Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

UPDATE: As Majority of Sioux Falls City Council prepares to skewer Stehly, they trip over procedure

UPDATE: Belfrage misses the point entirely;

Can someone check on Councilor Starr and see if he’s lost his voice? He left Stehly twisting in the wind without a word.

Hey, McFly, maybe Starr didn’t 2nd the motion, because Stehly got to make her point without the rest of the council beating her up? And that is what exactly what happened. If anyone looked like a winner after the motion didn’t receive a 2nd, it was Theresa, not Paul.

The last item of the night at the city council meeting was under new business and Stehly’s motion to encourage the city to help with storm cleanup. Stehly was actually attempting to amend the motion to actually THANK the city for helping (even though the messaging didn’t align with that from the administration). She never got there, but the public did.

Several people came up to say the city DID help and were thankful, but confused and disappointed with the communication of this help.

So it came time to 2nd Stehly’s motion and NO one did. This killed it, which killed the discussion.

Mission accomplished anyway.

Mayor was told by the public that he needs to be better at planning for disasters and communication. I agree. No need to fight about political grandstanding. Tell it like it is. Help each other and communicate better. End of discussion.

It was refreshing.

I wonder who from the city council staff had to stay late and shred all the vitriol that didn’t get used? Hopefully the mayor gives them one of his lucky coins.

At first I was confused. Then I had a very good laugh. Well played councilor ‘X’. Well played.

Sioux Falls City Council RS5 should audition for Community Theater

It was quite the performance of the RS5 last night and their little parlor trick to make sure the Mayor’s proposed ‘Cult Officer’ got a tie vote so he could break the tie.

Three councilors argued that the mayor could just slide the position thru on the sly, but he chose to be open about it, then they let him have his way by letting him break the tie anyway.

Don’t be fooled by their performances, and Erickson’s classic standby, “I really struggled with this.” The only thing she struggled with was keeping track of the votes, that I can guarantee were counted in advance to make sure the mayor could break the tie and slide it thru.

I’m no expert on HR, and I couldn’t tell you if they need this position or not. But I do agree with one argument, if they do need it, it should be in the HR department, not under the mayor’s department.

Sioux Falls Citizens have little to NO input on city budget

During the last city council race, candidate Nick Weiland suggested that the city implement participatory budgeting. It’s not a new concept, but something that has evolved over the years thru technology.

When Councilor Stehly attended the NLC’s conference a few years ago, she also was introduced to the concept.

We don’t have it in Sioux Falls, in fact, we don’t even have anything that comes close.

I have been following city budgets for the past 13 years, all I have ever seen is a massive growth in government and fewer services for that growth. I believe if citizens were engaged from the get go, those budgets would shrink and we would get more bang and more services (that actually help people) for the buck. Instead we allow city employees shape the budget, and hand it over to the mayor, in which he hands off to the council and us citizens get about 20 minutes for input. It’s disgusting.

First off, according to Charter, the city council should be forming the budget from input from city directors AND citizens. This should be a 12 month, all-year process. Instead they take very little input from citizens, pack it full of non-profit and corporate welfare giveaways, and leave us with a half-mile bike trail expansion and a cement Ping-Pong table.

One reason I didn’t show up last night is because by that time it was too late, the budget was most likely formed MONTHS ago behind closed doors in the mayor’s office. My five minutes don’t mean squat.

But let’s look at the explosive nature of our budget. In 2016 our budget was $471 Million, this year it is $545 Million, a 15% increase in 4 years. Has your wages increased that much? What about your cost of living? In an essence, if you were making $40K in 2016, your wages would be $46K in 2020, a $1,500 raise each year for 4 years. Has that happened in your life? Highly unlikely.

Until the city council (our true representatives of citizens) and the citizens actually have year-long input into the budget, all it represents is growing government for the mayor’s corporate trough friends.

Just look at the people defending the mayor’s mis-communication about citywide cleanup, saying things like, “It’s our personal responsibility” to clean up the city. In some respects I agree with the good pastor who said that, but we all pay taxes collectively so that we have services that we collectively receive and can’t manage to take care of on our own, you know, like educating the masses, building roads and infrastructure, or taking 100 FT tall trees off of our house with a giant tractor/loader.

Not only do we no longer have a say in how our taxes are being spent, we are no longer getting much in return for those high taxes.

Former Lt. Gov. Michaels endorses Beaudion for Sioux Falls City Council

I was pretty surprised when I watched this video and saw Michaels endorsing and introducing Julian (who is a Democrat).

If I was Julian, I would remind voters every single day that as a former law enforcement officer, he would never vote to go into a private/public partnership with a bunch of criminals like Greg did with the bunker ramp. I would make Greg own it every single frickin’ day.

Posted by Julian Beaudion on Friday, September 13, 2019

Mixed Messages and Troublesome Priorities

So we hire private contractors to clean up residential areas while city employees are cleaning up the bike trail?! There was 4 of them. While I do know that cleaning up the bike trail is important and has to be done eventually, shouldn’t the priority be the residential neighborhoods first?

And apparently NOW the city says they ‘could’ pick up your stuff if you cannot;

Funny, as I predicted, TenHaken had a change of heart after Stehly and Starr put a motion forward. Heck, Neitzert’s FB post from below even disappeared. I wonder why? But the bigger issue is the mixed messages out there, citizens are confused why the city is picking up stuff when they said they would not. Many people have told me that the private contractors have been picking up all waste in the boulevard and have been asking NO questions about where it came from. So are they NOT following orders? Who knows? I guess one resident said that Councilor Kiley told some people to stop putting their private property waste in the boulevard, they ignored him and guess what? They picked it up. So I’m telling people, just drag it out there, they will probably pick it up.

Somebody asked me if I volunteered? I did not. Nobody asked me for help, in fact one of my friends asked ME if I needed help, I told him NO.

You will see that Neitzert calls the motion a political stunt. Greg can say some pretty ridiculous things (probably why he took it down). When a natural disaster occurs you have to have a multiple tiered approach. They definately should include volunteers, and I commend people for that. But it also should include a government response with assistance in cleanup. All people are asking for is that the rubbish be removed from the boulevard, they will do the work to get it out there. Why is this so complicated?

I will say it again, we pay taxes and maintain a reserve fund for these kind of events. This is NOT a handout, we will be paying for it. Not sure why the mayor is acting like the city doesn’t have two nickels to rub together.

The only political stunt occurring is the mayor and some city councilors acting like they know how to lead, because they are failing miserably.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Stehly & Starr propose resolution for storm cleanup

At Tuesday’s meeting a resolution will be proposed to help with storm cleanup. Many residents throughout the city have been reaching out to councilors about picking up branches from private property ‘IF’ left in the boulevard by the curb like they did with the ice storm.

Even though the RS5 normally votes against these things, I have a feeling this will get the support of all 8 councilors. I would go even one step forward and guess PTH made have a change of heart over the weekend and implement this himself on Monday or before.

The rumor is that the administration is calling this a ‘HANDOUT’ instead of a handup. I guess filling potholes, building streets, clean water and educating little Johnny is a ‘HANDOUT’ to. Cleaning up after natural disasters is a duty of our government, this is what we pay taxes for.

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Councilor Neitzert’s challenger needs to learn the rules of engagement

UPDATE: I see after 4 years on the city council, Neitzert really has nothing to say about his service. It’s all about the Benjamins.

So I have been hearing for the last couple of months that the owner of Swamp Daddy’s would be challenging Neitzert, he will announce formally tonight.

But Mr. Beaudion needs to learn a little about challenging a popular incumbent;

“My campaign has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with the people of Sioux Falls,” Beaudion told the Argus Leader Friday morning. “I’m not running against Greg. I’m running for the people.”

Oh boy, another one of these positive campaigner. For the record, I have never spoken to or met Julian.

If you are going to beat a popular incumbent like Neitzert, you need to reveal the bad aspects of his record, and he has quite the list. He has flip-flopped on about every issue from the city administration building, bunker ramp, tax increases, and numerous zoning issues.

In order to ‘beat’ your opponent, you have to show us why you would do a better job, in other words you need to counter Neitzert at every front, and confront him about his horrible record. Simply just telling us you are running for ‘US’ won’t cut it, and Neitzert will easily beat you.

To tell you the truth, I would like to see a lot more people in that race.

Local Govt entities join forces to become ‘Sioux Falls OP-OUT’

For years, there has been a push for Minnehaha County and the City of Sioux Falls to join forces and become one. With this merger, they went even a step further. The City of Sioux Falls, the County and also the School District are now all one entity called ‘Sioux Falls OP-OUT’

County Treasurer Stan Neilson said, “So many people are confused about where their property taxes go, and with all these increases by all three entities, this will just make it easier to raise . . . uh . . . I mean ‘regulate’ your property taxes.”

So with this change I wondered if it would actually save taxpayers millions in employee salaries and benefits since a lot of the jobs could be combined.

“Highly unlikely,” said HR director for the city, Bud Da’Toole, “We are going to actually ADD more employees, mostly in management, because we will need a lot of middle managers to handle the transition, I also expect the the administrators to double in the education side of the deal.”

There was one bright spot in the whole transition though, and good news in the Parks and Rec department. Parks Director Dave Kornhole explains, “We figured since we are paying teachers a yearly salary anyway, they might as well work the entire year, so during the summer we will have teachers working in our parks mowing grass and during winter break we will have them plowing streets.”

I wondered if teachers would be qualified to plow the streets. Street director Kyle Skidmore said, “Like our current snowplow operators, if they don’t know how to use the snowgates properly, they’ll just skip a driveway or two.”

Some wondered who would be the administrator of this new unity. Would it be the mayor, the superintendent or the commission chair? Former county chair Sandy Highpants said that was an easy decision, “I’m in charge. I’m always in charge.”

We asked superintendent Bruce Mauler if he was aware of the new leadership decision. “Yeah, she may be ‘in charge’ but we all know who makes the decisions around this joint, behind closed doors of course.”

Mayor TwoSh*ts was unavailable for comment because he was busy with a SELFIE Shoot by a hat rack at Flying J Truckstop.

We also wondered what the legislative makeup would be. City council chair Marty Selless said that the first process would be asking any of the board members of each of the entities if they would want to resign. The only taker so far was Commissioner Jesse Farth who told Marty, “I’m outta here suckers!”

The second step of elimination would be done during a joint meeting with all three bodies. “Basically, whoever falls asleep during that meeting or is caught texting would be eliminated. We figured that should whittle us down to about 5 members” said Selless.

So there you have it, in the name of even higher property taxes, we have made government more efficient.

Kudos to Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr!

In one of the most disappointing nights I have seen in a very long time, only one councilor opposed the property tax increase, Starr. I would have least thought I would have seen Stehly voting against this to (She told me she is voting NO on the 2nd reading).

Councilor Pat Starr, though, stood alone in opposing the annual increase, voting against moving the budget on to a second and final vote next week. He said in the same way that not taking those dollars have an accumulative effect on the city’s budget, property owners also feel the year-after-year impact of annual property taxes. And in a time when affordable housing is a challenge in Sioux Falls, making property ownership more expensive isn’t something he will support, he said.


One of the leading arguments was maintaining our INSANE 25% reserve. I’ve never understood how we can allow local governments to essentially horde money. WHY!? They say it is for ’emergencies’. Hogwash! We have several options,

• We could get money from the Feds and FEMA (which we have had to do several times)

• We could get a loan from either the state or

• We could bond. We are always hearing about our great bond rating, so if we need emergency money, why not just bond it?

Government should never have a savings account on the backs of increasing taxes, especially property taxes, but this town has gone hog wild in raising our property taxes, this past year it seemed like a weekly event.

Councilor Greg Neitzert said the 2.4% increase is necessary to keep up with not just inflationary costs, but also the 3% cost of living increases granted to the three city employee unions during the last round of labor negotiations. Not taking it means structural, systematic cuts would need to be made to counter sacrificing the statutorily allowed increase, he said.

“If people can find a million and a half dollars of frivolous spending in the general fund, I challenge that,” Neitzert said. “I’m just going to urge that we do the right thing and the tough thing and approve a modest increase.”

Hey Greg, ever heard of this thing called CUTS?! Neitzert even had the nerve to call himself a fiscal conservative. I about spit tea thru my nose. When the working class of this town get 1% or 0% raises, guess what they do, they make cuts to their budgets. I guess the city is getting worried because 20% of it’s municipal employees are going to retire in the next 5 years (or something close to that). I look at this as a prime opportunity to cut the top fat and save citizens millions by not hiring replacements without the hassle of laying off or firing civil service employees. If I was the city council and mayor, I would look at this as a gift.

It seems the only thing Sioux Falls city government is good at these days is raising taxes and growing while the rest of us watch our wallets shrink into oblivion.

City of Sioux Falls to have meeting about homeless issues at a Wine Bar

Oh, I had to do a double-take when I saw this;

Sioux Falls City Councilors and other City officials will meet with members of the Whitter neighborhood business community Wednesday.

The meeting is at 1 p.m. at the R Wine meeting room, 322 East 8th Street.

According to an email from planning and development services, the meeting has been officially noticed so Councilors can attend.

The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House and the Union Gospel Mission will discuss their programs’ policies and things that have worked and not worked for them over the years. The Sioux Falls Police will also discuss how they have been trying to address issues in the neighborhood.

Would you like a little cheese with your ‘whine’ business owner? When the city has a meeting, they should have it in a city owned building with FREE daytime parking. While I like Ricardo’s place, it is certainly not the appropriate venue for discussing this issue.

It makes me wonder if they are trying to get ‘certain’ people out of the discussion. I know that when councilor Stehly organized the first meeting, Grant Houwman (Million Dollar Condos/TIF Funding man-Washington Square) interjected himself and tried to cause a little chaos by inviting more councilors to create a quorum issue (I see they fixed that this time). He seems to have some butt hurt issues over Stehly. My philosophy is that you don’t always have to agree with a politician on every issue, but if you are both working towards the same result, it’s best to suck it up, and work together. This is what has often irritated me about the RS5, they just simply made a pact to vote against anything the RW3 wants to do, whether it is good or not. As I told a gentleman last night who follows the blog, “City government is one step forward and three steps back. It’s getting worse.”