Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

A Proclamation Statement Advisory Non-Legally Binding piece of paper

Both Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken and Governor Noem have issued stay at home orders that have zero teeth (but nice stamps on them). It reminds when they tell you to seek shelter in the basement when you hear a tornado siren (if it goes off), but you don’t really have to.

Like I have said, I’m still on the fence of what employers should stay open and what employers should not, but if you are going to have a stay at home order, you need to make it legally binding, otherwise it has just as much value as a virtual birthday card.

Most people already have gotten the message from the Feds and CDC, stay home, wear masks, keep distance. How is the messages from Paul and Kristi any different if they don’t have legal teeth?

They mean nothing.

I of course do not envy their jobs right now, but they did sign up for this. That means leaders make hard decisions after consulting experts. You already did the consulting, you already did the advising, now it is time to make a firm decision backed up by law. And if your legal team is not willing to make that happen, they need to be sent on a permanent stay at home order. It is not the time to play Libertarian Conservative Cowboy. You can’t have it both ways. You are either for public safety and health or the free enterprise system. With this virus, they cannot co-exist. Once we get over the peak, we can concentrate on bringing the economy back, but it can’t happen with a bunch of sick and dead people. Now is not the time to be eating cake.

Noem seems to be concerned SD is going to turn into a communist country

Love it when our Supreme Leader makes the news;

In explaining her rationale against issuing a stay-at-home order, Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters, “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety.” She also pointed to the state and national constitutions that “prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done.”

I have been told over the past week by several lawyers, specializing in municipal law and having experience with the Home Rule Charter, that the mayor has broad power when it comes to these kind of orders. The state legislature and governor have zero powers over our Charter when it comes to public health and safety of our community. The mayor or the city council can easily put ordinances in place that direct our public health officer to put for measures in place and enforce them, and the governor can’t do a damn thing about it except whine a little.

Trust me, I’m still on the fence as to if and when we would do it, but I think it is perfectly legal and can be done within a 24 hour period, not 5 days like PTH continues to say.

Sioux Falls is not Milbank or Mobridge. We are at a greater risk, and what could be safe in those towns, just isn’t safe in Sioux Falls. How can we rely or depend on the Governor to make those decisions for us, or the drunken sailors we call our state legislature (what a f’ing embarrassment).

Think about it. How is it ‘legal’ to close restaurants and bars that are private sector employers but not credit card call centers (that could easily have workers work safely from home) without laying them off? I will be working from home next week and all my employer asked of me was to have a working PC, internet and if I didn’t have a PC I could borrow one. I will have remote access to my work computer thru the internet. It really is that simple.

I believe it was legal to shut down restaurants due to health department concerns, and I think they have the same legal right to close other non-essential employers.

I told a restaurant owner that it is discrimination to say one private sector business has to be closed while the other doesn’t. And their legal arguments are laughable about closing one but not the other.

I have been of the contention that it is all or nothing. Either you shut down all non-essential employers with 10 or more employees or none at all.

The tricky part is we don’t know what that magical time frame is. The modeling on this virus has been all over the map. One day we are told 100K will die the next we are told 2 million. I do believe though Sioux Falls has a very short window to make that decision. I think they should also be cautious how they approach it, while legal, it also has to be timed properly. I have suggested to city councilors (who may be drafting something) that if you do it (stay at home order) it should be short (2 weeks) with an option to review and renew every 2 weeks. This gives them time to evaluate if it is working or not without being totally detrimental to the economy. Let’s face it, some people have to work, we can’t get around it. But we must make these decisions with a scalpel and not a machete.

Stop making fun of my sneakers!

Upset because we’re tired of the leadership led Goat Roping, watch this thin skin report from Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken. Instead of dealing with the problems at hand, the mayor goes Trumpster.

Blaming everyone else instead of their incompetence is the city of Sioux Falls response. Blaming the inaction of the city on commenters and news reports of their inaction is uncalled for. You do not lead successfully by scraping the bottom of a barrel unless you are looking for gold flakes while mining.

Oh, and Paul, respect is earned not automatically granted to elected officials. You work for us, not the other way around. You ‘signed up this’ whether you knew it or not. If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out now.

BTW, why wasn’t this press conference shown live on Sioux Falls City Link / Channel 16?

‘A Goat Rodeo’ – Sioux Falls City Council special meeting

During the special meeting today at 4 PM, Mayor TenHaken called the current crisis a ‘Goat Rodeo’. What he didn’t mention is he is the head rodeo clown.

What was supposed to be a simple meeting about taking further action against the corona virus pandemic in Sioux Falls turned from a goat rodeo to a real sheep sh*t show.

While the health director was addressing the council about possible further action, some councilors decided this would be a great time to discuss some of those further actions. Stehly was well within in her rights to ask these questions, and a very respectful exchange was occurring between her and the health director Franken when the mayor decided to cut off the questioning because it wasn’t relative to the ordinance, even the city attorney jumped in to say this wasn’t about what may be further done.

Starr called for the adjournment of the meeting and Stehly seconded it, to the mayor’s befuddlement, he asked why? Starr stated that basically if they couldn’t have a discussion and ask questions they might as well go home.

But it got better, councilor Brekke, who was joining the meeting telephonically, basically said it was their right to ask these questions and told the city attorney she was ‘confounded’ as to why he thought he could shut it down.

Of course the mayor and the health director went into apologetic mode as councilor Erickson complained about the barking dogs of one of the telephonic councilors joining (funny, I thought it was her barking, as she normally does during the meeting. She is starting to remind me of a former . . . erp . . . councilor).

From D.C. on down, I’m beginning to wonder who is really in charge right now. The answer is simple; The virus.

Stehly Report, Mayor Ten Haken gives ‘vague’ answers about public safety

You’ll see his answers to Theresa’s questions at the bottom of the column. Not only does he say there is a temporary hospital plan, he basically says they don’t need to tell anyone until it gets bad.

Usually you should share those plans before it gets ‘bad’.

He also has NO idea how much the taxpayers are giving to the Community Foundation. He says $750K, it’s actually $1 Million.

We know who the really leader is in this column, and it’s not the guy answering the questions.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls is using the backdoor for rental assistance

UPDATE: This was the explanation from council staff;

$250k is from the Planning and Development Services budget.

The administration is requesting the Council to appropriate an additional $750k  from the General Fund available fund balance (reserves) to support the One Sioux Falls Fund.

The funding for the Community Foundation is for $1,000,000; $250 (P&D) funds and $750 (General Fund Reserves).

The funding is one in the same.

I want to thank the city for finally contributing to rental assistance, and I think they will have to do a lot more, but I do have some issues with how this assistance is being delivered;


WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the Mayor issued Executive Order No. 218 declaring an emergency to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and

WHEREAS, the Mayor has collaborated with the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation to establish a One Sioux Falls Fund (the “Fund”) to help local residents and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 in Sioux Falls; and

WHEREAS, the Fund will consist of both public and private sector contributions; and

WHEREAS, the Fund will be used for public, charitable, or humanitarian purposes and accommodation. Specifically, the funding shall focus on any of three critical areas: health, housing, and food security; and

WHEREAS, Section 5.07 (b) of the Charter of Sioux Falls allows for an emergency appropriation to be made to meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property, or public peace;

I don’t take issue with the amount of funds themselves ($750K) because I think we are going to need a heckuva a lot more.


What is wrong here is the delivery system because it lacks transparency. It would be logical to assume no matter who pays for this the money will be direct payments to the property owners of the rentals. But by transferring public dollars to a private fund, the taxpayers will never see who is receiving these funds. Once again, I will stress, this is not about knowing the names of the renters, they will not be an equation in this because they will never see the money, it’s about knowing what property owners are receiving the payments. Will it be the big guys? The little guys? Will it be evenly spread between them? We will never know because the city will be giving up their rights to transparency by having a private non-profit distribute the money.

So what is the fix? The property owners need to apply for the funding from the city themselves so that all transactions are open and transparent. I keep telling people that during a time of crisis, full transparency is the key, this is just another example of a backroom deal that doesn’t need to happen to accomplish the ultimate goal.

But there is another issue with this money transfer, the city council was not consulted on the ordinance before it was posted (or at least some of them weren’t) they also were not asked to help draft it or the amount. While the mayor may have some emergency powers, the council is the legislative body that is in charge of drafting legislation like this. Some have even suggested to me that the mayor is violating charter and ethics by proposing this distribution before consulting with the council. It should be an interesting meeting to watch.

Mayor TenHaken’s quote made it all the way to California

The City of Sioux Falls is taking this seriously

After watching this morning’s Corona Virus briefing and the health board meeting today and ending with the city council meeting I think it has finally sunk in that this is very serious, and I was impressed with the Mayor, the Health Director and the City Council for taking more preventative steps. They are not suggestions anymore folks, we need to listen to our elected leaders and heed the warnings. This can ultimately not get any better unless we take precautions, and your city government just stepped it up today, I thank them for their actions.

All week long I have noticed many patrons at the Match Pointe Tennis Center, The Sanford Fieldhouse, and tonight several people golfing at Great Shots. It surprised me that facilities that are under the umbrella of a healthcare system would have their recreational facilities still open to the public. Hopefully the new ordinance the city council passed tonight will close that down.

Also today I was sent this from the city charter concerning elections and if the city council has the power to change a date;

Section 6.01  City elections.  

(a)   Regular elections.  The regular city election shall be held in even numbered years. Conduct of the election shall be in accordance with provisions of state law. The date of the city election shall be set by ordinance as the second Tuesday in April. The city may combine its election with that of the Sioux Falls School Board.

As I see it, while the city has to follow state law with how the election is conducted, the city council has the power to move that date no matter what the state legislature decides. Under our Home Rule charter, it is our council that makes the decision of the date of the election. No matter how the legislature votes on this on Monday, I still think the city council has a legal right to move the election if they need to. I’m no legal scholar, but I think the language is pretty clear who picks that date, and it’s not the legislature.

Also the city has taken action to inform the public with these billboards;

The City of Sioux Falls has about 10 billboards up around town to build awareness about social distancing.

They feature a big picture of  Mayor Paul Tenhaken with this quote:

‘By staying apart, we will stick together’

The billboards are up in strategic spots, including 41st and Western and 12th and Kiwanis.

The TenHaken administration is using every means available to get the word out on ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.

I hope the billboard company is doing these at no cost to the taxpayers, but I don’t know the answer to that. But what concerns me is why do they have a picture of the mayor on them – smiling no less? It reminds me of our job recruitment billboards with the former mayor on them. I think this is a horrible time to be campaigning for the next election on the taxpayer’s dime. I would have just put the quote up by itself, and I’m not even sure this is an original quote from Paul? It’s bizarre and certainly in bad taste.

Mayor TenHaken, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

At the afternoon press conference today (video above) when Paul was asked how Noem is doing with leadership on this issue he told a reporter ‘I didn’t sign up for this’. Last night on FB (video below) he complained about open meeting laws (24 hour notice of meetings) and said he could get more done if he didn’t have to bother with that notice.

Actually, Paul, you could get a lot more done if you would just lead. Under the Charter you have the duty and responsibility to manage the affairs of the city, you don’t need to notice anyone. After almost two years as our mayor you don’t understand leadership, our charter or our open meeting laws. Why is this? Because one of the first things Mayor Selfie did was give executive authority to his COS, Erica Beck, who has been running the city while he has been jettsetting all over the country and world. Hey Paul, you ran to be our mayor, the city manager, didn’t you know what that all entailed? Apparently not.

He also complained in the this afternoon’s press conference that he was tired of employees calling him to complain about their employer. He basically said that wasn’t his job to tell them what to do. Yet, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with telling employers how to recruit mentors or donate money to a rental relief slush fund.

See, folks, Paul does understand one thing, it is a right to work state where people don’t have worker rights do to the lack of widespread organized labor. I agree with Paul, stop calling him, he isn’t going to do anything for you, he has proven that over the past few weeks. I suggest you contact OSHA if you think your employer is endangering your health;

Sioux Falls Area Office Sheila Stanley, Area Director U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration 4404 South Technology Drive
Sioux Falls,  SD 57106

 (605) 361-9566 
 (605) 361-9652

I personally was required to study Marty for over a year for my confirmation classes, and one lesson that Paul should learn from him is that Marty was a great leader who in the face of adversity and crisis in the failed leadership of the Catholic Church didn’t back down to that challenge. If you want to quote Marty, maybe this one will suit you better (it’s from the other Marty)

Did Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken’s Deputy COS get demoted?

It is pretty unclear.

After T.J. Nelson receives a massive raise this year, he gets a different title, yet, as you notice from the graphic, continues to receive the same pay scale.

So why the title change? But not the pay scale change? Not sure. Some would argue that it wasn’t a demotion because his pay remained the same. But many do not know how the games of city hall are played.

The very unofficial rumor going around City Hall and from my various moles there is that T.J. torqued off the wrong person, so this was a little slap on the wrist. Not sure if I believe that, because as I understand it, he has evenly spread his urine to various bowls of Wheaties at city hall.

If he is still receiving the same pay with the same massive raise, was he really punished or was he rewarded for taking a lump for the mayor? Common sense would tell you that there is no good reason to change someone’s title if you are not changing their pay or role. This is all about politics folks.

As I warned you, in a time of crisis, this is the time we must watch government the closest, because they will pull these little hat tricks behind closed doors, while we are watching the distraction of the shiny ball or the latest virus closing down our telephone booth casinos.

Oh, the drama of a small prairie town. I sometimes feel like I still live in Parkston.