Entries Tagged 'Pam Nelson' ↓

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.


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.”

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.

The South DaCola Voter Guide, kind of

I won’t touch on every race or issue, but on the ones I think are important. Let’s Go!

Re-Elect Pam Nelson for County Treasurer. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know who is running against Pam, doesn’t matter. Nelson has proved she is a strong advocate for citizens and tax payers.

Bonilla and Feinstein for County Commission. That is who I voted for, but I also don’t have an issue with Jean Bender. She has actually surprised me on commission and has been a great legal voice for the commission. Just don’t vote for Karsky. This insurance salesman has more conflicts of interest then you can shake a stick at. Time to retire Dean from local government so he has more time to dig holes at ground breaking ceremonies with the Chamber, his true love and boss.

Mike Saba and Jeff Barth for state legislature.

Yes on Amendment R. This is extremely past due. Technical schools should have had their own board 20 years ago.

No on Amendment S. Also referred to as Marsy’s Law. It is unneeded. Laws are already in place to protect victims.

Yes on Amendment T. There has been too much gerrymandering going on in our state and it is time to make the board that decides redistricting more fair.

No on Amendment U. This is a fake interest rate cap created by the payday lenders.

Yes on Amendment V. This is the most important Amendment on the ballot this year. By passing the non-partisan election amendment we will change the face of the legislature over the next 5 years, and hopefully we will have less amendments and initiatives in the future once we get better representative officials in Pierre.

NO on Ref 20. This will eliminate the youth minimum wage.

Yes on Measure 21. It will cap payday lending at 36%, and hopefully put them out of business.

Yes on Measure 22. I have said an ethics commission and publicly funded campaigns in SD is way past due.

I have no opinion on Ref 19 & 23.

I highly suggest you vote early, because the lines are going to be very, very, very long.

Re-Elect Pam Nelson for Minnehaha County Treasurer

Petition mess over at Minnehaha County?

I’ve known about this mess for a few months, in fact I told Pam Nelson she had a peculiar challenger, her niece’s husband, and currently her employee. She seemed dumbfounded, since Marlin lives in Lincoln county;

As Jonathan Ellis reported last week, Marlin Schlenker is running for Minnehaha County Treasurer. His candidacy is noteworthy for multiple reasons:

  1. Schlenker’s running against his aunt-in-law and boss, incumbent treasurer Pam Nelson.

  2. Schlenker and his wife Sondee filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last May to get out of $195,765.74, most of that associated with Sondee’s business, consignment shop Resale Living. Hmm… Minnehaha County, do you want a guy who couldn’t keep his own books balanced managing your public treasury?

  3. Schlenker lives in Lincoln County—not by much, just a block south of 57th Street, the in-town county line between Lincoln and Minnehaha.

No worries Marlin, maybe you can prove you are a Heutterite and they will give you immunity.

Minnehaha County Treasurer, Pam Nelson informs the city about ‘Proper Service’

 

What has treasurer Nelson been saying for months?

That the state is freaking inept when it comes to license renewels and when are our mostly Republican county commissioners gonna fess up? Apparently never.

Statewide, about 50,000 renewal notices went out without information about the $1 per vehicle postage fee. About 11,000 Minnehaha County residents got notices for 21,000 vehicles.

Okay, we are talking about $21,000 or maybe more. So are county commissioners enraged over this lost revenue? Nope. Are they stomping around the state offices telling them how to do there job? Nope. So what are they doing?

“Why don’t we be the good guy and just eat it?” Twedt asked fellow commissioners.

Yeah, why not? We don’t have a problem with belittling Pam Nelson behind her back in commission meetings for something that isn’t her fault, but when the state really screws up, we just say, “Oh Well.”

Talk about gutless. But this isn’t the first time the state flubbed;

Nelson added that the state DMV contributed to longer lines in June, as well. Renewals sent out then referred to 50-cent or $1 dollar postage fees in a confusing enough manner to convince some people to come to the treasurer’s office and pay in person, she said.

“Oh, but hey, the state doesn’t make mistakes, it is all Pam’s fault, remember, she just needs to learn how to manage her lines” – Give me a break.

Hillmer promises the next series of renewal notices will be correct and clear.

Definitely. I will make sure I look at them myself before they go out,” she said.

You should have looked at the first round. Are you so busy you don’t have time to proof read a couple of paragraphs? I have often thought the best way to solve this problem and reduce lines would be if renewal customers were sent a postage paid envelope AND just add an extra $1.00 to everyone’s renewel right off the bat so the postage and handling is covered. But of course, that makes sense, and that does not fly in Pierre.

“We had a perfectly good system working,” Nelson says of the license renewal procedure before the present one was adopted 13 months ago, “and now we’ve got one problem after another.”

I don’t think anyone is listening to you Pam. Maybe you should change your registration to Republican, wait, you are too smart for that party, nevermind.

HELP WANTED: County Commissioners w/o EGO’s

This story is further proof that most of our county politicians are inept whiny babies that couldn’t manage to get themselves out of a wet paper bag let alone manage a county;

Figuring out how to adequately serve a growing community is tough enough without the bickering that’s going on between these two sides.

Lines at the Minnehaha County Administration Building have resurfaced, and it’s clear the commission and treasurer need a better staffing plan.

Residents are the ones who suffer the most when a poor relationship among county officials hinders progress toward that end.

That’s just it, there was a simple solution. A staffer needed to be replaced, the money was in the budget and the CC said no. Who’s to blame? The County Commission. They need to replace the staffer, apologize to Nelson then STFU.

Their egos are really getting old.

The State is at it again; Skimming the till

The state has this great idea to control the internet licensing renewals even though each county already handles it themselves. They just can’t figure out why the counties wouldn’t want them to help out;

Hillmer said she knows some county officials are worried, but those concerns are unfounded.

“We’re trying to provide consumers with a mechanism to do online renewals, and to do it efficiently,” she said.

“I guess I’m miffed that somebody would complain that we’re doing something of this nature,” she added.

Um. Well where do I begin? You F’ckd up the software to begin with. You blamed the counties for the F’ck up, you have been cashing in on the late fees and now you want to skim the till a little more. Miffed? I think the counties have a right to miffed.

Minnehaha County Treasurer Pam Nelson said she has one full-time staffer and a half-time person devoted to handling the county’s online renewals. She questions whether the state will have to add staff to handle the duties, which would cost taxpayers more money.

“In the end, it’s going to take money away from counties, and it’s going to cost people more money,” Nelson said. “That’s what I care about.”

And that’s what Pierre loves about it, making government bigger, more expensive and less effective.