Entries Tagged 'Planning Commission' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council meetings still don’t livestream properly

Unfortunately it is NO surprise to me that the city council meetings didn’t stream properly yesterday. They were both replaying fine today (INFOREGULAR) The SIRE system they use to post agendas and stream video has been marginally working for over a decade. In fact the past three city clerks have struggled with the system. You would think by now it would be scrapped. At the very least you would expect them to just automatically livestream the video on YouTube, and heck, on Facebook also. In fact, the Mayor is doing his state of the city address from the State Theatre(?) and it will only be streamed on Facebook, which is questionable since you must subscribe to FB to watch it. The ongoing Hatefest towards transparency is mind boggling.

With our Mayor and his administration consistently talking about the technological advances of the city you would think that with over a DECADE of problems with SIRE it would have gotten the boot a very long time ago. A Dotard could have figured that out, but somehow two mayors, three city clerks, multiple councilors, consultants and city IT personnel still seem to be baffled with a system we have thrown millions at when we could use a FREE service called YouTube.

VET HOME TO BE MOSTLY FUNDED PRIVATELY

Of course the Devil is in the details. During the informational meeting the city got a presentation on the new proposed facility. While Sioux Falls taxpayers are footing the bill for the land and pipe upgrades (hey Noem, that is called infrastructure), the organization will provide all the other funding privately. When asked where that money will come from, they really didn’t have an answer. Kind of reminds me of the Bunker Ramp and just taking the developer’s word on it. Here we go again. The city council never learns.

I also found it interesting that the agenda item for this presentation was posted on Friday with NO attached documents (Power Point) which seems the SOP for this administration. But when I checked back on Tuesday morning, the presentation was still absent (Until about 2 PM) But interestingly enough Pigeon605.com had a story up that morning about the vet village, then the Argus and Dakotanews soon followed. So how is a presentation that is put on the agenda on a Friday not have supporting documents until 2 hours before the meeting yet everyone in the media knows what the presentation is about? Taxpayers should always take priority. If my tax dollars are being used to pay a communications specialist, which I am ok with, the public should receive those communications before the media. I also wonder if Pigeon is getting PAID to post these stories? The city has a way of getting information out to the public without using private media except in press releases.

• Put the details/presentation in the Agenda online when posting the agenda on Friday (DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)
• Post on main city website
• Put on Citylink or do a YouTube video
• Post on Facebook and Twitter
• Send the media a press release and grant interviews (this should be done last)

I’m all for the media doing a story about this, and I learned a lot from the Pigeon story, but when tax dollars are being spent on projects, that information should be granted to the public before the Fourth Estate.

DO WE EVEN HAVE A FUNCTIONING SIOUX FALLS PLANNING COMMISSION?

During the Sioux Falls City Council Regular meeting, Councilor Starr asked a planning department staffer how the planning commission can even function when only 5 members are approving plans with a 9 member board. You could hear Mayor Stoneless grunt and sigh into his microphone. Of course excuses were given because we all know that planning decision are directed by the mayor and granted by the ‘approval’ process of the appointed, paid, planning staffers. The Commission meetings themselves are merely Bread & Circus.

South Dakota leadership is getting dumber by the day

First, let’s go with Noem’s idiotic statement of the week;

“I was on a call with the White House today with all of the governors talking about the specifics of this package and I was shocked by how much doesn’t go into infrastructure,” Noem said. “It goes into research and development. It goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy. And it really is not an honest conversation we’re having about what this proposal is.”

In Noem’s mind, she thinks infrastructure is corporate welfare to Canadian oil companies or spending Covid relief money on go kart tracks, hunting lodges and developer bailouts. Her statement kind of reminds me of this clown from Alaska who said, “The Internet is a series of tubes,” the late Sen. Ted Stevens infamously remarked in a 2006 speech on net neutrality. Even Transportation Secretary Pete Beuttigieg made fun of her on the Sunday political shows saying that ‘Yes Governor Noem, pipes are infrastructure.’

MAYOR TENHAKEN TELLS US HIS MENTOR WAS JOEL DYKSTRA

Trust me when I heard Paul say this last week, I literally fell out of my chair laughing;

When Dykstra first met TenHaken, he was starting his business ‘Click Rain’ and became the Mayor’s first client. At the time, Dykstra was running for U.S. Senate against then South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. While the political backgrounds have been prevalent between the two, both say their conversations revolve around life.

After I caught my breath I soon realized that it explained not only Paul’s leadership(?) style but his relationship with the SD GOP and developers in town. As many may or may not know, Dykstra was a frequent target of the blog when he was running against Tim Johnson and got his butt whooped. Joel often appeared in my toons with a bag over his head like the unknown comic, because I called him the unknown candidate.

There was also a rumor swirling around City Hall that Mayor TenHaken was out of the office last week with little explanation. I agree the mayor deserves personal time off, but strangely his Chief of Staff was also gone. Not sure if they took a family vacation together, but my guess is the trip was political in nature. Wonder who was footing the bill this time?

If the trip was political in nature, that should be disclosed to taxpayers. Of course the Hatefest on transparency is alive and well at City Hall, so we may never know.

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Believe it or not, I couldn’t really find anything in the agenda that sparked my interest except item #66;

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN FEDERAL AID BRIDGE IMPROVEMENT GRANT APPLICATION RESOLUTION FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE W. 49TH ST. BRIDGE OVER THE BIG SIOUX RIVER.

Some have questioned if the city can receive this money, and the answer is yes since the bridge crosses a federally mandated waterway (Corp of Engineers manages the Big Sioux River).

In the Planning Meeting it seems the old track on the School for the Deaf land has found an occupant. Item 2I will provide space for the new Children’s Inn Facility. Surprised it was on the consent agenda. I have heard from people in the neighborhood they have concerns. The item can be pulled if people want to comment.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council set to approve/deny permit for private residential airport

It seems the march is on;

CONSIDER MOTION TO APPROVE, DENY OR AMEND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT #21-17 TO ALLOW EXPANSION OF A PRIVATE AIRPORT APPROXIMATELY ONE MILE WEST OF SIOUX FALLS

It looks like on Tuesday at a joint 5 PM meeting the two bodies will consider the permit for the airport. I am still wondering if the FAA has weighed in;

The airport shall meet all FAA requirements.

I have to admit I am still on the fence about this. The Minnehaha County planning commission approved this 6-0 and the Sioux Falls planning commission denied this 5-2.

While I think that rich folks can spend their money however they choose, and build ludicrous things like airstrips, my main concern is how it will affect their neighbors and the city and county in general. Your property rights end when they inflict harm on your neighbors. This will be an interesting meeting to say the least.

Proposed Residential Airport

READ THE MINUTES

Yes, in a town where most people are middle to lower income some rich folks in town want their own airstrip next to their homes. The two petitioners are involved with a large construction company and the ethanol industry. The developer helping with the project is former City Councilor and current State Legislator, Greg Jamison.

While the proposal was a tie/stalemate with Minnehaha County voting for it and the City Planning Commission voting against, that means it goes to the Minnehaha CC and Sioux Falls city council for joint meeting approval on March 23.

A city official told me today that it may not make that date because the FAA is rumored to have already put a kabosh on it. We will see.

Tax Reduction Program for Downtown Sioux Falls residential property

Turns out there is a program, but only 3 properties have taken advantage of it since 2007, and you have to invest $30,000 in the property before getting the program.

At the informational meeting today where they explained the program, most of it goes towards business, and not a surprise the part they want to expand. I’m all for it for local businesses but the program needs to be expanded to residential and the $30,000 expenditure should be drastically reduced to $2,500 or more.

But that of course isn’t the plan, more socialism to big developers and banksters and crumbs for the rest of us.

After pointing out the dismal attendance of the Planning Commission it gets a change up

It seems the change up didn’t help much since only 6 members attended tonight out of the 9 member board. You will notice by looking at the new list that many members who were not showing up to meetings over the past year have been replaced with temporary terms**.

Once again the TenHaken administration has been busily rearranging deck chairs hoping no one notices. Cruise Control government at it’s best, hopefully we don’t have any unexpected freezing rain.

Members of the Sioux Falls Planning Commission

Nine members (including one chair person) are appointed by the Mayor to serve five year terms.

  • (Vice-Chair) John Paulson – Term Expires – May 2021
  • Bradyn Neises – Term Expires – May 2021**
  • Dana Fisher – Term Expires – May 2021**
  • Sean Ervin – Term Expires – June 2023*
  • Larry Luetke – Term Expires – June 2023*
  • (Chair) Eric Nyberg – Term Expires – May 2024
  • Aaron Norman – Term Expires – July 2024*
  • Kurt Johnson – Term Expires – May 2024*
  • Janet Kittams – Term Expires – April 2025

 * Second Term
** Assumed Previous Members Term

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, March 2, 2021

Informational Meeting • Mar 2 • 4 PM

Presentations;

• Downtown Sioux Falls (DTSF) and South Eastern Council of Governments (SECOG) General Updates

• Tuthill Park House Project Status Update

Regular Meeting • Mar 2 • 6 PM

Item #6, Sub Items 17 & 42 totaling $466K to the Washington Pavilion in the form of boiler upgrades and cornice design. Ironically I just brought this up 2 weeks ago at the last city council meeting. While we throw money at the Pavilion like it is confetti we debate for months about the funding of a 100 year old institution. As for the cornice design costs, $250k is an atrocious amount of money to spend on design and further proof of the foolish ways the city spends its money. The rumor going around is the roof replacement will cost us $4 million.

Sub Item #20, Provide consultation and guidance in the areas of cultural
work, organizational alignment and strategy development Fees are established on a per project basis, $375/per hour fee, Dr. Trish Holliday. I’m guessing this contract is with this HR consulting company;

Trish is founding partner with Lucinda Kenning of the HR consulting company, Holliday│Kenning. Both partners are HR executives in the industry and provide leaders in the private and public sectors with an organizational playbook that focuses on growing leaders and driving performance. The Holliday│Kenning framework offers organizations and its leaders a Playbook with five distinct approaches (plays) that are critical for a winning workplace that attracts and retains top talent and drives cultural transformation.

While we know the city hires consultants, I find it troubling we have to hire a cultural HR consultant from Tennessee after Mayor TenHaken convinced the city council we needed a full-time Director of Culture. So what is her job? Rana DeBoer gets paid $117K a year to hire outside consultants to tell her what to do?

Item #34 & 43, 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, ESTABLISHING THE TAX INCREMENT REVENUES TO BE COLLECTED AND AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF TAX INCREMENT REVENUES TO SIOUX FALLS DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC., IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR TAX INCREMENTAL DISTRICT NO. TWENTY-THREE, CITY OF SIOUX FALLS. I have no doubt that this will pass the council Tuesday night with at least 6 votes. I think there will be an attempt at amending the $30 million slush fund portion of it, but even if the amendment passes it will just be some kind of weak oversight commission. I have no doubt in my mind passing this TIF will send a very dangerous economic precedent in our city.

Item #41, 1st Reading: AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, TO REQUIRE FACE COVERING IN AN INDOOR PUBLIC PLACE WHERE 6-FOOT SOCIAL DISTANCING CANNOT BE ACHIEVED. The city council is looking to extend the mask mandate. It will be interesting to see if this passes in 2nd reading.

Item #42, 1st Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 31-20 AUTHORIZING INTERIM REVISIONS TO CHAPTER 57 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, PERTAINING TO THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19). This is a repeal of the pointless emergency ordinance that required homeowners to bring their garbage cans to curbside for pickup. Of course, when this went into place it was about the safety of the garbage hauler workers, which I agree with, but the haulers never passed the labor cost savings onto the customers and many customers (mostly senior) have been complaining about hauling there cans to the curbside and getting NO discount to do so. I have no doubt this will pass 2nd reading, but the discussion or debate from the industry should be interesting, I’m sure they will respond with rate hikes, which furthers my argument that we need public garbage service.

Planning Commission • Mar 3 • 6 PM

Item 2 I, Initial Development Plan Amendment for Augustana, While no street closures are involved with the PUD yet, Augustana has been wanting to close Grange at 33rd so they can use the land as part of the campus.

Item 5 D, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 160: ZONING BY ADDING SUBCHAPTER ORIGINAL ART MURALS AND AMENDING SECTIONS 160.005 AND 160.578. It seems the city is finally prepared to except mural art on businesses. Someone must have told city hall that it is 2021 and not 1951. All joking aside, this is good and long overdue.

Sioux Falls Media ignores the negative effects of TIF 23

As I have said in the past, I have NO doubt that this TIF will pass on March 2 when it comes before the city council. Sure a couple of them will put an amendment in there about ‘getting reports’ on how the $30 million dollar slush fund is being spent, but this is hardly the transparency that should be given. TIF 23 is what it is, corporate socialism funded by the taxpayers in higher taxes, crime and less affordable housing.

While the local media has done a handful of stories about the TIF, they basically just copy the press releases from the Development Foundation and call it good.

What they have not discussed is the very negative effects this TIF will have on our community. They also have NOT told us about the over $50 million the state, city and county taxpayers have already put into this park that really wasn’t needed, and even if you could prove it was, it could easily be propped up by private investment, you know that silly notion that we live in a FREE enterprise capitalist society.

Here are some issues the media could look into;

No studies. There is yet to be a comprehensive independent study on the economic impact of TIFs in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. In other parts of the country where these studies have been done, usually by university economic departments, they have shown little to NO impact on the overall economy. I think the developers in Sioux Falls have run their own numbers privately and probably came up with the same conclusion, this is why you will never get a honest evaluation from them.

Your taxes will go up significantly. This is also a dirty little secret. When the valuation of Flopdation Park’s properties go up, their property taxes go up, but they get those payments back in the form of a TIF (rebate) to pay for upgrades to infrastructure that benefits these private businesses. That valuation in taxes has to be made up with higher taxes on the rest of us. As for the school district, the state coffers (sales tax revenue) will have to make up that shortfall. In other words much higher taxes for us that actually decrease our infrastructure services. It’s corporate welfare on the highest level.

Crime will increase, affordable housing will decrease. Sioux Falls has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Where will the thousands of workers needed to work at these new facilities come from? Well they will have to be brought in. This is nothing more than growth for growth’s sake that will increase crime, public education costs and decrease our inventory of housing. The only people benefitting will be the banksters and developers while the rest of us will have to pay to clean up the mess.

Profits will not impact our local economy. A lot these businesses are international and national companies that will send their profits out of the community while paying NO state income taxes, no property taxes (TIF) and very little to NO Federal income taxes.

Low wage jobs. There have been numerous studies that show that large industries like this actually drive wages down in communities. This is the scariest part because as I have said above, it will increase our costs for crime prevention and public education.

They don’t need the incentive. The most egregious part of this TIF is that it really isn’t needed. As I pointed out on Tuesday night, this is most baffling part. We are growing business in Sioux Falls at a breakneck speed, if anything, we need to cool our jets a bit. With record breaking building permit numbers and our lack of affordable housing, I just see incentivizing low wage businesses to come here as counter productive and compounding our problems. We are already years behind on infrastructure upgrades to the core of our city (this is where we should be investing the money). On planning preview a couple of days ago a planning employee said a developer told them there is already a 5 week waiting period in getting into a new apartment in Sioux Falls and they have already broke building permit records from the year before in January. We don’t need to incentivize businesses that already want to come here. We also need to help local business thrive, another benefit to cleaning up our core.

I’m hoping our local media wakes up and actually tells the public about TIF 23 and the massive negative repercussions this TIF will have on Sioux Falls and the region because 5 years from now when your taxes have doubled, the core is crumbling and crime is through the roof, all roads will lead to TIF 23.

Sioux Falls Planning Commission has serious attendance issues

As a South DaCola foot soldier pointed out to me yesterday, how can 4 votes out of a 9 member commission pass a $94 million dollar TIF recommendation to the city council?

Good question. After spinning my wheels yesterday I discovered according to the Commission’s own rules and Robert’s Rules they can conduct business with 5 members present even if the chair is a non-voting member (they only break ties).

So this got me even more curious about the attendance of the Planning Commission, even pre-covid and discovered over the past year, even though they can attend meetings via phone, a good chunk of them don’t even bother to show up. In fact, over the past 14 months, they have never conducted business with a full body (9 members);

Feb 2021 – 5

Jan 2021 – 6

Dec 2020- 6

Nov – 5

Oct – 6

Sep – 7

Aug – 7

July – 7

June – 2 meetings, 6 at both

May – 6

April – 5

March – 6

Feb – 7

Jan – 5

While I totally understand that these members are volunteers, I question what they signed up for? While they do have to read a lot of materials to prepare, they only really need to attend ONE meeting per month for about 1-2 hours. That’s it!

But my blame for this attendance isn’t on this all volunteer board, it really lies in the lap of Planning Director Eckhoff and his boss Mayor Stoneless. Has there ever been an attendance discussion? My guess is probably not considering it is easier for the mayor and his developer friends to push an agenda when no one shows up to vote on that agenda (or very few).

I think it is absolutely disgusting that a board that is supposed to recommend to the council can pass a ludicrous $94 million dollar TIF on 4 out of 9 possible votes, with next to no discussion.

This administration gets sloppier by the day when it comes to process.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls Planning Commission passes TIF #23, 4-0

UPDATE: There has been some discussion today with my local government nerds on why the Planning Commission has 9 members but they rarely all show up. In fact, one member’s term was up last April and have not been replaced yet. In the last meeting only 4 members voted throughout the meeting even though 5 were present (the chair wasn’t voting) and over the past year it seems like only 5 members have been voting on things. Ideally you would say that you can only conduct business with a Quorum, 5 or more members, so what does it mean if only 4 votes. Robert’s Rules says this;

64. A Quorum of an assembly is such a number as must be present in order that business can be legally transacted. The quorum refers to the number present, not to the number voting. The quorum of a mass meeting is the number present at the time, as they constitute the membership at that time. The quorum of a body of delegates, unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum, is a majority of the number enrolled as attending the convention, not those appointed. The quorum of any other deliberative assembly with an enrolled membership (unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum) is a majority of all the members. In the case, however, of a society, like many religious ones, where there are no annual dues, and where membership is for life (unless it is transferred or the names are struck from the roll by a vote of the society) the register of members is not reliable as a list of the bona fide members of the society, and in many such societies it would be impossible to have present at a business meeting a majority of those enrolled as members. Where such societies have no by-law establishing a quorum, the quorum consists of those who attend the meeting, provided it is either a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.

So while having only 4 members vote out of a possible 9 is unfortunate, apparently it is legal, but I am still wondering why this body can’t get 9 people, even on the phone, together? Another sloppy move by this administration.

FF: 23:30

This occurred on Wednesday night and I forgot to attend for public input. Nobody else from the public showed up to speak against or for the TIF. This is unfortunate because it will literally raise property taxes on us $94 million over the next 15-20 years with $30 million of that as an ‘incentive’ slush fund. It is probably one of the most ludicrous TIFs I have ever seen.

What made it even more strange was there was very little discussion from the commission except that it was ‘good’. And besides the presentation from a planning department staffer, the representative from Development Foundation also said very little. It was pretty obvious this was pre-determined by the commission.

The other part about using $30 million of this for ‘business’ incentives also surprises me based purely on economics and development in Sioux Falls. Year after Year we are growing and year after year we are crushing building permit records. In fact we have a housing shortage and can’t keep up. So why do we have to ‘incentivize’ a business to come hereI recently saw that Tessiers (a South Dakota company from Mitchell) is building a new facility at Flopdation Park. Did they get any deals? Did they ask for any? Not sure, but I liked this quote from them;

“We thought that Foundation Park location would be ideal for us as we do business in the places on the I-90 and I-29 corridor,” said Gopal Vyas, who recently retired and was board chairman when the deal was done.


“Also it is easily accessible for our team members from Mitchell to commute when needed. It also is very convenient for our team members flying from Minnesota or driving on I-90 coming west.”


That is what often puzzles me when they ask for these TIFs, are they even needed to bring business here?