Entries Tagged 'Munson' ↓

Argus ED Board points out the obvious problems with the Bunker Ramp

I have come to the realization that bitching about this project at this point is almost futile;

After a contentious five-year saga of fits and false starts, we’re left with something that looks more like it belongs in downtown Chernobyl post-meltdown.

Now we’re faced with setting aside our dreams of a silk purse in return for a sow’s ear.

But we find the current state of affairs unacceptable. The “finishing” touches on such a huge and visible public initiative should excite and energize the citizens of Sioux Falls. Instead, we stand disappointed and disillusioned.

TenHaken has an opportunity to begin earning back public trust in City Hall.

While the editorial makes some good points, I sometimes wonder if it is too late. I don’t think that Mayor TenHaken or his administration have ANY intention of becoming more transparent, in fact, they have been in hunker down mode for over a year, and it gets worse by the day. The super secret, hurry up and ramrod through the 5G implementation without (real) public meetings is proof of this. I said to someone the other day, “It makes you wonder all the things they are doing behind the scenes we don’t know about?”

While the previous mayor was very OPEN about his SECRECY – it was almost a badge of honor with him, this mayor pretends like it isn’t going on, but they are one in the same. I saw when Munson did this, when the next guy did it, and now our current mayor, and it is getting worse and more deceptive by the day. God help us, because I’m not sure there is much the rest of can do to stop this.

John Michael’s Forum • Jan 2019

Former Mayor Munson

LISTEN HERE

• Dave gives all the credit to Jeff ‘Cherapa Place’ S. for making the River Greenway successful. He failed to mention the behind closed door negotiations, the threats of lawsuits and the millions taxpayers have spent subsidizing the bulk head for Cherapa. Yeah, I will give credit to, credit for being successful of bilking the taxpayers of Sioux Falls.

• When John brings up the extremely polluted Sioux River, Dave changes the subject and says the scenery is beautiful though if you take a canoe ride.

• Dave thinks having problems from fast growth is a good thing.

• And in his last laughable comments, he thinks Sioux Falls city government elected officials have good ethics. Yeah, since you and Bowlcut & Bucktooth have left. This was hilarious coming from a guy who SHOULD HAVE been charged with violating city ordinance with Phillips to the Falls.

Sioux Falls Central District Councilor Curt Soehl

LISTEN HERE

• Curt seems to be under the impression that Sioux Falls has few problems. I guess low wages, very little affordable housing and our drug crime epidemic are not real PROBLEMS.

• Curt makes an interesting point that while Sioux Falls attracts a lot of Doctors and White Collar jobs, he says, “Nobody comes here for a $15 per hour jobs.” John points out you can’t make a house payment in SF for those kind of wages.

• John also makes an interesting comment that the buses in Sioux Falls should be on a 24 hour route to all the Walmarts. Yeah, John, just what Walmart needs, more subsidies from government. We already subsidize their employees in welfare, medicade and SNAP. And subsidize them again with all the SNAP recipients. So now you want the public to subsidize transporting people to their store. HELL NO! Walmart should be paying for our public transit system through a local transportation tax.

Former Mayor Rick Knobe

LISTEN HERE

• When John asks Knobe what he thinks of TenHaken’s job performance so far, Rick says he doesn’t feel like Paul was prepared for it after running a small internet marketing firm. He thinks he struggles with working with Directors, Councilors and the Public and Public input. I would agree 100%.

• Rick feels the city needs to implement strategic planning.

• In one of the more stranger ideas, Rick felt people should only be able to use E-Bikes on the bike trail if they have a special disabled sticker they got from their doctor. Yeah, besides feeling depressed because they don’t have the physical ability to ride a regular bike on the trail, why not shame them with a sticker. Whatever. I guess even old people rip on old people.

The Non-Communicator Endorses the Communicator

Just when you thought the toddler donations, the church endorsements, and selfies were enough, he gets Dave’s endorsement. This quote had me in stitches;

“Paul is a strong communicator as well as a good listener.”

Whether that is true or not, I’m not sure. But Dave is the last person to talk about strong communicators. This guy signed off on a 100% cost overrun on Phillips to the Falls without a peep to the council, the media, or his Tuesday afternoon Ice Tea drinking pinnacle club.

Go Paul! Let’s communicate!

Reducing Rail Traffic was part of Munson’s 2005 RR redevelopment plan

There seems to be some detractors when it comes to what I have been saying about reducing the rail traffic downtown after we took possession of the RR redevelopment land. I will apologize on one level where I was wrong. First off, I was unaware that two tracks would remain under Munson’s plan and secondly that this was mostly about the redevelopment. Those two items did not change under Huether’s plan. But Munson did want the rail traffic to reduce, substantially under his 2005 plan;

Sioux Falls Mayor David Munson says, “For any development we want to do moving those tracks is very important.”

Plus, the mayor says moving the tracks is an issue of safety. Traffic wouldn’t be backed up nearly as much anymore. And if a train were to derail while carrying hazardous material, it wouldn’t happen in the center of a growing city.

Munson says, “We’ve seen recently trains that have leaked, they’ve had to evacuate areas so we’re trying to stay ahead of that here.”

Ironically, these hazardous train cars are still parked several days a week next to Nelson Park only hundreds of feet from the Sioux River on the South and a kid’s skate park and swimming pool to the North.

In fact the RR has stated that rail traffic would NOT be reduced under Huether’s plan. They have stated that the trains will become shorter BUT more frequent. They were not kidding. As I have noted they have become a lot more frequent over Cliff Avenue next to Avera Hospital during noon and rush hour times. One of the factors that I can see is instead of using the old switch yard that is gone now, they are re-hooking and switching train cars in the area just North of Avera’s employee/overflow parking lot. They are also parking a lot more train cars in that area.

Also, under Munson’s 2005 plan, Mark Cotter felt that rail traffic and switching would reduce so much they could eventually tear down the 10th street viaduct;

But getting the switching yard moved could dramatically reduce the size of the 10th Street viaduct in years to come. “Twenty-five years down the road, when the viaduct needs to be reconstructed, we can bring in dirt,” Cotter says, because the viaduct no longer would have to span an entire switching yard. “Roads are cheaper to repair than bridges,” Cotter says.

I wonder if that is still the plan to tear down the viaducts in 2030?

As you can see, the original vision did include the redevelopment of the banana land and leaving two RR tracks, BUT it also envisioned reducing rail traffic significantly throughout downtown which apparently was left out of Huether’s plan.

 

Tis the season

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King of Debt; Munson vs. Huether

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So who will win the battle of the most borrowing, debt creating Mayor in the History of Sioux Falls?

In eight years Munson racked up $158 Million approximately. To his credit, most went to infrastructure projects like Lewis and Clark, that had a single price tag of $70 million.

Conservatively, Huether has racked up $150 million and some change, with the biggest expenditure being the Events Center ($114 million) which will end up costing us $180 million after interest is paid.

Many have argued that Mayor Huether has accomplished a lot since he has been mayor, but when you steal your parents credit card anything is possible.

Who wants to go to the indoor pool? It’s on the rents!

Seven years ago

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On June 4, 2007 the city council had a controversial item before them. (Video: FF: 9:00 – Public Input, Actual item #54 FF: 2:50 ) Whether or not to place a plaque on to the entry of Phillips to the Falls. It was controversial for a few reasons. First off, as the story goes, the plaque was purchased by several private developers and friends of Dave Munson, they wanted to honor him for getting Phillips to the Falls finished (it only took another 7 years to get something actually built on it, an ugly faceless apartment building with virtually no front footage). The plaque actually hung out in Dave’s office for awhile, then after pressure from his friends, he had it placed without any fanfare. That didn’t sit well with the media, myself, and some councilors and they asked for a review by the Visual Arts Commission. They were to determine whether it was considered ‘art’ because if it was, they would first have to approve the placement. Ultimately, the battle came down to quite a few different scenarios. First off, Dave didn’t get permission from anyone to put up the plaque, he just had it done by the parks department. Others were concerned that not others were honored. Councilor Brown pointed out that many city officials were involved in getting the project done. And who can forget Dave breaking city ordinance by not getting council approval for the 100% cost overrun.

To tell you the truth, I look back on it now, and am glad his face is the only one to the entrance, he concocted this stupid street that is finally seeing development, to the cost of taxpayers in TIF handouts. I started thinking about this incident because of the recent Ethics commission approval of Huether putting his name on the tennis facility, a facility that has received $500K in public funds. Instead of going through a process with a naming rights committee and the city council, the very board that was appointed by Huether said “It’s okay, go for it.”

Wow, a lot of things have changed in 7 years, and a lot remains the same.

 

Sioux Falls municipal campaign rules

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This Munson dude who was our previous mayor surprises me every day lately.
Apparently when he was mayor he signed an executive order that any incumbent mayor (and maybe city councilors) cannot use Channel 16 (CityLink) to campaign in anyway 90 days before an election.
In other words, Huether (or Jamison) can no longer appear on city shows (besides official bizzo) until after the election.
This will be a fun one to watch. How will MMM resist press conferences, etc.?
I found this out by accident. During the last Listening and Learning session, an audience member said, “So this is your last L & L session until after the election?”(sic)
Before MMM could respond, and explain why, he asked the lady how she knew this? she said, “He (the cameraman) told me.”
Of course MMM went into accolades about how great his cameraman is, and how great Munson is, and how great the Minney Mouse pancakes are at Rollin’ Pin.
Campaign Rules? We’ll see.

. . . and the KeloAcademy Award goes to? Write your own caption.

This KELO piece is priceless (well actually, it cost us several million), starring the two actors who cooked up this plan behind closed doors. Love the color coordination in their shirts. Do you think they called each other before the interview? 🙂

UPDATE: Is former SF Mayor considering another run for political office?

UPDATE: As I have heard from others over the past couple of weeks, Munson is considering a run for the legislature and NOT the city council.

A South DaCola foot soldier tipped me off tonight that Munson has been hinting at ‘getting back into politics’. (I think one of the TV stations broke the news at 10 PM) I always assumed he would run for the legislature again, but it seems he is considering challenging Staggers. This would be an interesting matchup, for several reasons. For one, they are completely different kinds of Republicans. Munson is a big government, big spender Republican and not real keen on transparency. In fact he had to drop out of his 2nd term mayoral race at one point because of a middle of the night deal with Phillips to the Falls, which has been a complete failure. Staggers on the other hand is a fiscal conservative who is a strong believer of open and transparent government. I hope if Munson runs, Staggers takes off the kid gloves and shows Munson for who he was as a mayor, a backdoor salesman who blew millions of taxpayer dollars on unneeded quality of life projects while failing to upgrade our sewer system and roads. Munson may think his second term legacy is all that and a bag of chips, but he really wasn’t that good of a mayor, and I don’t see him being a much better city councilor. I’m just saying.

I also think it is odd that Munson would be stepping backwards from being mayor to being a city councilor, he wasn’t one previously, and I think he would struggle with how powerless the job can be sometimes.

I guess we will know more soon enough. February 24, is the filing deadline.