Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

City of Sioux Falls spends over $200K of your taxdollars to promote covid tourism and super spreader events

After watching this press conference, I just shook my head, just like I do every time I see the POTUS at a press conference.

Why on earth would we be promoting tourism in the middle of a pandemic (and soon influenza season) while our numbers are spiking out of control?

A new program championed by the city of Sioux Falls called Sioux Falls Alive aims to give people safe programs and events during the fall and winter months.

“We have to figure out how we co-exist with COVID-19 over the winter,” Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

“We have to continue to look at ways to give our community, give our families, give people in Sioux Falls ways to stay engaged in the community, ways to stay involved in activities to do but doing so in a very safe and socially distant fashion … believe it or not those things can co-exist.”

Sioux Falls is “going to demonstrate how that can be done,” he added.

We have hardly figured out how to keep our workplaces and nursing homes safe, how on earth can you have beer gardens and masquerade parties? At least people will be wearing masks at one of the events.

While I often have said Mayor Stoneless really does have stones (mostly between his ears) I wonder who is really pushing this hair brain idea of ignoring the covid, let’s party?!

He is right about one thing, the hospitality industry will be devastated over the winter in Sioux Falls. With our numbers spiking, especially in Minnehaha and Lincoln county, our bars and restaurants this winter will be practically empty. They struggle anyway when it gets cold out, put Covid on top of that, not a good situation.

While I commend our city leaders for trying to keep the hospitality industry going in SF during a pandemic, this is a poor plan.

There should be more exploration of how to make takeout and food delivery more convenient and affordable AND profitable for these businesses instead of worrying about our public entertainment facilities (the Romans called it Bread and Circus for a reason). One of my friends suggested easing the laws so bars/restaurants can deliver pre-made cocktails to your home with food, or to avoid the alcohol laws, deliver setups with recipe instructions on what alcohol to add.

There are many great ideas out there to keep businesses open, but promoting a Covid holiday and super spreader events in our city, while using my tax money, is about as Covid stupid as I have seen.

Mayor TenHaken implementing an Executive Order that benefits bureaucrats over citizens

In Paul’s latest fiddling with his extreme hatred for transparency, he changed an executive order which basically shortens up the time the public knows about an ordinance change, YET requires the council to give more advance notice to city directors about their intentions.

Once again Paul is nosing around in the legislative branch and telling them how they will legislate. While I’m okay with giving the city directors more time to mull over changes, we should also be extending the time citizens know about an issue.

I also think that this should be a decision made by the city council, NOT by executive order.

The city council doesn’t work for city directors and the mayor, they work for the citizens, this is why we elect them. But it has been evident, almost since the Home Rule Charter was founded that the city council does the bidding of the mayor and directors and has never turned down an opportunity to put more rules, more fees and more taxes on the citizens. I implore anyone who can show me when the city council has deregulated/eliminated ordinances or cut taxes and fees since this form of government was implemented in the 90’s. If you can, I’ll buy you a beer (or two).

This is the problem with the form of government we have now in Sioux Falls. It is setup so the directors form policy while the RS6 approves those policies that benefit the banksters and developers in town, while more regulations and taxes get levied on the rest of us.

This ‘little change’ is just another way of hiding city business from the citizens. And what it really is about is a deep hatred for sunshine and openness in our local government, and like covid, it will be hard to cure this deep sickness at city hall.

Former Sioux Falls Mayor Got SH*T Done?

I remember when Bucktooth and Bowlcut was walking out the door, it seemed the last 100 days of his administration we were reminded of all the ‘S**T’ he got accomplished (not my words, his). But only a little over 2 years later, let’s look at those supposed accomplishments;

Railroad Redevelopment. While this hasn’t totally flopped (there are a few projects and apartments being built in the area, after developer friendly deals were cut at taxpayer expense) The major developments flopped due to issues with engineering and bedrock. I actually don’t see this development ever coming to fruition for at least 20 years. It was touted as his greatest accomplishment but really was just a massive waste of Federal tax money that never solved the rail traffic issues downtown. They continue to store rail cars downtown less than a few blocks away. And to add insult to injury, we are spending millions for an overpass on 26th street so the trains can continue to march through downtown.

Events Center. Besides the possible impending doom if Mr. S gets brought up on criminal charges, the Denty has been nothing but a complete failure only 5 short years after it opened. Not just the major screw job on the cheap siding and many other issues with the building, sponsorships have continued to fall and attendance is at near zilch. And that’s not just because of Covid. Last year several businesses in the area complained that there was little activity at the place. Besides the rusted up tin can looking like a total waste, taxpayers are stuck with propping up this place with around a $10 million dollar a year mortgage payment while a majority of the profits go straight out of town. We didn’t need a new Events Center, and I think citizens will come to that realization within the next few years.

City Administration Building. Besides the fact we didn’t need this place, it has had issues from day one. The HVAC that clearly got screwed up by the CMAR had to be replaced at taxpayer’s expense, with still no word from the city attorney’s office if we will get reimbursed (likely not). When we decided to gift the other city building for the TRIAGE center, it proved that we didn’t really need another city office building. This was just another developer handout because of some backdoor promises MMM made .

Indoor Aquatic Center. I haven’t been in the place since it opened, but what I have been hearing from peeps in the neighborhood, it is turning into a real wasteland. There has been issues with the windows, leaks in the pool and extensive rusting. And that’s just the little things. There has also been multiple complaints about customer service and the horrible locker rooms. Attendance was also down before COVID hit and our subsidies grow every year. Now I wasn’t opposed to an indoor public pool, but I think we should have done it with a partnership with Sanford Sports Complex and built the pool out there. So not a total failure, but wrong place and wrong deal. I suspect it will become VA property within 10 years.

Bunker Ramp. This is the disaster that keeps giving. After MMM & Mini-Mike Darrin Smith screwed up the initial development, they marched forward with the guys that were associated with the Copper Lounge collapse LLC debacle. Even though many in the public and in the developer world told them it was a bad idea to get involved with these folks, a majority of the council pushed forward. Then when Mayor Stoneless rolled in, he also passed on the opportunity to kill it (contrary to what many believe, Paul and the council could have stopped the project and paid a bond funding fine, which could have been around $1 million, but saving us about $25 million). Not only did the past mayor and council fail to stop one of the biggest dupes on the public, the current administration continues to bungle with this project. Recently they decided to sell two flat surface parking lots (I’m guessing to push those parking tenants to the ramps). The worst part is that neither the current mayor or past mayor and councils apologized for this massive f’up. That  building will always be a stark final reminder of MMM’s legacy of a multitude of failures.

He did have one success during his administration. He supported and endorsed Snowgates, even though he could not get it passed through the idiots on the council at the time. It took a petition drive by Stehly to get this service. So in a sense, he failed at snowgates also.

When I hear rumors about a possible run for mayor again in 2022, I look at the above screwups and wonder how he even thinks he has a snowball chance in Hell of ever serving in public office again? If I was MMM, I would just plan on spending more time at my trailer house in Wessington Springs.

Is the City of Sioux Falls trying to get away from plowing city side streets?

I won’t give Mayor Stoneless all the credit on this one, this actually started with Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut. I noticed in the last few years of his administration and into TenHaken’s there really hasn’t been a strong effort to plow the side streets during the winter, which turns them into icy ruts. After Paul’s church volunteer tornado cleanup effort, I’m getting the feeling more and more he is more concerned about developer handouts and less on citizen services. We pay taxes for a reason, to keep our infrastructure maintained. It will be interesting to see how he reacts this year, but if it is anything like the end of last winter, we are going to be driving on some pretty crappy ice covered streets.

Mayor TenHaken is playing Secret Boss

Instead of doing other people’s jobs, maybe he needs to spend a little time in city hall doing his job? I would really like to see him help the guys in Water Reclamation, oh that’s right, he’s only good at spreading manure, not cleaning it up.

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.

Does Mayor TenHaken’s ‘Conflict’ allow him to chair the ethics hearing?

As you may or may not know, Councilor NitZert, I mean NutZert, I mean Nietzert has his ethics hearing at 6 PM Thursday at Carnegie Hall where he will appear to defend taking money from a third party partisan group for an all expense paid trip to Texas with Mayor TenHaken and a ‘mysterious’ city staffer which is a clear violation of city charter.

While Neitzert’s lawyer (who calls him NitZert) claims there is a conflict by councilors Brekke and Starr because they supposedly shared public documents, owned by taxpayers, to citizens, the real possible conflict is Mayor TenHaken chairing the hearing.

How can an elected official who possibly violated the same ordinance chair a hearing of his peer? This is the MAIN question.

I think the first motion in the hearing would be to remove the mayor as chair of this hearing because of his blatant conflict.

This isn’t really about Greg, it’s about Paul, and the circling of the wagons.

I hope Mr. Cunningham’s attorney points out this conflict at the beginning of the meeting and removes Paul from the proceedings.

I also want to say, I feel truly sorry for Greg, and I’m not being cynical (maybe a little). I had high hopes for the fellar, but he fell victim to the partisan machine and they will eat him alive while he remains a footnote in city government history.

Tomorrow night, Carnegie Town Hall will be transformed into the Globe Theater. I hope to be in the front row in the penny seats.

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth calls out TenHaken’s Partisan Voter Suppression Bullsh*t

(Start video at 1:23:00)

I got a ‘friendly’ call from Jeff last night about his performance at the meeting;

“In Mayor TenHaken’s letter, when he talks about the integrity of the election, I have to question his integrity,” Barth said during the Minnehaha County Commission meeting.

This appears to be what I have said it was from the beginning, blatant partisan voter suppression by Mayor Stoneless, and Jeff reiterated that at the meeting. Just look at how he has moved the goal posts in just a few days, first it was about ‘Security’ and when he couldn’t get any traction on that he said it was about ‘State Law’ than when that didn’t stick he said it was about what they do in Iowa.

I will have to agree with Barth, it’s not about any of those things, it’s just plain Bullsh*t coming from a very weak individual who continues to fail at leadership. If Paul had any stones at all, he would come in front of the County Commission and explain to them in person why he won’t do it, or at least send the person who is really running the city, COS Beck, to explain it.

When Paul was elected he had a long history of making a living at being a partisan hack, so I had no question in my mind he would continue that tradition as mayor, and he hasn’t disappointed in that respect. Just like the last guy who made a living from being a salesman, he continued that tradition as mayor.

Folks, in Sioux Falls, Covid is not what ails us, it’s our government.

Is Mayor TenHaken investing in 5G while taxpayer’s foot the bill?

I know I have asked this question in the past, and I continue to not get many answers from sources or the media. I have asked the local media on several levels to look into this. Crickets. I would think this would be very easy to look into with their resources.

Like I said, it is hard to connect the final dots, but I do know a couple of things that should be looked at;

• TenHaken’s father could have connections with his electrical supply company in Minnesota (I haven’t been able yet to prove he is supplying local contractors with 5G equipment).

• Is TenHaken investing in property that has 5G towers on it? (this is also a big question, because I am uncertain what property he owns and where these towers are going).

• Senator Thune helped TenHaken push this thru. It is a FACT that Thune has received over $1,000,000.00 dollars from the telecom industry in campaign donations. That speaks for itself.

Like I said, I’m having trouble putting the final puzzle pieces together and I beg our local media to start asking questions.

When some people question my question about 5G investment, I often tell them the same thing, “The previous mayor invested in developments thru his wife while he was mayor and you can’t tell me that our current mayor is living off of $100K a year and change with 4 dependents? He has ‘side’ investments, and I’m just curious what they are.”

So is the taxpayer’s investments in 5G in this community beneficial to them or beneficial to the man in the corner office? Good question.

I may be completely wrong, and I have been in the past, but unless we ask the questions and look into it we will never know. It would be even better if TenHaken would just disclose his possible connections.

I would love to see our lazy ass media in town to start asking those questions. Maybe they slip it in between the stories about rain sprinkles, food trucks and golf tournaments.

Mayor TenHaken is promoting voter suppression

Not only does our Mayor HATE transparency and openness in local government, but now he is actively supporting voter suppression.

Trust me, I was pretty shocked that the SD ACLU got involved, when we pointed out the irregularities in the School Bond vote (super precincts in only the southern part of town and hand counting by finance staff) they virtually ignored us. This time thankfully they are stepping up;

The government should never require citizens to play roulette with their health in order to vote. That’s why we’re pushing Mayor TenHaken to think creatively and work with County Auditor Bob Litz to install additional ballot drop boxes ahead of the November Election

BACKGROUND: Recently, the city of Sioux Falls denied Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz’ request to place absentee ballot drop boxes at five Sioux Falls libraries. While Siouxland Libraries is jointly operated between the city and the county, Sioux Falls City Hall has authority of the libraries located within city limits.

TenHaken’s reasoning for the denial was a lack of time to iron out the necessary security details. The Mayor and his team can do better. 

Defenders of the mayor have said that ‘He actually has utterly nothing to do with the November election.’ They are correct on that point, and I have told Auditor Litz in person that he is in charge of the election and has wide authority. The problem? He has to have permission from the city’s top executive to place the drop boxes on city owned property. Despite what others are saying, Bob did ‘ask’ the city for that permission. I asked Bob, “Why is the mayor so against your proposal?” Bob figures he was mad because he wasn’t included in the plan. But this is where Bob made a great point, and I am paraphrasing, “If I would have asked permission from the city before putting together a plan, they would have said to me, come back with a plan. So I did the legwork and worked up a plan before I asked.” You would have thought the mayor would have been appreciative. Nope. When Bob said the city doesn’t have the ‘stones’ to move forward, I’m guessing he was talking about the chief executive, who I have argued does have ‘stones’ mostly in his head. The mayor didn’t even have the leadership and courage to contact Bob himself in an email or phone call, he had one of his communications minions tell Bob NO.

As for the security issues, first off, they could have had a couple hour meeting with the chief of police, the sheriff and the risk manager and worked out those details. As for people stealing a drop box, highly unlikely. They would have been secured to the ground and under 24/7 camera and light surveillance and most likely emptied each day. Also, take into account that stealing ballots is a crime that has some hefty penalties. And even then, what would be the point? You would be stealing ballots from both sides, so it would serve no nefarious purpose.

This is just part of a larger right-wing wacko conspiracy theory that drop boxes and voting by mail is riddled with fraud. This has been proven to not be the case.

I encourage the city council to put a resolution together to make it happen, we still have almost 20 days to get it done.

I don’t know if I am more disappointed in the mayor for believing such nutty theories or that he supports blatant voter suppression. Auditor Litz is right, grow a pair and while your are at it, a brain.