Entries Tagged 'Mayor TenHaken' ↓

South Dakota leadership is getting dumber by the day

First, let’s go with Noem’s idiotic statement of the week;

“I was on a call with the White House today with all of the governors talking about the specifics of this package and I was shocked by how much doesn’t go into infrastructure,” Noem said. “It goes into research and development. It goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy. And it really is not an honest conversation we’re having about what this proposal is.”

In Noem’s mind, she thinks infrastructure is corporate welfare to Canadian oil companies or spending Covid relief money on go kart tracks, hunting lodges and developer bailouts. Her statement kind of reminds me of this clown from Alaska who said, “The Internet is a series of tubes,” the late Sen. Ted Stevens infamously remarked in a 2006 speech on net neutrality. Even Transportation Secretary Pete Beuttigieg made fun of her on the Sunday political shows saying that ‘Yes Governor Noem, pipes are infrastructure.’


Trust me when I heard Paul say this last week, I literally fell out of my chair laughing;

When Dykstra first met TenHaken, he was starting his business ‘Click Rain’ and became the Mayor’s first client. At the time, Dykstra was running for U.S. Senate against then South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. While the political backgrounds have been prevalent between the two, both say their conversations revolve around life.

After I caught my breath I soon realized that it explained not only Paul’s leadership(?) style but his relationship with the SD GOP and developers in town. As many may or may not know, Dykstra was a frequent target of the blog when he was running against Tim Johnson and got his butt whooped. Joel often appeared in my toons with a bag over his head like the unknown comic, because I called him the unknown candidate.

There was also a rumor swirling around City Hall that Mayor TenHaken was out of the office last week with little explanation. I agree the mayor deserves personal time off, but strangely his Chief of Staff was also gone. Not sure if they took a family vacation together, but my guess is the trip was political in nature. Wonder who was footing the bill this time?

If the trip was political in nature, that should be disclosed to taxpayers. Of course the Hatefest on transparency is alive and well at City Hall, so we may never know.


Believe it or not, I couldn’t really find anything in the agenda that sparked my interest except item #66;


Some have questioned if the city can receive this money, and the answer is yes since the bridge crosses a federally mandated waterway (Corp of Engineers manages the Big Sioux River).

In the Planning Meeting it seems the old track on the School for the Deaf land has found an occupant. Item 2I will provide space for the new Children’s Inn Facility. Surprised it was on the consent agenda. I have heard from people in the neighborhood they have concerns. The item can be pulled if people want to comment.

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000’

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.

Private Sioux Falls Airport gets deferred & the city plans to blow Covid money on NEW infrastructure

Well if you blinked your eyes yesterday you may have missed the Minnehaha CC/Sioux Falls CC joint meeting. The whopping 12 minutes of it.

Like the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting at 4 PM, the meeting wasn’t playing correctly on SIRE. They still don’t have it fixed and it seems they don’t really care. I guess the city is ran by a lot of Hi-Tech losers, who talk a big game but cannot deliver. Kind of reminds you of what that guy tells you on Sundays about your path to paradise.

Besides the fact that you could not watch the meeting online, it started right at 5 PM right when people are getting off of work.

They deferred the airport item due to a delayed FAA study, then asked for general public input at the end and that was it. I arrived at Carnegie right after it was done. I wanted to address both bodies about the excessive panhandling that has been going on all year long, what they were planning on doing about it, and some of my ideas to fix the problem (like fining people who give from their car windows and signage about ordinances and laws). But when you don’t live stream a meeting and start it as everyone is getting off of work, it doesn’t give you much time to attend.  I’m not sure who the rocket scientist is that thinks scheduling a meeting at 5 PM on Tuesday is a good idea, but . . . oh that’s right, the same authoritarian fascists who have a war on transparency in our city.

Speaking of the Informational Meeting (that was cutting out) what I could catch of it, and from the propaganda piece they sent to SF Bizzo it seems they are trying to sugarcoat how they are spending the money;

Of that, $4 million would be added to the pool of funding for arterial street expansion.

One of the things that has frustrated me is that the city continues to spend millions on new parks, new roads, and expansion while ignoring our core infrastructure. I have always preferred the mantra, take care of what you have first & if you can’t feed em’ don’t breed em’. So while they are spending our tax dollars on subsidizing corporations that pay little to no taxes & crappy wages they are sticking it to us on the back side;

The assessed value of the Platinum Point 52-unit town home complex in south Sioux Falls jumped 35 percent last year — and the developer said it’s just one example of a troubling trend.

For 17 years of owning my home the biggest increases I saw were 2% but most years it was 0%. Last year they nailed me for a 22% increase, which got reduced a bit, and this year they hit me with a 14% increase. As I have been warning people, this is what happens when we have an out of control TIF and tax rebate program to the developers, also we have an affordable housing crisis in Sioux Falls with an inflated housing market and straddle that with criminal justice costs in the County increasing (drug crimes) and a School District on a $300 million dollar spending spree and what you get is a greedy tax collection system. I have argued for a long time this is unsustainable and it’s bound to get even worse.

You can’t keep raping the little guy for more in property taxes & fees while blowing the money on more NEW infrastructure while you can’t maintain the current crumbling infrastructure in our core.

Recently a local government official told me after having a conversation with someone who studies affordable housing and poverty in Sioux Falls they said the problem is hard to fix but easily explained (paraphrasing);

“The gap between the rich and poor in Sioux Falls has widened greatly over the past 10 years, and widening even faster now. There isn’t a middle to upper middle class in Sioux Falls anymore. You are either living in poverty or close to it, in debt up to your ears, or extremely rich.”

There is also the problem with transparency that is not only affecting the citizens and our tax increases but information is being withheld from the city council by the administration. According to charter, the council is the body that is supposed to be making decisions on policy, budget, taxation and fees, not the mayor’s office.

Of course, none of this will end unless people start speaking up. While we will blab at the podium for 2 hours about masks and kids crying about it, we say nothing while our government is literally taking us to the cleaners and telling us nothing about how they are doing it.

Greed is destroying our community and it is being done by ‘supposed’ Christian leaders.

Maybe they need to listen a little bit harder to that guy on Sunday.

City of Sioux Falls decides to cover Downtown Bunker Ramp wall with large banner that says ‘LAWSUIT PENDING’

Okay, just kidding, but one wonders what is going on.

If you nose around on the local dockets you will see there has not been any set court dates to handle the pending lawsuit with the city and the proposed developer. In other words it seems the city is no further along then they were when this whole fiasco was exposed.

Also, parking revenues are down, so it will be interesting to see how the bonds will be paid for an overbuilt parking ramp that no one has used. I have often suggested they build several floors of studio apartments on the site.

Also, why weren’t there any proposals on decorating the Chernobyl like building?

But lastly, I’m still waiting to hear a formal apology from current and past mayors and councilors who put this fraudulent disaster into motion even after they were warned multiple times that this would turn out to be a pile of poo poo.

If there is one thing city government in Sioux Falls is getting better at it is spending large amounts of our tax dollars on failures. As for necessary infrastructure maintenance, we call on church volunteers.

Is it time for the Sioux Falls City Council to have ‘The Talk’ with their (our) city clerk?

If you FF the above meeting to 1:10:00 you will see an incident that should have never occurred. It was all spurred by the chair of the meeting (Mayor TenHaken) attempting to shut down public input. Though after he gets his butt handed to him by fellow councilors he proclaims he wasn’t going to shut it down. Yeah, sure, you betcha. He announced at the beginning of public input on the mask mandate that he was going to shut it down at one hour, and exactly at the one hour mark he proceeded with his ‘summary’ in which councilor Starr asked for a point of order. All the shouting back and forth could have ended there.


Well, the chair should have automatically recognized the point of order, he did not, because even after 2 years he still doesn’t understand how to run a meeting.

The city attorney could have jumped in, but since he basically only works for the mayor, he sat there like a bump on a log.

It was actually the job of the city clerk to recognize the point order, he eventually did, but he had to get chided by several councilors to do so. Tom Greco, the city clerk, has been here long enough to know he should intervene in these matters, he works for the council and it is there meeting, he should have automatically, politely told the mayor they needed to rule on Starr’s point of order.

I have often been concerned about the cozy relationship between Greco and TenHaken, it is unhealthy and not good for open government. Tom was appointed/hired by the city council and he must answer to his 8 managers NOT the mayor’s office or even the city attorney’s office.

I highly recommend the city council have an executive session with Greco (this is the legal way to handle personnel issues) and encourage him to intervene moving forward. I would also encourage the council to tell him they fully support him and will back him up if he gets any attacks from the chair for doing so. I don’t think it would be appropriate to punish Tom or censure him for what happened Tuesday, but I would tell him that this is a polite reminder and warning to do his job or take a hike.

Sidenote; I’ve been hearing a lot of blame going around that Councilor Starr is the one who forced the mayor to vote on the tie, but the interesting part is the mayor is the one who was playing games. I guess he approached a certain councilor to vote a certain way so he wouldn’t have to break a tie and that councilor refused, so right before the meeting Paul supposedly cornered Jensen to vote so he wouldn’t have to break a tie, and Jensen bailed on his promise to Kiley. This of course is why Starr likely pulled the Joker from his hand. It’s often important to remember that our beloved mayor plays a lot of these games behind the scenes, and when things don’t go his way he is quick to point fingers. Paul, you are the one that is responsible for the Sh!t Show Tuesday night, no one else.

South Dakota African American Museum Proclamation

Sioux Falls City Councilor ‘Pat Starr Show’ wins the day

I had to chuckle about how councilor Starr successfully fought the mayor tonight about extending public input about the mask mandate, then when Pat spoke later after public input the crowd that he fought for to speak heckled him. Wow.

I often have to remind my friends, my enemies, local elected officials, relatives and others that the 1st Amendment is number one for a reason, freedom of speech is the only thing you should be concerned about. Everything else is moot.

BTW, the mask mandate failed because it was a tie and Mayor TenHaken voted it down, because he lacks leadership. Shocker.

Also, councilor Selberg made fun of Starr for taking on the mayor calling it the ‘Pat Starr Show’.

While Selberg may have invented the ‘Siouxper Hero’ award, he certainly earned the ‘Siouxper jerk Councilor’ award tonight.

Why does Mayor TenHaken live in a glass house?

First I want to commend Jodi for doing a sit down with our mayor, I think Jodi is a great writer and an accomplished person, but I do take issue with some of things said in interview by the mayor. I may not have a degree in journalism, but I think I have a degree in city politics, I have watched the last three mayors very closely, but I have watched city government in motion for over 20 years, and my BS detector went through the roof reading this article;

In his lower back, which he calls “a wreck,” while tests haven’t shown a reason why.

“The only thing we can come up with is stress,” Jill TenHaken said.

While I will agree 100% stress can wreak havoc on your physical health, I’m still wondering where the stress is coming from? Before Covid, Paul was traveling the country making sure his agenda of lining his pockets and his friends was in full swing, it still is. I have often felt that the two major contributors of stress is paranoia and guilt. If you do the right thing, and you know you are, that is leadership, and that is positive, and positivity contributes to good health. If Paul is stressed out, it makes me wonder what he is doing behind the scenes.

“And two days later, it was a state of emergency in the city,” TenHaken said.

“A state of emergency?”

He remembers even hearing the words caused people to become nervous.

“I remember having to calm people down and say it’s OK, it’s a bureaucratic tool,” he said. “You have to declare an emergency to get certain powers you may need to enact.”

It is not a bureaucratic tool, it is public safety. This is what local leaders do to protect the citizens. Why is everything a ‘tool’ to this ‘tool’? If people are in danger you act, if you don’t think they are, you do nothing. It’s really that simple. His statement shows just how little he understands the power of local government to project its citizens.

Before long, Sioux Falls became the biggest hot spot in the nation.

It became a hotspot because local government, the state, the health department, the CDC and the city council did nothing to prevent what happened at Smithfield. Virology is simple really, viruses spread when you don’t take precautions. We took none because supposed leaders failed to act early.

“When you have to send a letter to your third-largest employer, knowing the economic impact that will have … that was really hard,” TenHaken said.

“I had hog producers sending me pictures of dead hogs, 20 feet high and 50 yards long that they had to euthanize because there was no place to take them, and they saw me as the reason for that.”

Growing up as a family farmer, I can tell you why these hogs had to be destroyed, because these farmers don’t diversify their distribution because they idiotically signed contracts with Communists that they would only supply to them. That is their fault, no one else is to blame. Even a moron can see that.

One of TenHaken’s biggest worries – housing – became one of his brightest moments.

REALLY!? If he was concerned about this, he wouldn’t be allowing neighborhoods to be destroyed, he wouldn’t allow low wage employers to come into town, he would prop up affordable housing with tax incentives instead of giving them to egg roll factories in cornfields sending their profits to foreign nations.

“When people think they have opinions, you maybe don’t know the whole story. You maybe don’t know the background that’s led up to it,” Jill TenHaken said.

Jill, you are spot on. Maybe tell your husband he needs to fill us in, please tell us what is going on. Transparency and honesty will always win the day.

“I remember saying, ‘Listen, if you don’t know where your kids are now and they’re teens, I think I know where they are.’ ”

Several parents later told him he was right.

He is right, but you should think about that statement Paul. Many parents in this community are working so much they cannot properly parent, and when you apply trickle down economics and actually encourage it, you will continue to get bad kids, because parents can’t spend time with them. When you lift parents and workers from the bottom up, you fix a lot of these issues, when you continue to coddle the one percenters you only make these issues worse.

It doesn’t matter that no businesses are closed and none were ever ordered to close, he said.

“That tension and that anger” persist, he said.

This isn’t a critique of Paul, if you have a bad business plan, you will fail, Covid or not. It seems some people want to blame Covid, but I can tell you that most businesses in Sioux Falls that have failed, would have failed anyway.

“So that we hit the ground running once the weather turns and tourism season happens, and I think we’re in a good spot. Economically, this city is going to absolutely crush it this year. Businesses are coming here, tourism and events, our small-business community is going to see an incredible rebound because there’s pent-up economic power in the community right now, spending power that’s been tapped down for a year.”

Not everything is about money. While I agree the big guys in Sioux Falls will do just fine, a ‘whole’ community is achieved by caring about its citizens as that ‘whole’. We need to start governing from the bottom.

 I’m very bullish on mentorship,

While I criticize Paul on his leadership style, I totally agree with him on this initiative. I often wonder how different my life would be if I had a mentor. I just hope he can see the sun through the clouds.

A few weeks ago, TenHaken took a test to see if he has COVID-19 antibodies.

It came back negative.

Somehow, he likely led through the year without contracting the virus.

You are lucky, it’s not a party.

While I think Paul has failed us on open government and helping the little folks, I still pray he does the right thing, someday. Leading comes from within, dig deep brother.

Sioux Falls City Council March 2nd meeting video disappears for a few days

While the minutes of the meeting were are up, the video was non-existent until 5 PM today. In fact, the part of the meeting where they discussed and voted on the disastrous TIF-23 didn’t even live stream that night, and neither did the mask discussion and vote. So while our city council votes to approve one of the worst boondoggles in the history of city, which will increase taxes on homeowners, increase crime and create an enormous housing shortage there was NO live video. We had to wait two days to watch the replay which mysteriously works now and was recorded but couldn’t livestream. Hmmmm.

There is a part of me that is getting a little suspicious how these meetings are crashing and disappearing when controversial items come up. If they were not so inept you would think they are doing this on purpose. I have suggested for several years now that the city needs to livestream the meetings on YouTube at no cost to tax payers.

The sad part is that the citizens and even the city councilors are powerless legally to force the city and the administration to fix the online agenda software. While they have thrown millions at it, it continues to get worse and worse.

I find it ironic that an administration that talks about being so technologically advanced can’t get the online streaming to work.

Like I said, I mostly blame it on blatant ignorance and laziness, but some are starting to wonder why these breakdowns only coincide with major agenda items?

Welcome to cruise control government and the continued HATEFEST on open government and transparency.

After pointing out the dismal attendance of the Planning Commission it gets a change up

It seems the change up didn’t help much since only 6 members attended tonight out of the 9 member board. You will notice by looking at the new list that many members who were not showing up to meetings over the past year have been replaced with temporary terms**.

Once again the TenHaken administration has been busily rearranging deck chairs hoping no one notices. Cruise Control government at it’s best, hopefully we don’t have any unexpected freezing rain.

Members of the Sioux Falls Planning Commission

Nine members (including one chair person) are appointed by the Mayor to serve five year terms.

  • (Vice-Chair) John Paulson – Term Expires – May 2021
  • Bradyn Neises – Term Expires – May 2021**
  • Dana Fisher – Term Expires – May 2021**
  • Sean Ervin – Term Expires – June 2023*
  • Larry Luetke – Term Expires – June 2023*
  • (Chair) Eric Nyberg – Term Expires – May 2024
  • Aaron Norman – Term Expires – July 2024*
  • Kurt Johnson – Term Expires – May 2024*
  • Janet Kittams – Term Expires – April 2025

 * Second Term
** Assumed Previous Members Term