Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Remembering our Dear Friend Kermit Staggers

Kermit died one year ago today. He was my mentor and a tireless champion for the people. Kermit always listened to the citizens and respected the input from everyone. He was a staunch defender of transparent and accountable City Government. We need more elected officials with his integrity, compassion and responsiveness…..now more than ever.

– Theresa Stehly

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson must be taking mask wearing advice from FORMER Sanford CEO

Yeah, you didn’t hear it here, but someone got the boot after writing strange Covid poetry to his employees, but we may never know;

Kelby Krabbenhoft and Sanford Health have agreed to part ways, Sanford announced in a news release at about 5:45 p.m. today.

This is no surprise, I have been hearing for months from Sanford employees that Kelby actually partially retired last Fall but was staying on basically for consulting for the transition to Intermountain Health. Not sure how much of that is true, but you will remember last Fall was when a lot of executives were leaving and an investigation into Denny Sanford was being done. No charges have been filed.

But as I was watching the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting tonight, I found it ironic that one of the city councilors who voted against a mask mandate and has admitted to having covid couldn’t even figure out how to wear a mask (you need to cover you mouth AND nose.)

Masks! We don’t need no stinking masks!

While she did pull it up a few times she kept pulling it down while talking. Scientists have said that masks actually do work, BUT you need to wear them properly and you have to have 100% compliance. Maybe Christine felt like Kelby that now that she has some kind of magical immunity she didn’t have to wear the mask?

Argus reporter Ellis said it best when talking about Sioux Falls City Government, “Amateur Hour.”

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson’s suggestion about pausing Covid tourism is just a ruse

FF to 3:36:00

As I suspected after Christine brought this up in the council meeting Tuesday night, there really is no effort to pause the program called ‘Sioux Falls Alive’. Not only is the website still chugging away but I saw an electronic billboard today (you know the kind you can turn off like a light switch) promoting the program. I have also heard from DaCola Foot Soldiers that still blow their money on cable TV the ads are still playing.

To be fair, though it grinds me, Erickson said they wouldn’t pause the program until AFTER Thanksgiving (which just seems pointless).

So while we are flat out lying to the citizens about pausing this ungodly $250K taxpayer expenditure that got funneled to Mayor TenHaken’s former(?) ad agency Click Rain we are throwing $20K towards the health department to educate the public about what we shouldn’t be doing during this pandemic. Maybe they will wait to educate us after Thanksgiving so couple 100 more people could die first.

As suspected, it probably wasn’t that easy to turn off the faucet because contracts were signed. And I suspect even after turkey day, the website will still be rolling and the ads will still be running like gravy down your uncle’s mouth (or Rudy’s sideburns).

But this should have NEVER happened to begin with. This was just a Hail Mary to the CVB and it’s subsequent contractors and had little to do about doing the right thing. Once again, like most leadership from City Hall and Carnegie these days, it’s all about the Benjamins and little else.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson proposed ‘pausing’ Covid Tourism (and other council tidbits)

Just when you think Christine grew a brain, she pulled a Hannibal Lecter and ate half of it.

Last night when the council discussed funding educating the public through our health department about Covid ($20K) she suggested we pause the ‘Sioux Falls Alive’ program, or as I call it ‘Covid Tourism’. I guess the CVB has said they would, but of course we have nothing in writing from the CVB they will do that, we also have nothing in writing from the contractors, TenHaken’s former(?) ad agency Click Rain that this program will be paused. As a person who has worked in marketing, I can tell you, once you sign advertising contracts, sometimes it is hard to turn off that faucet. I guess time will tell, but as of this morning, the website still exists. So in other words, like the mask mandate, it was just a strong ‘suggestion’. But what made Christine’s suggestion more ironic is that she voted against the health education funding as did Nutzert and another pup. Go figure. She really needs to put away her ugly pills.

What makes the irony even better is when the 1st reading for city employees vacation holdover to 2021 passed,  Nutzert said, “It has been hard to travel during this pandemic.” Who needs to travel to take a vacation? How about a Sioux Falls Alive ‘Staycation!’ Who says we can’t have fun in Sioux Falls during Covid? All the bars and restaurants are open, and if you don’t want to wear a mask? Who cares! The cops will not do anything anyway . . .

. . . speaking of that, it seems the SFPD has been listening to Detroit Lewis when it comes to mask mandates;

Sioux Falls Police spokesman Sam Clemens clarifies how the new mask ordinance will or won’t be enforced at Wednesday’s briefing.
“If the business owner or manager tells them, ‘you have to have a mask. It’s our policy.’ and if the people refuse, and they (the manager) says, ‘Well, you need to leave,” and they don’t, then it’s trespassing or causing a disturbance, according to Clemens. “If somebody leaves, then there’s no issue. There’s no problems. There’s no reason for police to be involved.”

Gee, what have I been saying for WEEKS about enforcing trespassing?!!!!! I may just be qualified to not only be the Chief of Police, but the City Attorney, an unlike the Fire Chief I live in Sioux Falls!

Speaking of eating out during your staycation, it just got easier, the lingering ordinance failed in a 5-4 vote (TenHaken, Neitzert, Erickson, Selberg, Jensen – NO). Erickson also attacked Brekke (who proposed this) claiming she is targeting certain businesses (uh duh). While I get the argument, I will tell you as a person who has worked in the hospitality industry this is the busiest time for them through the New Year, but not this year, and distancing tables at restaurants are not going to change their already dismal sales. Usually January-March restaurants are deader than a doornail. I would encourage restaurants to sell the crap out of gift cards right now, it may be the only thing that keeps you afloat. I warned months ago that the hospitality industry will be the hardest hit, especially when the patios have to be closed. If I owned the building my restaurant was in, January 1st, I would close my doors until April 1st and make sure all of my full-time employees get on unemployment. If restaurants right now are slow, it will be even worse January 1st. While I get restaurants wanting to make decisions on their own, this ordinance would not have harmed their business anymore than what Covid already has. I want to remind these business owners, if your customers are sick or dead, you are NOT going to have much business moving forward. We need to look over the horizon. This is temporary. Once the vaccine starts to get distributed, hopefully by late Spring, early Summer most people will be vaccinated and Covid virtually disappears, but until that happens, we need to get our sh*t together and take precautions.

I also found it a bit suspicious that suddenly SIRE* stopped working yesterday at 4 PM *(Meeting Agenda platform and Video) and the city cancelled the informational meeting. Shortly after that the city did a patch on the agenda page with a link to a PDF of the agenda and a YouTube Livestream for the regular meeting at 7 PM. First, the obvious, I have argued for years that the meetings be livestreamed on Youtube and replays be stored in YouTube. This costs taxpayers NOTHING. It has worked for the Sioux Falls school district of years and even the City of Omaha.

But I have a feeling this was done intentionally to save face from last week’s embarrassment of not having enough bandwidth in SIRE to watch the meeting. So this week I’m sure Mayor Stoneless and Chair Nutzert devised a plan to save face and not be embarrassed by people telling them the meeting wasn’t working in SIRE so they claim their was ‘technical problems’, yeah, sure, you betcha. Funny how the technical problems occur right at 4 PM, and once the regular city council meeting ended at about 12:07 AM, magically at 1:00 AM, SIRE started working again and the meeting popped up this morning.

Trust me, there wasn’t any technical issues just a couple of rats hiding cheese.

Sioux Falls City Councilors Jensen, Erickson and Neitzert vote against asking a bar manager questions about police calls and license renewal

Sometimes you see some pretty bizarre things at council meetings, actually just about every one over the past 5 years, but hearing a councilor (Erickson) argue against hearing from a bar manager that has had complaints filed against them about police calls is ridiculous.

Basically, during the 2021 license renewals at tonight’s council meeting, PAVE Bar was up for renewal and councilor Starr asked for them to be pulled from the consent agenda because he had questions about their police calls but asked for it to be deferred until December 1st because he learned the applicant could not attend, and Jamie Palmer, the city’s licensing agent asked if he could come later, and he said he could, she also informed the person complaining to come at a later date.

Makes sense? Right? Wait until the applicant can attend to answer questions about police calls.

Not so fast.

Erickson wasn’t happy about it, and felt that since the applicant wasn’t there to answer questions, they shouldn’t have to answer those questions.

HUH? Where the Frick is the logic in that? That would be like telling someone who was supposed to be in court to defend themselves against a violation and the judge and jury telling them if they don’t show up for their hearing they will be presumed innocent.

WOW. Christine and her lap dogs Greg and Alex have been going off the rails for a while now, and I honestly don’t understand where it is coming from? I really don’t. I could only speculate that her and her pups are friends with the people who own PAVE. Kind of reminds you of how a $26 million dollar disaster got approved. The only explanation would be something my grandma VI used to say, “Maybe she is taking 500 mg ugly pills before the meeting?”

I have not seen the police call evidence about PAVE, and I have NO idea what it is costing taxpayers, but should we at least see the evidence and have a hearing before we renew their license? I think it is only fair. Apparently Christine, Alex and Greg don’t give a rat’s ass about any of those things.

Fortunately five of the councilors felt it was important. They left their ugly pills at home tonight.

After 6 months and a massive spike in Covid Cases, it looks like the majority of the Sioux Falls City Council may finally do the right thing

It seems the council has a plan and looks like they are garnering (Item #38) the 6 votes they need to pass a mask mandate. Of course, with no penalty, but at least it will give businesses a little teeth to refuse customers;

MOTION TO RECONSIDER AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, TO REQUIRE FACE COVERING IN AN INDOOR PUBLIC PLACE WHERE 6-FOOT SOCIAL DISTANCING CANNOT BE ACHIEVED. (The ordinance was considered at the meeting of November 10, 2020.)

Sponsors: Council Members Soehl and Kiley

I have a feeling after it failed last week the ones voting against the mandate got a very nasty earful from constituents that support it. I know that many polls across the country and even in SD support a mask mandate by a majority.

Of course, they are sidestepping Brekke and Starr’s mandate, but at least the goal is still going to be achieved. It’s just too bad we had to wait for our hospitals to be overflowing and people dropping like flies before we did something.

And how about this nurse’s story;

South Dakota nurse says many dying patients still insist COVID-19 ‘not real’

A South Dakota emergency room nurse on Monday expressed frustration that many of her patients don’t believe they are dying of COVID-19.

Jodi Doering’s tweet went viral on social media over the weekend after she tweeted about patients who “don’t believe the virus is real … while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm.”

“It wasn’t one particular patient, it’s just a culmination of so many people,” Doering told CNN’s “New Day.” “And their last, dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ “

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, 11/17/2020

South Dakota has just become the most dangerous place for Covid in the Nation;

Risk factors: No statewide mask mandate – 154.5 new daily cases per 100,000 people – 58.8% of Covid tests are positive

Few governors have been more defiantly anti-mask than South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, whose state is the epicenter of Covid-19 spread. The Mount Rushmore state is recording a staggering 154.5 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people, on a rolling weekly average, according to the Harvard-Brown risk-assessment tool. Any state with over 25 new daily cases per 100,000 people is colored red on the map, which means it is considered “at a tipping point.” South Dakota’s risk level is more than 500% above that threshold, a breathtaking failure to manage the crisis.

That last sentence says it all; FAILURE. This is why it is important to support Councilor Starr and Brekke’s mask mandate and lingering ordinances on Tuesday. While I have been on the fence about masks mandates (I think it has more to do with giving private businesses the authority to kick people out who don’t want to follow their rules on private property and trespassing) I do think distancing people at bars and restaurants is important. I want to remind people, we all hope this is temporary and by next Spring a majority of Americans will be vaccinated. Your Civil Rights are not being infringed upon. If anything, if you go into a private store and refuse to wear a mask when asked to by the business, you are infringing on their property rights. And I would love for anybody to show me where in the Bill or Rights or US Constitution that you have the civil right to do what you want on private property. You absolutely don’t.

City Council Informational • 4 PM

October Financial Report (no supporting documents posted yet)

Regular City Council Meeting • 7 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts/Agreements, Sub Items 2-3,

Option to Extend: Extending agreement for contractor to provide executive coaching services and individual assessments on as-needed basis. AND Amending original agreement to include a two day strategy and vision planning for the Innovation and Technology for the next three years.

Why is the city subcontracting with a BUSINESS executive training program for over $20K? Just go to their website, they have zero mention of training or helping governments, they help BUSINESSES and train executives for private for-profit businesses. When are elected officials going to figure out that government doesn’t run like business. I don’t pay taxes to a for-profit entity, I pay them for services.

Item #21, 2nd Reading, Another $18 Million+ towards wastewater.

I asked someone the other day in city government, ‘Where has our public works director Mark Cotter been?’ Sure, he has been quietly working from home on things, but remember how much of a public, public official the former mayor made him? Why is our Public Works director in the shadows these days? I don’t know the answer, but many people are curious.

Item #22, 2nd Reading. So we spend $250K on Covid tourism and $20K on educating people about Covid spread. Makes sense 🙁

Section 2. That the use of the unobligated fund balance of $20,000 for the 2020 health budget is authorized to fund a public health education campaign to encourage preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Item #23, 1st Reading, Allowing city employees to carry over vacation time into 2021;

Any unused vacation hours remaining in an employee’s accumulated balance in excess of maximums identified above as of 12 midnight on December 31 of each year shall be forfeited, except as specifically set forth in this Code. The above-forfeiture provision shall not apply for the calendar year ending December 31, 2020.

This one would make sense if you had your employees work thru a pandemic and couldn’t travel, because they were working, but this ONLY makes sense in the private sector. The public sector has been working from home for months or not working at all, so we are going to reward them on our dime by letting them carry over ‘vacation time’? Really?! I can almost Guaran ‘F’ing’ Tee that if taxpayers knew about this and had a voice in the matter, they would say HELL NO! I have PTO I have to burn up this year, and I can guess my employer wouldn’t let me float it next year due to Covid. Rules are Rules folks, but it seems public employees don’t have to follow them. If the city council had any gnuts at all they would kill this in an 8-0 vote on 1st Reading, but it’s not their money, so it will pass.

Item #32-33, 1st Reading, Repealing the 5G Tower agreement in McKennan Park. Once again, our all knowing city attorney’s office has a monkey screwing the football and didn’t even know the names of the entities involved in the deal. Go read the documents online, it’s a laugh fest. While we want to embrace 5G technology, we have no idea who is providing that technology.

Item #34, Emergency 1st reading of business regulations.

Item #35, Emergency 1st reading of a mask mandate.

Item #36, a ‘polite’ resolution reminder from the mayor to wear a mask. I’m surprised he didn’t also ask you to eat a turkey sandwich through your mask next week. Now that’s a ONE Sioux Falls challenge I would like to see. Maybe we could livestream it on FB while reading a children’s book?

Item #37, Resolution, to add a storage freezer for a Covid vaccine. Finally some planning from the city. Probably the only item on the agenda Tuesday night that will get full support from the council. They should also purchase a microwave, I prefer my vaccine to be at least tepid.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I also want to point out that not only has our city government been derelict in their duties managing Covid, they also have been doing the same when it comes to open meetings. Besides titling agenda items to read like a Latin Mass Litany, they have been failing for months to provide citizens with hard copies of these ordinances at the meetings and not just at regular council meetings but at other public board meetings. Some would argue when you have 5 very capable council staffers that could do this, two of which make over $100K a year, that maybe it is laziness. Sure they follow the letter of the law by providing the documents online, but why doesn’t the state’s largest city do all the law commands of it? I don’t think this is because of laziness. I think this is being done intentionally and commanded by City Council Leadership (Neitzert) and the Mayor’s administration in their ‘HATEFEST’ towards open government. If that statement is untrue, prove me wrong. What sad, sad, sad individuals in their sad, sad, sad quest for power. And as for the city council staff that bows to these commands, you are sad, sad, sad public servants for not standing up to them.

Whether it is a Mask Mandate, Crime, Zoning, etc. Most of our Sioux Falls City Council and Mayor DO NOT LISTEN & DO NOT CARE!

I have warned people that our council and mayor’s office would get to a point where your input is ‘unaffordable’. What do I mean by that? Just look at the last election. It cost CountCilor Jensen $117,000.00 to beat Stehly by under a 100 votes.

The Mayor’s office, his staff and the city council is bought and paid for, and it isn’t by you and me. This letter to the editor says it all;

Many physicians, nurses and public health professionals took the time to prepare data to present at the City Council meeting. Many came to the City Council meeting after a long and tiring day at work to present their data, believing that it would make a difference.

But sadly, despite the effort, the message we got back from Councilors Erickson, Jensen, Neitzer, Selberg and Mayor TenHaken was: We heard you, we know what needs to be done and that it would help but we don’t care.

It is heartbreaking.

I and many of the physicians in my practice are so frustrated, angry, sad and tired. It is maddening that when we speak up about COVID and provide scientific evidence, we are completely ignored.

Christiane Maroun, MD, Sioux Falls

Data? What’s that? I would like to remind councilor Nutzert that they have been wearing masks since the Bubonic Plague (1656 version) and during the 1918 Spanish Flu. Why? Because they figured out it helped prevent the spread. Does it protect you head to toe? Not at all, you should take several precautions. That’s called ‘science’ Greg, you should check it out sometime. When did you become such a Trumpist anyway?

But what this doctor’s letter points out is something I have known for a very long time. Our council’s minds are made up before they even step in that room. That is one of the reasons I never came to protest the public input move, I knew how it was going to go. There is something that has always been consistent with the city council, especially our current rendition. They are extremely predictable, and you will never change their minds once their heels are dug in.

Mayor TenHaken’s tie breaking votes last night put a light on his extreme hypocrisy

I’ve always known that Paul is a gigantic hypocrite, he consistently talks out of both sides of his mouth on issues. Last night was no different. He told us he would vote against a mask mandate because he feels people should have personal freedoms but in his second tie breaking vote of the night he took the public’s right to be heard before the regular city business by putting public input at the end. So much for our personal rights and freedoms? I guess he trusts we will wear masks, but he can’t trust us when we open our mouths.

Maybe a mask mandate during public input would be good 🙂

Councilor Brekke said it best, the mayor is moving public input to the end for the simple reason that he is tired of being embarrassed about not doing anything about not only Covid, but crime, homelessness, prostitution and zoning. He has to be one of the laziest Sioux Falls Mayors I have ever seen. Unless of course he is putting up ugly 5G towers and sending $250K through the CVB to his former(?) ad agency. You know, it would easier to control the spread if you weren’t busy filling your friends pockets with tax money to promote covid tourism here . . . just saying. One has to also wonder if Paul still has a stake in his former company? While on paper he could have sold his interest, you wonder if he is still receiving mortgage payments for that interest he sold . . . ? But that is a discussion for us conspiracy theorists, I guess 🙂

I could argue it is because Paul is not suited to be a leader, unlike the Biblical leader he was named for;

According to the New Testament book Acts of the Apostles (often simply called Acts), Paul participated in the persecution of the “embryonic Christian movement,”

You could almost argue he is more concerned about what the bible says instead of what the US Constitution has granted us, or that he knows very little about the city charter, non-partisan government or that he just isn’t that smart. All of the above I guess.

The irony is by sending public input to the end, he is setting himself up for some serious 1st Amendment litigation, he is also going to find out how much worse the statements at the end will be after the public has to sit there for a couple of hours listening to their misguided actions.

I guess one of my biggest arguments against moving public input has to do with the long negotiation that 7 of these councilors were a part of two years ago. This was the compromise, we keep it at the beginning, but you only get 3 minutes each and 30 minutes total. While I disagreed at the time, at least it stayed at the beginning. There have been a handful of us, including myself, that come quite often to chew butt, many come for other important community concerns. But it doesn’t matter. The 1st Amendment says nothing about which topics can be discussed. Roberts Rules asks for decorum, but says nothing about ripping the council and mayor a new one when they screw up, as long as we don’t break things, cuss a lot or climb over the I.L Weiderman memorial toddler fence. I can’t imagine what I.L is thinking right now from his heavenly stoop.

It seems just like our sore loser president (and yes, he did lose) Mayor Stoneless doesn’t like it when he is told he isn’t doing his job (first goal, show up and put in an 8 hour day) which I shed no tears for. You can tell he is consistently frustrated when citizens tell him where he needs to improve. He constantly grunts, snorts and sighs into his microphone when people testify. Please shut your hissy fit mic off during the meeting, it’s annoying and you sound like a big fat spoiled brat baby piglet. Oink, Oink. I have never met a piglet that wears Converse All Stars.

As for the media covering this, you get a big fat zero. There was two readings on this topic the lame stream media in Sioux Falls decided not to cover until after the vote at around 11:30 PM on a Tuesday night. Because, as I suggested, they wanted it moved. Why inform the public in advance?

Public input has been moved and our local city government will never be the same. It was a sad day yesterday in Sioux Falls for open government and it seems no one cares.

Mask Mandate Fails because the Sioux Falls City Council did it wrong, on both sides

I will tell you those who voted against, or for the mandate both got it wrong. I have argued the best way to face this is a trespassing issue which is covered by the US Constitution under property rights.

If a private business asks you to leave their property because you are not following their rules, they have the right to call the police and file charges against you for trespassing. You can be arrested and charged with a crime.

I have argued it is hard to regulate mask wearing in public places, because we own these spaces. But private property owners have the right to regulate folks on their properties, it is in the Constitution.

Just like someone doesn’t have the right to kick in your front door and enter your home, citizens don’t have the right to enter your private business and disregard the rules you set forth within your business.

While this failed, it really did not. I encourage all private business owners who support masks to call 911 when someone refuses to follow your rules on your private property and charge them with trespassing. You will send a clear message. You can’t kick in my front door and crap on my rug.