During the City Council meeting last night (FF 1:25:00) Pat and David spoke out against the increase siting inflation hurting citizens;

“. . . we have families struggling with high inflation and I am NOT comfortable with a property tax increase,” David Barranco.

“We sit and talk about putting the city in good financial shape and it really doesn’t take that much from the citizens, it’s only a couple of bucks here, and it’s a Coke or a cup of coffee, but if look at the chart director Pritchett presented were talking about 11 to 12 million dollars over the next 10 years that the city will be ‘SHORT’. NO, it’s the taxpayers that will be short of this money,” Pat Starr.

Their colleagues on dais SAID nothing while voting to move to 2nd reading. Starr and Barranco voted NO.

UPDATE II: I guess the reason the city isn’t using Keysolutions EAP anymore is because Keysolutions dissolved that entity of the counseling services.

Remember when councilors Starr and Brekke were overruled by 6 of their fellow councilors over hiring a Felon for counseling services?

Well guess what, the city is out in the cold.

Like the Bunker Ramp, when you have out of touch city leadership approving ridiculous things, bad outcomes occur.

Watching councilor Starr’s testimony, you have to kind of scratch your head and wonder what the 6 rubber stampers and HR director were thinking? I will tell you. They don’t think. They turn on the cruise control and rubber stamp, cross fingers and hope for the best.

UPDATE: The city has been looking for an internal part-time counselor since November. While that is a good thing to have an internal person, they also need an outside service for confidentiality purposes. I would also think with around 1,300 employees they could find someone full-time internally.

Mayor TenHaken currently is the chair of the FCC Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, as a committee member they have to follow certain rules and guidelines in that position. According to the FCC they are only allowed to provide opinions to the FCC Commission. I was unable to find the specific rule that prohibits committee members from making accusations or pronouncements about other fellow lawmakers, like a city councilor he serves with, but I do know that Federal boards have to meet a much higher bar when it comes to conduct. I would think if Councilor Brekke made an inquiry to the FCC about his accusations they would look into the rules he must follow as a committee member.

Here is the video of Brekke’s press conference. I like how she compared Paul to a singer of a rock band and the council is the musicians in the band;

Here is the dust up between Starr and Jensen;

For Immediate Release

Contact: Councilor Pat Starr- Northeast District – (605) 321-9680 – pstarr@siouxfalls.org

“Today I am recommending the Sioux Falls City Council set aside remaining COVID – ARPA funds granted the City by the State and Federal  governments to be used in a program for assisting homeowners in improving the integrity of their homes.

“There are funds remaining in the ARPA program,” said Starr “and these should be set aside in a revolving fund available to our current homeowners and those to come in order to guarantee the stability of that housing market.”

The Mayor has not told our City Council or residents the amount of remaining funds and before they are wasted on potentially dubious projects, the remaining funds should be used as a homeowner TIF (Tax Increment Financing) type program for our hard hit neighborhoods” Starr added.

“The program could be set up as a revolving small loan fund, allowing future citizen homeowners to borrow funds to keep their homes and property in good condition and thus preventing their neighborhoods from becoming blighted.”

Starr concluded by saying “We have a great and growing city and will continue to be only if we help those who can least afford to make even small investments before their property falls into disrepair.”

There is actually some positive legislation on the city council agenda that costs citizens $0 (so I’m sure there is plenty of money left over from 2021 to fund it 🙂 Pat and Janet are sponsoring two ordinances that address more transparency when it comes to keeping ordinances simple and transparent legal advice.

Item #44 is a clean up measure from state law;

(d) For the purposes of implementing SDCL 9-19-7.1, “substantially alters” shall mean
alterations to a proposed ordinance so significant as to amount to a new proposal from that
which was noticed and heard.

Basically this calls for ordinances to be easily understandable and if they get so complicated and are multi-subject they have to be broken up into separate ordinances (this is how it was explained to me).

Item #45 is self explanatory;

(k) The mayor or any member of the city council may request an official opinion of the city
attorney or a memorandum of legal advice that is not privileged pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2.
Such opinion or memorandum of legal advice shall be open to the public for inspection and
copying. The original opinion or memorandum of legal advice shall be filed with the city
clerk. An official opinion or a memorandum of legal advice shall not be issued on any
matter described in SDCL 1-25-2. The city attorney also reserves the right to deny a request
for an official opinion or a memorandum of legal advice request. Requests for an official
opinion shall not be unreasonably denied, and all denials shall be in writing stating the legal
or policy reason(s) for the denial and shall be filed with the city clerk.

This one will likely get a majority of council support. Basically they are asking the city attorney’s office to issue opinions, due it in a timely manner and make those opinions open to the public.

I guess several councilors have been irked that City Attorney Kooistra’s attitude towards councilors inquiries have been either ignored or denied. Kooistra seems to have one master and they are fed up with it.

As lead city attorney, they must not only serve the mayor and city departments in general but the city council.

I will defend Kooistra on one aspect of his behavior; he probably has denied opinions because he doesn’t know WTF he is talking about.