Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

I’M BACK!

Before I do a recap of everything that has happened in our beautiful city over the past two months, first the reason why I returned. Honestly, I was starting to become bored, and missed writing about the events in our city. Secondly, I have had some soft ‘naggers’ over the past few months asking (begging) me to at least come back once in a while. I did plan on returning late this Fall once the weather got cold but the main reason I came back early is the utter incompetence at City Hall has been staggering, and just in a matter of months. While the local media has touched on some of the topics and issues, they, once again, have left out the small details that matter. For instance, did you know that it is most likely that Amazon is the new project being built at Flopdation Park (though I haven’t heard that officially from anyone in the know), but did you also know that one of the reasons the announcement has been delayed is NOT because of this mysterious company, it’s because The Development Foundation is trying to swing a deal with the city and using this company as leverage for a . . . wait for it . . . TIF! I found out about this last week. And get this, they don’t even know how much they want or if any company would be interested in it, they just WANT IT because they know at the end of the day our rubber stamp council will approve it even if they were proposing building a nuclear waste dump out there. Yes, folks, in the middle of a pandemic, with tax collection down, the developers still want their welfare, and this time, they don’t even know what for!

Either way, I’m glad I am back, and if you see this post, please share with friends. Also, the comments section is back on and as before, all comments will be moderated.

Now for a brief recap of what has been going on over the past couple of months;

• A few days after I started my blog break I got an email from a citizen telling me that the Midco Aquatic Center is slowly turning into a dump. The ventilation system in there is failing bad or not working properly and a lot of people stopped going because it is hard to breath, the therapy pool is being used as a kiddie pool and I guess there is significant rusting going on throughout the building (something we were promised would not happen).

• On July 14th councilors Selberg, Starr, Jensen and Ethically Challenged Neitzert were installed on the council. Mayor Stoneless said that he wanted to invite people around the world to watch the ceremony on internet, which is ironic because you can’t access the city website out of the U.S. You would think when you are trying to promote international business the site would work? That’s innovation folks!

• On July 15th the Sioux Steel Hotel project finally admits to a delay;

Lloyd Cos. will begin its Sioux Steel redevelopment in downtown Sioux Falls later than originally planned, pointing to pandemic-related market conditions the company said have “created a time of unprecedented challenge in multiple industries.”

When I first heard the rumblings about this I suggested to a city councilor that the TIF needs to be rescinded. They reached out to the Planning Director, the response? Crickets.

• There is also several rumors swirling around about Sanford Health. Since most of them are 2nd hand rumors, all I can say at this point, expect some surprising and big changes. Not all bad either.

• Councilor Neitzert’s ethics problems have been spiraling out of control over the past two months. I will have a post about it soon.

• Downtown Sioux Falls finally experiments in a plan I have suggested for years. Closing Phillips off. Of course they do it in the middle of a pandemic, provide no vendors (food and drink) and no picnic tables. It was dismal to say the least. I was told that the city didn’t bring any tables down because they lacked ‘manpower’ and no volunteers for beer tents. It was a disaster and DT business owners told me they were not included, knew little about it in advance and some worried about liability. Lame. I guess the idea came from the new tech director with the city who lives DT. Next time, don’t let a great idea flounder so badly.

• Councilors Errakticson and Kiley presented the ‘Transparency ordinance’ which is a good idea (shows who sponsors ordinances on the agenda) but I found it a bit ironic that Rick talked about how he supports transparent government while during the operations committee on Thursday (transparently held at 10 AM in the morning during the workweek) the proposals were ANYTHING but transparent and open. I also have a future post coming about this topic.

• Mayor Stoneless said the SFPD will be getting 150 body cams for the police. This was something that citizens have been asking for over 10 years. It will be interesting how many times the cameras get ‘accidentally’ turned off, misplaced, or erased. I’m a STRONG supporter of reallocating police funds to other programs that help with crime prevention before enforcement has to occur.

• After Mayor Stoneless’ budget address, and a quick one hour regular meeting that ended at 8 PM, the municipal band members found out that night that the city (Parks Department) is cutting their $130K yearly budget essentially, disbanding the band. They just celebrated their 100 year anniversary in 2019. While I understand maybe taking the Covid year off and scaling back, I find it a bit hypocritical of Paul, who proposes a almost $600 million dollar budget ($22 million dollar increase from the year before) that he can’t find the money for the band. If we can give $1.5 million to the State Theater they can find the money. I know that this is something the Parks Director, Mr. Pants on Fire himself, has had a wet dream about for years, he has attempted it in the past. Of course a lot of misinformation was spread around and Chris Hill, the director of the band showed up to a budget hearing to clear it up. Paul, the self-proclaimed ‘Arts Mayor’ (I guess taking multiple selfies of you and your manly friends working out qualifies as art) thinks that they should just raise the money privately or as Councilor Errakticson suggested ‘volunteer’. While I agree some changes should be made, cutting it totally is idiotic and just shows the lack of leadership and innovation this mayor has, especially on something so simple as scraping some bones together for this 100 year tradition. Many people have testified at meetings since the cut was announced with passionate support.

• Councilor Pat Starr is running for Minnehaha County Treasurer. All I can say is YEAH!

• The SFPD released plans for the police/fire training center and metro 911. Originally said to cost around $30 million now has skyrocketed to $52 million with a $5 million constingency fund. Here we go again. Crappy built facility so we need extra money lying around to fix crappy contractor work. Maybe we have learned something from all the times we have gotten the shaft on the Pavilion, the Denty, the Midco, the Admin building, and you wait, on the Triage Center and Bunker Ramp.

• Speaking of the Sioux Failing Downtown Parking Ramp, there was zero ribbon cuttings, or announcements of it’s opening. Yes, we must protect ourselves from the embarrassment from this colossal failure and fraud on the taxpayers of Sioux Falls. When the finance director was asked why no announcement, he said “We wanted a soft opening.” Hey Shawn, this isn’t a coffee shop, it’s a $26 million dollar F’up. Oh, and the opening has been soft. I ride my bike in there (to get awesome photos from the roof) and on most nights there is about 4 cars in there. That’ll pay the mortgage for sure.

• The city continues to fail at posting board meeting agendas 24 hours in advance. Cameraman Bruce showed up to the last solid waste board to tell them they couldn’t have the meeting because it was not properly posted. They quickly disbanded. Not sure what was on the agenda, but my guess is they are planning to keep the Covid inspired taking your cans to the end of the driveway permanent, which saves the haulers in labor costs that they probably won’t pass on to the consumers.

• City Leaders decided to have a ‘Diversity’ conference at the Downtown Holiday Inn, the problem? The all white panel forgot to invite any leaders with any diversity. It blew up on FB, I’m sure you saw it.

• At a recent city council meeting Councilor Errakticson decided to present us with the ‘Hot Mess Moms’. You can come to your own conclusions.

• Denny Sanford gave $12.5 million to the USD Law School so they could name it after Dave Knudson. I said to someone it would be like naming the SD DMV after Bill Janklow. Ironically, Dave didn’t even attend the school. Go figure. The school should really be named after the late Mike Myers who dedicated years to the program. God Bless his soul.

As I said above, there will be some more posts about some specific things that have happened this past couple of weeks. Stay strong and as always, Transparency and Open Government is essential to a healthy democracy and community. Now if we can get those at City Hall to figure that out. It’s good to be back, I think.

Let’s Run Mayor TenHaken’s Career Numbers

So Mayor Multi-Task was bragging about this story about Sioux Falls being a great place to start a career. Let’s assume you are single, let’s break down the numbers;

$35,942 Yearly Salary

Minus Taxes (30%)

$25,159

Minus Rent ($811 per month, $9,732)

$15,427

Minus Monthly Expenses

Groc – $200 (only food prepared and ate at home)

Health – $250 (premium)

Utilities – $200 (includes phone)

Car/Transporation – $600 (includes gas/ins/car payment)

-$1,250 per month

Left over per month $35.

Now I will admit that if you own your car, that could save you around $400 a month, but you also have to have maintenance and repairs, gas and insurance.

Basically you would have $35 per month left over for investments, savings, hospitality/entertainment, student loans, health insurance deductible and out of pocket expenses, etc. Sorry, but $35 dollars doesn’t even come close to covering these other expenses. This is why many young single people (and families) have multiple jobs, because they just can’t make it off of $35K a year and pay rent.

I have often felt that rent increases in Sioux Falls have far exceeded wage increases and the city council seriously needs to look at rent controls. But we also need to get wages up in this town. I wonder if Paul would like to live off of $35K a year? Maybe he is hinting we need to change the Mayor’s salary?

City of Sioux Falls Tidbits

After an incident over the weekend where SFPOs were caught cussing out suspects, the Chief of Police claims there is nothing to see, move along. As I have been saying for years, further proof we need body cams, but as he said last week, no policy changes. Shocker. They also need some diversity training and paid physical fitness time.

Sales taxes are in the crapper, but no surprise. As about 15% of the workforce in Sioux Falls lost their jobs and nobody was spending any money – we saw this coming. I just hope the budget hearings that start tomorrow prepare for this.

Speaking of money, the city could get up to $41 million in Covid money but Mayor Multi-task doesn’t think we need it. The covid crisis is far from over, and as you noticed, the cases in SD remain on an even keel and are NOT going down. If this continues into the fall and winter, we may need some of that money to combat the crisis further. Nothing wrong with planning ahead, wait, this administration doesn’t know what that means. Let’s just keep the libraries and pools closed, that’s the ticket!The Public Transit board met today but no one really knows what is on the agenda because it wasn’t posted on the agenda page. Of course this is a violation of open meetings laws not having the agenda posted (except in this mysterious zoom document). But they have been violating those rules for a couple of years now, why do anything differently?

Mayor TenHaken breaks tie to profit private Sioux Falls Garbage Haulers

Tonight there was an attempt by Councilor Starr to end the Covid inspired ordinance that requires residents to drag their garbage cans to the curb for PRIVATE, FOR PROFIT garbage haulers. I put this in caps, because if they were public contractors, this would be fine, but by requiring citizens to do this for private companies, they are saving these companies a lot of dough in time and labor costs.

I have argued for a long time we should have a public garbage system, contracting with private companies, which would save taxpayers millions a year in tipping fees and labor costs.

All this does is allow the private haulers to make a lot more money without giving a discount, because as a private company, they are not required to do so, and with Mayor Ayn Rand on your side, why worry?

The council vote was 4-4, and once again, the mayor voted for big business over citizens, and now we are all paying more for less service using Covid as an excuse, which ironically never shut any business down in this town.

And Paul seems to be embarrassed for me that I call him a hypocrite?

The City of Sioux Falls does NOT have the right to limit protesters

Many people have been wondering why you would need to get a permit to protest in Sioux Falls. You do not.

Is it a good idea to meet with the SFPD and give them an idea of what you will be protesting and how many people may show up? Sure it is. It’s a nice gesture but not required.

Remember, the US Constitution and your 1st Amendment right to organize and peacefully protest and assemble trumps any state constitution or city charter. While the city can have such an ordinance, it really wouldn’t stand up in Federal court if challenged.

I may be wrong about this, but I think the ordinance came about to break up the kids hanging out downtown while cruising the loop. It has nothing to do with protesting or your 1st Amendment rights.

I encourage anyone protesting in the future to reach out to the SFPD, but don’t get a permit. Besides the enormous powerful message the BLM movement is sending, our right as citizens to peacefully protest is protected already, with a permit or not, and that message needs to also be sent in these troubling times.

SIOUX FALLS 4TH OF JULY PARADE CANCELLED

Mayor TenHaken announced on FB on Friday that the parade has been cancelled this year and the Falls Park feeding.

While I understand serving food to 5,000 people in Falls Park is not a good way to social distance, I think having a parade outside (where people can distance) would be just fine. In fact in my bike rides downtown over the past couple of weeks, DTSF has been packed with people. The bars and restaurants are at capacity and most people are not social distancing. I really don’t understand why the city is so hesitant to open city buildings, pools and libraries when every other place is full capacity (which they gave permission to do in ordinance). Oh that’s right, it goes back to the hypocrisy thing.

Is Mayor TenHaken Homophobic?

I will be very careful with my words. Because being accused of being a homophobe a racist or a mysonygist is not a party. I’ve been accused of all three and it is hurtful. I judge people on face value. If you are an A-Hole, your other designations don’t matter to me. If I don’t like you, it is merely based on the fact that ‘I don’t like you.’ I could care less if you are female, gay or a minority. In some ways I actually feel bad for Paul, because I think he wants to say something, but feels like he cannot.

PTH said during the campaign at a mayoral forum hosted by Dem Forum that he was not ‘Homophobic.’ but his actions seem to speak louder than words.

‘Pentecostal congregations have historically condemned homosexuality, and most Pentecostal denominations have doctrinal statements condemning homosexuality, such as the International Pentecostal Holiness Church’s statement, “We have maintained a strong position against premarital, extramarital, and deviant sex, including homosexual and lesbian relationships, refusing to accept the loose moral standards of our society. We commit ourselves to maintaining this disciplined lifestyle with regard to our bodies.”

I get it, it may go against his religious beliefs. But I often remind people the teachings of Jesus Christ (the guy they supposedly follow) and his whole ‘love your neighbor’ rant.

I have found when you treat people the way you want to be treated, all of that other stuff doesn’t really matter. One of the best things Paul could do right now is raise the rainbow flag above city hall, and say nothing. The actual symbolism of the rainbow flag goes beyond gay rights;

rainbow flag is a multicolored flag consisting of the colors of the rainbow. The designs differ, but many of the colors are based on the seven spectral colors of redorangeyellowgreenblueindigo, and violet that compose the visible light spectrum. The actual color attributed as “blue” is cyan.[1][2]

There are several independent rainbow flags in use today. The pride flag represents LGBT pride (since 1978). The international peace flag is especially popular in Italy (since 1961). The International Co-operative Alliance adopted a rainbow flag in 1925. A similar flag is used in Andean indigenism in Peru and Bolivia to represent the legacy of the Inca Empire (since ca. 1920).

American Revolutionary War writer Thomas Paine proposed that a rainbow flag be used as a maritime flag, to signify neutral ships in time of war.[3][4][5]

Equality is a beautiful thing, it puts us on a level playing field and what your pastor says on Sunday doesn’t really matter, and the main reason I haven’t walked into a church since I was 18 unless it was for a funeral or a wedding. Your faith in God and your beliefs are between you and God. Pulling a flag up the pole won’t change that. Don’t fight this Paul.

City of Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken’s Deputy COS Resignation Comb Over

I’m sure TJ’s resignation was handled similar to the former Innovation Director’s, if you know what I mean.

T.J. got hired right after his angry rants on FB about liberals in which he used colorful language to describe them. His hack partisanship and deep hate for progressive ideas didn’t suit him well for public service in a non-partisan government. That is obvious.

After multiple demotions and being virtually invisible the past three months, the writing was on the wall. I was actually surprised that he lasted for 2 years. I figured he would be gone after 9 months. I’m sure there will be all kinds of rumors why he left and who he may go to work for. But let’s just say this probably wasn’t an accident.

Why is Mayor TenHaken tweeting during a council meeting?

I’m pretty sure the chair of the council meeting shouldn’t be tweeting while running a meeting. At the time he had his phone shoved up his butt farting out his ‘Puffery’ the city clerk was telling us how wonderfully he ran the city election. Oh the irony. The excellence in running a meeting and running an election. Bravo. You both deserve a gold star, or is it a coin, hard to keep track these days Wilbur the Coyote.

This is one of the reasons Stehly & Brekke have asked phones to be banned from council meetings, and our mayor is foolish enough to tweet this out during a meeting?! WOW! He is really more ignorant than I originally thought. But no surprise, emulating his hero Donny Trump. “We’ll get them with this tweet! That’ll show the Libs!” Maybe next week during the meeting he can read bedtime stories to his kids via Zoom while they are discussing zoning issues? His nickname this week; Mayor Multi-Task. So much talent. He really should aspire to be something greater than the mayor of a sleepy midwest town. Hypocrites belong in Washington, not SoDak.

Looting Free Zones (Found on FB)

Mayor TenHaken and the SFPD handled the situation well last night

I agree with Paul that the protest in the afternoon had very little to do with the one at night. If the SFPD, Mayor and National Guard made any missteps, they should have broken up the walking crowd before it got to the Mall (and before it got dark). Many in attendance in the march towards the Mall agreed. I also think when you are telling people in the morning five hours before the protest even started that there will be violence, you are kind of inviting it. As I suspected police chief Burns admitted today that this supposed bus load of hoodlums from Fargo never arrived, it was just empty threats on FB, which I pointed out yesterday. Most of the rioters were local latch key kids that should have been home while their parents are working 2nd or 3rd jobs. This is one of my fears about the pools being closed this summer, a lot of these kids will be up to ‘other’ things besides swimming.

Sioux Falls really hasn’t had this kind of violence since the scabs broke the union lines at John Morrells several years ago. From what I could tell it was just a bunch of young kids and hoodlums looking for something to do and very little to do with George Floyd’s death.

I still think that some of this was overblown, but the reaction by the SFPD and Mayor was legitimate and they handled the situation pretty good, especially the swat department to calm the situation ASAP. I think people freaking out about BS on Facebook, especially elected officials, should really do some investigation before telling the citizens there will violence in the streets. Sure, kids throwing rocks at cops isn’t cool, but it certainly wasn’t a combat zone. Some times our local elected officials need to just be cool headed about these things instead of saying the sky is falling.

I commend our National Guard, police force and Mayor’s office for calming the situation quickly. But next time, before you warn about potential violence in the streets, gather all your facts first. As I tell people all the time, Democracy dies in darkness, be truthful with the citizens and they will respond better next time. If anything I hope there was some lessons learned, and thank God no one was seriously hurt.