Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Local Govt entities join forces to become ‘Sioux Falls OP-OUT’

For years, there has been a push for Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls to join forces and become one. With this merger, they went even a step further. The City of Sioux Falls, the County and also the School District are now all one entity called ‘Sioux Falls OP-OUT’

County Treasurer Stan Neilson said, “So many people are confused about where their property taxes go, and with all these increases by all three entities, this will just make it easier to raise . . . uh . . . I mean ‘regulate’ your property taxes.”

So with this change I wondered if it would actually save taxpayers millions in employee salaries and benefits since a lot of the jobs could be combined.

“Highly unlikely,” said HR director for the city, Bud Da’Toole, “We are going to actually ADD more employees, mostly in management, because we will need a lot of middle managers to handle the transition, I also expect the the administrators to double in the education side of the deal.”

There was one bright spot in the whole transition though, and good news in the Parks and Rec department. Parks Director Dave Kornhole explains, “We figured since we are paying teachers a yearly salary anyway, they might as well work the entire year, so during the summer we will have teachers working in our parks mowing grass and during winter break we will have them plowing streets.”

I wondered if teachers would be qualified to plow the streets. Street director Kyle Skidmore said, “Like our current snowplow operators, if they don’t know how to use the snowgates properly, they’ll just skip a driveway or two.”

Some wondered who would be the administrator of this new unity. Would it be the mayor, the superintendent or the commission chair? Former county chair Sandy Highpants said that was an easy decision, “I’m in charge. I’m always in charge.”

We asked superintendent Bruce Mauler if he was aware of the new leadership decision. “Yeah, she may be ‘in charge’ but we all know who makes the decisions around this joint, behind closed doors of course.”

Mayor TwoSh*ts was unavailable for comment because he was busy with a SELFIE Shoot by a hat rack at Flying J Truckstop.

We also wondered what the legislative makeup would be. City council chair Marty Selless said that the first process would be asking any of the board members of each of the entities if they would want to resign. The only taker so far was Commissioner Jesse Farth who told Marty, “I’m outta here suckers!”

The second step of elimination would be done during a joint meeting with all three bodies. “Basically, whoever falls asleep during that meeting or is caught texting would be eliminated. We figured that should whittle us down to about 5 members” said Selless.

So there you have it, in the name of even higher property taxes, we have made government more efficient.

I won’t be commenting on a couple of things

The complete meltdown of the SD Democratic Party’s financials and the mysterious absence of our State’s attorney has been in the news cycle recently. While I have a lot I would like to say, I decided that I will let these matters sort out themselves. There is a lot of rumors and gossip going around about both issues and until the truth comes out, it just wouldn’t be fair to speculate (even though I do that a lot).

Also, I don’t give a sh*t about either issue. Really, I don’t.

In other news, Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert will have at least one challenger this Spring. The announcement is coming this month, but most people probably already know who it is. I have never met this person, but if I had to sum up the race today, Greg would beat him. I think the only way to knock Neitzert out is to use the silly 50+1 rule against him and have multiple people run in his district.

At this point I have neither recruited or assisted anyone for a city council race for the upcoming Spring election.

Metro 911 has no emergency backup facility

During the joint Minnehaha County Commission/Sioux Falls city council meeting they had a budget presentation by Metro 911 (they jointly fund the facility). I was shocked to hear councilor Kiley say they don’t have an emergency backup facility (in case something were to destroy or close the current facility like a natural disaster, they have no other place to perform duties). Kiley brought this up because they are budgeting for a backup center (so that is good). They are also adding 4 new employees.

I can’t believe a city this size doesn’t have a backup 911 and they continually short staff them. I have also heard that the SFPD is about 16 officers short. This is what happens folks when we blow all our capital on play palaces, emergency services suffer.

Minnehaha CC Barth is tired of gun violence

FF 24:00

Minnehaha County Treasurer Nelson gets butt chewed by the commission

The MCC decided to chew Pam’s butt yesterday because her office is behind on some tax collections/audits. While I can understand their frustration with the issue, they are the ones who bought inferior software for the treasurer’s office to begin with AND I kind of wondered why they didn’t ask sooner if they weren’t getting the monthly reports?

But what was even more frustrating is watching the mostly Republican commissioners bitch about other things going on in Pam’s office (who is a Democrat). While they had a legitimate concern over the tax collections, dragging the other topics out wasn’t necessary, it’s the same old, ‘the lines are too long, blah, blah, blah. People need to understand that their are other ways to get your tags. You can mail them in (I do that), you can use a kiosk, or you can do it online, but as Pam said, older people prefer to do it face to face. Old habits are hard to break.

And as I told a MC Commissioner, “Pam is elected just like you. You can ‘ASK’ her to fix something, but you can’t DEMAND her to do it.” If I was Pam, I would have responded with the line from ‘A Few Good Men’ where Jack tells Cruise, “But your’e gonna have to ask nicely.”

Minnehaha County introduces new show?

I guess I have never seen this show before, so it must be something new.

Here is Inside Town Hall with 4 city councilors. When they talked about the Levitt I wanted to clap when the host, Madeline Shields said that there is ‘plenty of parking’ for the Levitt. Amen!

Welcome to Opt-Out Falls!

Well, it was bound to happen, with ALL of our local government agencies in Sioux Falls going Bat Sh*t crazy over opt-outs, the name change is no surprise.

“I will admit I was a little surprised and kind of hurt when I found out the name change,” local philanthropist Lenny Spamford exclaimed, “I mean just how much does a no state income tax paying billionaire in SD have to give before he gets a town named after him?”

The governor, Donita Trump, didn’t seem too bothered by the change either, “I guess we kind of forced it on them, you know, by collecting over 30% of our sales tax revenue from the city and giving them nothing in return. It may not seem fair, well because it isn’t. I told you I would do things differently, and I’m delivering on that promise. Talk to you later, I have to get back to trucker hat shopping and hip-hop dance lessons.”

The latest to opt-out was the Minnerahrah County Commission today voting 6-0 for an opt-out (and 5 of them are Republicans! The shame!).

“The county, especially Sioux Falls has become the place to commit crimes, it’s like it’s trendy or something to drive from Freeman, or Menno or even Highmore to commit crimes in our county,” said county commissioner Gene Bart, “We really enjoy arresting people here and putting them in the endless cycle of the criminal justice system. Heck, just yesterday we arrested someone for looking at the Arc of Dreams the wrong way, on top of that we even put a guy away for trying to burn the newly sodded grass at the Levitt with a magnifying glass. Lawn crimes, just another mole we are trying to whack! Building collapses, not so much.”

Of course nothing gives the Sioux Falls School District more jollies than an opt-out. Superintendent Baron Von Maulher said, “We were getting such a kick out of it, I banned joke books from the IPC. Whenever I see anyone down and out around the offices, I just yell ‘OPT-OUT’ and the whole place breaks out in laughter. Of course, the finance department does get a little trepidation, because they have to ‘count’ (wink, wink) the votes. I always tell them they can do that with their hands tied behind their back and blindfolded. Worked in the school bond election.”

I asked Baron what the opt-out schedule looked like for the school district over the next 5-10 years.

“Well, since Pierre really doesn’t care how much we raise taxes, we figured we would push the envelope a bit,” Von Maulher replied, “We are going to try 6-12 opt-outs per year through the board, and if the people whine about having a choice, we will hold an election, but this time there will be only ONE super precinct, and it will be in my office.”

The city council is also infamous for raising property taxes. In fact, I don’t think a city council has voted down an increase in over 15 years.

City Council Vice Chair, and RS5 self-appointed leader, Ned Greitzert explained it like this, “When someone hands you lemons, you make lemonade, when the state hands us an opportunity to raise the tax rate, we make grenades, uh, I mean lemonade.”

Well, that would explain the potholes.

I asked him about all the other numerous increases in fees and taxes the city imposes on the citizens, and couldn’t they just take it a little easy?

“Funny you bring that up,” replied Greitzert, “The majority of the council, the ‘RS5’ as we like to call it, or the ‘He-Man Steely Hater’s Club’ is all about positivity and progressive measures to keep our city’s high level of quality of life at a maximum, that means if we are going to raise fees on water, sewer and other stuff, we have to keep that tradition of caring  and due diligence with property taxes. Wouldn’t it seem odd to you that your water bill went up last year but your property taxes didn’t? Where’s the consistency there? If you want inconsistency with taxes, just vote Steely for mayor. All she’ll do is bankrupt the city while giving taxpayers a break. The next thing you know, we will all be swimming in an outdoor pool in the middle of January.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Ned that I didn’t know how to swim, especially under ice.

Some question why all the local entities have to constantly raise our tax rates when valuations have had record growth over the past 6 years?

Mayor TenBibleverses’ Chief of Staff took a stab at the question, “I call it the candy syndrome, something I kind of started when I worked for that last crook, I mean, mayor and quit ONLY after I was forced to write the largest TIF in city history for the Spamford Sports Complex,” said Jericho Speck, “We just started handing out TIFs, tax rebates, excusing tipping fees, ignored environmental laws, built millions in infrastructure for ice cream warehouses and just said, screw it, corporate welfare for whoever wants it. Don’t tell my pastor.”

I asked, “The Candy Syndrome?”

“Yeah,” Speck said “Whatever rich developer in town that needs a handout for NO reason at all, we just give it to them. No questions asked. No proof of economic impact. No proof of job growth, or even good paying jobs. We just make sure the request is signed and we approve it. The city clerk’s office handles petitions in a similar same way.”

I wondered if this haphazard way of giving tax cuts and tax incentives was driving up everyone else’s property taxes.

Speck responded, “What? Are you stupid? Does beer like foam collect at the bottom of Falls Park every Spring for the past 100 thousand years?! You certainly are the poster child for the large percentage of South Dakotans that don’t go to college. Ever think about taking up welding? There’s a program I could refer you to.”

I had more questions, but I had to get back to my call center job, my 8.5 minute break was over.

While this was satire, some of the sh*t is true, mostly everything but the fake names.

Minnehaha County Budget meetings and Opt-Out

The MCC will likely approve a major opt-out to help pay for extra staff, mostly due to crime rates going through the roof. I have suggested (as well as commissioner Barth) that the city of Sioux Falls pay an arrest fee for every person they arrest that is booked into the jail to help curb the costs of the new jail.

I guess 28 positions have been requested by department heads. MedStar Ambulance and Jasper Ambulance have not requested (additional?) funding from the county. The deadline has passed for more than a week.

REMAINING BUDGET SCHEDULE

June 4, 1-5pm            Initial budget presentation to County Commission. Department hearings as requested by Commission.

June 6, 8-12 noon       Budget deliberation and hearings for departments will be scheduled before the County Commission.

June 19, 8-12 noon     Budget Deliberation and hearings as directed by Commission.

July 8, 8 to 12 noon    Budget deliberation if needed.

The following will all be held during regularly scheduled Commission Meetings:

July 9                        Action on additional opt-out by Commission. (Last date to approve additional opt-out is July 15th.)

July 23                      Final review of provisional budget in preparation for July 30th adoption.

July 30                      Adoption of Provisional FY20 County Budget.

August 27                  Museum, library, and 911 presentations to Joint City/County meeting.

September 3              Public hearing for Final FY20 County Budget.

September 10             Final briefing on FY20 Budget.

September 17             No Commission meeting, SDACC Convention.

September 24   Final date for Adoption of FY20 County Budget.

UPDATE: Is Med-Star Ambulance Service in Financial Trouble?

UPDATE: as I understand it, Med-Star may be going thru a rough patch, but they vow to stay in service and have no plans to shutdown.

I guess Med-Star missed an important expense report with Minnehaha County this week, and now the rumors are stirring.

I do know that Med-Star passionately asked for some more money from the Minnehaha CC not to long back, and when denied, owner, Jay Masur cussed them out.

While I have heard some ‘interesting’ tales as to why this is happening, that’s none of my bizzo. I’m just saying let’s keep our eyes open.

This is what it looks like when you hire someone with qualifications

I about fell out of my chair when I read the new 911 Director’s resume;

The Metro Management Council has selected Scott McMahon to serve as the Director of Metro Communications Agency 9-1-1.

McMahon will be responsible for managing the operations of Metro Communications Agency 9-1-1, a consolidated public safety communications center responsible for the dispatch of all emergency services within the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County.

A native of Big Stone City, SD, McMahon received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Mount Marty College, a master’s degree in criminal justice from American Military University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.  For the past 25 years McMahon has served in various leadership roles within the Watertown, SD Police Department including Assistant Police Chief.  Most recently, McMahon served as Captain of Support Services which included management of the department’s 911 communications center covering Watertown and a six-county area of northeast South Dakota.

“McMahon brings a wealth of knowledge, training, and experience to this position,” said Paul TenHaken, Mayor of Sioux Falls.  “The Metro Management Council looks forward to working with Scott and his team in their vital role in our community.”

Finally, someone working for the city and county that actually has experience and proper education, you might even say he is ‘overqualifed’. See how easy that was.