As you know, the Argus Leader is embroiled in a Supreme Court case with the city over a secret settlement involving the siding on the Events Center. The city has also been involved with class action suits in recent years which involved millions in settlements, but for some reason, we as taxpayers have no idea how much the city spends on these lawsuits, yet in Rapid City, they not only give us the numbers, they even conclude they may lose the case.

Over that time, the city has spent $374,200 on legal fees. Now, after deciding to appeal a Jan. 27 ruling by a Pennington County jury that absolved Big Sky LLC of any responsibility for the roads, the city expects to sink another $10,000 to $20,000 into a legal battle with an uncertain outcome against a development company that its owner says has no money.

And I think this is a good comparison. Rapid City is a SD city, and the second largest in the State. So why do they see no problem and no legal ramifications with offering this information to their fine citizens, but for some reason we won’t do it in Sioux Falls?

I have been watching the Rapid City mayoral race closely (or somewhat closely) and the first thing I say to my West River brothers is “Why in the Hell would you elect a former Police Chief as mayor?”

Then there is the Landfill issue . . .

Either way, I would think that the good people of Rapid City would be smart enough to NOT elect someone who might be a supposed racist, but what is more troublesome, can’t say “Sorry.”

Not that I would compare our mayor to Allender, but MMM often makes weird statements around minorities (including women), but not in a racist way but more out of ignorance. He told a kid clearly of either Pakistanian or Indian decent (8th grader) at a school in one of his ‘Shut Up and Listen’ sessions that “Just because you are a different color then me, doesn’t mean you can’t be mayor of Sioux Falls.” The kid looked at him like ‘what planet did this guy come from?’

Then he spoke at First Baptist and the crowd was mostly African immigrants, he said to them about code enforcement, “Not only do white people need to be good neighbors, but colored people need to also.”
I know South Dakota is mostly behind the times, but when are we going to get with the program with race relations or at least understanding other cultures? Heck, we had the first Black president of the United States visit our state yesterday (I watched the entire commencement LIVE) and he gave a moving and inspiring message, while our NON-education governor in the background stared at the arena lights.
Pretty amazing that a BLACK man can come to South Dakota and make such an inspiring speech . . . I guess colored folk know how to make speeches to, who knew? 😉

I have often known South Dakotans to be prejudice, but when you are elected to office, you should probably avoid the ‘macca’ moment as much as possible, especially when speaking to REPORTERS!

For months, a city attorney investigation into the conduct of a Rapid City council member has been shrouded in mystery — with details of who was investigated and why kept from public view.

But now, the Journal has learned that the target of the investigation was Ward 1 Council Member Bill Clayton, who faced two separate sets of allegations. One complaint alleges that Clayton made racist comments to an African-American television news reporter during an interview. The other complaint centers on disparaging remarks Clayton reportedly made about fellow Ward 1 Council Member Charity Doyle in August.

Geeesh, and I thought the dirt I had on Councilor Erpenbach was rich, this teabagging birther has her beat, hands down. The part that worries me more is the secrecy around the investigation. Like I said yesterday, that is one reason why I would never file an ethics complaint against Michelle or any other councilor, when the city handles stuff internally, it gets swept under the rug, all behind closed doors.

Hey, Bill, Go back to Bumfck, USA, or wherever you are from . . .

Obviously I have not seen the emails, but my first response would be that Mr. Kooiker was wrongly censored;

Kooiker and Wieczorek went on the offensive for more than an hour, arguing the details of the Rapid Transit incident, the resolution of censure and the actual content of the more than 1,000 pages of e-mails released by the city.

Wieczorek said by definition, harassment means conduct that causes emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose. The e-mails Kooiker sent to both Sagen and Ellis, he said, were primarily seeking answers for constituent questions and concerns.

“Is this harassment of Mr. Sagen?” Wieczorek said. “Was there an attempt at a legitimate purpose?”

Included in the e-mails are one-sentence messages, thank you e-mails, messages repeated multiple times and messages forwarded directly from constituents, Wieczorek said.

“He asks questions in a way that you might not ask questions. But that doesn’t make his questions wrong. He approaches his advocacy for constituents with zeal, with gusto. That doesn’t make that approach wrong. He does not back down, he follows up. That does not make his approach wrong,” Wieczorek said.

The sad part about it was, that Kooiker was looking for answers on throwing away $30,000 in unused transit fliers, then the city spends another $17,000 investigating whether or not he ‘harrassed’ city employees. Talk about a monkey fucking a football. Not only should our elected officials have the right to question department heads, they should be doing it on a regular basis and secondly, these department heads better be giving, honest, timely answers. Who do these people think pays them? A money tree? Taxpayers pay you, and you should have to answer to them. See, in the private sector, when your boss asks you a question, you answer him, you don’t go crying and filing harassment suits because you didn’t like the answer he asked you. Last I checked we are a right-to-work state. Your boss can fire you for any reason, and in the same respect you can quit for any reason. If you don’t like how your employer (the taxpayer) is treating you, then quit, otherwise STFU.

I liked this interview Kooiker did with Stormland TV News. This quote stood out;

“It is part of my responsibility to question how tax dollars are being spent when we have a $140 million budget. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously. This resolution, if it passes, essentially turns council members into rubber stamps,” Kooiker said.

That’s how it works in Sioux Falls. Don’t ask any questions and get out the rubber stamp. That approach has put our city over $330 million dollars in debt and the only thing we have to show for it is monkey crappers and potholes.