Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

UPDATE: Is Kasey Olivier going to be our next Minnehaha County States Attorney?

At first glance, I would say, PLLLEEEESSSSE! You can’t go nowhere without people telling you how awesome she is. I’m on the middle-aged guy fence.

But the rumor mill is she is going to run for the job, and Aaron ‘Goo’ McGowan is not.

My sources are separate and not from the same ‘team’.

One tells me that Kasey will run. The other tells me that Aaron is out.

Honestly, not sure who would want the job, and even if I would run, I might get it.

Will be interesting to watch.

UPDATE: I have been hearing since this post that Olivier does want to run for public office again, and I encourage her to do so, she would be excellent at it. I’m just not sure what that will be at this point. I have also heard it is NOT the state legislature.

Meeting Updates

Just in case you haven’t been over to our YouTube Channel, here are some meeting link updates. Enjoy local government nerds!

Minnehaha County Commission Meeting, Nov 5, 2019

Inside Town Hall with Theresa Stehly

Sioux Falls City Council Informational, November 5, 2019

Sioux Falls City Council Meeting, November 5, 2019

Joint City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County Planning Meeting

Joint City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County Planning Meeting

Minnehaha County Planning Meeting

Governor Noem gives state employees 3 paid days off for Christmas (Dec 23-25)

I heard from a Minnehaha County official today that the state has told them and other counties that the State is giving 3 paid days off this year for Christmas. Counties of course rely on State employees to do business, so when the state takes a day off, counties do to. So how will the counties across the state handle it? Will they also give their employees 3 paid days off? This will be interesting to see how this is handled. While I don’t have a problem with State or County employees taking off Monday December 23, they should only be able to do without pay or use PTO, this should NOT be a taxpayer expense for essentially a religious (not government) holiday – heck, it’s NOT even a holiday – It’s two days before!

Minnehaha County Government should just say ‘Not open today-just because’

Okay, with all the crap going on now with McGowan over at the county offices, this issue certainly isn’t scandalous, but funny.

The Minnehaha County website is calling Columbus Day a (regional holiday). The mistake is two-fold. I’m not even sure what a ‘regional’ holiday is, and according to Mike Rounds in his weekly column, we haven’t celebrated Columbus Day for a very long time in South Dakota;

For 29 years, South Dakotans have celebrated Native Americans’ Day instead of Columbus Day. The late Governor George Mickelson, along with the editor of the Native Sun News, Tim Giago, and tribal leaders, worked together to proclaim 1990 the Year of Reconciliation. The decision to change Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day was made during the Year of Reconciliation by the state legislature as a way to honor the deep history of the tribal people who have long called this land their home.

Now I know why the county commission stopped asking for the monthly reports from the Treasurer’s office, their calendars were messed up.

Sometimes Rumors and Gossip turns out to be true

Sometimes as a blogger, I walk a delicate tight rope. I have different standards when it comes to sources. I will use anonymous sources if I know they are reliable, sometimes that fails me.

I heard a lot of things surrounding what happened with State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan. I did a little digging around on my own to. Much of what I read in the AG’s report turned out to be what I heard, so I wasn’t surprised. Some of the gossip I heard was absolutely untrue. This is why I struggled with saying anything until there was more ‘public’ information. I have also known McGowan for almost 20 years. I wouldn’t consider him a ‘friend’ but he has always been cordial with me, so I didn’t feel a need to dig up a bunch of crap about him before a public investigation was released.

Alcohol abuse is NOT a laughing matter, and I hope he gets help, it’s just unfortunate it had to go this far.

I think when public officials are faced with personal difficulties in their lives, it’s best to be transparent and honest with constituents about it, ASAP. I guess it goes back to my feelings about open government. A lot of issues can be resolved much quicker if you just own up to them, apologize and move on.

Now if we can just pass that sentiment to our president.

UPDATE: Chicken Little shows up to the Minnehaha County Commission meeting

UPDATE: Audit report starts at 26:30

For the record, I did NOT attend the MCC meeting this morning, and since it takes them several days to the load the meeting to YouTube (something that should take like an hour) I haven’t seen it yet, so I am going by what is written in this story;

The audit looked at July to August 2018, around the time the treasurer’s office began revamping their efforts to catch up on the statements. It found that the county’s internal controls over cash management and reconciliation management were “inadequate, resulting in diminished assurance that county’s financial transactions were properly recorded and its assets were adequately safeguarded.” A treasurer’s daily balance book hasn’t been maintained since July 2018, either. 

“A significant deficiency is not acceptable,” Beninga said. “Not only does it affect the county, but it affects the school system and the city and the cash flow related issues.”

I will agree that this is troubling, and Treasurer Nelson should do a better job, but I have to take her side on this for a couple of reasons. First off, Nelson has asked for more staff several times, while the State’s Attorney can skip work for two months without an initial explanation while turning around and asking for more help and more money for his department while we bond for a bigger jail, Nelson’s workload has gotten bigger. As Beninga mentions above, she has a lot of taxes to manage. The property valuation of the SFSD alone is $11 Billion folks. You can’t do that job with a shoestring staff, and how Nelson has managed without more SNAFU’s is beyond me.

But where I don’t get is the ‘Sky is Falling’ attitude towards the situation;

The audit did not find any missing money, Schaefer said. He ended up with a balance of $2,868 more than what county budget showed. 

So if ‘no money is missing’ what’s the beef? It kind of sounds like the MCC is failing to be a partner with Nelson in alleviating these issues;

Schaefer recommended commissioners take some action on making sure the reports reach their desks. 

“You have to have due diligence to get the reconciliation process done,” he said. “Someone has to be responsible for that.”

In other words, make sure you are doing your job and asking for the reports, and when Nelson asks for more help give it to her.


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