After reading this story, you almost scratch your head as what those would be;

Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced Thursday that Governor’s Office of Economic Development commissioner Pat Costello will serve his last day on June 30.

It’s not like Pat will have to sharpen up his resume, he has several successful business ventures in Sioux Falls that will keep him busy, heck he employs a person who makes croutons!

There have been rumors he wants to take a stab a mayor again in 2018. Who knows? It could be governor?

But his early departure has one wondering. You don’t leave such a high profile job to go hide.

Shut Up! And go make some croutons!

This is golden, interviewing a restaurant owner, who probably pays his servers $2.13 and hour, talking about how much money he is making in South Dakota;

Don Smith enjoys preparing Margherita Cheesecake, one of his signature desserts at Casa Del Rey. Smith opened the restaurant in Sioux Falls more than 30 years ago.

And at one time Smith had up to six restaurants in several states. But he says South Dakota has the most business-friendly environment.

“Our economy seems to be so stable here. The taxes are low. We don’t have a corporate tax like all the other states around us,” Smith said.

C’mon Don. Just say it. You only have to pay servers $2.13 an hour. Sounds like a pretty damn good business climate to me.

Oh, but it gets better, Mr. ‘Shut Up and Go Make some Croutons’ chimes in;

South Dakota’s commissioner for economic development isn’t surprised by the recent survey’s results.

“The two focuses we see are the tax environment, the labor issues and I think productivity also goes into that,” Governor’s Office of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Costello said.

Another Republican who has enjoyed the hospitality anti-worker laws in this state to line his pockets in many bar and restaurant ventures he has been involved with.

While these guys are making money on the backs of hardworking hospitality workers, I can tell you they are the only ones cashing in. Servers talk, and the big talk around town is how tip percentages have seen a steep decline over the past four years, while menu item prices have increased, as well as tip-out percentages, tips have been in the toilet. It is not uncommon to get a 5% or 10% tip these days. Take into account, as a server you have to ‘tip-out’ your co-workers which can be about 25% or your tips (depending on where you work). Basically the restaurant owners are squeezing their servers by charging more, and in return we receive less of a tip.

While restaurants around town have seen record sales and growth, servers are seeing the pinch.

“Shut up and go make some croutons!”

This announcement has me on the fence;

Here’s a surprise: Pat Costello, the former Sioux Falls City Council chairman and candidate for mayor has been appointed to Gov.-elect Dennis Daugaard’s executive committee. Costello will serve as the commissioner for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

While I liked Pat as a councilman, I felt he waffled a lot. Call it the cynic in me (or just read his mayoral race donor list) and one wonders if this appointment will only be good for Sioux Falls businessmen and not citizens city and statewide as a whole. Don’t believe me?

The governor-elect has a three-part plan to boost economic development in the state. First, he wants to continue efforts to recruit businesses from high-tax, high-regulation states to South Dakota. While other states increase taxes and regulations, Daugaard said South Dakota will continue to be business-friendly.

And Anti-worker.

From the Argus Leader and KELO-TV;

The Ground Round Restaurant was closed April 1, putting 54 employees out of work.

The restaurant at 1301 W. 41st St. was shut down at the direction of MinnWest Bank of Sioux Falls, which owns the land and building, restaurant general manager Dan Dammer said.

The business had been operated by United Enterprises GR LLC, which is co-owned by businessman Kent Vucurevich. He has been battling financial problems.

Notice that Costello lists United Enterprises GR LLC as one of his business ventures in his first financial report;

So if Kent isn’t paying the bills are his business partners? Maybe someone should ask Costello about it?


A reporter sent me this info today;

Costello told me Kent asked him to help manage the restaurant in 2008. He helped out for four months, but after realizing it was a mess got out of that deal in December 2008. The only reason he put it on his financial report is because the report asked for any business ventures he had been involved in during the past year, which would have been from August 2008 to August 2009.

When combing through the court papers about the foreclosure of the restaurant Kent Vucurevich and Colin Steen were the only two mentioned in all of the filings concerning the Ground Round.

We debated long and hard yesterday about whether we should include Costello in the story or not. We ultimately decided not to include him because he was not involved in any of the legal proceedings or involved when Vucurevich and Steen started going into foreclosure.

While this is good news for Pat, it still doesn’t change the fact that Pat has done business with Kent in the past. It makes you wonder what other scrupulous characters Pat does business with?

In a bizarre twist of fate, a South DaCola foot soldier told me yesterday that Pat has pulled out of the race. He said, to my soldier;

After a 100 days, I really didn’t know what I was going to do, besides spending my inheritance and ordering hamburger buns, what do I know about running a city?”

Some of his big wheel donors seemed a little disappointed that he wasn’t giving there money back instead of handing it out as prize money. Dana Dykhouse said,

“Now if I could be the official photographer at the contest, I might not be so upset, but I bought Pat, and he owes me more then some trailer park queen in a bikini. How about a 79% interest rate credit card?”

Huether, his closest competitor was asked what he thought about Costello pulling out;

“Hey, wow, that’s a great question. You know, Pat pulling out, hmmm, wow. I know he is a candidate, and now he isn’t. I have been talking to the people of Sioux Falls, and now is the time for change.”