Entries Tagged 'Mike Huether' ↓

Mayor Huether has paid off debt by taxing us to death

Hizzoner was on the B-N-B show this morning spreading his own special kind of love. He started telling his victory lap story he has been telling over the past month that he will be on to bigger and better things right after taking a break, because as he put it, his daughter wants him to be ‘fun again’. I don’t even want to know what that all entails but I’m picturing a speedo and a couple of empty Coors Light Silos.

Either way, besides serving up his own special brand of BS this morning, now claiming people hate him, or hate progress, or hate something, not sure where he was going with it since he always prefaces these kind of statements with ‘I better be careful about who I am talking about’. He made another one of his Half-Truth statements;

There is NOW less debt than when I became mayor.

Well folks, that is absolutely true. In fact I think when MMM leaves office there will be around $10 million less debt then when he rolled in in 2010. So you ask, how is this so? First off, the obvious; many of the debts that were incurred during the Hanson and Munson administrations have come to fruition. This has nothing to do with Huether, just the way the repayment was set up. In fact, if we wouldn’t have borrowed ANY money during the Huether administration our debt now would probably be around $100 million instead of 3x that.

So you ask, what about all the debt MMM incurred? That still exists, and will for about 20-30 years.

But this is where Huether gets even more dim on his great debt payoff. Many of the infrastructure debts were re-financed and paid down due to the increase of fees in the enterprise funds, front end property tax assessments, property taxes, building and platting, and the list goes on. In fact the Mayor’s office with the help of the rubberstamp council has increased fees and taxes over 50 times since 2010.

So while the mayor may brag about not increasing the debt on the city over the past 8 years, he has certainly put that burden on property owners in Sioux Falls in higher fees and taxes. Don’t believe me? If you still live in the same home you lived in 2010, pull your property taxes from that year and compare them to 2017. Tell me what you figure out?

It’s too bad wages haven’t increased by that much in 8 years?

He also finally admitted that you essentially can’t get things done in government unless you make the decisions behind closed doors with a minority of support from the council and key business players in town. He said that open meetings and forums with the public just drag out the conversation and nothing gets accomplished. While his statements might piss you off, I was happy to finally hear him say publicly that he never gave a rat’s ass what the public thought.

Full steam ahead.

I hope when the mayor decides to be fun again, it will be on another continent.

Did Mayor Huether, Finance Director Turbak and the City violate state law?

As I mentioned yesterday, the city put this press release out rebuffing TenHaken’s 100 day strategy. Since this press release came from the city, is it a violation of state law?;

Universal Citation: SD Codified L § 12-27-20 (through 2012)

12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 20.

The city cleverly will point to the last sentence;

presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question

But is a ‘CANDIDATE’ the same as a ‘BALLOT QUESTION’? I think not. I hope someone holds the mayor accountable for once.

Ironically, TenHaken accepting donations from minors is within the letter of the law;

The children, ranging from ages 6 to 15, each contributed the maximum yearly contribution of $1,000. McDonald, who created the medical software company in downtown Sioux Falls in 2000, also gave the maximum amount.

Those contributions don’t break any laws, city officials said, but they do point to the way savvy supporters can lend a little extra help to political candidates, especially if the kids are on board.

“They’re technically not signers on the account, but there (were) six separate checks with a memo with their name on it to keep it clear,” McDonald said.

But is it ethical?

Jon Schaff, a political science professor at Northern State University, said contribution limits are intended to limit the influence a single individual can have on candidates and elections. But when someone is politically savvy and invested in a candidate, they’ll almost always find a way around those limits.

“For better or worse, that’s the idea,” he said. “So when people are using children, there’s a possibility that people are avoiding the intention of the law – even if it’s not technically illegal.”

Yeah, Savvy. LOL.

Does building growth matter?

Notice in this new video of MMM where he is trying to reinforce his legacy, he mentions the city’s record 5 year building permit growth.

First off, I have often questioned the actual records being broke. Between 25-40% of the those building permits were from public projects (that we have to pay for, maintain and don’t collect taxes on) or Non-Profit projects (that we don’t collect taxes on) and than there are the number of projects in the private sector that receive TIF’s, tax abatements, other discounts and millions in new infrastructure and upgrades paid for by taxpayers. In fact, all this growth is costing us dearly in these new infrastructure upgrades, and if you don’t believe me, look at your property tax bill and assessment from 2013 and compare it to today.

Some records are fine NOT being broken.

Here is the City Council meeting from Tuesday, 4/17/2018

Clearing the air about Danielson lawsuit

After listening to a morning radio show, I feel like some things need to be cleared up about Danielson’s lawsuit.

I will probably be called as a witness, so I will not comment on that part of the lawsuit, but I can comment about what we know.

Some are wondering why it took 3 years to file?

Danielson subsequently filed a criminal complaint into the incident with the state Division of Criminal Investigation, but nothing ever came of the complaint

If you read the suit, you will see that Danielson reported the incident right away to DCI. He didn’t sit on this for 3 years. Some have questioned the timing with Huether leaving office and Jackley being in the June primary;

Danielson said Monday that he filed the suit ahead of the statute of limitations, which would have kicked in three years after the incident.

He had to file it NOW or it would have been gone forever.

Like I said, as a witness I will not discuss the evidence, etc, but you can read for yourself the lawsuit HERE.

Did we learn anything from 8 years of Huether?

After the election results came in last night I’m starting to ask that question. I will give the TenHaken camp credit though, I have been hearing they ran a multi-faceted campaign that contacted people through social media, direct mail, robo-calls/push polling, radio and print media. Diversity works.

But I ask people if they recall this resume from 8 years ago from another candidate;

Business acumen and pro-business

Corporate Marketing experience

ZERO government experience as either an elected official or public employee

Someone who wasn’t afraid to wear Jesus on their sleeve

Lots of ‘promises’ on how they will make Sioux Falls better for EVERYBODY.

Someone who got the financial contribution support of the big banksters in town

Someone who used nationally proven strategic campaign techniques

While that was Mike’s resume, guess who’s resume this time around fits that bill? Only ONE candidate, Paul TenHaken and to a certain degree Loetscher. Did we learn anything about what a Marketing guru has done for our city? I’m guessing not.

While many may say Mike was a Democrat and Paul is a Republican, I have often thought Mike was a Democrat in name only and used the Dem stamp to get support from labor and the party resources. After he switched to independent he proved to me that he really never was a Dem.

I truly believe that Paul is using this run as a stepping stone for something greater (kind of reminds of someone else to? Huh?)

I think it will be important for the new council to get ahead of the game this time around, whether it is Jo or Paul as mayor. They really need to implement policies ASAP to assure transparency and open communication between the mayor’s office and council. It’s better to just write open government into ordinance than to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. We have been down that road the past 8 years, we don’t need to be there ever again.

We don’t need another ‘salesperson’ for mayor

There is a lot of people running for mayor this time around. And a lot of them are trying to ‘sell’ us their ideas. We don’t need another ‘salesperson’ for mayor.

Besides the backroom deals, the private investments with developers and the total lack of transparency and honesty from 8 years of Huether, ever notice he was always trying to ‘sell’ us something. If it wasn’t the Events Center it was an indoor pool, if it wasn’t the administration building it was the RR redevelopment, and in his final hoorah he sold us a parking ramp that costs double of what it should, doesn’t provide enough parking and puts us in cahoots with someone that is facing civil and Federal charges.


With all the debt he piled up with these purchases he cleverly tried paying down some of it with increased fees and taxes and sneaky ‘enterprise’ accounts. From May of 2010 – August of 2017 the administration initiated and the council passed over 50 fee and tax increases.

Now that we have a housing shortage, contractors will tell you that one of the biggest hurdles to providing more housing (even those that can afford it) is regulations. In the same time period above the mayor and council passed over 70 new code ordinances.

And what about the debt? Also in this same period there was 50 supplemental appropriations passed (extra budgeting) and 15 revenue bonds.

Our next mayor needs to stop selling us stuff because it is costing us dearly. It is actually hurting growth, mostly in sales tax revenue. People don’t buy things when they are immersed in personal debt and high taxes and fees.

Our next mayor needs to hold the brakes on spending, increasing taxes and fees, and passing more regulations (we actually need to work on eliminating some). We need to get back to providing reliable public services at an affordable rate. The monument building needs to put on hold, and we need to focus on the most important thing in our city – IT’s PEOPLE!

Mayor Huether Got ‘SH*T’ Done

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. During his last hour long ‘Ask the Mayor’ they did a tour of his office, on one of the shelves was this book next to a couple drink tumblers. They never commented on the book.

But one of the more astonishing moments was when Reed asked Mike if there was any disappointments during his term, or things he didn’t get done. He said he could only think of one, but said he tried to fix it, and that was Public Transit. Really?!

I wasn’t expecting him to throw himself under the bus, but you couldn’t think of ANYTHING ELSE?! Nothing!?

While I could comment on a host of things in his final propaganda show, the one thing that sticks out is he never really mentions that being an elected official is really about SERVING the PUBLIC. You will notice it was all about HIM and GETTING THINGS DONE. I’m glad he will go back to ‘Being Fun Again’ for his daughter.

40 days left folks. 40 days!

Wonder what is up Mike’s sleeve now? (H/T – BW)

He reactivated his FB and Twitter account today. I also heard he has put applications in at several places for a new job. Rumor has it one of them was with USD for President. That’s all we need, one of our public universities ran by a subprime credit card salesman.

UPDATE: Brekke – Government Secrecy Press Conference

UPDATE: I guess my initial takeaway is that this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I think people are getting so used to the games with transparency it just seems par for the course.

I think the biggest thing here is the confidentiality EO. As Janet pointed out words like ‘sensitive’ don’t really mean anything, and can be interpreted however. For example, if a maintenance employee told the Argus that the city spent $2 million dollars last year on toilet paper, and the mayor found out who told them, they technically could tell this employee that it was ‘sensitive’ information and terminate them. Basically a scare tactic to keep city employees from saying anything. While these kind of ‘rules’ exist in the corporate world, they have NO place in city government. Records should be open (besides litigation and personnel). City employees should not have to fear losing their job over it.

There is also a question of violating Federal whistle blower laws. Since the city receives Federal funds, those laws apply to city employees. City employees should have the right, Federally to report any misuse of Federal money or fraud. Federal Law almost always trumps state and local laws and ordinances.

As for the city clerk, I will say what I said when they hired Mr. Greco. They should not have hired him. The clerks office has two certified city clerks, one of them applied for the job after Lorie quit, she should have gotten it, instead, the HR department, controlled by the mayor not city council, picked someone with no certification, Greco wasn’t even registered to vote. We could go back and forth all we want about the lack of certification, the truth is, it should have never been an issue. Some would say that we would have lost one of the assistant clerks. Oh well, I think one main clerk and an assistant is enough. I would even go further and say we also should terminate the budget analyst since nobody knows what he really does, besides openly mocking councilors during public meetings like he did last Tuesday. Any duties he has could be easily handled by the Operations Manager. After they fired Debra it seems the office has gone to Hell in a handbasket, we had to hire 3 people to replace her, and they have less duties, and they take orders from the mayor.

It is also important to note that the city clerk is the responsibility of the city council, not the administration. He could have been sent to certification school on day one if they wanted to send him. I will be curious to hear what his excuse is, I’m sure it is some obscure rule pulled from the rear of Bill TheToole, the HR Director.

Another day of secrecy, what’s new?

You can the replay here;

Transcript and Index of Press Conference; Brekke-PC-transcript, Brekke-PC-Index

Below is a copy of the Executive Order by Mayor Huether on employee confidentiality. Signed in February of 2016;

These documents show the stripping the city clerk of the duties of official city record keeping; Clerk-Record-Keeping

These documents show samples of executive orders by the mayor; Example-Exec-Orders

These documents show an index of where executive orders are now stored; Exec-Order-Index

Entenman, “Mayor Huether wants to be King.”

I about spit out my green tea this morning while I was watching the replay of DT Rotary Mayoral Debate from yesterday when Entenman said this during the debate. (You can find the debate by going to Downtown Sioux Falls Rotary FB page).

In all fairness Jim read a statement about how he will NOT be like Huether, is NOT a placeholder for Huether in 4 years and WILL NOT hire him as chief of staff, then later saying because Mike “Wants to be King.” The crowd erupted in laughter.

The funny part about the ‘rumors’ that I have posted about here didn’t come from my ass, they came from the horse’s mouth, or at least one of the show ponies. I heard about the placeholder/COS probability from someone who is actually helping Entenman with his campaign.

Depending on what place Jim comes in, that ranking won’t be the affect of some rumor, it will be the affect of either an affective or ineffective campaign team. According to the ‘King’ he is still popular with the voters, and I would think that association with him would help Jim.


Another interesting moment in the Rotary debate was when candidate Mike Gunn said that the mayor has put a ‘Gag Order’ on all city employees. I’m not sure if this is true, but let’s just say it wouldn’t surprise me. I am also not sure how that would even work? Executive order? And if that is even legal by state law standards. I would like to hear more about this, hopefully Gunn will be sharing the details.


I had a couple of people call me last night up in arms over the latest cover up by city hall;

Sioux Falls city officials are declining to release a copy of a 2016 safety audit of Falls Park, saying it belongs to the city’s insurance company.

First off, like the Gag Order revelation, does this surprise us? This guy will do anything to cover up information, and now that Fiddle-Faddle paddled his way over the Public Assurance Alliance, good luck getting any information out of them, even though both the city and the PAA are taxpayer funded.

My guess is that there were recommendations in the report the city didn’t follow thru with. Just like the rumor I heard that either the EPA or the State DENR told the city to put up a sign at Falls Park warning people about the high levels of E-Coli in the water, and did not.

Hold tight folks, this nightmare is soon coming to an end.