Entries Tagged 'Potholes' ↓

Maybe there is an ‘important’ reason why the city won’t fill the hole in front of my house? A new discovery?

Yup, so they showed up on Friday to cut a hole out. ON A FRIDAY! So it could fill with rain for 2-1/2 days before they fill it. That’s planning at it’s finest.

The cost of attending an Argue Endorser public forum; $25

Not sure if anyone watched the public forum at the University Center that the AL put on the other day, but it’s a hoot. Especially when Public Works director Galen Huber says he doesn’t want to make any conclusions about snowgates until they collect all the data from the season, but then shit talks them the entire time, claiming they narrow streets (even though every street in SF gets narrower during the winter, especially in the older neighborhoods where a lot of people park on both sides). What I have often wondered is why these forums are not very well attended (besides the fact that the AL is putting them on) it may have to do with the parking situation as this South DaCola foot soldier explained to me in an email;

I’m e-mailing you my “public forum/parking ticket experience”.

I attended the Argus Leader’s public forum on roads last Thursday at University Center.  When I arrived the visitor’s lot was full, so I parked out in one of the far lots.

Much to my dismay, I rec’d a $25 parking ticket!

I stopped in at the Argus office the next day, thinking that they would be willing to give the University Center a call to explain that I had been there attending the public forum.  First the receptionist called MariCarol (Editor) her response was that she had also gotten a ticket. I told the receptionist that I wanted to talk to her, but when she called her back she was suddenly unavailable. Randall Beck (Publisher) and Yvonne Hawkins (Queen of Community convos) were also at the forum, so I asked to speak to Randall – he would not talk to me either.  I don’t know if he also got a ticket, but I was right behind him when he walked out and he was parked in a faculty spot. So, I asked to speak to Yvonne, she came out, I explained the situation and told her that I did not expect the Argus to pay the ticket, but that I would like them to give the University Center a call.  She told me,

“We don’t do that kind of thing, this is your personal issue, you’re going to have to take care of it on your own.”

I was PO’d  I drove out to the Center and once I explained the situation they voided the ticket and apologized.

So much for public forums!

This comes as no surprise to me. They ask the public to attend, but do they really want them there since they ask most of the questions? I only heard questions from two attendees. One guy wondered if he could get permission to fill potholes on his street, since the city isn’t getting around to it. And another lady cornered Huber about the time allotted to clean the streets (48 Hours) but it has only been taking them 36 hours, in other words, what’s all the hub bub about snowgates taking longer?

Why is the city selling a 4 year old pothole patcher?

From my email box;

So I guess Sioux Falls doesn’t have any potholes to fill, so they are selling the machine that fixes them.
Seriously – this is a machine that was new in 2006… are we really only getting four years of use out of our equipment these days?  That doesn’t exactly seem efficient.  I have underwear older than that.

It also appears to be in good working order since the auctioneer has an assurance on it. The city plays these games all the time, they can’t have anything that is too old – who cares, not their money, spend, spend, spend. Pat Costello joked once during a council meeting that whenever he would drive by a work site with private contractors and public works vehicles at it, he noticed the private contractor work trucks were like 15 years old and the public works drove brand new vehicles. It amazes me that we would cut tree removal budgets, yet not even blink twice about selling a vehicle at a third of what is was probably worth brand new.

One more reason why the Home Rule charter handcuffs our council

I just magically appeared after a little rain and ice.

This should come as no surprise that our mayor, or any mayor of Sioux Falls for that matter (cough . . . Munson . . . cough), just does things without consulting the council, well, because he can. The Home Rule charter pretty much gives absolute power to the mayor. But as we have been finding out more and more of this power has been found unconstitutional. So does our new council have the guts to dismantle the charter or will it be in the hands of the people? Comments from at least one of the council members is encouraging, but I am not going to hold my breath;

There wasn’t a mayoral candidate in all of Sioux Falls who didn’t have a thing or two to say about potholes.

And after securing victory, one of the first steps Mayor Mike Huether took was to redirect $2.6 million to the war on crumbling streets. That money piggybacked on former Mayor Dave Munson’s redoubling of efforts on street repair in March.

But the additional money didn’t materialize out of thin air, and it will come at a cost to other projects. About $1.4 million of the additional money will come from the city’s arterial street expansion program, meaning that some projects, including work at major intersections, will be put off.

Huether made the decision unilaterally, without consulting the council. He has the authority to do it, but City Council Chairman Greg Jamison said it would have been nice to get a heads up, especially for councilors who had projects in their districts delayed because of the switch in funding.

“I just felt like, out of courtesy, he could have brought us in,” Jamison said.

While I agree our potholes should be fixed pronto, I think the council should have been a part of the decision. Like I said above, these kind of decisions will continue unless we tear down the Home Rule Charter. Case in point;

Huether and four new councilors were not around when the council fought a bruising battle over arterial streets. Faced with an $85 million backlog, a split council in 2008 voted to increase the city’s second-penny sales tax and development fees for more work on arterial streets.

And who made the final passing vote on this debacle that has FORCED taxpayers to pay their fair share but not the developers? Mayor Munson. But even more troubling, some developers still are blaming the weather;

Chuck Point, a vice president at Ronning Cos., was among the developers who pushed for more money for arterial streets. He said he’s not worried about diverting some money from arterial streets to make repairs – for now.

“I can’t fault him for it,” Point said of Huether’s decision to divert funding from arterial roads. “If you drive around Sioux Falls, you saw it. What I get frustrated about is people blaming the wrong thing. It was the weather.


While the weather did make the potholes literally explode, I find it hard to believe that this happened overnight. These potholes have been festering for years. Like I have said in the past, I have ridden my bike on the streets of this town for years, they were in bad shape to begin with, and if you just ignore them, they will only get worse, which happened. The city, the past mayor and council ignored keeping up with infrastructure during good economic times. We had record sales tax revenue and we squandered it, now we are scrambling to fix something we have no money for. We missed the boat to literally put money away for a RAINY DAY, now we have to pay the piper, and that means delaying new projects.

This new mayor and council better come to a quick realization that prioritizing should be their number one concern.

Pothole City, USA

Of course the city denied the claims, they wouldn’t have it any other way. Don’t you know, the citizens of Sioux Falls are innocent until proven guilty;

Seven drivers asked the city of Sioux Falls to pay for vehicle repairs they said were caused by hitting potholes on city streets.

The formal claims to the city involved popped tires and damaged rims. The bill totaled $2,700 from the five drivers who listed the cost of their repairs.

The city’s risk management director, Regan Smith, said the city investigated the claims and decided it was not liable.

The city received four claims of pothole damage last year. Drivers whose claims are denied by the city can take their case to court.

Yeah, and spend $40,000 fighting the city in court for $2,700 in damages. There is only one reason these claims were denied; they would have set precedent.