Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth calls out TenHaken’s Partisan Voter Suppression Bullsh*t

(Start video at 1:23:00)

I got a ‘friendly’ call from Jeff last night about his performance at the meeting;

“In Mayor TenHaken’s letter, when he talks about the integrity of the election, I have to question his integrity,” Barth said during the Minnehaha County Commission meeting.

This appears to be what I have said it was from the beginning, blatant partisan voter suppression by Mayor Stoneless, and Jeff reiterated that at the meeting. Just look at how he has moved the goal posts in just a few days, first it was about ‘Security’ and when he couldn’t get any traction on that he said it was about ‘State Law’ than when that didn’t stick he said it was about what they do in Iowa.

I will have to agree with Barth, it’s not about any of those things, it’s just plain Bullsh*t coming from a very weak individual who continues to fail at leadership. If Paul had any stones at all, he would come in front of the County Commission and explain to them in person why he won’t do it, or at least send the person who is really running the city, COS Beck, to explain it.

When Paul was elected he had a long history of making a living at being a partisan hack, so I had no question in my mind he would continue that tradition as mayor, and he hasn’t disappointed in that respect. Just like the last guy who made a living from being a salesman, he continued that tradition as mayor.

Folks, in Sioux Falls, Covid is not what ails us, it’s our government.

Mayor TenHaken is promoting voter suppression

Not only does our Mayor HATE transparency and openness in local government, but now he is actively supporting voter suppression.

Trust me, I was pretty shocked that the SD ACLU got involved, when we pointed out the irregularities in the School Bond vote (super precincts in only the southern part of town and hand counting by finance staff) they virtually ignored us. This time thankfully they are stepping up;

The government should never require citizens to play roulette with their health in order to vote. That’s why we’re pushing Mayor TenHaken to think creatively and work with County Auditor Bob Litz to install additional ballot drop boxes ahead of the November Election

BACKGROUND: Recently, the city of Sioux Falls denied Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz’ request to place absentee ballot drop boxes at five Sioux Falls libraries. While Siouxland Libraries is jointly operated between the city and the county, Sioux Falls City Hall has authority of the libraries located within city limits.

TenHaken’s reasoning for the denial was a lack of time to iron out the necessary security details. The Mayor and his team can do better. 

Defenders of the mayor have said that ‘He actually has utterly nothing to do with the November election.’ They are correct on that point, and I have told Auditor Litz in person that he is in charge of the election and has wide authority. The problem? He has to have permission from the city’s top executive to place the drop boxes on city owned property. Despite what others are saying, Bob did ‘ask’ the city for that permission. I asked Bob, “Why is the mayor so against your proposal?” Bob figures he was mad because he wasn’t included in the plan. But this is where Bob made a great point, and I am paraphrasing, “If I would have asked permission from the city before putting together a plan, they would have said to me, come back with a plan. So I did the legwork and worked up a plan before I asked.” You would have thought the mayor would have been appreciative. Nope. When Bob said the city doesn’t have the ‘stones’ to move forward, I’m guessing he was talking about the chief executive, who I have argued does have ‘stones’ mostly in his head. The mayor didn’t even have the leadership and courage to contact Bob himself in an email or phone call, he had one of his communications minions tell Bob NO.

As for the security issues, first off, they could have had a couple hour meeting with the chief of police, the sheriff and the risk manager and worked out those details. As for people stealing a drop box, highly unlikely. They would have been secured to the ground and under 24/7 camera and light surveillance and most likely emptied each day. Also, take into account that stealing ballots is a crime that has some hefty penalties. And even then, what would be the point? You would be stealing ballots from both sides, so it would serve no nefarious purpose.

This is just part of a larger right-wing wacko conspiracy theory that drop boxes and voting by mail is riddled with fraud. This has been proven to not be the case.

I encourage the city council to put a resolution together to make it happen, we still have almost 20 days to get it done.

I don’t know if I am more disappointed in the mayor for believing such nutty theories or that he supports blatant voter suppression. Auditor Litz is right, grow a pair and while your are at it, a brain.

Property Tax Data from Sioux Falls School District

Notice in the 2nd graphic that while mil rate went down for the District, the county and city went up.

Minnehaha County State’s Attorney office to become a very, very, very Dark Place

The scariest news from yesterday’s election is the installation of another ‘Haggar’ in our local government. How do these right-wing whackos from the same family keep getting elected? I’m baffled by the ignorance. Both kids have played games with residency and dear old dad runs the SD chap

It’s unfortunate that the Dems didn’t put up a candidate to run against him in the fall.

If you think a ‘conservative Republican’ is going to give two-sh*ts about social and criminal justice, you are sadly mistaken. People like this in our justice system are the exact reason we have so much turmoil right now with equality in our country.

UPDATE: Minnehaha State’s Attorney Candidate Bengford seems to be concerned about residency

I had to chuckle a little bit about Paul’s concern;

A candidate for State’s Attorney is accusing his competitors of violating residency requirements for living outside of Minnehaha County.

Paul Bengford, an assistant city attorney for the city of Sioux Falls pursuing the county’s top prosecutor’s job, this week took to radio airwaves and reporters’ inboxes calling on two others in the race to suspend their campaigns because they have residences in Lincoln County.

“Crystal Johnson and Daniel Haggar have broken faith with voters by filing petitions falsely claiming each has a primary residence in Minnehaha County,” Bengford said in a news release Wednesday.

UPDATE: First of all, it is completely legal to be a State’s Attorney and live in another ‘adjoining’ county. Marty Jackley served in a county he did not live in. If it is a small county. It doesn’t apply in Minnehaha;

7-16-31. Residency requirements for state’s attorney in counties with low population. In any county with a population of less than five thousand persons, no state’s attorney is disqualified from holding office for failure to be a resident of that county if the state’s attorney is a resident of a county which is contiguous to the county in which the state’s attorney holds such office.
Source: SL 2004, ch 69, § 1.

But the concern really made me chuckle, because Bengford has been an attorney with the City of Sioux Falls for several years and has never said anything about the massive amount of city employees who don’t live in Sioux Falls or pay property taxes here. For example one of the city attorneys lives in Madison, our Fire Chief lives in Canton (he told councilors when he was appointed to the job that SF wasn’t a safe place to raise kids) and our Library Director lives in Minnesota. I think I was told once about a third of the city’s employees don’t live in Sioux Falls. I have often recommended that at least management and directors have a requirement to live in the city they serve, especially someone who works in public safety like our Fire Chief. Many councilors have told me they were not really concerned about it, so no ordinances have been proposed. It is pretty obvious Bengford is just trying to make this into a political football. Remember, Paul was the city attorney who went after Cameraman Bruce for a raspberry bush in his fenced off back yard as a public nuance. Bengford lost that case and many other code enforcement cases. Not only is Paul not qualified to be State’s Attorney, he barely is qualified to be a city attorney.

Vote for Crystal Johnson.

I also chuckled about Daniel Haggar defending his residency. His sister Jenna was rumored to be living out of state with her husband while serving her last year in the legislature. The legislature was asked to investigate the claims, but nothing was ever done about it. She resigned after the session was over.

In the middle of a pandemic, the Minnehaha County Commission decide to beat up Treasurer Nelson

This is pretty nasty. One of the few offices with the county that actually is still open and risking their health and well being is the treasurer’s office and decide to pick on them. Nelson told me after the meeting she has asked for the plexi-glass for years and didn’t give it to her until now. (FF 1:12)

To bad they didn’t have this concern with the AG’s office. Oh, that’s right, that office costs us money while the treasurer’s office is essential for maintaining the budget and the bloated salaries of our county commissioners. They are nervous, because if that office closes all Hell breaks loose. The only concern our commissioners seem to have right now is if they can collect taxes from us, pathetic.

Crystal Johnson is the most prepared to be the next Minnehaha States Attorney

UPDATE II: The FIX is in on property taxes

UPDATE II: I went and talked to the equalization department today. After reviewing the increase, they explained to me that 90% of the increase is land value, in which is formulated different now. We also calculated that my taxes will probably go up $250 dollars next year, which is NOT $2 a month, just for the record.

UPDATE: I decided to go back and look at the records I could find

From 2008-2009 the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2009-2012  the value of my home went up 0%

From 2012-2016  the value of my home went up 10% (aprox 2.5% per year)

From 2016-2017  the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2017-2018  the value of my home went up 1.8%

From 2018-2019  the value of my home went up 2.3%

From 2019-2020  the value of my home went up 21.9%

As I predicted and warned people, the school bond, the new county jail and the multiple TIFs we hand out are going to catch up with us. The $2 a month boloney they pitched us was a farce, because I knew they were going to make hay with the assessments. And sure enough they did.

My increased assessments year after year have been steady, but reasonable. I have owned my home for 17+ years and my property taxes have doubled in that time.

I have done little upgrades to my home, except replacing windows, doors, adding new rain gutters a privacy fence and re-shingling after storm damage. I have done NO upgrades to the interior of my house.

So imagine my surprise when I got this in the mail yesterday;

Well, I was NOT surprised, I saw this coming like a freight train. We can’t keep borrowing money in Sioux Falls and not have a way to pay those bonds, so they bleed it out of us through back door tricks like assessments. Can I afford a 21.9% increase in my assessed value? I suppose, but it also means a lot less money in my pocket.

It was interesting listening to the State Legislators talk yesterday at the legislative coffee about state funding of education. Two Republicans made great points;

• The state gives the districts money and the districts decide how that money is spent (salaries, etc.).

• Administrator pay in SD ranks at 15th while teacher pay is at 49th. I haven’t checked that stat, but I know at one time in was around 22nd. There is a obvious disparity.

• Low voter turnout at school elections. The past school bond and school board elections both had around a 4% turnout. Basically the legislator was saying, if you want to have a say on how your local district is being funded, maybe you should show up and vote in these elections. AMEN Brother! But I also have to add their is voter suppression when you use super precincts, no precincts in the northern part of our city and have district finance department employees ‘hand count’ votes, while the business director puts those counts into the system without oversight.

Who knew that owning a house that was built in 1889 could increase in value by almost 22% in one year? Not bad for a home that is 131 years old. What a joke.

Minnehaha County Commission limits public input to 3 minutes

For a long time, the MCC has never limited public input time, I don’t even know if they have a rule for it. Obviously with Roberts Rules, they can make up a rule before a special meeting, like they did on Tuesday before the refugee approval meeting.

While I understand telling people they should try to limit themselves to 3 minutes is a ‘nice’ suggestion, being a dictator about it, was a little annoying. MCC Chair Jean Bender was cutting people off left and right. At one point, the former director of the Multi-Cultural Center, Quadir Aware was told to end his testimony, and he went into a rant about the corruption of the MCC. Oh, the irony . . . .

I have seen public input that has lasted for over 20 minutes for one individual, and one time former Mayor Bucktooth and Bowlcut talked for well over 9 minutes during public input about drainage for his swamp lake home.

Like I said, the suggestion of 3 minutes was well within Roberts Rules, etc., but when it comes to a topic as important as refugee resettlement and our foolish president who implemented these rules, if someone went over 3 minutes, so what?! Besides, your meetings start at 9 AM, you really have all day to listen and hash it out, we all know none of you have ‘real jobs’ to get to, especially Jeff and Dean 🙂

Wall Lake Bike Trail idea has very little buy-in from residents

When this was first proposed to the Minnehaha County Commission, it sounded like a great idea. But, as we all know, great ideas die really fast when you don’t get buy-in from the residents. I was actually pretty surprised when I watched the MCC meeting on Tuesday that the group proposing this trail never got buy-in from the residents of Wall Lake.

Huge Fail!

Let this be a lesson that when you have a good idea (I still think it is) that you do your research and get everyone on board, or at least a majority on board.

Let’s face it, most people don’t like change, but I think this has more to do with privacy. People live on Wall Lake for a reason, they like the solitude, that’s a given. I wish this would have been more thought out and planned so the residents could still get their privacy while having a great quality of life project around the lake.