Entries Tagged 'Lincoln County' ↓

1st Amendment case threatened towards Lincoln County Commission

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.

Lincoln County feet dragging is costing taxpayers millions

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.

Lincoln County Sheriff releases bizarre statement on gunshot death over the weekend

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.

Debt in the Sioux Falls Region

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)

How did Lincoln County Commissioner Tiffani Landeen even get elected?

On occasion I will watch the Lincoln County Commission meetings now that they stream on YouTube. I asked someone the other day that knows some of the other commissioners, “How on earth did Landeen even get elected let alone the chair of the commission?” His response was that several of the commissioners use one word to describe Landeen; AWFUL.

If you watch how she conducts the meetings, how she treats petitioners, how she treats the fellow commissioners and how she votes it is baffling that someone like this can be on a governing body. Especially Landeen’s history as Turner County’s states attorney and her misguided seizure of a supposed puppy mill with a warrant that was cooked up without any real evidence.

“Christensen sued HSUS, Turner County officials, the now-defunct Second Chance Rescue Center,  and its founder,  Rosey Quinn,”  wrote Hult.  “Christensen’s federal lawsuit dragged on for more than five years.  He succeeded against Quinn and former Turner County state’s attorney Tiffani Landeen-Hoeke,  but his claims against HSUS and other Turner County officials were dismissed.”

While I consistently disagree with local lawmakers on certain votes and policy decisions, and do call for them to resign due to conflicts of interest and being generally ignorant or unfit for public service, when someone like Landeen comes along you really scratch your head and wonder how someone continues to get elected in different branches of government.

Lincoln County Tax Levy Vote proves local officials are NOT doing the work of the people

I do agree that it was only an 8% voter turnout, but either way, it was a blowout. I have felt for a long time that both County Commissions, the City Council and the School Board are NOT listening to what the citizens want, or in this case, don’t want. They simply show up and vote for tax increases on the minions so they can turn around and give contracts or tax breaks to the welfare queen developers, banksters and bonders.

The system is rigged.

We no longer have representative government in the Sioux Falls Metro Area or even in the state. This is what happens when you have one-party rule by authoritarians who only serve the ruling class. Don’t believe me? A majority of all of the members of all of these governing bodies are Republican. I think the only members that are registered Democrat are Pat Starr, Jeff Barth and Kate Parker (there may be a couple more, but they ain’t telling anyone.)

The irony of the Tax Levy revolt is that it was spearheaded by Republican voters! That is why it still baffles me they continue to vote for the very representatives that don’t listen to them.

I told an older Democrat not to long ago that no matter who the majority party in local government bodies is, you will continue to get tax and fee increases. The difference is the Dems will spend it on the citizens and the Repugs will spend it on their welfare queen developer bankster buddies.

Lincoln County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council Joint Jurisdiction agreement on MED MJ zoning lacks legal logic

Yesterday at the joint meeting, Lincoln County Commissioner Joel Arends tried to get out of planning staff (both city and county) where they came up with the 1,000 foot setback. Once they rolled out the Mariachi band and did an extensive dance, they still couldn’t give a reason. That’s because it was directly pulled from their behinds. Seeing they were not going to win that argument, the city attorney Paul Bengford decided to move the goal posts and say this was about meeting a deadline and newspapers and NOT the setback. It was quite the turd polishing, and exhibited just how inept our local government officials and appointed staff is.

I think they truly believe the public is that naïve.

But the best part was when Councilor Neitzert said it was ‘absurd’ to allow citizens to vote for the legalization of drugs (marijuana). Waiting for our elected officials to legalize it is even more absurd, because they would never act. I joked to someone before the vote in November that even if the Feds decriminalized MJ today and allowed states to regulate it would take South Dakota a decade to put in the regulations if you waited for the elected officials to act.

The only way anything beneficial to the citizens happens in this state is through direct democracy. Waiting for our representatives to help us is the true measure of absurdity and their war on the initiative and referendum process. Keep poking the bear, because that just emboldens us.

I suggest Minnehaha & Lincoln Counties use the almost $50 million in Covid recovery funds for a mass vaccination site

According to NACO (National Association of Counties) The two counties are going to get almost $50 million between the two of them from the latest Covid recovery bill. That’s a hefty chunk of change.

Besides helping alleviate medical costs for the uninsured, I highly suggest starting in April they setup a drive thru massive Covid vaccination site where individuals and families can drive thru to get shots simply by hanging their arms out the window of their cars.

Other states and cities are doing this or at least prepping for it as a fast and efficient way to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible.

Sometimes good ideas are just that simple.

They are also recruiting volunteers from any sector (besides nurses, doctors and pharmacists) that are qualified to give shots like animal vets.

The health systems, the community health clinic, and pharmacies could join forces and set up such a site(s).

Sadly, I suspect they will blow it on something else, you know like the state did with the first round of relief money giving it to hotels, developers, restaurants and go kart tracks.

I hope the counties get their poop in a group and spend the money wisely, but like most places run by right winger nutzos greed and selfishness will probably win the day.

Lincoln County now posting meetings

If you go to our YouTube page you can watch past meetings.

So Sioux Falls voters get a drop box after all, in RED country

Remember what I said about voter suppression because of NO drop boxes in Minnehaha County in Sioux Falls;

Lincoln County voters, who live in Sioux Falls, will be able to save themselves a trip to Canton to drop off their absentee ballots. The Lincoln County auditor’s office will be setting up a once-a-week drop-box in Sioux Falls later this month.

The drop-off will be located in the parking lot of Faith Baptist Fellowship at 57th and Minnesota, right along Lincoln County’s northern border. Lincoln County voters can drop off their absentee ballots from 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays, starting September 30th.

But see this drop box is okay, because it is in a heavily Republican area within Sioux Falls. The refusal to have secure drop boxes in Minnehaha County in the city limits is further proof of voter suppression especially when it is okay to have them in Lincoln County at a private location. I’m wondering if the Lincoln County auditor asked our mayor if this was okay? Oh, that’s right, they don’t have to . . . when you are in RED country.