Entries Tagged 'Planning Commission' ↓

Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken’s Administration oblivious to transparency

The one thing PTH has NOT kept secret; his total disregard for open and transparent government.

You would think after the failures of the bunker ramp due to the lack of financial transparency they would have learned something. Nope;

The city won’t say if or how many developers have expressed interest in buying or leasing the unfinished downtown parking ramp on 10th Street.

“Ultimately, this is how we set up the process,” said Dustin Powers, community development coordinator for the city.

Dustin, just who is this ‘WE’ you speak of? It certainly wasn’t the public that requested this process, or the legislative body, the city council. Maybe it was the mayor’s COS, who is a former executive for one of the largest developers in the city and state. Her former employer has ‘mysteriously’ received millions in tax breaks, land deals, TIFs, etc. since she was appointed. Are they on the short list? We will never know.

It’ll be a lot of behind-the-scenes work until the city chooses a potential buyer/lessee and makes that information public.

Yup. And once again we have learned nothing about the benefits of open government.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Jan 3-4, 2023

CALENDAR OF MEETINGS

Informational Meeting • 4 PM • Tuesday, Jan 3

• Transit Development Plan by Sam Trebilcock, Senior Planner

• 2026 Housing Action Plan – Year 1 Update by Logan Penfield, Housing Development Manager; and, Jeff Nelson, Accessible Housing Advisory Board Chair

Regular Meeting • 6 PM • Tuesday, Jan 4

Item #47, A  RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS RECERTIFYING THE COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM (CRS) PROGRAM.

Background & Objective: A required annual report from the CRS program on the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The current plan is at the end of its usefulness and a new plan is in the early stages, so no new efforts have been put into adding new items to the existing one. This is why the report is so short this year.

(I have never seen this program before, so I would be curious how long it has been since this has been updated considering we have been hit by tornados, severe storms, and flooding over the past few years requiring FEMA reimbursement. Would have been nice to have an informational meeting presentation.)

Planning Commission Meeting • 6 PM • Wednesday, Jan 4

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Dec 6-7, 2022

Current City Calendar

Council Informational Meeting • 4 PM Tuesday Dec 6

• Traffic 101 by Andy Berg, City Engineer (Not sure what this is but I guess the council is getting some skoolin’ on roads)

Council Regular Meeting • 6 PM Tuesday Dec 6

Item 6, Sub-Item 22; Entertainment Facilities, Washington Pavilion Building Improvements – Balustrade and Cornice Remodel; To award a bid, McGill Restoration, Inc., $5.9 Million, There is available budget to award this bid out of the Washington Pavilion CIP budget. (this is code for ‘entertainment tax’ the slush fund the Pavilion and city have been using to make repairs to the city owned facility. I have argued for a long time that they could just remove the bad balustrades and plug the holes for a lot less, even though the contractors say otherwise. No one would know any different if they were removed permanently. This should have been done 20 years ago when the problem came up, but now we are looking for a $6 million dollar fix while the Pavilion’s management sits on over $5 million in a savings account. The image below is a photoshop rendition of what the Pavilion would look like without the balustrades. While the city decries tax cuts in their legislative priorities, they seem to have plenty of money for glamor and appearance projects.

Items 20-86 (there are several VL lottery requests in the wake of the recent cap. I implore the council to pull each license and vote on them individually).

Item #96, 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 37: TAXATION. Sponsor, Mayor, Background & Objective:  The proposed changes are a result of the work done by Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc. on the Main Street Sioux Falls Business Improvement District Growth Plan. The Plan proposes additional and enhanced services to best position downtown for growth and to address common issues. Additional funding would be generated by these proposed amendments to achieve the additional and enhanced services. (After this was explained to me, I support the amendments even, but you have to wonder why the mayor is sponsoring a tax increase? The council should have been the ones to bring this forward, but maybe they need 3-4 more full-time employees to assist them with their very difficult job of creating policy. I still think a better approach would be for the parking department to be in charge of the maintenance DTSF since they do collect a majority of parking fees in the downtown area and let DTSF concentrate on marketing, programming and business services with fees collected. DTSF shouldn’t have to beg for tax code changes to water plants and sweep the sidewalks, the city has plenty of money to take care of the maintenance and beautification of downtown).

Item #98, 1st Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE REVISED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY ESTABLISHING AN ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION BOARD. Sponsor: Mayor Background & Objective: The purpose of the Sioux Falls Active Transportation Board (ATB) is to advise the city council, city departments, and city boards regarding bicycle, pedestrian, and other active transportation and accessible pedestrian transportation modes. (While this is a great idea, this should have been initiated by the city council, like the homeless task force. The council will ultimately have to vote on any changes and they should be actively involved in shaping these policies moving forward. Just another fancy task force the mayor and his staff have cooked up to make it look like they are doing something. I heard in the first meeting they will spend the first 45 minutes rearranging chairs in the conference room. As an all season bicyclist and active street rider since the early 90’s in Sioux Falls, I would love to sit on this board and give my perspective of what I have seen. I would apply, but most likely my application would end up where my other city board’s applications have ended up 🙂

Item #99, A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE MINNESOTA AVENUE CORRIDOR PHASE I LAND USE REPORT. Sponsor: Mayor, Background & Objective: That the City of Sioux Falls adopts the Minnesota Avenue Phase I Land Use Report to provide policies and guidance for future rezoning proposals, conditional use requests, redevelopment grant funding, and other redevelopment proposals. (I have been watching this construction play out, and from what I have been hearing from residents and business owners in the affected area is that while the city has been having listening/learning sessions they ultimately are doing what they want to with little to no regard from private recommendations. Minnesota Avenue should have started this process 30 years ago. I remember De Knudson and Dr. Staggers recommending changes to this corridor with no avail. I guess better late then never.

Item #100, A  RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS AND WASHINGTON PAVILION MANAGEMENT, INC. FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE WASHINGTON PAVILION OF ARTS AND SCIENCE, ORPHEUM THEATER, AND THE MUNICIPAL BAND. Background & Objective: Resolution to approve entering into a five-year management agreement with Washington Pavilion Management, Inc. to manage the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, Orpheum Theater, and the Sioux Falls Municipal Band. Agreement covers the years 2023-2027. Details of the new proposed Agreement were presented at the City Council’s Informational Meeting on November 22. (While there was a presentation on the renewal, the Pavilion talked very little about their financial status. Do they really need an operating subsidy from the city when we dump millions into the place each year in maintenance? I think with $5 million in savings – growing a whopping $2 million last year – it is time the Pavilion put on their big kid pants and operated on their own coin considering NOTHING is FREE to use in the building except the toilet and water fountain. It certainly hasn’t become the place for ‘everyone’ but is has been costing ‘everyone’ in Sioux Falls a pretty penny.)

Council Working Session • 3 PM Wednesday Dec 7

• Legislative Priorities. Their priorities seem to be PRO-TAX for citizens while advocating for a tax break for themselves;

4. We support efforts to eliminate double taxation on public projects through the state use and contractor’s excise taxes.

I would agree that making citizens pay excise taxes on public projects is silly, BUT it is the contractors who build the projects that pay the tax. If this tax is eliminated, would the contractor pass those savings onto the city?

5. We oppose any legislation that would reduce or repeal any municipal or county tax.

This of course may apply to the food tax. I think it is incredibly short-sighted to support a food tax cut statewide but not municipal. I think if we eliminate the food tax in Pierre, it needs to apply to cities also. I have also argued for a long time, the city is overtaxing us. If you have over $70 million in your reserves (a savings account) you have to ask yourself if the city is collecting too much in taxes. I don’t care how large the city’s budget is, there is NO justification of having that much in reserves.

7. We support tax increment financing (TIF), an economic development tool that has led to millions of dollars in increased property value, benefitting both the state as a whole and the local entities sponsoring the districts, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the process.

Integrity of the process? Benefits? As I have stated over the years, there has been NO comprehensive independent study of what those benefits are and the process. I recently received a tip that one of the more recent TIFs the city council issued was based on NO financial review of the recipient, or at least not a comprehensive one. Did we learn anything from the bunker ramp fiasco? Maybe Neitzert is right, maybe we need to do an investigation to see just how bad city government screwed the pooch on that one.

Speaking of process integrity, I was made aware last week that a current city director is being asked now to run two separate departments that have very little to do with each other. While he is an educated, qualified director for the one department he currently runs he has zero qualifications for running the other department. While we could surmise why PTH makes such idiotic decisions (he has NO leadership skills) you have to wonder why this director would agree to such a thing, even with a significant pay increase? I guess when he quits in frustration or gets fired the administration will just chalk it up as par for the coarse. I think Amazon management has a lower turnover rate.

Planning Commission • 6 PM Wednesday Dec 7

Item 5A, Petition: CU-017246-2022: Conditional Use Permit to allow for a Full Service Restaurant within 250′ of a sensitive land use.  Operations will include On-Sale Alcohol with supplemental video lottery located at 7601 S. LOUISE AVE.

What I find interesting about this item is how some entities will come to the planning commission asking for conditional use permits without even having a business name. If you review the documents you will see this is basically a 3 tiered casino that has a pizza oven.

He envisions a restaurant centered around brick-oven pizza and with pasta dishes, salads and other family-friendly menu items.

Nothing says family friendly like 30 video lottery machines and a pepperoni pizza. “Where’s dad?” Asks Johnny. “He’s hopefully winning this month’s rent in the other room.” Mom replies.

UPDATE: Did the Slaughterhouse’s confusing ballot language contribute to its failure?

UPDATE: I wanted to clarify something, I think that well over 90% of voters DID know what they were voting on, but there is always those stragglers that don’t research the ballot before they vote and make a decision in the ballot box without knowing the context. I do believe a small number of voters were confused. How do you go from polling 78% this summer to losing this fall? Before the opposition gained steam the only ads we were seeing were for vote YES, then suddenly every ad a month before the election were vote NO and vote YES, constantly, which added to the confusion. I was personally happy with the results.

Unless we are willing to make a concerted effort to close ALL packing plants in town, this really seemed like they were picking on Wholestone. I still think this ends up in court, but the biggest failure was our city council not acting on this in January or February. If we still had conditional use permitting, we could have required WF to follow a higher standard (especially when it comes to water and waste water). I’m a huge believer in the initiative and petition process, but only after all government solutions were exhausted, the city didn’t lift a finger and forced an expensive election that could have been avoided.

I knew the Rec MJ decision was going to be close, however it turned out, but it would be decisive. I can’t say that about the slaughterhouse vote. While I did vote ‘NO’ and fully agreed that if a developer or business follows the rules set in place when it comes to property and property rights they deserve to move forward. I also think there was a lot of games played along the way on both sides that would have made it hard to stop this development (including the inaction of the city council when it comes to zoning). Either way, this will still end up in court.

What I do scratch my head about is if the ballot language contributed to the confusing outcome? How is it that something can be polling 60-70% then fail on election day? Just look at polling for Medicare, Rec MJ and Noem, all polls were almost spot on (though Noem did do a lot better than expected).

Think about it. If someone tells you to vote ‘NO’ you would assume that means ‘NO’ to new slaughterhouses and a ‘YES’ vote means ‘YES’ to new slaughterhouses. Well guess what? It is vice versa.

I’m not even sure how you would clear this up, you would almost need to do an exit poll to see how people voted and how they felt. This is impossible at this point.

We may never know.

I did know who Kameron Nelson was, and that is why I voted for him. District 10 is the only place in the state where the magic happened (and District 15). I actually was let in on the ground game this summer of what Democratic District 10 candidates were doing to win that district, and they had a good game, the results don’t surprise me a bit. There was also a rumor swirling that John Mogen and Tom Sutton were personally recruited by Noem to be placeholders in District 10 so she could appoint someone if they won.

I live in an Oasis. Now where can I get some good black market weed? Asking for a friend 🙂

Speaking of the evil weed. I see the opposition’s game of ‘what about the children’ worked, and once again, Mayor TenHaken set a precedent, now influencing ballot measures and questions. I still have a glimmer of hope that peeps from the IM 27 campaign will file ethics and campaign rule complaints against those peddling lies about the measure.

The water problem with Wholestone’s packing plant

Recently Joe Kirby wrote a post about why another slaughterhouse is NOT a good idea for Sioux Falls;

Slaughterhouses are a horrible fit for our community. Affordable housing and workforce availability are already huge concerns. The idea of adding lots of difficult, low-paying, low-skill jobs, the type that have traditionally been a drag on our progress and success, makes no sense to me. And expanding the presence inside our city of an industry which has long caused pollution problems in our river and air makes no sense. I simply don’t understand why we would want more of this in Sioux Falls.

I agree, I don’t want another slaughterhouse built, but I would much more prefer there was an effort to not only STOP Wholestone but to close down Smithfields.

The issue with this entire fiasco has nothing to do with Wholestone vs. the Citizens vs. the City, it has to do with South Dakota voters, including right here in Sioux Falls who vote against their own interests. When the City Council passed Shape Places, several citizens said this was a bad thing and wanted to see some changes to the zoning ordinances, so they referred it to a vote. The development community along with some councilors said nothing to see here, move along, and the voters ultimately passed the original plan.

The argument then is still the argument today, Shape Places took power away from the council to make conditional use decisions, and when you take power from our citizen representatives, you take power from us.

I think if the council still had that power instead giving total control over to the developers Wholestone would have been denied by the Council or scaled way back and it has little to do with water quality or air quality, it has to do with water supply.

Where do you think WF will get their water? The reason WF is building within the city limits has nothing to do with the labor market, it has to do with using city resources, they will be using a lot.

Besides letting the developers take over almost all branches of city government we have also let them plan this city instead of the government and citizens;

Granted, the city does a lot of planning. It has a parks plan, a capital spending plan, a downtown plan and much more. But I am not aware of any sort of comprehensive plan for our city with direct participation of the mayor and council.  In support of that, some council members and candidates have told me they wished they could be involved in that sort of big-picture, strategic planning. If there was such a plan, I doubt it would have included the phrase, “add more slaughterhouses”.

This is something Janet Brekke stressed in her entire 4 years on the council. Her colleagues on the dais ignored her and did nothing. I think if she would have gotten re-elected and we would have changed a couple of other seats, Brekke would have been successful moving it forward.

Once again, in Sioux Falls and the rest of the state we continue to vote against our own best interests, and until that changes, you will see NO change in the status quo; DEVELOPERS RUN OUR CITY.

UPDATE III: Your Dream Home Awaits in Southwest Brandon

UPDATE III: I wanted to make a correction to some of the things being said about how the homeowners will be paying back the TIF. While I have surmised from Mr. Powers testimony last night that the repayment would go back to the developer, SF Simplified was told this from the city’s planning office;

The $2.14 million would help with the costs of getting the site ready for homes, designing, etc., and it’d be paid back to the city over the next 20 years via property taxes.

Which makes more sense since the city is footing the bill for the infrastructure, but it still puts into question what was said at the meeting last night.

Does the developer take on the $2 million in debt or the City? Is it a 15 or 20 year TIF? I’m not sure who is in charge of talking points for this project, but it gets more confusing by the day.

A city official told me today that the payback to the TIF will actually go to the bank who is giving the loan for the development, which makes sense. Oh, and guess who that bank is 🙁

UPDATE II: Finally! At the planning commission meeting tonight, commissioner Larry Luetke asks how the TIF works when it comes to the eventual purchaser. Planning staffer, Dustin Powers explained that as people purchase the homes they will have to pay their FULL property taxes then the county will pay part of those tax funds back to the developer until they hit the $2 million amount. In other words the developer is paying the full cost of the development and the homeowners will be paying back the developer thru their taxes over the next 15 years. So essentially, like Starr said last night, this is just a $2 million dollar break on the development itself, for the developer, and gives the eventual homeowner NO tax savings.

On top of that, there are NO guarantees the pricing will come in where they would like them to. The developer has already warned those prices could fluctuate (in other words go up) and there is no contractual agreement to keep the price where promised. Good for the developer, not so good for the homeowner.

*on a separate note, one of the newer commissioners called roads in a development ‘artillery roads’ instead of ‘arterial roads’. I’m not sure what an artillery road is, but if you drive around some central neighborhoods you can certainly see some streets that look like they got hit by artillery.

UPDATE: Tonight at the city council informational meeting they did a presentation on the TIF and it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that developer, not the future homeowner is benefitting from the TIF. Councilor Starr said it best when he suggested that maybe the city should just pay for the $2 million in TIF expenses (infrastructure) out of the general fund and not mess around with the TIF.

Either way, the half ass promise made from the administration, planning and the council before the last election is we were going to target affordable housing in our core, building density while cleaning up our central neighborhoods. Instead we got a ham and cheese sandwich made from Spam and Velveeta.

———-

The Sioux Falls Planning Commission will be mulling over TIF #26 (Items 5C & D) this next Wednesday. As you can see from the drawings below these are pretty tiny houses. I was also surprised by the floor plan in which the bedrooms were not placed next to each other with one bedroom next to the front entry.

What is curious is there is NO mention in the agenda documents about who will be getting the 15 year tax break. The developer or the new homeowner? There is also the infamous recommendation from un-elected paid planning staff;

Both staff and the development team believe this amount of TIF support is appropriate and adequate for the project to move forward, and that without TIF in this amount, this project as presented would be unable to move forward.

The classic ‘We can’t do this without the TIF.’ But again, I ask, who will be getting the tax break? How do you give a 15 year tax break to a developer who will be selling the homes? Will the new owners be getting a 15 year tax break? I’m puzzled how this will work. It appears to me that the developer will be getting a $2 million dollar tax break up front and the new homeowner will have to pay the normal taxes.

Hopefully we will hear an explanation at the meeting.

*You will also notice that the planning agenda is NOT using the annotated agenda like the city council is using now. Not sure why transparency is so hard for these folks?

Butt Hurt Rich Folks leading opposition to Packing Plant

I often wonder where these folks are to help close the manure factory stinking up the city everyday in this town? After having Covid a couple of years ago my sense of smell has been really bad. I told someone the other day there are only 3 things I can really smell; Smithfields, Burger King and Cigarettes.

READ THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REPORT: SMART GROWTH SIOUX FALLS.

Mr. Sneve beat me to the punch on the funding story;

In a campaign finance filing submitted to the City Clerk’s Office ahead of Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline, Smart Growth Sioux Falls reported more than $93,000 in campaign contributions since its formation earlier this year.

The report confirms prior news reports that a major backer of the opposition to Wholestone Farms LLC’s plan to construct a $600 million pork processing plant in the northeast corner of Sioux Falls is Jeff Broin, the founder, CEO and chairman of POET, a leading producer of ethanol and biofuels headquartered in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls Attorney Brendan Johnson asked the council tonight to have a moratorium on the butcher shop until after the election;

In response, Smart Growth Sioux Falls attorney Brendan Johnson Tuesday evening urged Mayor Paul TenHaken and the Sioux Falls City Council during their weekly meeting to take preemptive action.

“It is your responsibility to press pause and let voters decide this issue,” Johnson said. “That means you need to shut down this transparent attempt to side-step the election. My request is simple: press pause—issue a moratorium for two months.”

I will say it again, we approved Shape Places a few years ago and shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to allowing the council to approve conditional use permits. We rolled over like a dog for the developers who run our city and left no options for our local leaders to stop something like this.

I hate to say it, but Shape Places is really a Sh!t Storm.

What were the results of the Sioux Falls neighborhood grant program?

The city decided after spray painting over 2,000 sidewalks in central lower income neighborhoods they would take some of that Covid money to give grants to homeowners to fix sidewalks the CITY OWNS! That’s right, you had to apply for a grant to fix THEIR property. Seems reasonable 🙁

The city said a homeowner could apply for UP to $5,000 and it could be used for needed home repairs also.

So I am curious when community development, code enforcement and planning will present us with the results;

• How many applicants applied?

• How many received the grants?

• How many used the entire $5,000?

• How many used it for ONLY city owned sidewalk repairs?

• How many used it for either both home and sidewalk repairs?

• How many ONLY used it for home repairs?

The results will be interesting, we will see how well their scheme to use Covid money to fix city owned sidewalks worked out.

City of Sioux Falls planning affordable housing development in Southwest Brandon

Well not quite Brandon, but almost. (FF 1:30)

As I understand it the development is in between Washington HS and the city of Brandon on a current empty lot. They will use a TIF to help pay for the roads and utilities. The most affordable houses will be slab on grade (NO basements, not even unfinished), 1,000 sq ft, single stall garage, $250K.

I think a better approach would be building NO attached garage and putting in unfinished basements with egress windows so the basements could be finished later and a garage.

What is silly about this is that when we have talked about building density in our core and providing more affordable housing this was NOT what people were asking for. But it should be NO surprise since the public had ZERO input and the councilors were met with privately about the plan. This video is the first time anyone from the public has heard about it.

I think doing a pilot program in central Sioux Falls would have been a better way to go. You pick a 8 block area that needs some help. The city could use a TIF to rebuild the roads, sewer, water, sidewalks, curb and gutter and street lighting. Community Development could provide loans to fix up the homes in the affected area and Affordable Housing Solutions could demo and buy up empty lots for new housing in the area. Building slab on grade houses next to Brandon with no apparent public transit service will do little to solve our affordable housing issues in the core of Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, August 2-3, 2022

PLANNING COMMISSION ENTIRE AGENDA ON CONSENT FOR 2ND MONTH IN A ROW

Planning Meeting • Wednesday August 3 • 6 PM

As if it were not bad enough that the members barely have a quorum each month, have multiple conflicts of interest and the agenda reads like Chinese algebra, for the 2nd month in a row they put everything on the consent agenda. Of course, the public can pull an item for discussion, but rarely do. I also found it interesting that the entire agenda is in consent considering Item 2 (I) has NO recommendation from staff.

THE SECRETLY SELECTED HOMELESS TASK FORCE WILL HAVE FIRST MEETING

Homeless Task Force • Wednesday August 3 • 1 PM

While the task force has stated the meetings will be recorded, I am not sure if they will live stream. I still have not heard why the members were secretly selected behind closed doors and there wasn’t an open application process. Not sure this group of ‘specials’ is cut out for the job;

Rich Merkouris – City Council, Pastor

Marshall Selberg – City Council, Real Estate

Curt Soehl – City Council, Insurance Salesman

Michelle Erpenbach – Sioux Falls Thrive

Kari Benz – Director of Human Services · Lincoln/Minnehaha County

Mike Curtis – Crop production Services – Area Sales Manager (?)

Anny Libengood – Anny Libengood – South Dakota Multi-Housing Association

Terry Liggins – non-profit called The Hurdle Life Coach Foundation

From 2015 – “Terry Daron Liggins, age 29, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on the conspiracy charge, and 24 months on the ID theft charge, to be served consecutively.  Upon release from prison he will be on supervised release for 3 years.  Liggins was also ordered to make restitution to the IRS in the amount of $339,535, and to two ID theft victims in the amount of $866.83.”

Andy Patterson – President/CEO · Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation

Jesse Schmidt – Better Business Bureau

Dustin Haber – Bender Commercial Realty

Rebecca Wimmer – Coordinator of Community Partnerships · Sioux Falls School District

Kadyn Wittman – Development Director YMCA

Budget Hearing • Tuesday August 2 • 3 PM

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING FULL OF CONSULTING FEES AND CRAZY NEITZERT AMENDMENTS

Regular Council Meeting • Tuesday August 2 • 6 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts

Sub-Item #6, Aquatic and Ice Rink Development – Vision Plan for Kuehn, Frank Olson, McKennan, Terrace, and Laurel Oak Pools; Agreement for professional services, PROS Consulting, $99K. As I have mentioned at council meetings, we have plenty of dusty studies on the shelf of what pools need to be fixed. I sometimes wonder if Parks Director Don Swanson is getting a kickback from the consulting firms?

Sub-Item #10, Mass Notification Software Contract Renewal. Notification tool is utilized by multiple City depts. to notify residents of Sioux Falls in the event of emergency, and other mass public notifications, Everbridge, $47,745.48 per year for 3 years. I find this one intriguing considering I thought the cell phone companies help pay for this thru other fees and taxes. Can someone clarify?

Sub-Item #15, Legal Services Engagement; Amendment to professional services agreement, Woods Fuller Schultz & Smith P.C., $20K. And what is this for?

Sub-Item #29, Rail Yard Redevelopment – Quiet Zone Preliminary Design; Agreement for professional services, Alfred Benesch & Company, $73K. While a design certainly has to be done, why on earth would the taxpayers of Sioux Falls being paying for a preliminary design before the railroads have agreed to it? What about the state? The Feds? Why doesn’t the developer that wants this pay for it? How about the Department of Transportation, or better yet the Railroad? And what pocket is this coming from? I think we need to get everyone on board before we start designing this and sneaking it in the consent agenda.

Item #42, 2nd Reading: Deferred from the meeting of Tuesday, July 19, 2022; AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY BY AMENDING CHAPTER 30: ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS, MOTIONS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS REQUIRING COUNCIL APPROVAL BY REQUIRING AN ANNOTATED AGENDA. (This item was referred to the Operations Committee at the Council Meeting of April 13, 2022 and reported to the Council at the Meeting of July 19, 2022). This is a long time coming, and I think the council needs to make more bold steps towards transparency. Of course, I am NOT going to hold my breath. It took Janet Brekke 4 years to get this on the agenda, and when she finally got it there, the council deferred it. They have NO interest in expanding transparency.

Item #43, 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE REVISING § 124.012 OF CITY CODE THAT PROVIDES FOR SIOUX AREA METRO TRANSIT FARES. This is also long past due, and with little fanfare, the kids ride for free!

Item #51, 2nd Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, DIRECTING SUBMISSION OF AN INITIATED MEASURE TO PROHIBIT THE CONSTRUCTION OR PERMITTING OF NEW SLAUGHTERHOUSES WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS TO A VOTE OF THE ELECTORS OF THE CITY AT THE GENERAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2022. I still think this ballot question is unconstitutional, and if I was a city councilor, I would vote to NOT put it on the ballot.

COUNCILOR NEITZERT TRIES TO CLAIM NON-PROFITS ARE NON-PARTISAN, LMFAO!

Item #65, A RESOLUTION ADOPTING THE 2022 CITY COUNCIL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES. Part of the changes have to do with the travel policies of the council. Of course, councilor Neitzert who was impeached for going to a partisan event with the Mayor and former Deputy Chief of Staff, TJ Nelson, now wants to define that non-profits are non-partisan. His amendment is as follows;

For purposes of this policy, any non-profit organization under Section 501(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code is not considered a partisan organization.

Not only is that incredibly false its ludicrous he would even propose something so ridiculous. And if a majority of the council approves his amendment, we will make sure the IRS is aware that the Sioux Falls City Council thinks non-profits are non-partisan, unicorns exist and the tooth fairy is my neighbor.