Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

Medical MJ Ordinances prove Authoritarians are running our city NOT Representatives

The reason we elect a city council and mayor is to have citizen representation when crafting or upholding our laws and ordinances within our city. They should not be injecting their own personal views on those laws they just need to follow them within reason.

The gross abuse of power the Mayor and the Council is showing with the Med MJ ordinance is appalling and shows the stark similarities between how this ordinance is being crafted and how the Events Center was passed.


The Event Center vote was an ‘Advisory Vote’ in other words it had no legal binding, it was just a suggestion to the city council. A little over 50% voted YES. If this would have been a LEGAL bond initiative vote it would have failed because that needs 60% to pass. Of course, a majority of the City Council ignored that fact and voted to pass the Event Center bonds WITHOUT a LEGAL bond election, and without a 60% majority on the advisory election. In other words, we were NOT properly represented by our councilors and mayor.

Fast forward to 2021, and the new mayor and council are back at their old tricks by injecting their personal feelings and opinions of a very small minority of people when crafting Med MJ ordinances. While the news has been reporting about the ridiculous FIVE dispensary rule (while we have hundreds of bars, liquor stores and telephone booth VL casinos) they have avoided talking about the 1,000 foot setback, the conditional use permitting process and most egregious of all the initial $100,000 1st year license fee and $50,000 a year after that (you have to buy a 2 year license for $100,000.) Remember, over 70% of South Dakota voters approved Med MJ and even a higher percentage in Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls. They are totally ignoring the will of the voters and the majority and doing the bare minimum to restrict these dispensaries. I have also heard there was pressure from a certain bank and hospital in town, you can probably guess.

Sadly, according to the city website, these are running rates for alcohol licensing;

Retail On/Off Sale Malt Beverage (yearly renewal) $333.00
Retail On/Off Sale Wine (yearly renewal) $533.00
Package Liquor (yearly renewal) $533
Retail Liquor (Bar) One time License Fee $192,393 with a yearly renewal fee of $1,500

You could either argue that the licensing fees of alcohol (a narcotic, not a plant) is too low, or the licensing of Med MJ is too high, but they are grossly mismatched. And where did the $100K fee come from? It is obvious it was pulled from their behinds and isn’t based on any economic or financial data, it’s just vindictive. Also factor in that dispensaries would be selling a harmless plant discreetly for medicinal use and no product can be used on the premise. It’s no different than picking up vitamins at Wayne & Mary’s. The immense ignorance and dictatorship like actions taken by Mayor TenHaken and the City Council are extremely worrisome and concerning. This is why most of this ordinance was crafted in secrecy, they know it is unethical and wrong.

I also think this is a part of a statewide effort to punish voters and petitioners for passing their own laws. Just look how they gutted the minimum wage (for teenagers) transparency laws, Rec MJ and the list goes on and on. They hate the initiative process because it strips them of their authority and they seek to punish anyone who dares to participate in it. I joked that even if Med MJ passed with 99.9% of the vote, they would still move to limit it. Their greed and power sees no limits and they have no shame about it.

There is a silver lining though.

I’m guessing there will be immense pushback from the industry, and I am also guessing it’s going to be very public and very intense and will hopefully expose who is leading this city into a dictatorship. Get out the popcorn folks because it’s going to be quite a show watching the rats run for their holes but this time they may have no where to hide.

Mayor Poops

While I have had many great nicknames for elected officials, this tops it all;

Mayor TenHaken ‘Crushes’ CCR

This is almost better than Mayor Bowlcut & Bucktooth dancing by himself at the Denty.

UPDATE II: Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken gets involved when his ‘people’ are affected

UPDATE II: Well I stand corrected again. Apparently the mayor didn’t initially respond to the neighbors complaints, not until he got wind of the media reports he took action. So know it seems he is even ignoring his friends. I wish the media would pressure him on a whole host of things, making him accountable gets action.

It also comes down to the public works department authorizing these towers?

UPDATE: As I heard, VAST is going to bury the boxes;

While the company is within its rights to place the boxes within the utility easements of private properties once they receive their permits from the city, it’s the lack of communication that’s led to action by the city, with TenHaken calling it “unacceptable” and adding the city had ceased issuing the  business permits until representatives had a plan to fix it.

Vast’s statement said the immediate change would be that freestanding pedestals not located with other utilities would be replaced with units flush to the ground.

While I agree with them being buried, I’m wondering where the complaint department is with the city to bury the ugly 5G towers all over Downtown? Isn’t it astonishing when the mayor’s friends complain, quick action is taken. Which is wonderful, but what about us regular folks who don’t fund election campaigns? We certainly now know who he represents.

While I can understand that the people in this neighborhood are upset because Vast didn’t notify them properly I will point out two very important things on this topic. This was noticed with the city council and approved by them AND would you rather have a goofy little green tower in your yard or a big ugly 5G tower? I think we know the answer.

At first, Will Bushee assumed the green box in his front yard was temporary.

There’d been road construction near his home in southern Sioux Falls, but when a hole was bored into his front yard and filled with a green pedestal, he started to have concerns and contacted the city.

They told Bushee it wasn’t a city project, though. Vast Broadband, an internet service provider in Sioux Falls and Vermillion, is expanding their fiber optic network throughout the city.

And once Vast receives a private utility permit from the city, they’re allowed to place “telecommunication pedestals” within a utility easement on private property, which can include a home’s front yard.

Competition is a good thing? Right? For the longest time all you ever hear from people is how Midco needs competition and they are essentially running a fiber optic monopoly in town. But what peaked my interest in this story was not the project but a particular person complaining who has a direct/indirect line to the Mayor’s Office. Mr. Bushee is the VP of MarketBeat, a company ran by Matthew Paulson. Why is this important? Matthew Paulson assisted both Mayor TenHaken and City Councilor Alex Jensen in getting elected to office. You can connect the dots.

So it didn’t surprise me when the mayor put the brakes on this almost immediately, even though this was passed by the city council. I also find it a bit ironic he seems to be so concerned about transparency (in the private sector). I do agree they should notice people, but as the city engineer said, they went through the proper steps, they just supposedly failed on the last one.

But the other part that makes Paul’s immediate action glaring is his support of Verizon’s 5G network in Sioux Falls. By halting Vast’s project he could be showing deference to not only Midco but Verizon on a project that was approved by city council. Where were these people when those meetings were taking place?

I guess if you need something done in this town by our Mayor, it’s best if you helped him get elected, he’s there for yah.

Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken’s Medical MJ ignorance

While I won’t give Greg Belfrage much credit for normally asking soft-ball questions to local politicians, he threw a real toddler lob at Paul this morning and we finally got to hear what he thinks of Med MJ. Greg’s question was pretty vague, he simply asked Paul to comment on zoning of dispensaries in Sioux Falls. I was thoroughly expecting a non-answer, but he suddenly became fired up, and his true colors showed, or should we say ignorance.

He says that Med MJ doesn’t belong in pharmacies because it is not medicine. Technically, he is correct, it is medicinal which means ‘(of a substance or plant) having healing properties.’ Think Flintstone vitamin that makes you feel funny. He could have left it at that, but then he proceeds to say, ‘It’s NOT medicine because the FDA has not approved it.’ The FDA cannot approve a plant as a drug. Drugs can be patented because they are made of chemical compounds, in labs by chemists and scientists. You cannot patent a plant because it is made by nature.

His second funny, that he actually said first was the real kick in the pants. He said that Med MJ dispensaries are being pushed by ‘Special Interests’. Apparently in Paul’s dark little authoritarian mind 70% of the voters in SD and even a larger percent in Sioux Falls are considered ‘Special Interests’. Special interests are the developers and banksters who funded your campaign so you continue to hand out tax incentives to them. The people who approved this law, in which it states the only zoning restrictions are 1,000 feet from schools were a majority of the voters, a very LARGE majority. Authoritarians hate it when there is direct democracy and the state legislature has been trying to fiddle and f’ck with it for years. Until those rules change, that’s how things are done in South Dakota, and if Mayor TenHaken doesn’t like it, maybe he should resign and go back to being a special interest partisan hack like he was before he took office.

He also says he will be ‘bullish’ about controlling dispensaries in Sioux Falls because he doesn’t want to turn us into San Francisco. Really?! So you will choose to ignore a law that was passed by 70% of the voters because you have a misguided view about cities that have dispensaries? I have never seen so many closed minds surrounding this issue, even the legislature is so scared of the constituents finding out how they are gutting the law, they are meeting in private, which is highly unethical and questionably legal.

The ultimate irony of Mayor Stoneless’ comments today is that he is NOT part of the policy making body of city government per charter. Sure, he is in charge of planning staff, but the City Council and Planning Commission make the final decisions and write the policies when it comes to zoning. The only duty the Mayor has when it comes to policy is breaking ties. I’m still wondering when a councilor, any councilor will get up the courage to file charges against Paul for violating his charter duties. He is NOT supposed to be sponsoring policy legislation. Now he has every right under the 1st Amendment to give his opinion about policy to the council or on a radio interview, he just can’t be writing and sponsoring it. My point is he shouldn’t even be involved with the Med MJ zoning ordinances especially since he doesn’t know the difference between Viagra and a Joint.

As I have mentioned to the Mayor and City Council during public input. Your opinion about a law passed by the voters is NOT your concern, your job as elected officials is to uphold that law to it’s fullest extent.

And BTW, I’m still curious who these mysterious people are that you are trying to protect?

Kevin Smith returns to the City of Sioux Falls Planning Department, with a promotion to boot

Only in the bizarro world of cruise control government these things occur;

Smith will serve as assistant director of planning and development services under director Jeff Eckhoff.

So Smith works in the private sector for 6 years and returns to public service with a promotion. WOW. Only after some certain people have mysteriously disappeared and rumors of several retirements the chess pieces start to move around. It seems Paul’s administration is getting so desperate he is calling up old employees to come back. Pretty soon he will hire MMM to be his consultant 🙂

Mayor Stoneless wouldn’t know leadership if he was hit with it over the head with an Ironman medal.

And nothing against Kevin. I heard last month he was returning. I learned a long time ago, most city managers, especially directors and assistant directors are animals of opportunity. I was surprised Kevin lasted 6 years in the private sector.

I heard our former, former, Fire Chief mows golf courses.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken should be doing more to encourage vaccination

UPDATE: Actually, when you think about it, giving people $100 for two shots would NOT be a handout. Technically two shots cost us $90 as Federal taxpayers, so you could look at it as a tax refund on the vaccination and NOT a handout.

While I somewhat agree with the premise that we shouldn’t have to pay people to take a FREE vaccine, there is much more the city and the mayor could do to encourage vaccination;

“While we want those who have not been vaccinated to step up to the plate and get their shot, I think we can trust people to make their own health care decisions without the need for a government handout,” TenHaken said in a statement sent to the Argus Leader.

This is certainly an interesting statement about government handouts considering this;

South Dakota has received more than $2 billion in federal stimulus since the start of the pandemic, with more than $50 million of that funneled to the city of Sioux Falls. 

So instead of incentivizing people with a Bennie, the city has spent most of this money on paying off bonds, building parks and other NON-RELATED covid expenses. I have even thought that how they spent some of this money was against Federal mandates.

Like I said, setting the precedent of giving people money to get a FREE vaccine would NOT be good, and I disagree with Biden on this, but the city already set a bad precedent by spending Covid money on things un-related to Covid which I think is far more nefarious.

They could have spent just 10% of the money and plastered this town with billboards, media PSA’s and print ads telling people why the vaccine is safe and should be taken. The billboards could show people dying on a ventilators, they could point out that 99.4% of all people getting hospitalized or dying of Covid are unvaccinated, or more importantly they could be telling people that the science and technology behind mNRA has been studied for around 30 years!!!! The only thing experimental about the vaccination is that it hasn’t had long term clinical trials, which I will admit does cause some anxiety, but the science has been around a long time.

Also, instead of the $100 incentive the city could also spend the money on workforce development, affordable housing, and public transportation. They could also put residents who have already been vaccinated and those willing to get it (2nd shot) to enter a city lottery where we could give out FREE community development grants to do needed repairs to their homes.

There are many ways to get creative with vaccination promotion.

The city should also have a vaccination clinic that runs Monday-Friday at Falls Community Health. Maybe they do, but I have not heard of it.

Let’s face it, the quickest way to get back to normal and turn around the economy is if herd immunity can be achieved, that is why Noem and TenHaken’s rank hypocrisy astonishes me. I agree people have the right to refuse the vaccination, but you have a duty as elected officials, with billions in your coffers from Federal taxpayers to educate people on the importance of this.

I ask Kristi and Paul the simple question I ask many conservatives who chose personally to get the vaccination. Didn’t you get it for the safety of your own health, your family’s health and the health of your community? They usually answer yes. Then why wouldn’t you encourage others? It’s mind boggling.

The ‘Unofficial’ Mayoral Incumbent has raised over $52K

For a guy who hasn’t made an official announcement, some wonder why TenHaken has raised so much money.

TenHakens July 6, 2021 Finance report

I guess O’ Shucksberg and Heels have some money laying around to.

Maybe Paul is waiting to break $100K before he officially announces so he knows for sure the super rich in town still support him and cruise control government

Theresa Stehly asks Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken to look at her when speaking at the City Council Meeting tonight

During the public input portion of the meeting tonight, former city councilor Stehly asked the mayor to stop spraying for skiters in broad daylight. I guess the trucks have been emitting their chemicals before dusk throughout neighborhoods with complaints from people with kids, to people walking with pets. It is also kills beneficial insects. The best time to spray is from dusk to dawn when the skiters come out to play. I guess the city doesn’t really have a reason why except it costs more to spray after dark. I didn’t know running headlights was so expensive. I have complained for years that the city should use safer, natural methods to control skiters. The one reason I don’t have a vegetable garden is because of the spraying. The emission can also cause developmental issues in toddlers. But that’s typical of authoritarians, save pennies over here while harming the health and welfare of citizens while handing out $20 Million dollar plus tax rebates to developers.

I didn’t see Paul’s face, but when Theresa was addressing him, she asked him to look at her (I guess he was staring at his shoes, something you can do when the cruise control is on).

Lincoln, NE Police Chief inquiry includes input from the Public, a National Search and recognizing Experience and Diversity

Sioux Falls is often compared to Lincoln due to similarities in size (they have about 100K more people). Recently they started a search for a new police chief. The first thing they did was engage the public before the search even started asking them in a public forum what they wanted in a new chief. They also performed a National search in which 3 of the 4 finalists come from other states, and only one candidate is internal (currently a retired Captain from the force). They also have tons of experience (Between 20-30 years) and notice that TWO are women and THREE are minority.

I’m not saying Sioux Falls should do identical to what Lincoln did, but it is obvious they put a little effort into it, instead of turning on the cruise control. Often when I am critical of our city government I will bring up openness, ethics and competency. This contrast between Lincoln and Sioux Falls blatantly shows how we have a ‘go it alone’ attitude instead of learning from other communities. One of the reasons we send our elected officials to national governing conferences is to learn from other communities (and I am NOT talking about that right-winger conference Neitzert went to) I’m talking about non-partisan events like National League of Cities.

The contrast between how Lincoln did this and how we did this is startling, and frankly pretty embarrassing.