Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

Mayor TenHaken accuses citizens of being lazy

Well, he didn’t quite say that, but in response to Belfrage about the great volunteerism he basically does say that;

“If the city would have launched an effort right away, that the city is going to take care of this, people would have sat on their porches and waited for us.”

Give me a Freaking Break! People were immediately cleaning up the next morning, with or without your blessing. Just like the ice storm, people were cleaning up their own yards. I don’t think ANYONE wanted or expected the city to clean up their private property, that was NOT what people wanted, they just wanted a truck to come by and pick up the rubbish, and the city SHOULD do that for people who don’t have the resources like what was done during the ice storm.

And guess what, the city did ultimately end up doing that (notice that was left out of the interview).

To say the people of Sioux Falls would have just put their feet up and waited for city employees to clean up the mess is ridiculous and insulting.

Then Paul flat out lies saying that councilors Stehly and Starr did NOT reach out to him and he tried to reach out to them. I’ve seen the correspondence folks, that is NOT how it happened. I can’t speak for Starr, but I do know that Stehly was constantly trying to get information from the mayor on what citizens were supposed to do with their tree waste and he ignored her.

It is amazing to watch how this is being spun into the ‘great’ volunteer effort of the century. I have lived in the Midwest 95% of my lifetime. I have lived in city’s, towns, and on farms. I have also lived in Sioux Falls since 1991. I have never known neighbors not to help each other! Ever! Whether it was an ice storm, wind storm, or even a major snow storm. It is in our blood to help each other. The State of South Dakota actually ranks 15th in the nation in volunteerism. The mayor should be ashamed of himself to even think that Sioux Falls residents would simply just wait on the porch for help.

Press Conference?

Paul said this to city councilors in an email last night;

I hope you’ve had a chance to follow communications shared by the administration during the two media briefings today and the information shared on the City’s social media channels. During a crisis, I can’t stress enough the importance of sharing information responsibly. As a reminder, the administration is charged with leading the public information efforts. Deviation from this messaging could lead to confusion with the public and mistrust of yourself. I would recommend you copy and paste the exact messaging we are providing, or share the City’s media posts. I would also urge you not to conduct any media interviews regarding response and recovery. Again, we want to avoid confusion. Trained emergency responders and public information officers carefully craft our messages and deviation can be troublesome.

Mayor TenHaken rolls out 5G

I should probably be careful about posting about 5G, I don’t want the sheriff’s department to tear down my door and arrest me.

At first glance I was actually surprised this took so long;

Mayor Paul TenHaken today signed the first set of “small cell installation” agreements. Verizon will install “small cell technology” on city light poles and in city parks. The cells will expand bandwidth in high-volume areas and help the city to facilitate 5G in the future. No word yet on when the cells will be installed. 5G is the fifth generation of mobile broadband. It’s about 20 times faster than the current 4G.

As you may or may not know, a lawsuit was settled between the major telecoms over the false advertising of 5GE;

  Sprint and AT&T on Monday reached a settlement — characterized by both as “amicable” — over a lawsuit in which Sprint claimed its rival carrier used “numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers” with its “5G E” branding. 

The contention was that 5GE really isn’t ‘5G’ it’s just an upgraded version of 4G. But that is between the telecoms anyone dumb enough to believe the technology. But my other concern I have (which I had from the beginning) is if the neighborhoods will get fair warning before the antennas are installed? I have felt it should be like any other zoning issue, utility, within 500 feet of your home, a letter of notice should be sent, and their should be a public hearing. As we already know, the technology is really kind of untested on the effects it will have not just on health but visibility. It seems our mayor and city council have become patsies for John Thune and the FEDS.

A lot of Chicken Littles have been emerging over Triple Check the Charter

I was in amazement over the past 24 hours of all the peeps crying the sky is falling over Triple Check the Charter. Most of what is being said is pure bunk. First let’s start with KSFY’s story.

Besides the fact they mutilated the logo for the measure (eliminating the check marks and descriptive wording at the bottom) they seem to be a little confused.

‘One portion calls for the mayor to be taken off the city council and removes his tie-breaking vote. Any vote ending in a tie would fail.’ (while this part is true, it still doesn’t eliminate the mayor’s ability to VETO council action. With a VETO by the mayor, it would take a super majority to overturn the VETO. He still would have the power to stop legislation he doesn’t agree with).

‘Another item would turn city council elections into a simple plurality.’ (This was actually in the original charter until Councilor Rolfing decided to fiddle with it).

‘A third measure would require a 2/3 majority to pass any bond measure, meaning at least six of the eight council members would need to vote in favor.’ (This is actually the most important part of the amendments IMO. It would force the council to be in consensus when it comes to borrowing money and is an excellent measure that encourages fiscal responsibility of our tax dollars. The only ones that are crying about this are bond salesman).

‘It also calls for city council to develop a strategic plan.’ (That is false. There is NO amendment for that on the proposed petition. Maybe someone should tell KSFY that the word TRIPLE means THREE. Councilor Janet Brekke has proposed several times that the council come up with a strategic plan, but that is NOT a charter amendment proposal, that is just simply doing their jobs as policy makers).

KELO also posted this comment by Mayor TenHaken;

“To put that responsibility of the strategic direction of the city into the hands of eight part-time city councilors is, I think, a very dangerous thing to do,” says TenHaken in a video on his Facebook page

I am completely baffled by this statement. Why would it be dangerous for the policy makers of the city, the city council, to come up with a strategic plan? It is clearly ALREADY spelled out in charter that is it their job to create and establish policy. The petition doesn’t change this one single bit. The only thing that is ‘dangerous’ is our mayor making statements like this. It only confuses voters and is a form of voter suppression. The city council already has the RIGHT and the POWER to implement any policy or plan they want to, and the mayor can’t do a damn thing about it except VETO it. It frightens me that either PTH doesn’t already know this, or he is just flat out lying to scare citizens.

But the rhetoric gets even thicker at the CRC meeting when commission member, Ann Hajek makes this statement at the end of the meeting;

. . . however, this would be a major change to our form of government if adopted, so I think it is important for people to understand that there is some mis-information out there. So it is part of our job as the charter commission to let them know it hasn’t changed and we are in place to keep it in line . . .

As I mentioned above, the only people that are scared are the bond salesman and developers/contractors because it creates a higher threshold for bonding. Mrs. Hajek is married to lead counsel for our major bonding company.

But what I find even more ironic about her statement is that the charter, which was implemented in 1995 is just fine as is, and that the CRC’s job is to protect the status quo. It has actually changed several times since than, it just hasn’t been because of a citizen driven petition. The CRC and city council has made changes.

We heard the opposite with Shape Places. We were told several times we had to change our zoning laws because they haven’t changed since 1986. They actually were amended hundreds of times since 1986, and ironically since Shape Places has been implemented, it has been amended a handful of times to. Why? Because the city council that passed it didn’t bother reading the 400 page document before approving it. The Charter, like zoning laws, have to be updated from time to time. Triple Check the Charter is simply some ‘updating’ to the charter. Don’t listen to the chicken littles in our community who have a lot to lose ($$$) if these changes are made, while the citizens have a lot to gain in tax savings. If passed, progress would occur through a consensus of our council and within the parameters of fiscal responsibility. This isn’t ‘dangerous’ it is just no-nonsense government.

Sorry Paul, Sioux Falls City Government is broken, on many, many, levels

Just because the mayor can’t vote on the council, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have VETO power (which I agree with).

He also spreads the GOP talking point lie about signing a petition. Signing a petition doesn’t mean you are FOR or AGAINST something. A valid petition drive means it puts it on the ballot. It just gives you the right to vote on the measure, it doesn’t mean the measure passes. They of course know that, but they continue to muddy the waters. He also says that according to the Charter the Mayor sets the agenda. This is also a ‘half-truth’. As I have said in the past, the Charter gives the mayor the power to run the city operationally and administratively. He certainly can give policy suggestions to the city council whether he sits on the body or not, but he is NOT the policy director for the city, that is the city council. He is sadly mistaken if he thinks it is his job to set policy, another reason why we need these checks and balances put in place. And one more contentious issue that PTH didn’t bring up in the video, by making up rules two weeks into the drive (especially the one about limiting circulators) it is simply voter suppression and a violation of 1st Amendment rights. The city attorney’s opinion on this doesn’t hold much water.

Is the mayor’s leadership so minimal he has to hide his comments on Facebook? Notice how he does not remind us of his previous desire to be a small government conservative who won’t waste tax dollars on bonding? He was to be the great consensus builder opening up local government to everyone? He seems to be taking on the approach of his predecessor? He seems to have forgotten the why in this post.

Paul TenHaken was live on Facebook August 26th, 2019 to say: “Some people are trying to tinker with your city government. Let’s talk about why that’s a bad idea (in addition to the many reasons below).

☑️SmartAsset – #1 City in the country for Young Professionals.

☑️Livibility – 7th best city in the US to live in.

☑️Record building permit valuations for past 6-7 years. (yet we continue to handout TIFs, tax abatements and rebates and other corporate welfare to big developers? Why?)

☑️2.5% unemployment. (and super low wages. Around 70% of South Dakotans make below a living wage)

☑️Wallet Hub – 11th best run city in America.

☑️Paid of $4mm in bonds EARLY just three months ago.

☑️TechRepublic calls us one of the top 10 cities in the country for entrepreneurs.

BTW, thanks for the tip PTH, we’re sharing as usual to our YouTube followers.

Thursday Tidbits


It seems Jodi Schwan’s replacement may be seeing the writing on the wall and is leaving the Argus at the end of the month to be a health reporter for FORUM communications.


It seems the mayor doesn’t think the changes to the charter are necessary, and in some respects he is correct, because if the past mayors and himself would follow the charter to begin with, we wouldn’t have to make these changes. Let’s go over this again, the Mayor is in charge of running the city and following policy, the city council creates and implements that policy. But since him and his predecessors cannot follow rules, we have to make those changes on our own.


You know what they say, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and today we

found out she has yet to sing her song. While the insurance companies settled, the city and engineering firm are still not out of the clear. The FEDS also have to finish their investigation. We still have a few more hurdles to cross. And as you can see, Legacy was tied to the building collapse (DUH) this is why the council was warned about approving the bunker ramp.

Mayor Proposes to hire a Chief of Culture

You can’t make this crap up. In the mayor’s budget hearing today he let the director of HR, Bill Dah’Toole explain why we needed a Chief Culture Officer (at around $144K a year). A majority of the council was frustrated that the mayor didn’t stick around to explain this expenditure. They also questioned Bill why him and his staff, you know, Human Resources, wasn’t working on a better ‘work’ culture together. COS Beck quickly came to Bill’s defense saying all management works on a better work culture in the city, but they really need a full-time person dedicated to it.

I have often argued you create a better culture by having fewer employees that are extremely qualified, can multi-task and you pay them good wages. You would save the city millions because you would have higher efficiency.

You want a better work culture? Hire people who already have it so you don’t have to train people on the job.

They also are looking for a full-time person to Tweet, Instagram and Facebook. They already have a part-time person dedicated to it, but they can’t handle the workload. Another situation where some of the councilors questioned what our current employees in the media department have been doing. Once again, a problem that could be solved by hiring, as Greg Neitzert would say, ‘ROCK STARS’. People that are already highly qualified so we don’t have to potty train them.

This mayor has added 17 new FTE’s in his first year and now wants to add another 20. Instead of hiring unqualified people who are political hacks or tool salesmen, he needs to hire PROFESSIONALS who can multi-task and handle work loads instead of mini-bars.

Mayor Paul wants you to stop making fun of Bikini Lady

I guess this is how our mayor spends his time, concerned that an elderly lady who is probably oblivious to her image being used for satire (I had to have someone tell me it was her). He really needs to concentrate on the mess in Whittier neighborhood instead. 

I will agree with some of the concerns that the artist should have maybe asked permission. She’s not hard to find, I know where she lives because I saw her one day mowing her lawn in a bikini.

I don’t think he was ‘making fun’ of her. The way he drew her took in consideration to not portray her in an unflattering way, and besides, I think anyone at that age who can powerwalk while reading a book is a superhero. I can barely chew gum and ride bike at the same time.

I also think that most acentric people are oblivious to the attention they receive, and probably don’t care. I’m guessing if she even knows about it, she would be happy some of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales is going towards charity.

Sometimes people automatically think that satire is only used to make people look bad or embarrass them, but sometimes, like in this image, it can be flattering. But for the record Paul, the satire twitter page about your selfies, WAS making fun of you, and it was LMFAO funny.

Here’s some fun facts, when the guy ran into Mr. Bendo, he was my neighbor at the time. Let’s just say that ‘drugs’ make you do stupid things. Also, Bikini lady has a male twin that I call ‘Biker Bill’ he can be seen riding around Sioux Falls usually just wearing jogging shorts. He has a permanent tan and bushy white hair.

Mayor TenHaken brags about giving taxpayer money away to private non-profit

As I said last week, I had no doubt this would pass, but I am baffled that a public official would brag about spending our taxdollars this way, especially after the county and school district just had opt-outs and we have a 38% reserve in the city, and we are planning to bond $30 million for a fire/police training center (that we selfishly won’t allow other communities and law enforcement entities help us with because we want ‘control’). Something is out of whack folks.

UPDATE II: TenHaken Administration moving FAST & HARD on the State Theatre funding

UPDATE II: This is actually councilor Pat Starr’s amendment below. As I understand it to, the State Theatre folks have to prove they have raised $2.5 million before Denny or the City will give the money. Like I said, we need more questions answered;

As if we already forgot about the tactics of the last administration of Secret, Secret, Secret, RAMROD! The TenHaken team of perpetual intellectuals have decided they would pull a Bucktooth & Bowlcut move with the funding of the State Theatre.

If you look at the 1st Reading of the ordinance to fund the State, you will see there is ONLY a short ordinance (Item #16). There is NO contract attachment.

I asked a couple of city folks yesterday where the contract was that the council was supposedly helping to ‘tweak’. The administration’s answer? (or at least I think it is coming from one of them) is that they would work on that between the 1st and 2nd reading.


Aren’t these ‘minor’ details supposed to be worked out before you put something on the official agenda? And how is it that the administration is putting a budgetary expense on the agenda and NOT the council? There are many questions that need to be answered by the State Theatre folks before this money is handed over. It would be nice if everyone just cooled their jets before we get all the facts of the deal and an actual agreed upon contract. Trust me, we haven’t forgotten about the tactics of the last dude, so don’t even go there.