UPDATE II: I was told that this is just cleanup language and been planned to change for a few months before Kingdom Boundaries even submitted a rezone. I guess we will hear a longer explanation on Thursday night at the Planning Meeting. But it is still a bad way to form policy.

Item 1D.

The timing of these changes are interesting considering the kerfuffle over the Kingdom Boundaries rezone which the council says they will likely defer on Wednesday (Item 46-meeting is a day later this week due to National Night Out). As I understand it, the council may defer the rezone so they can update these changes. What amazes me is that I have been asking for over 2 years that the rec trail ordinance changes to allow E2s and not until the SFPD does a FB post councilor Neitzert took action. It looks like the applicant saw a problem with current statute and without any public informational on the ordinance change they are moving forward, on the consent agenda. This is a very backdoor way of creating public policy. I am not sure how the administration can justify making PUBLIC POLICY changes like this while keeping the very public it affects in the dark on the process.


While this may be the big news story going around this weekend;

Although both health systems saw “significant benefits” to the merger that led them to “exhaust all potential pathways,” the merger was ultimately scrapped because of challenges that could not be overcome with “certain Minnesota stakeholders.”

It was no surprise to me. When they first announced the merger negotiations I emailed a local well known journalist and told them it will never happen (even if it was a good thing) because of the last time around. The former AG of Minnesota, Lori Swanson, made a good case the first time and I can guarantee those case files were pulled to assist in killing it this time. As I understand it Fairview may have to be bailed out from the state, but apparently they prefer that over Sanford.


This isn’t some big newsflash;

The Lincoln County Commission’s legal counsel has resigned and will continue his public service to the county’s north.

Deputy State’s Attorney Bill Golden has accepted a position with the City of Sioux Falls as an assistant city attorney. He will leave his post in Lincoln County on July 28.

Commissioner Tiffani Landeen added that Golden will be greatly missed, while Commissioner Michael Poppens joked that he hoped Golden would consider staying.

For full disclosure I worked for the Stewart family the same time Mr. Golden did. Bill is married to Kristi ‘Stewart’ Golden, Gordon Stewart’s daughter. Kristi is a former Pressler staffer and not to long ago I think I heard her on KELO AM doing the news.

I have not heard much about the legal talents of Mr. Golden over the years, including when we both worked for the family (sometimes that is good, and sometimes that is very, very, very bad).

We will see what kind of dirty work Mr. Faddle has for his new errand boy.


Executive Director Olson also reported that a new board member, Alex Jensen, was appointed on Friday and onboarding will ensue.

I find this appointment interesting considering Mr. Jensen only has a few months left in his 1st term on City Council and has not announced if he will run for re-election or run for the legislature (so he can incubate for 2 years and then run for mayor). With this appointment it seems Alex is very confused. The rumor mill says he has resisted announcing for a council re-bid because he is scared Stehly may challenge him, and he may be right.


I think the city council needs to kill this until the next mayor rolls in;

The new commission would be charged with, among other things, reviewing works of art acquired by the city and developing the criteria under which they will be placed.

The panel would also set criteria for awarding funding for public projects.

While I support certain aspects of the commission and a full-time director, I don’t trust it under this administration that has an authoritarian slant towards just about everything, including public art. I have suggested besides the commissioners be made up of a broad group of people, that instead of a full-time coordinator, you have a mid-manager from EACH city department serve on an internal arts commission that reports to the volunteer commission monthly. If we really want to promote the arts in Sioux Falls we have to have every city department involved in those actions and not some court jester from the mayor’s office who will likely quit when he is done in 2026.

The Pavilion turned down the ‘opportunity’ to manage the arts for the city, but it seems they have the budget for a NEW full-time position;

Margaret Carmody has been selected as the new Chief Strategy Officer of Washington Pavilion Management Inc.

Carmody previously served as an executive for Raven Industries, where she led organizational culture, marketing, brand, internal and external communications, community and public relations, administrative services and facilities at one time.

She will vacate her role as a member of the Board of Trustees prior to joining the organization as an employee.

The Pavilion is ran by a private management company so they can throw their money at whatever word-game position they want to create, but it reminds of when Doug Morrison ‘retired’ from his banking career while he was serving as School Board President and after leaving the board gets a job created for him by the district. He is in charge of saving the district money 🙂

I am not sure why Carmody is leaving Raven, maybe she saw a better opportunity at the Pavilion, but it seems a little odd that after serving on the board she is offered a new position with the Pavilion. I often tell young professionals in Sioux Falls who are trying to get ahead in their careers it’s ‘who you know, not what you know’ in this town. I have met 30 year olds that are brilliant in Sioux Falls but get passed up for promotions because they are not ass kissers and don’t get fit the ‘look’ and these are white males I am talking about.

Don’t even get me started how you are treated as a female or a minority.

When a friend of mine was starting her career in technical writing she moved BACK to Sioux Falls after receiving top honors and graduating from an Austin, TX university. She sent her resume everywhere and couldn’t even get a call for an interview until she started putting a photo of herself on the resume (she is white). We could never prove it, but we think she was denied interviews because of her name. If you read her first and last name on a resume you would make the stereotypical assumption she is black, as soon as her photo appeared on her resume she started getting interviews and offers.


Whenever I read an article like this, I just shake my head and wonder why people are so opposed to municipal garbage service;

About a quarter of all waste going to the Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill could have been diverted or recycled, the results of a new study found, pointing to a problem that could prove costly.

I often laugh when people make comments like this;

The garbage hauling system in this city is private versus public which keeps costs down and competitive.

I had to adjust myself for a moment there while a monkey exited my butt.

I am for the free market system, which works well in many aspects of the private sector vs. the public sector, but I still don’t know how you think the private system is cheaper? They use more gas, they deteriorate more roads and they have to pay tipping fees. The math isn’t there. You could contract with 2-3 private haulers, give them each a sector of the city, eliminate tipping fees, bill people monthly in their water and sewer bill, and have the city provide the fuel for the trucks.

Heck, the little town of Canton knew this and were going to use the cost savings to build a pool, while I disagree my garbage fees should go towards a pool, it obvious that they saw a cost savings (albeit they were taking that savings away with a pool fee). While many cities have done the system wrong (like Canton was proposing), we have an opportunity to build it from scratch and can learn what NOT to do from other cities.

Trust me, anytime I hear the name Shawn Tornow I usually want to crawl up in a corner and suck my thumb, but he might actually be onto something here;

Lincoln County’s public comment policy doesn’t just apply to specific issues that are discussed in executive session, but broad topics covered by executive session.

Tornow says that regular citizens wouldn’t even know they are running afoul of Lincoln County’s policy.

For example, members of the public might not know about anticipated litigation. They wouldn’t know about topics that were discussed in executive session, because they don’t have access to those meetings. Nor would they know about any other matters that are confidential by law.

In his 3-21 notice, Tornow says the policy is a violation of the First Amendment.

The 3-21 notice alleges that Commission Chairwoman Tiffani Landeen unlawfully cut off Montgomery during a commission meeting on Dec. 6.

“Your actions in this regard were unreasonable, unnecessary and, as my client firmly believes, actionable since her right to free speech and free expression at such a public meeting was unlawfully squelched,” the 3-21 notice says. “Consequently, this correspondence and resulting action became necessary in order to take action to right the wrong.”

I have been warning the city council that cutting off individuals because you are unhappy with the content of their presentation is a 1st Amendment violation. As Tornow points out above the public isn’t aware what the elected officials know due to the privacy of an executive session and elected officials don’t know what private citizens know or what they will say in public. I get it, decorum and threats of violence are serious things and should be handled (even though last night at the city council meeting a public commenter said SH!T three times during his input without being interrupted by the chair. Maybe since he was talking about it running downhill it was pertinent to the input about sewers? I chalk it up to no one actually listening to the gentleman).

At least Tornow and his client are affording the LCC the opportunity to remedy the situation without it going to court.

This is NOT rocket science folks. Instead of focusing on what people CANNOT say during public comment periods and making up rules as they go along, maybe we should focus on what they can say which is just about anything they want to, including feces running down hill.

The SCOTUS ruled on this in 2018 and several times before that. The ruling stands until it is challenged and overturned.

As long as I can remember, Lincoln County has been saying they need a new jail, courthouse and administrative offices;

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, after years of study, is poised to select one of two options to address the critical need for additional courtroom space. After careful analysis and input from the court system, the Tegra Group from Minneapolis and a citizen advisory committee, two options were found, with a greenfield site being the most advantageous.

Many people have told me that the greenfield site makes the most sense because of parking availability.

The Commission has been very conscious of the cost and impact on the taxpayer. While Lincoln County’s tax levy is one of the lowest in the state, any tax increase has to be scrutinized.

Lincoln County has the lowest per capita debt of any county in the state considering it’s property values and size. The county is flush with property tax revenue. There really is NO excuse that they have dragged their feet for so long except for lacking courage and incredible incompetence. With inflation over the past year and the rising cost of construction it is easy to estimate that if they would have pulled the trigger just 5-10 years ago they would have saved taxpayers millions. While controversy and debate between commissioners can be valuable to the process it can also hamper making logical fiscal decisions. We elect representatives to make important decisions about our public needs, if only they can get out of bed and make those decisions. I pity Lincoln County residents.

I had to dig around google to make sure I was reading this statement correctly;

On September 10, 2022, Lincoln County Deputies responded to a call regarding gunshots in Harrisburg, SD. Upon arrival law enforcement located a deceased individual. This matter is being investigated as an unattended death and foul play is not suspected. Given the nature of the death, no additional details will be released.

Sheriff Steve Swenson

Okay, here are some definitions;

The phrase unattended death refers to a death in which the body is not found for days, weeks, or in some cases, months.

foul play; any treacherous or unfair dealing, especially involving murder

This is what I do know. A well known music venue in Harrisburg was hosting a hip-hop show that night that was supposed to occur in a well known music venue in Sioux Falls. That bar declined to do the show, so it got moved to Harrisburg. The shooting occurred a few blocks from the venue in Harrisburg. A friend of mine that lives very near to the incident told me he heard multiple gunshots.

Now I am NO police investigator, but I don’t know too many people who go to a hip hop show, walk a couple of blocks away after leaving the show and kill themselves in a stranger’s driveway. Also, people who kill themselves using a gun don’t shoot themselves multiple times.

Maybe they did. Richard Benda shot himself using a 5 foot branch while pheasant hunting by himself, so stranger things have happened 🙁

It also could have been an intoxicated person screwing around with a gun and accidentally shot themself.

I am hoping someone, anyone in the media questions the sheriff. Was this a murder? A suicide or an accidental shooting? Because the statement above isn’t reassuring.

The below information was sent to me by Mike Zitterich (he notated where he got it)

Depending on what county and school district you live (within city limits) your debt could be anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. My debt is $2,100 (Minnehaha, SFSD, City)