Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, MONDAY Oct 18, 2021

As you can see the City Council will meet on Monday instead of Tuesday this week. Have no idea why, because, as you know, this council and administration are not real big on transparency.

At the informational meeting they will discuss the September financials and a sewer study (which means spending more money 🙁 and a fun filled executive session. Is it just me, or does this administration have an unusual amount of these? Oh, right, the secrecy and corruption thing again.

At the regular city council meeting, it is pretty sleepy except for item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub-item #9; Engagement Agreement to Provide Legal Services as Plaintiff’s Counsel, Woods Fuller Shultz & Smith P.C., $20K. Could we be more vague? It seems this administration is getting sued quite a bit. Who is the ‘Plaintiff’? Is it a city employee? An elected official? Shall we play Bingo to figure it out?

Item #31, 1st Reading, addresses the Historic Neighborhood vote the Planning Commission decided to throw into the consent agenda and have a zero discussion about.

Item #43, 1st Reading, raises the vacant building fee from $200 per year to $1,000 per year. I fully support this. I have a property owner in my neighborhood who has had 3 vacant houses and several other commercial buildings for several years (10 years? 15th and Cliff). They have now become a dumping ground for his junk vehicles, tractors, trailers and whatever other crap he can throw there. I have pressured the city numerous times to at least get him to clean up the property and rent out the houses with NO avail. But as I have said in the past, it isn’t happening on White Church Lane, so it doesn’t matter.

Items #45-46, resolutions, more (Covid) money to welfare queens, Lewis & Clark. Once these guys see a government tap of money, they come a running, and now strangely, the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, City Council is authorizing monies from the State of Iowa. Did GOP chair, Iowa Dan Lederman have something to do with this?

Item #47, As we all know, the city plans to sell the parking lot directly South of the downtown Ace Hardware to Lloyd properties to build an apartment building. I may be wrong about the developer, but this sh!t show has been in the works for so long, if they sold it to someone else I would be totally shocked. This, of course, is what happens when you have a former executive from the company working as the mayor’s chief of shaft. It will be curious what kind of ‘deal’ they receive for the property and other tax incentive goodies for building an apartment building in the heart of downtown.

Item #48 is curious since there is NO attached documents telling us what this surplus property is. Shady I tell yah, very Shady!

Sioux Falls Media ignoring the issues with the Bishop Dudley House neighborhood, and it’s PATHETIC!

As we know this happened this week;

A Sioux Falls man who was stabbed in the head earlier this week has died in a hospital, police say. 
Christopher Joel Mousseaux, 32, was stabbed Sunday night and died Wednesday night, police spokesman Sam Clemens said. An autopsy was set to be performed Thursday.
Steven Tuopeh, 26, and Jeff Pour, 28, were arrested separately on Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault, Clemens said.
Mousseaux was stabbed around 10:30 p.m. Sunday near Eighth Street and Indiana Avenue, Clemens said.


For several months the Dudley House exterior property and adjacent public property has been the stomping ground for transients not allowed in the facility. They have been crapping, urinating, drinking, shootin’ up, fighting, sleeping and fornicating on the property or adjacent public property. Neighborhood complaints have been lodged at the SFPD, the Sioux Falls City Council, the Mayor, the Catholic Diocese who runs the house, the house director herself and several other organizations who assist the facility to no avail.

Now we have a person who has been murdered. Stabbed and beaten to death.

(the incident supposedly started at a bar on 8th and occurred directly North of the Dudley in a parking lot the volunteers use at the Banquet)


The media really needs to report the facts of what is going on in and around the Dudley House in that neighborhood, this is NOT a random isolated incident, the area around this facility has fallen into complete chaos and NOBODY wants to fix it and the MEDIA is dead silent about it.


We may humor the term ‘Fake News’ but in Sioux Falls we have ‘No News’.


It seems the city is handling this like they handled Covid, ignore it and maybe it will eventually go away.

Merkouris Announces Candidacy for Sioux Falls City Council, At-Large B

Rich personally asked me today to share this, and I appreciate him reaching out. I will post any candidate information if they send it to me;

Rich Merkouris, a respected faith and community leader, has announced his intention to seek a seat on the Sioux Falls City Council in the 2022 elections. He will be a candidate for the At-Large B seat held by Christine Erickson. The election is April 12, 2022.

“My commitment as a Councilor would be to listen, communicate and collaborate,’’ Merkouris, 39, said. “I will work hard to hear the concerns of citizens, share my perspective and work alongside others to find compromise for the good of all citizens.’’

Merkouris, a Sioux Falls resident for 20 years, serves as President of Kingdom Capital Fund and Senior Pastor of King of Glory Church. He is on the board of directors for Empower Sioux Falls, Compassion Child Care, and the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition. He has helped lead multiple collaborative efforts in Sioux Falls including the development of the Empower Campus, the formation of the Sioux Falls Hope Coalition and housing re-development in Pettigrew Heights. Over the last eleven years, Merkouris has served as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Sioux Falls Police Department and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.

Merkouris pledged to focus on several critical issues, including strengthening housing options, renewing core neighborhoods, enhancing public spaces, lowering youth crime, and encouraging collaboration across all segments of the community.

“I love Sioux Falls and believe it is the best city in which to raise a family,’’ he said. “Our family has been given so much by this community. We want to strengthen it so that every family can flourish in this city. It would be a great honor to represent citizens from all different parts of the community on the City Council.”

Merkouris and his wife, Shannon, a special education teacher at John Harris Elementary School, have three children: Hannah, Henry and Hazel.

EDITOR’s NOTE: I personally have NOT endorsed anyone for this seat. Rich is the first to announce and the only candidate so far for AT-LARGE B (Erickson’s current seat).

I have argued for a long time that religion and politics don’t mix and I don’t think a pastor or faith leader should be an elected official. Either pick to lead a congregation, a non-profit or a city, you just can’t do all three. I fully support separation of church and state and I really don’t care about anyone’s arguments against it because you are not only ethically wrong, it is a violation of the US Constitution.

It is also important to note that Rich was a part of the group that received city funds for rental assistance. It said this in that agreement with the city;

The Organization shall provide the City with reasonable documentation of distribution of the grant funds upon request by the City.

At this point this group has NOT provided the city council OR the citizens an audit of how the money was spent and who it was sent to. I would appreciate before Rich moves any further into his candidacy he explains where my tax dollars went. I have personally heard a lot of gossip, but until the group comes clean with documentation, I’m tempted to believe some of it. For instance, were the landlords forced to only except 70% as a full rent payment? Has all of the money been spent? Where did it all go?

This is what I said when it was proposed at the City Council meeting;

What is wrong here is the delivery system because it lacks transparency. It would be logical to assume no matter who pays for this the money will be direct payments to the property owners of the rentals. But by transferring public dollars to a private fund, the taxpayers will never see who is receiving these funds. Once again, I will stress, this is not about knowing the names of the renters, they will not be an equation in this because they will never see the money, it’s about knowing what property owners are receiving the payments. Will it be the big guys? The little guys? Will it be evenly spread between them? We will never know because the city will be giving up their rights to transparency by having a private non-profit distribute the money.

As I said, nothing personal against Rich, but he needs to do some housekeeping before moving forward especially after hearing the rumor he was personally recruited by Mayor Poops and promised the Pot of Gold that goes along with that support.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. -JC

UPDATE: Results of Sioux Falls Garbage Survey are strange

UPDATE: As I suspected today during the informational, the Public Works department dropped their bomb. The garbage haulers want curbside service, don’t want to give a discount for it, and get this, want to charge extra for VALET service (what we currently receive by ordinance). The city council did push back and said a larger discussion must be had first. As I predicted, big business in Sioux Falls wants to get their way, and there is NO way it will trickle down to the citizen consumers. We will see what the rubberstamp council decides, but I’m guessing we (working stiff citizens) will lose in the end, with less service and higher rates. Isn’t deregulation wonderful?

Oh, and if you want a real get in the sack, watch public input during the regular council meeting tonight. Sierra drops the bomb on the Dudley House situation and one lady testifies the Covid vaccination is a bitcoin injection that will be turned on with a micro-chip activated by 5G phones to steal our bank accounts and kill us. LMFAO!

While around 58% of respondents were ok with putting garbage cans at curbside that was about the only clear answer we received.

RESULTS

Some don’t want government to tell garbage haulers what to do, which means the (private haulers) will be telling the consumers what to do and the very reason we have regulation that apparently people don’t want.

And while most consumers agree customer service and price is what they look for most, only around half think they should get a better deal because of curbside. Around another half think it is okay to take the cans to curbside, they just want the hauler to return them to beside their house. So about HALF want HALF-WAY curbside.

The comments are also interesting to read, over 70 pages of them.

I have argued for a long time leave it up to the CONSUMER to decide if they want to take it to curbside, and if so sign a contract with the hauler that says if you do this 100% of the time you will receive a discounted rate in your next bill.

Also, in the comment section, many people feel the city should be broken up in districts so garbage collection only occurs once a week on your block instead of multiple haulers picking up multiple days at multiple times.

I have said for a long time a money and time saving solution to all this madness is for the city to contract with the top haulers (like they do with snow removal) and make it a public system using private haulers. We could supply them their fuel and charge NO tipping fees. We would pay the companies directly for volume and the city would bill you for the garbage fee in your water/sewer bill. You could have the option of having curbside or by your house pickup and one hauler would come to your block once a week.

Many have argued competition keeps prices lower. There really isn’t competition in Sioux Falls. In fact, with all of the companies Waste Management has bought up there really is only one major hauler, them.

One of the main reasons I have argued against curbside is because the haulers are not willing to give a discount for helping them out with fuel and labor costs.

If the council makes changes to curbside, the haulers MUST be willing to discount for that kind of service, but like TIFs they will argue the trickle down economic benefits to the rest of us without actual deliverance of those benefits. Think about it, the results came out on August 20th and the public works department has been fiddling with how they are going to spin this to the public and the council for almost 2 months! In the end we will get screwed.

I truly think the haulers want to save money on labor and fuel, but they also want to put that savings right into their pockets, and frankly, that’s a bunch of garbage.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 12, 2021

Pretty sleepy, unless you are into the garbage ruse;

Are White Older Women under represented on the Sioux Falls City Council?

https://michaelliedtke.com/journal/2015/bobbi-andera

City Council Candidate Bobbi Andera wants people to know she’s an ‘older woman’ and apparently a red wine drinker.

As the bar for being a City Councilor gets lower by the second, sometimes you see stuff on the organization forms that make you, well, laugh, really hard, for a long time;

As you can see the section she filled out refers to PACs and NOT to candidates.

I’m not sure what kind of candidate Bobbi will be, but she must have one heckuva of a dating profile.

Speaking of AT-Large, I have noticed on the city website, they no longer list the 3 At-Large seats as A, B and C like they used to. So I’m sure there was some confusion when she filed her paperwork. Not sure why those designations were removed? Just the continued WAR on transparent and open government.

Sioux Falls Cannabis Raffle

Guest Post by Emmett Reistroffer

Who wants a dispensary license? Step right up and buy your raffle tickets! No limit on how many tickets you can buy. That’s right folks. Just $75,000 Dollars, now who’s ready to test their odds?

All satire aside, this is a very serious issue and shows why policy details matter. Not only policy details – but how city attorney’s and bureaucrats interpret policies. The Sioux Falls cannabis licensing ordinance (#105-21) clearly states, under Section 121.003 (Licensing of Medical Cannabis Dispensary and Testing Facility), sub-section (a)(E)(2) “Only one application per location is allowed.
At no time during council discussion did the City Attorney point out that this would be interpreted differently. According to the City Attorney, it’s only one application per location, per applicant. “Applicant” is not tied to the individual, but it’s tied to the ‘entity’ which applies. So, Mr. Monopoly can create 100 separate LLCs, and submit 100 separate applications, all listing the same location/address, and thus drastically increase the odds that Mr. Monopoly gets a license over his other less-funded competitors. It’s also not just a matter of who has the most funding at their disposal, but who genuinely follows the process according to the spirit of law versus those who are willing to exploit a “loophole”. Unfortunately, the way loopholes work, it doesn’t matter where you stand on it ethically – the outcome is based entirely on how it stands legally. If it’s legal to form the 100 LLCs and submit 100 applications – then at the end of the day that’s all that matter and the applicant willing to do that absolutely will have the greatest odds at getting a license.

This can be prevented and fixed. The path of least resistance would be for the administration to put its foot down and change its position. The administration should stick to, “only one application per location” per the plain meaning of the language of the ordinance. They could accept an application listing an address, and then deny all other subsequent applications that list the same address (first come first serve), OR the city could just simply deny all applications submitted which list the same address. Either way, if the city is very clear in its position and in the application instructions – then this issue can be easily preventable.

If this requires a policy change, then that’s more difficult. That would require Council to call an emergency meeting and get a majority of council to agree to an amendment. I’m not very optimistic, however I am grateful for Councilors Brekke, Neitzert and Erickson who have all responded to my concern with an open mind, and have indicated they’re all working in various ways to find a solution. However, like I said, an administrative fix would be the quickest and easiest path to a solution, and a legislative fix is up against a tight timeline and would require a majority of council to act in agreement.

Ultimately, if the city doesn’t fix the loophole – then I have no doubt this will end up in the courts and the city attorney’s interpretation will come into question. This will cost the city time and money and delay the opening of medical cannabis dispensaries in Sioux Falls.

Regardless, my group is working to draft an ordinance that is legally sound and based on fairness and gives the voters what they want. Our ordinance will not include a licensing cap or lottery, and it will generally allow a free market – balanced with common sense zoning requirements and setbacks (away from schools, parks, daycares etc.). We don’t want dispensaries to be open on every corner, and we also don’t want the city conducting lotteries or creating processes that allow big money unfair advantage over others.
Here are some links to demonstrate how licensing lotteries are riddled with problems:


https://www.denverpost.com/2021/10/05/broomfield-marijuana-licenses-lottery-lawsuit-terrapin/


https://harrisbricken.com/cannalawblog/was-the-illinois-cannabis-dispensary-lottery-rigged-sure-looks-like-it/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/marijuana/illinois/ct-illinois-marijuana-license-lottery-qualified-20210728-dncra2em3fhhjeel2isr3ew7am-story.html


Best,
Emmett Reistroffer

MJ Advocate Reistroffer proves the incompetence of the City of Sioux Falls Attorney Stacy Kooistra

So Emmett dropped this bomb on the city council last night;

Emmett Reistroffer, a consultant for medical cannabis businesses, believes the current interpretation of the new application process by the city attorney’s office could lead to out-of-state interests exploiting a loophole that could have a business entity or individual submit multiple applications and then squeeze out local business people.


Reistroffer told the City Council during public comment that to ensure a level playing field, they should limit the applications to one per location.

Emmett told me last week he had been in a back and forth with the city attorney’s office about this for weeks with no avail. This is why he showed up during public input last night to inform the council about the issues.

When the MED MJ ordinances were being debated, Councilor Brekke also questioned the City Attorney if the lottery system was even legal. Remember, Janet was the first full-time city attorney, she doesn’t take this lightly.

I have known for a very long time that our city attorney who is trained in military law, knows next to nothing about city law and also struggles with 1st Amendment Constitutional law. Usually if he doesn’t know the answer, he doesn’t answer the question which is happening a lot these days.

Some quick advice for candidates running for local office

I have noticed that several people are now announcing for city races. As I watch this process I see several missteps. As a person who has directly worked with candidates on 5 winning campaigns I want to share some brief advice;

• Never run your own campaign or be your own treasurer. Have a campaign manager who has a winning record and experience.

• Never mention the party you are in unless asked directly (especially in a non-partisan race). I actually recommend people register independent before running in non-partisan races.

• Use your friends for volunteering and raising money do NOT use them for campaign advice (they will only tell you what you want to hear and will never give you critical advice).

• Spend money on a competent walking and mailing list.

• Knock on the doors of voters that wouldn’t normally vote for a candidate like you and keep notes of all your engagements (for revisits).

• Have a clear, simple and concise message and logo and find a good writer who will proofread and edit your materials and speeches.

• Make sure your website and other media works before you announce.

• Invite strangers and the press to engage you whenever possible and don’t keep secrets.

• Vet all of your skeletons before announcing.

• Don’t respond to negative or false information.

• Admit and apologize for any accusations that are true immediately and don’t dwell or play the victim.

• Never use your opponent(s) name when publicly discussing their failures. Pretend you are the only one in the race. Only offer new solutions to their bad policies.

• Target likely voters. Don’t waste money on billboards, yard signs, TV and Radio ads or EDDM mailings (Every Door Direct).

• Smile, stay upbeat and positive.

Read this book!

I have not been asked to help any candidate so far in this election cycle, but will likely be involved in a couple of the campaigns before the election but those candidates haven’t announced yet. If you want my help, I only have one request, you have to allow me to be ‘all in’ when it comes to strategy, and you have to be willing to take criticism (probably the main reason people didn’t ask me in the last city election 🙂

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 4-6, 2021

The City Council and other boards have a full agenda this week;

The Audit Committee has finally released some audits, been awhile. On Spectra (the people who provide concessions to several city owned entertainment facilities) they found a ton of non-compliance especially with insurance requirements. On the Midco Aquatic Center they have seen an over 50% drop in attendance since 2019 and around a 40% drop in revenue. They were also non-compliant on several fronts and like the Spectra Audit it seems our own Finance Department is not doing regular checks of compliance. For Travel expenses there was several instances of non-compliance. $137,000 travel reimbursements paid directly to travelers (city employees). Many of these results don’t surprise me. I have said the City Manager (The Mayor) is running a rudderless ship and when you have a poor city manager, it results in poor management under that person.

The Planning Commission has decided to go full rogue by putting every single item on the consent agenda this month. Now items can be pulled for discussion by the Commission or Individuals from the public but I find this startling considering that all items are recommended for approval by the Planning Department and I am sure several Commission Members will recuse due to conflicts. Folks, this is what true cruise control government looks like. I am still puzzled why we even have a Planning Commission.

The Charter Revision Commission will continue to review the Charter.

City Council Informational will review building code changes.

City Council Regular Meeting;

On the contracts and agreements (Item 6) in sub items 17-18 they are paying this consulting firm out of Florida to do this?

And of course sub item #38 where we are reviewing the Human Relations Commission.