Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Lincoln, NE Police Chief inquiry includes input from the Public, a National Search and recognizing Experience and Diversity

Sioux Falls is often compared to Lincoln due to similarities in size (they have about 100K more people). Recently they started a search for a new police chief. The first thing they did was engage the public before the search even started asking them in a public forum what they wanted in a new chief. They also performed a National search in which 3 of the 4 finalists come from other states, and only one candidate is internal (currently a retired Captain from the force). They also have tons of experience (Between 20-30 years) and notice that TWO are women and THREE are minority.

I’m not saying Sioux Falls should do identical to what Lincoln did, but it is obvious they put a little effort into it, instead of turning on the cruise control. Often when I am critical of our city government I will bring up openness, ethics and competency. This contrast between Lincoln and Sioux Falls blatantly shows how we have a ‘go it alone’ attitude instead of learning from other communities. One of the reasons we send our elected officials to national governing conferences is to learn from other communities (and I am NOT talking about that right-winger conference Neitzert went to) I’m talking about non-partisan events like National League of Cities.

The contrast between how Lincoln did this and how we did this is startling, and frankly pretty embarrassing.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda June 14-15, 2021

Police Chief Finalists Meet and Greet • Monday June 14 • 5:30 PM, Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion

The public is invited to meet the final candidates for the City’s next Police Chief during a “Conversation with the Candidates” event at 5:30 p.m. June 14 in the Belbas Theater at the Washington Pavilion. The final candidates for the position are Lt. Nick Cook and Lt. Jonathan Thum, who both currently serve with the Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD).

The event will be an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves to the community. A meet and greet will be held from 5:30-6 p.m. in the Belbas Lobby, followed by a moderated conversation from 6:15-7 p.m. with the candidates in the Belbas Theater. Attendees will be able to suggest questions for the candidates prior to entering the theater.

Districting Commission • Monday June 14 • 5:30 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

(Yeah, apparently the city needs to schedule this important meeting at the same time as meeting the Police Chief candidates. I often tell people when it comes to openness in government it’s the smallest and simplest things, like not scheduling two important meetings at the same time. Open government is NOT complicated and doesn’t need someone to provide recommendations or a list as many have asked me to do. I have often said, if it doesn’t have to do with city employees private records or pending litigation, it should be open for review by the public, and that’s basically what state law says also.)

The Commission will discuss maps and a timeline.

Informational Meeting • Tuesday June 15 • 4 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

Presentations on the USD Discovery Center (I think they will be asking for more money from the city), the May Financial Report and Workforce Housing Study (and as I mentioned above, only one of the presentations has supporting docs already posted. Not sure why these cannot already be posted before Tuesday. It’s the simple things folks, like allowing citizens to review documents before the meeting).

Regular Meeting • Tuesday June 15 • 6 PM • Carnegie Town Hall

TIFs and a lot of other garbage.

City of Sioux Falls Housing Funding is Hypocritical

First off, many have wondered what happened to the housing coordinator. Not sure if Chellee Unruh was terminated or quit, but I guess she departed in April with no fanfare and no press release from City Hall. Seems a lot of Paul’s directors seem to disappear these days in the dark of night. There are often rumors of termination but no verifications from the big man himself. He must be busy taking selfies on bike rides or something. There was even a funny rumor a few weeks ago that Stoneless fired a public works minion (personally) after a citizen video-taped him flipping the bird. Not sure if that is true, but if it is, I got a good laugh. Hope he gave him a hug and a Guadd Bles Yah before he walked off.

Either or on housing, yesterday at the informational meeting a non-profit wants $500K from the city for a victim’s home for women saved from the sex trafficking industry. While I have no issues with this funding (except that they are probably one of those Christian conversion places) I find it a bit ironic that this administration AND police department can’t get a handle on all the illegal massage going on in our community when they know exactly where these places are. Heck, everyone knows where they are. You would have to be a complete dolt to not know where to get a tug and rub in Sioux Falls!

I think if I was on the council I would include an extra $1 million to the sex crimes unit with the PD to show that they are serious about it, I would also get the new Police Chief to make it his top priority. Kind of seems pointless to help a victim’s home if we are not going to do anything to stop these businesses in Sioux Falls. Isn’t prevention the key?

Also, doesn’t anyone find it a bit odd when these rare stings happen, the ‘victims’ are always apprehended but somehow the Johns and Pimps slip a way? Things that make you go Hmmmm.

UPDATE: David Z will be asking the Sioux Falls Ethics Commission on Tuesday to investigate the widespread bribery in elected city officials

UPDATE: As I predicted, the Ethics Board slithered their way out of doing their job by saying they didn’t define the word ‘common’ very well. You can’t make this crap up. I was waiting for Bill Clinton to pop out of the back and say, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” A video of the meeting will be posted soon.

The meeting on June 8 at 1:30 PM will review David’s complaint. Basically when the city council let Councilor Neitzert get away with taking a bribe (and also the Mayor) they said that these kind of gifts were common practice and the council needed to tighten up the rules. David is asking them to investigate these bribes if this so widespread. It will be interesting to hear how they worm their way out of this one.

On a separate note, the complaint filed against Neitzert was appealed by the Complainant and is still pending.

Minnehaha County Commission proposing Med Mary ordinance identical to the City of Sioux Falls, The Big Stall

This is what happens when our local lawmakers have secret meetings to concoct ordinances without public input. Minnehaha’s ordinance is almost identical to the city’s being voted on Tuesday night.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, June 8, 2021

Ethics Commission Meeting • 1:30 PM • Commission Chambers at City Hall

David Zokaites is asking for an investigation into widespread bribes and Councilor Janet Brekke is looking to start ethics training for elected officials.

Informational • 4 PM

• Southeast Technical College General Updates by Bob Griggs, President, Southeast Technical College (I think this is a yearly update because I think the city does give funding to the school)

• YMCA Downtown Community Youth Center and Call to Freedom – Marissa’s Housing Project by Mike Murphy, YMCA Interim President and CEO; and Becky Rasmussen, Call to Freedom Executive Director (I’m not sure what this is about, but they may be getting affordable housing funding from the city, but I have no idea).

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #14, 2nd Reading, Motorized Foot Scooters (This item is being withdrawn. I wonder if they will re-visit it after fixing it and meeting with the public, which they should have done to begin with).

Item #15, 1st Reading, An ordinance sponsored by the Mayor to ‘stall’ Med Mary in Sioux Falls until the state comes up with regulation. So the mayor and council have decided to do nothing until October. Cruise control government at its finest;

WHEREAS, medical cannabis state laws under SDCL 34-20G are effective July 1, 2021. The
South Dakota Department of Health shall promulgate rules pursuant to Chapter 1-26 not later
than October 29, 2021, as defined by SDCL 34-20G-72. During the time between July 1, 2021,
and potentially as late as October 29, 2021, local units of government will not yet know
standards for medical cannabis and will not be able to adequately assess the local zoning and
licensing requirements necessary to approve local permits and to better ensure applicants have a
more predictable permitting process and avoid stranded investments;

Item #16, 1st Reading, the council is reorganizing the committee structure and creating a regulatory committee, which is ironic, because this is already their duty according to the charter.

Public Input at Sioux Falls City Council and Planning Meetings

FF: 1:38 (official newspaper of Sioux Falls city government)

FF: 1:49:45 (Med Mary Task Force)

FF: 2:12 (Regular Public Input, TIFs and riding scooters on the sidewalk)

FF: 1:06:50 & 1:17:45 (TIF)

FF: 1:25:15 (Public Input, Recommended Approval)

Idiotic Electric Foot Scooter ordinance will be withdrawn

I was actually surprised this was not pulled and killed last Tuesday in the 1st Reading. While I support these devices in Sioux Falls, and really don’t care who rents them out, they belong on the street not on the sidewalk;

The program brought up several concerns for downtown Sioux Falls, including how they would be regulated, like restricting speed and where scooters would have access to ride in the downtown area.

“We haven’t even gathered all of our data from our members, which is exactly why we had this town hall today and we heard a little bit from them. You know, the fun factor of electric scooters downtown versus the need for them, the safety and the pedestrian traffic. We are a very walkable density populated downtown. We feel like people can walk from store A to store B,” said Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Griffin.

He is correct about the walkability, and exactly the reason they should not be on sidewalks. I think they should just restrict them to side streets and not allow them on thoroughfares like Minnesota and 41st street and arterials.

I think the reason this was pulled is because Downtown business owners got pretty irate about the fact they were not included in discussions before this made it to the council agenda. As I said earlier, this is what happens when you don’t include the public in these discussions and just ramrod laws thru you concocted in a dark room. OPEN government is essential to GOOD government. I wonder if the city council will ever learn this?

UPDATE: So now the Sioux Falls City Council is just deleting (censoring) the meeting videos?

UPDATE: The meeting has been fixed. Last night it was missing about the last 30 minutes.

So I showed up late to the City Council meeting last night and did public input on some items towards the end and mysteriously, that part of the meeting is missing.

I’m going to be nice, or at least ‘TRY’ to be nice 🙂

I could go on rants about open government, the 1st Amendment, the violation of State Law, etc., oh I just did.

But how is that a city with a $700 million dollar yearly budget can’t rebroadcast their public meetings in their entirety?

When I look at the city council in action it reminds me of this image;

BUELLER? BUELLER? BUELLER? HAS ANYONE SEEN BUELLER?

The sad irony is the city could rebroadcast these meetings on YouTube, FOR FREE.

Proposed Sioux Falls Scooter ordinance is proof why open government is important

As I suspected a local (wealthy) business person gave the legislature and some city councilors a gentle nudge so he could operate a scooter rental business. While Mr. Holt’s testimony was about running a Ma and Pa business, we know he isn’t short on the cash flow. But that doesn’t matter to me, I actually support this kind of business and think it is something Sioux Falls should have.

What I found shocking was they want the scooters to operate ONLY on the sidewalks of downtown. WTF?

I know, when I first heard it today, I wondered if this was some kind of joke. Even councilors Nietzert and Kiley were like no can do. In other cities where these operate (I just witnessed them in San Diego) they must be operated on the street, because they can do around 25 miles per hour. And like riding a bicycle or skateboard on the sidewalk (which is illegal DTSF) it’s dangerous to pedestrians and the riders.

While I could go on a very long, or short rant (like I did tonight at the council meeting) about the idiocy of riding a motorized scooter on a sidewalk, I’m not going to go there. You get it, this isn’t rocket science, though physics are involved.

This is what happens when you have a mentally ill and dull legislature pass laws which they pass down to municipalities with little to no public input, not even from experts. Just how can my rich buddy start his own multiple injury scooter business.

And on top of it, the city councilors proposing this The Count and Heels, didn’t even bother to have a little public input on the topic.

Riding an electric powered scooter on the sidewalk for ‘safety’ is like scooping manure out of hog lot barefoot so you don’t get your 5-Buckle overboots dirty.

I know, they could turn Carnegie Town Hall into a comedy club if it wasn’t so tragic.