Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓

Angela didn’t have to drive to Tripp, SD to find corruption

While I appreciate Stormland-TV‘s heartwarming Christmas story from Tripp, SD, they really didn’t have to trudge over there to get a juicy one, they could have just walked a couple of blocks around the studio offices.

At 10th and Phillips they could see the site of the Copper Lounge collapse that the State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, the Public Assurance Alliance and the City of Sioux Falls failed to investigate, oh but the Feds did, and $50 dollars later, problem solved.

Or they could have went just one block east of the collapse site and admired our Bunker Ramp and how no one has yet to explain how we got there, oh, and no explanations from the guy who once hired Angela’s daughter to be his nanny.

It would be a few more blocks, but they could make the trek to city hall at 9th and Main and ask Paul himself.

While in the neighborhood, why not pop over to the Minnehaha Courthouse and ask the County Commission liaison, Cindy Heiberger why she didn’t keep better tabs on the State’s Attorney.

While it’s fun driving to Tripp and admiring the scenery (I made the ‘trip’ today in the vicinity). You really only have to stroll around the neighborhood to uncover corruption and bribery.

Metro 911 meeting this morning

According to councilor Stehly on FB and local media;

Happening Now: Metro 911 wants $9-11 Million for a new facility vs $6-8 Million to remodel. Unfortunately,the meeting was not recorded.

She also told me that she was chastised at the meeting by another city councilor for posting that information on FB. This was a public meeting, so I’m not sure why that was an issue? Oh, because without the media there they can try to keep people in the dark. I’m not sure why our public officials like secrecy so much. I have often argued that if you keep the public informed from the beginning they can never come back and say ‘You never told us about this.’ That is why the Bunker Ramp has been such a disaster, too many behind closed door deals.

Well looky there, a quorum of leaders in a public building, wouldn’t that be considered a ‘public meeting’?

How does an elected official get a severance when they resign?

I haven’t posted about the resignation of Minnehaha County State’s Attorney because I knew many news agencies would cover this and I was waiting for all the details available to me.

But what I don’t understand is ‘why’ would we give an elected official a payout to resign? First off, even if nothing was done wrong (let’s say he is leaving because of health issues – which is part of it) why would he need a payout for that? I’m sure his health issues are covered by his insurance.

But secondly, if he has done something wrong (The Public Assurance Alliance, the AG and the Commission are all investigating him for sexual harassment and other things) why would we pay him to NOT sue the taxpayers?

Some on the MCC (I’ve heard) have argued the payout is a lot cheaper then fighting a lawsuit, which on it’s face is probably true. But why would he be suing the taxpayers? If you are accused of wrongdoing, it would be your responsibility to pay for your defense – whether you are found guilty or not. He could sue later for being falsely accused, but would he?

Am I missing something here?

Then there is his staff members who didn’t report this to the MCC. Why?

But lastly, as I have said before, where was the MCC when McGowan was asking for all this extra funding? Wouldn’t they want to audit his department and see if everything was on the up and up?*

This was a failure of government on many levels. Government employees failed us, elected officials failed us (Both State and County) and the State’s Attorney failed us.

Has the MCC commission learned anything from the fairgrounds fiasco and embezzlement? We pay each member of the MCC around $25K a year as part-time officials. Is this not enough money to do their jobs? Maybe that is the real fraud here. Paying an elected body who are consistently in the dark because apparently their heads are stuffed somewhere, I’ll let you take your guesses.

Maybe this is why the MCC is consistently non-transparent, maybe because they don’t even know what is going on?

*Cindy Heiberger is the liaison for the State’s attorney’s office.

VILE comments about Councilor Stehly on FB

During the joint Minnehaha County/Sioux Falls City Council Meeting yesterday, Councilor Stehly suggested that we need more mobile home parks in Sioux Falls. I have heard Stehly talk about this in the past. What she is essentially saying is we need to promote more affordable housing solutions for people in Sioux Falls. Whether that is mobile homes, tiny homes, smaller manufactured homes, etc. A new, modest family home in Sioux Falls will run you well over $250K. Other affordable pre-owned housing will run you around $150K, but those houses are few and far between in Sioux Falls. One reason is we allow the major developers and hospitals run the planning department. They admitted to it when I attended the Citizen Planning Academy a few years ago when an attendee asked why Sanford Hospital is allowed to tear up these affordable neighborhoods, the answer was it came down to ‘money’. They have a lot of it, so they get to do what they want to. Many people are being ‘priced out’ of housing in Sioux Falls, and all Stehly was asking for is options.

That didn’t stop this frequent commenter and A-Rod on Pitty Patt’s blog to comment on FB that suggesting more mobile homes or other affordable housing is ‘Stupid’. I just want to tell ‘Troy’ that the only thing that is ‘stupid’ is the greed of people like him. I can tell you why contractors are not building affordable housing in Sioux Falls – there’s no excessive profit in it.

Speaking of ‘Dead Jensen’ (My new nickname for him) his all knowing treasurer, Paulson, sent out this fundraising email the other day;

Good afternoon –

Over the last couple of years, I’ve become increasingly interested in local political issues. Your local city and county governments have a significantly higher influence on your day-to-day life than your state or federal government. They maintain infrastructure, build public amenities such as parks and bike trails and foster future economic development. Because of the role local government plays in our lives, I think it’s incredibly important to have a solid mayor, city council and county commissioners. 

This election cycle, I am backing candidates in Sioux Falls that will support future growth in the city, work collaboratively with stakeholders across government and private industry and put the best interests of the community first. Specifically, I have agreed to serve as the campaign treasurer for Alex Jensen who is running for the At Large position (currently held by Theresa Stehly) in next Spring’s city council election.

Alex is one of the most positive, sharp and community-minded people I know and he will be a fantastic addition to the city council. He and his wife Nikki just welcomed a son (Jack) into the world. Alex works as a business banker for First Premier and has volunteered with the YMCA, Junior Achievement, the Home Builders Association of the Sioux Empire and Faith Lutheran Church. He previously served in the state legislature where he voted to increase teacher pay, provide property tax relief and implement a new roads and infrastructure plan. 

There aren’t many politicians I get excited about, but Alex is one of the good ones. Alex hopes to reach every voter in Sioux Falls with his “positive and proven” message. I plan to give my all over the next five months to help get him elected and hope that you will consider helping too. 

Thank you for your consideration. 

Matthew Paulson

I think it will be funny if ‘Dead Jensen’ raises and spends $100K+ and Stehly decides NOT to run. It will show that apparently it costs $100K in Sioux Falls to just get on the city council without a competitor.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda • Nov 26, 2019

Informational Meeting • 4 PM

Alcohol Licensing Changes by Councilor Christine M. Erickson


Joint Minnehaha County Meeting • 5 PM

Presentation on Housing Advisory Board Brief and Review of the Augustana Research Institute Study – Marshall Selberg, Suzie Smith, and Chellee Unruh


Monday Transit Meeting

While the Minnehaha County Commission cries about monthly financial reports they ignore justice

So the CC picks their boogers and wonders why Pammy can’t give them something (they should have asked for) but they don’t question the State’s Attorney about why he doesn’t prosecute cases? Then CC Barth said this;

“It’ll make a difference for me,” he said. “I’m not inclined to subsidize inaction. I’m also thinking about the issues that were touched on in the attorney general’s investigation. His lack of openness toward the issue makes it so he should consider not running. If you’re going to live in the political eye, you don’t live under a blanket.”

Many people have reached out to me about this. They have all said the same, “Should the County Commission have known this was going on?” apparently not. It reminds of when the Sioux Empire Fair lady was taking money. We pay county commissioners to be the checks and balances against this kind of corruption yet they don’t say anything until it explodes in their faces. Fraud. Financials. Addiction issues. Then they bitch, and scold, and have temper tantrums. You are asked by citizens to watch this stuff, and when the toilet overflows you blame the turd instead of blaming the crap you ate last night. Pay attention already! It is your job, it is your ONLY job! Represent us! Dig hard! And hold people accountable.

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.