV studio in her basement wasn’t put there to better inform South Dakotans. Noem wants to go back to DC so bad she can taste it, and she’ll trample anyone to get there, with the help of Corey, of course.

Did Mayor TenHaken have a fallout with SD GOP Leadership?

Over the past week there has been some criticism towards TenHaken on how he has been handling the Covid ordinances and restrictions in Sioux Falls and most of it is coming from the movers and shakers in the SD Republican Party.

A certain blogger who takes his marching orders directly from the state’s party leadership has been very critical of TenHaken’s leadership.

It baffled me at first that the same guy who benefitted from Paul helping him hide his private business on musical servers would suddenly turn his back on his BFF.

He certainly wasn’t doing it on his own, he has never done anything on his own.

The rumor going around was that there was a dustup between TenHaken, the party leadership and one of Paul’s staffers (you can take a good guess who that is). I don’t have anymore details than that, but we do know there has been a fractured SD Republican party ever since Noem and Jackley duked it out and there now are several factions in the party going many different directions.

I’ve also noticed that when Paul talks on the radio or on FB he says he belongs to the party of Sioux Falls and isn’t a Republican or Democratic mayor. Yes, Paul, it is a non-partisan position, but you are registered Republican.

Will this dustup lead Paul to do what Bucktooth & Bowlcut did towards the end of his 2nd term and register as a Indy? Doubtful. But one wonders who got to him. Some have suggested it was Noem herself while others said it was the Iowa business owner who runs the party. It may have been both.

I have heard from legislators who serve on committees in Pierre that when you go into a meeting with the governor, she runs the room and won’t take any guff from anybody. She also likes to make veiled threats if you don’t do what she says.

Something has changed in Paul over the past week, and I don’t think those changes in his attitude came from inside him – I think someone gave him an attitude adjustment.

TenHaken has been anything but a leader

When I first saw this article, I thought maybe it was an Onion parody;

Paul TenHaken, Sioux Falls mayor (R): He has carefully balanced South Dakota’s resistance to mandatory restrictions with the public health needs of his city, where Smithfield pork processing plant became a hot spot. He enacted a measure that “strongly encourages” people to stay at home, but decided against an order.

I also find it interesting they put the (R) behind his name considering the mayor of Sioux Falls is a non-partisan position.

He has blamed everyone else and made excuses all along the way as to why he couldn’t lead on this. Here are some memorable moments;

• Twice mentioned he didn’t sign up for this. I think the second time around he said in a press conference, “This Sucks!”

• Failed to use manuals in place to deal with this crisis (I have heard from several past city officials that they do exist).

• Failed to get his health department to do proper inspections of businesses and give them a hand up in helping them prepare a safe work environment.

• Blames the Governor, the Legislature, his own city attorney and others why he cannot lead.

• Has butt heads in private and public meetings with the city council than turns around and puts the decision making in their laps.

• Has thrown transparency out the door by having executive sessions that don’t pertain to the criteria of having them.

I have argued from the beginning, as the city’s administrator, as the charter dictates, he has the power to force his city directors and health department to take action. He doesn’t need the blessing of the city council, the mayor, the legislature, his health board, city attorney or even the president to do it. He has the executive authority to enforce health ordinances on the books. And I think if he would have taken some of those measures early on, we wouldn’t be where we are at. I even think some if not most of restaurants could have stayed open if he would have set those guidelines early.

But we really can’t wrestle with the past, but we can take measures moving forward. A new report came out today from the White House that the midwest will be hit the hardest over the next two months because we were the last to start having outbreaks. Letting up now won’t end well for us. I would ask Paul to start leading, but I’m afraid it is too late for that. Hold on tight folks, it is going to be a rough summer.

Military setting up drive thru testing facility

I guess the Military (National Guard?) has been setting up drive thru testing lanes in the parking lot at Washington HS. I wonder when the governor and mayor were going to tell us about this? Sanford has their testing setup at the Foundation House at the Sports Complex.

In an unrelated note I guess Sanford is also serious about building a 10,000 person capacity baseball stadium at the complex also. I noticed over the past couple of weeks they have finished a bunch of dirt work in the area and I believe seeded it with grass. I doubt they would start on it this summer.