Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

Why does Sioux Falls struggle so much with open government?

Many in the media are wondering why Mayor Paul doesn’t hold regular press conferences where the media can ask questions. Sorry folks, have to head to my kid’s soccer game.

I have often argued that this should be one of the easiest things our local government officials do – open the books! We already have the laws in place that allow government in South Dakota to open the books as much as they want to, with only a handful of things that are not allowable (and are clearly defined).

It often baffles me when I watch the video above or hear a local official say this (Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson is referring to a conversation she had on Wednesday with Mayor TenHaken about communication);

“Help me understand this. Where was the communication breakdown, and how can we do better for you guys (city councilors)?”

I mean, if you have to ask, you are apparently either NOT fit to lead, or acting naive on purpose to hide things. I think it is a little of both.

When leaders fail at the simplest of tasks, it clearly shows they are NOT prepared for the job and should resign.

I drive past the Mayor’s office every weekday going to work (about 7:45 AM) and again going home (about 4:45 PM) and it is always dark. Why do we need city hall security for a mayor that doesn’t show up to his office?

Mayor TenHaken says the telecoms are sick of the ‘West Coast Rat Race’ when it comes to 5G

Some interesting things are said in this video. Including the fact that I guess in the Midwest, elected leaders just bulldoze over the citizens when they want to get things done for big business. Mostly because we are one of the most secretive and corrupt states in the nation when it comes to governing. Don’t let Mayor Paul’s statements fool you, citizens had ZERO input when implementing 5G, and he knows it, and he loves it!

I will even admit, that I’m still on the fence if this is bad for us or good for us. My beef is how citizens were NOT consulted.

City of Sioux Falls Innovation Coordinator worked for Mayor’s ‘former’ company Click Rain

Obviously, this isn’t some big secret if it is listed on LinkedIn, BUT, not sure how many people know this. It is also interesting that she worked for Sanford before Click Rain. I also find it odd that a Communication and Journalism major would know very little about open meeting laws.

TWO things;

• Do you think it is a conflict for the mayor to hire someone who came from his former company?

• Why did his former company let her go to the city? Were there some back door deals made?

The ‘Living Mans’ case gets stranger by the day

In another weird twist I was NOT expecting (my predictions on this case have been way off . . . really way off), The Living Man was given NO additional jail time AND is allowed to confront the mayor at public meetings as long as he does not get within in 15 feet of the mayor (he wouldn’t want to scuff his sneakers 🙂

So why do I think the judge decided this, oh, it may have to do with that pesky 1st Amendment that so many politicians struggle with. Mayor Selfie had this to say in his letter to the judge (full transcript below the story);

“It was clear to me that Mr. Bruce’s disapproval of my leadership had crossed the line from a policy debate and delved into a pattern of threatening and harassing communication that included not just me, but my family,” the letter said.

While it pains me, I will agree with Paul on one thing, even if you know it is hyperbole, don’t use words like ‘bullets’ when addressing politicians. I know our own leader of this great nation has stooped to that level, but there is never a need to confuse the delicate leaders of this great city with our POTUS’ offensive language, or at least language they believe is threatening, that being said, I really think that TLM was well within his rights, and not having a record of ever hurting anyone in the past, except their feelings, the judge really had no choice.

As a person who has followed 1st Amendment cases, and is a proud member of the National Coalition Against Censorship, I take this sh*t seriously. Elected officials may not like you playing imaginary violins in the back row at council meetings, but they signed up for this, they have taken an oath of office to highest law of the land, the US Constitution, and if they don’t like it they have two choices, 1) they can practice the same rights afforded to them and debate their accusers in a public forum OR 2) resign. But jailing people because your feelings are hurt is what they do in countries like Russia.

I’m going to enjoy TLM’s public inputs moving forward. I really need to start selling popcorn in front of Carnegie and make a little money from all this corruption.

Not sure who drew the spikes around the city seal, but it was a nice touch 🙂

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken has been pushing for a 6 PM Council Meeting start time

As I have been hearing behind the scenes, Mayor Paul has been asking the city councilors their thoughts are on changing the regular city council meeting to 6 PM instead of 7 PM.

I got word yesterday that he has been fielding opinions from the council. If it goes to a vote, he will probably have the 4-5 votes he needs.

As you know, I’m against this change (I actually wish it would have stayed on Monday nights and the School Board and Minnehaha County Commission would change their meetings to 7 PM night meetings).

I think it is a good time for the working public to show up. It would be very difficult for people to make a 6 PM meeting if they have to work until 5 or 5:30. And BTW, these meetings are about the PUBLIC, not the elected officials or public employees, this is OUR meeting and it should accommodate us and our busy schedules, it is about open and transparent government.

Today at the city council informational, councilor Stehly made it public that the council was considering this move. She pointed out that if there would have been a regular 6 PM meeting tonight, the city council informational would have been cut short.

So why is the mayor pushing for this? Honestly, I think he wants to shorten the informational meetings for fewer questions, and he wants to limit public input, and lastly wants to get home earlier. Hey, Paul, if you don’t like being at the meetings, we can certainly change the charter so you don’t have to chair them anymore, but remember, you didn’t want that.

He has told the council that it is about the city employees coming to the Tuesday night meetings. As I have said in the past, the directors know what they signed up for, they are paid very well, and guess what, it is a PUBLIC sector job. Something else people may or may not know is that they get ‘comp’ time. In other words, if they have to spend a couple hours at the council meeting Tuesday Night, they can leave early on a different day, so it really isn’t cutting into their ‘private time’. I have also suggested if they don’t like working in the public sector, they can always work in the private sector with the rest of us, in a right to work state, where refusing to work overtime could result in termination, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. City employees don’t have it that tough, and I think PTH is just using them as an excuse for his own personal agenda.

UPDATE: PTH also said that the media requested the meetings start earlier, this is NOT true, some in the media have denied this. Also, PTH claims it is for people who ride the bus. Not sure about this one either.

I hope the council doesn’t move forward with this, but I have a feeling they will, and one more notch will be put on the closed government bedpost.

UPDATE II: I guess the council has changed their mind on this, and it probably doesn’t have the 4-5 votes to change. I guess the Deputy COS also said the administration is calling it off.

UPDATE: What?! You mean we are asking for Federal Assistance for the tornado incident?

UPDATE: At the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting today, councilor Erickson said that by having homeowners and volunteers cleanup their own mess after the tornados it gave them a ‘sense of pride’ and that they ‘shouldn’t depend on government for everything’. Thanks Ronald Reagan. What I find ironic is that while we pay taxes to help us all collectively when things like this occur (natural disasters) and infrastructure repair, their is NOTHING in our city charter that requires us to provide entertainment to us with our tax dollars, or to enrich private developers. But Erickson and several other councilors have never even twitched when giving massive bailouts and taxpayer incentives to private non-profits and private developers. Maybe the next time one of them shows up for our tax dollars and a handout, they should tell them the same, ‘You shouldn’t depend on government’ to subsidize your bottom line.

So where do all the volunteers go to collect their checks?

As I said when the Mayor couldn’t figure out if he wanted to use city personnel for cleanup or not, it seems they had a change of heart, or at least Gov. Donita Trump did;

Governor Kristi Noem has requested a presidential disaster declaration for damage done by September storms in South Dakota.

That includes the three tornadoes that struck portions of Sioux Falls and extreme flooding that occurred in the cities of Madison and Mitchell.

The request is for Sept. 9-Sept. 26 and includes at least $17 million in requested federal assistance.

Kinda of funny how it works, isn’t it? We pay Federal Income Taxes, and when we have trouble, and natural disasters, they pay up, or at least we hope they will.

Does the City of Sioux Falls housing director work for us or Tea, SD?

While Unruh’s position in Tea is voluntary, it is hardly comparable to running a bake sale at your church;

The nonprofit Tea Economic Development Corporation was founded in 1997 with a goal of bringing businesses to Tea, creating jobs and making the city a better place to work and live.

Governed by nine volunteer board members, it’s funded by the city and functions as a chamber of commerce. Its activities include providing information to prospective new businesses, sponsoring ribbon-cuttings and newspaper coverage for new local businesses, sponsoring a mixer for business owners in the spring and hosting an annual banquet in December.

Chellee Unruh, the new board president, shares more about the organization and its evolving role.

I want to clarify something first to all the people who have told me that Chellee is a nice lady and a good person and I should stop picking on her. First of all, it really doesn’t matter. Her farts could smell like lilacs and it still wouldn’t matter. I don’t have a problem with Unruh serving as the Board President of TEDC, what I have a problem with is her serving on the board while also serving the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. She needs to pick one or the other. This is a clear conflict of interest and unethical. While there are no rules for city directors on where they can live, I do think there are rules on serving two masters. How do you on one hand try to manage affordable housing in Sioux Falls and on the other hand you drive home at night to Tea and serve on their EC board? Which is it Chellee? Is your Sioux Falls gig just a paid charity program you are doing to pay the bills? Do you work for Sioux Falls or Tea? Sorry, but providing affordable housing for citizens IS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT! This is why it is a conflict.

And you thought hiring an online tool salesman to run your tech department was a bad idea!

This of course doesn’t surprise me, the ethical nightmare TenHaken’s administration is turning into is frightening, and we should all be alarmed.

UPDATE: Is Mayor TenHaken’s Deputy COS Staff, TJ, scared of Cameraman Bruce?

Bruce told me today he was able to ride along on the Capital Projects Tour with the city council and film most of it. He said it was very informative, and since it was a posted public meeting (working session) anyone from the public could come along on the bus tour.

Right before the bus was about to leave, the Deputy COS of staff to the mayor, TJ Nelson was approaching the bus to go on the tour, but once he saw Bruce getting on with his camera, he turned around and never came. Some councilors questioned what happened to him.

TJ must have gotten Cameraman Bruce confused with ‘The Living Man’ Christopher Bruce . . .

. . . Who announced today he will be sentenced in 8 days instead of December. He thinks he will probably get 10 Months. He also included a tidbit about the Mayor’s father possibly having a link to 5G expansion and the telecoms. I had heard some rumblings about that, but haven’t had anyone else confirm it with me. Maybe one of our talented investigative reporters in town could dig around on that instead of chasing the State’s Attorney on his drunken bike rides.

Posted by Christopher Thelivingman on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

UPDATE: Speaking of Mayor TenHaken, I guess him and councilor Neitzert are rumored to have attended the FCCLA conference in Texas. They both justified it’s relevance and being above the board because this group paid all expenses associated with the conference. They used to be called the FHA. I’m assuming they were hired as speakers at the event.

I have no doubt they are trying to groom Neitzert to run for mayor.

On a side note, I heard the Mayor has upped the ante on whoever will challenge Stehly (if she decides to run) from $100K to $130K.

Money, Money, Money, Mooonnnnneeey.

Need to fast track a mural in Sioux Falls? Talk to the mayor.

I found out yesterday that the new murals being painted in the South part of the new Raven’s parking lot may have gotten a fast track due to who owns the wall – the mayor.

While I have been literally bitching for years that more public art and murals should be downtown and across the city (in which I agree with Mayor TenHaken) I still think that the approval of these pieces should go through the proper channels.

For the record, the murals do follow the sign code ordinances and don’t advertise a specific business, and the ones that are done so far are pretty cool. That aside, it seems there really wasn’t a real process in getting these murals approved, and now I know why. The mayor still owns the building his former business, Click Rain occupies, so the murals are being painted on his property.

In all fairness to the process and openness I guess I would have let it play out like any other property owner asking for the same thing. Maybe it did, and if so, why not SHOW the public how this process works for educating others who want to pursue it?

I often tell people that government officials have a duty to not only delegate and lead, but they also have a greater duty of informing and educating the public on why they make decisions. It’s unfortunate I had to hear this thru the grapevine instead of from the administration.

But this of course doesn’t surprise me, just look at the 5G expansion.

Some people think great things get done in government if we keep it from the public. I have a word that describes those people; Dictators.

UPDATE: The Living Man’s trial started today

UPDATE: I guess he was found guilty. Sentencing in December. He could get a $2000 fine and a year in jail.

I did not attend or have read about the first day of the trial, but I heard a rumor that the city attorney and the judge told Christopher Bruce to limit his time because the mayor had an appointment to get to.

Snevelicious said this on twitter;

Mr. Bruce got more combative as the day went on. The judge repeatedly reminded him not to make statements while questioning witness, not to talk over the prosecution and to listen to direction from the court.

If you are a chief witness in a trial, wouldn’t you have cleared your calendar to testify, especially when you are the victim?

Surprised he didn’t schedule an emergency colonoscopy like the former mayor did to get out of testifying.

I guess if I was a victim of a crime (or thought I was) I would want to defend myself to the fullest extent and wouldn’t make appointments on a day I was due in court.

While I believe the city’s counsel asked for the limitation, I can’t believe the judge would go along with it? Can anyone verify this really happened?