Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

If the Sioux Falls Districting Commission picks option C11 it would be a game changer for the Central District

While there are many options for the Districting Commission to review at their meeting on Wednesday, options C9 and especially C11 would be the biggest changes to the district in years. Not only would you make the Central the largest by population, you would really make it a core district again.

The discussion should be interesting.

Hopefully many candidates will be challenging Councilor Soehl for the Central District in the 2022 municipal election since he has been an utter failure delivering very little to the residents and homeowners of the district and more concerned about handing out millions in TIFs to DT parking ramps we don’t need while letting the residential streets of the core turn into the roads of Baghdad.

First Rule of Fight Club, Pay your Taxes!

When I have helped with city council campaigns in the past, the first thing I remind people of is to ‘take care of the little things’ before announcing. Seems Mr. Barranco failed to tidy up a delinquent property tax bill before announcing running for city council;

Of course, this is no Federal Crime, he will likely have to pay a late payment fine and it will be all good. But I often tell people that if someone running for office can’t even manage the simple things in their personal lives, how can we expect them to serve us? Like I said, I could give 2 rips if he is late on his taxes, but this personal failure on his part certainly shows how much he will pay attention on the city council when managing OUR business, like when the city council hired a city clerk to run our elections that wasn’t even registered to vote. Just another rubber stamping, cruise control, seat warmer and little else.

David Barranco announces candidacy for Sioux Falls City Council, SE District

I had heard a couple of months ago a ‘young attorney’ was running for Ricky Lee’s open seat;

David Barranco is getting ready to move forward with his candidacy and this past Friday announced to friends privately that he’s running, and is noting his interest,

In 2022, when Councilman Kiley’s term ends, his seat will be open. I am excited to run for that position. My hope is to serve working families, keeping a pragmatic, problem-solving focus. I’m dedicated to building a bright future for Sioux Falls, with a strong economy and reliable infrastructure.

I’m passionate about expanding the local workforce and creating more affordable housing. As a husband, father, and FCA coach, I’m dedicated to keeping kids safe by supporting law enforcement and defending public health. I’ll endeavor to grow pet-friendly spaces, reduce automobile traffic, and plant thousands of trees. Most importantly, I’ll strive to be a cooperative consensus builder — one who embraces good policy but eschews divisive rhetoric.

Of course it should not surprise anyone that David has close ties to the SD GOP. His wife Catherine is involved with the National Federation of Republican Women (I think she serves on the board) and used to work for the SD GOP as staff in communications and is still a region director.

It will be interesting to see what kind of support Dave gets from SD GOP . . .

UPDATE: Mayor TenHaken to announce re-election campaign a day before trying to sneak in a tax increase thru resolution?

UPDATE: This is NOT a fee increase, just an annual notice that the fee exists and renewed, it has since 1992.

City Council Members and Council Staff,

Good afternoon. A resolution (per City Ordinance 96.033) will be presented at Tuesday’s City Council
Meeting to levy an annual front foot assessment fee for street maintenance and repair. The special
assessment funds are used to partially fund the highways and streets operational budget for the
repairs and maintenance of our city streets to include pothole patching, asphalt surface
maintenance, and street sweeping.The front foot assessment fee has been in place since 1992.
The front foot assessment fee will be $1.00 per foot for 2022 and has not changed since 2009.
Attached is the resolution and on the back is the amount that has been collected for each respective
year since 1992.
Thank you, Mark Cotter

It looks as though Mayor Poops is finally going to announce he is running. The irony of this is astounding when you consider that on Tuesday night he is trying to push an over $9 million dollar tax increase thru resolution (item 21) which is legally dubious since tax or fee increases normally go thru the ordinance process of 1st and 2nd readings AND a presentation to the council in advance. Some councilors I spoke with didn’t even know it was on the agenda.

According to the math (thanks Mike Z – I updated his numbers);

Looks to be a new tax being created assessed on the residents of Sioux Falls, is this true?  $1.00 Per foot per property along our ‘streets’. If we have a total # of 900 centerline street miles in this city (1,800 if you include both sides of the street), and each mile is roughly 5,280 feet, this tax generates $9,504,000.00 for the city to be used to maintain and resurface highways, streets, and roads in the city. With a $654,000,000 million revenue stream, is a new tax really necessary?

Once again Paul is showing us his lack of transparency and his dark hatred towards open government. Most government’s would have put this thru a vetting process with it’s public works department, the city council and the citizens. Not to mention in the same night there will be a property tax increase (item 15). You also have to remember we spent most of the $50 million in Covid money on play things and gave away $144 million in tax rebates this year. It looks like we will be heading into the dark abyss for another 4 years unless Paul gets one heck of a challenger.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 14, 2021

Informational Meeting, 4 PM

Presentations on the City Council and Mayor’s 2022 Budget and Covid
(what is surprising in the City Council Budget is the expenditure of over $200K for the City Election. I have NEVER seen it that high. I would be curious about the explanation on that one.)

Regular Meeting, 6 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub Item #20. It’s a mysterious what this is, but it seems like some partnership for transit. Be nice to have a presentation and explanation instead of burying it in the consent agenda.

Item #15, 2nd Reading, Property Tax Increase. Of course the Rubber Stamp Council who gave away $144 million in TIF tax rebates this year has NO problem with raising our taxes by millions in a Covid economic recovery.

Item #17, Resolution, Moving the Sculpture Sea Dream from the DT Dog park location to Prairie Green Golf Course. I wonder if the artist was ever consulted about this? I know once when I talked to him about the sculpture at an Augustana art reception (he used to be a teacher) he was irritated that people would call it ‘the golf ball’.

Item #21, Resolution, Levy Front Assessment of $1.00 per foot. Maybe I am missing something here, but shouldn’t this be 1) a 1st and 2nd Reading and 2) an explanation as to why we need this in conjunction with a property tax increases?

#22, Resolution, One Sioux Falls. So this is a perfect example of something that belongs in the resolutions category on agenda, meaningless word games from the mayor’s office.

Sioux Falls City Council Oblivious to Open Government

After watching the city council meeting tonight and addressing them on open and transparent government I have to admit I have almost given up on educating them about open government. They don’t have a clue.

While discussing the Med MJ ordinance Councilor Selberg admitted that the councilors formed the ordinance privately talking to each other on the phone. Well at least Selberg told the truth even if he is ethically challenged.

Councilor Kiley blew off the supporters of Med MJ at the meeting speaking out as special interests and brought the mysterious folks he got emails from, yet never read a single email or told us who these people are.

I guess in Kiley’s eyes the 75% of Sioux Falls voters that supported Med MJ are special interests and not worth listening to. What arrogance.

If open government was a foot long blunt lit with a blowtorch and smoked by the councilors, they still wouldn’t understand. Baffling.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sep 7, 2021

Informational Meeting • 4 PM


A. 2022 Experience Sioux Falls (Convention and Visitor Bureau for Sioux Falls) BID Tax Budget by Teri Schmidt, Executive Director (if you look at the PP presentation you will find it is interesting how since the Events Center has arrived that city’s tourism revenue really hasn’t gone up that much. My suspicions are because the Denty has been only a money vacuum sending most of its profits out of town and not recirculating entertainment dollars in our community. Just another money pit.)

B. Vast Broadband – Communication & Design Update by Mike Harry, Chief Business Development Officer; Jeff Seidenfaden, Chief Commercial Officer; and, Cash Hagen, Chief Operating Officer (I think this will be an interesting presentation. I’m curious who inspired VAST to have a change of heart? I’m even more curious how the city allowed the goofy green towers to be installed to begin with?)

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #7, Change Orders, Sub Item #5, $39K more for the chairlift replacement at Great Bear.

Item #33, Special One-Day Malt Beverage and Special One-Day Wine Licenses for Community Indoor Tennis Center Inc., 4210 North Bobhalla Drive, for a fundraiser on November 5, 2021. (I find it curious that they don’t call the facility by it’s name, Huether Family Match Pointe. Kind of wondering how that place is doing. Would be nice to get a presentation on how they spent our $500K yet have given the public virtually nothing in return for that handout.)

Items #41-42, 2nd Reading, Med MJ. I would expect a lot of amendments. I do know that around 4-5 councilors have amendments. One of them would be lowering the license fee to $25K. These two items alone will make for a very long night.

Item #44, 1st Reading, Property Tax Increase. Once again the Rubber Stamp Council will increase our taxes even though they have NO real reason to do so. Just because. Ironically in the same year they gave away around $144 Million in TIFs. (I have said $200 million in the past, and I am correcting that statement. It was $94 to the Development Foundation and $25 to Sioux Steel and $25 to Cherapa II)

Item #50, 1st Reading, Chief Matt Burns (Firing) Range Naming. As if the night couldn’t get more ridiculous the Mayor has asked the Naming Commission and the City Council to approve this naming at the new public safety facility. Am I the only one that finds it a bit ironic that a ‘firing’ range is being named after him? Maybe Mayor Poops is sending some kind of subtle message about why Burns left the city? We may never know.

Item #53, Resolution, Main Street BID Tax. For several years many downtown business owners have asked what they get for this special tax roll. DTSF does use the money and staff to promote Downtown (if you pay membership dues) and do have a cleaning crew (which I think the city’s Parks and Rec department should be doing). But does this BID help provide healthcare insurance options for small business owner’s employees? Business insurance? Short term business loans or grants? Nope. Nadda. Zilch. It seems all the BID tax really does is pay salaries of those who work for DTSF. I would love it if they would do a presentation on what they are doing to actually help DT businesses thrive economically. Because watering plants and marketing a Burger Battle isn’t cutting it.

Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 4 PM • Wed, Sep 8

The CRC will begin taking recommendations from the public. I will present my 3 ideas during public input since the city wants regular citizens jumping through hoops to bring them in advance and get on the agenda. Here is my exchange with the city’s paralegal in emails;

To: Greco, Tom
Cc: Hanzel, Cari
Subject: Re[2]: Charter Revision Commission

Tom, thanks for the assistance.

Cari, so as I understand Tom, I can just present my ideas during public input for consideration? Correct? and give the CRC members a copy of my proposals at that time?


Her response;

Hello Mr. Ehrisman:

The Charter Revision Commission’s preferred practice is to submit your proposal, to include a copy of the Article section(s) with the proposed amendments made in underlined/strike-through format, to them at least a week ahead of the meeting you would like to attend so that it could be added to the agenda.  At their initial meeting in August, the Commission set out a schedule of when they would be reviewing each Article.  I believe Tom provided that schedule to you already.  It would make the most sense to put your proposal on the agenda for the meeting that the Commission will address that relevant Article.  All that being said, you are always welcome to address the Charter Revision Commission during public input at any meeting and submit your proposal(s) at that time.  The down side to that is the time limit of 5 minutes.  If presented during public input, the Commission may decide to address your proposal(s) at a later date and/or when that particular Article comes up for review in their schedule.

Do you have proposals that relate to Articles I-III?  If so, and they are ready to go,  I can check into the possibility of amending the agenda to include your proposal as a formal recommendation under the appropriate Article for the meeting next week.  Let me know what Article sections you are looking at and we can figure out the best way to proceed.  Thank you! 

My response back, in which I received no response, and didn’t expect one;

I have no idea where my articles would fit in, I am not a city attorney, and I don’t believe it is the duty of a citizen to try to hunt it down in the city charter, that would be the responsibility of the CRC and the City attorney’s office. My only responsibility is presenting my ideas to the commission.
I know it is not in your wheelhouse to tell the CRC what to do, but this is prime example of poor customer service to citizens, which I believe is done purposely to discourage participation, there really is no other excuse. Citizens should be able to present their ideas to the CRC and the CRC can decide to craft the proper language and article in which it applies. I also believe that there should be NO time limit on presenting ideas to the CRC. I should be afforded at least 5 minutes for each item.
I will present my ideas to the CRC in public input and ‘try’ to figure out the articles it applies to.
Thank you for you time.
Scott L. Ehrisman

As I have mentioned in the past, even if my revisions make the ballot (which I doubt they will since the CRC is only interested in killing citizen ideas) I’m not so sure they would pass. As the CRC has said in the past they are concerned about putting revisions on the ballot because they almost always pass. I think I would have to educate a lot of folks to get passage. I am still refining my revisions, but I can tell you they concern TIFs, Public Input and City Directors. You will have to tune in on Wednesday to hear them 🙂

Inside Town Hall • Sep 2021

Councilor Selberg starts the show off with patting himself on the back when it comes to cooperation with other local government entities. While there has been a lot of cooperation lately, there has been little interaction with the public except at the actual meetings where the decisions have already been made before the meeting even started. When it came to mask mandates, MED MJ and Covid money they didn’t bother asking citizens and business owners what they wanted they just cowed to special interests which seem to be at city hall quite a bit behind closed doors. This is NOT true open government and cooperation. I also was a bit confused about how road money is being spent. If you walk or ride your bike around the core neighborhoods you would think you are in Baghdad, the roads look like they have been hit with mortar rounds. A Pettigrew Heights resident told me yesterday that there is no intention of fixing core neighborhood roads until 2023 and this is why the public works department doesn’t even bother with maintenance in that neighborhood.

I’m sorry, but when I hear about Federal money going towards butterfly houses and tennis courts it infuriates me. I have long argued lifting up and fixing our core neighborhoods should be the number one infrastructure priority. Not only does it help with combatting crime and poverty, it would be an enormous driver in supplying affordable housing and local construction jobs. The ROI with such an endeavor would be gigantic. Councilor Brekke actually brings it up during the episode. But instead we throw money at Foreign Egg Roll factories and more unneeded parking ramps.

Councilor Soehl brings up that it is hard for developers to build an affordable house. Hogwash. We could change zoning in Sioux Falls to allow half lots in the core. We could also build tiny houses or smaller one bedroom homes with NO garages.

The regular citizen in Sioux Falls no longer has a seat at the table. This is because apparently it costs $120k to win a city council race by 99 votes. Follow the money. If your last name doesn’t start with an S or L you are screwed.

Lincoln County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council Joint Jurisdiction agreement on MED MJ zoning lacks legal logic

Yesterday at the joint meeting, Lincoln County Commissioner Joel Arends tried to get out of planning staff (both city and county) where they came up with the 1,000 foot setback. Once they rolled out the Mariachi band and did an extensive dance, they still couldn’t give a reason. That’s because it was directly pulled from their behinds. Seeing they were not going to win that argument, the city attorney Paul Bengford decided to move the goal posts and say this was about meeting a deadline and newspapers and NOT the setback. It was quite the turd polishing, and exhibited just how inept our local government officials and appointed staff is.

I think they truly believe the public is that naïve.

But the best part was when Councilor Neitzert said it was ‘absurd’ to allow citizens to vote for the legalization of drugs (marijuana). Waiting for our elected officials to legalize it is even more absurd, because they would never act. I joked to someone before the vote in November that even if the Feds decriminalized MJ today and allowed states to regulate it would take South Dakota a decade to put in the regulations if you waited for the elected officials to act.

The only way anything beneficial to the citizens happens in this state is through direct democracy. Waiting for our representatives to help us is the true measure of absurdity and their war on the initiative and referendum process. Keep poking the bear, because that just emboldens us.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council Joint meeting over a Barn on a dirt road

You gotta love it when Councilor Kiley’s strategy of telling half the story gets shot down. He often tells only partially what is going on to support his argument. Last night he tried to compare a wedding barn facility in rural Minnehaha County on a dirt township road to wedding barns annexed into the city limits. The problem is he left out the part they were annexed in the city limits. He also did this a few weeks ago when he tried to accuse councilor Starr of saying firefighters stand around too much. Starr did say that, but he wasn’t referring to fighting fires he was talking about mutual aid with calls of service for ambulance. In the past they had to wait for our rinky dink ambulance service to show up before administering care, now they are allowed to assist before they arrive eliminating them ‘standing around’ on ambulance calls. Kiley has been pulling his ‘half the truth’ arguments so long, he just can’t resist, unfortunately for him he failed last night and the rezone was approved. He probably told friends and colleagues after the meeting that he still prevailed because some of the votes were the same as his 🙂

Also the FAA told the private airport folks no dice. I knew they would, it’s just too close to other residential areas and as Greg Jamison pointed out the FAA says it would cause flight pattern issues with the main Sioux Falls airport. I guess those poor rich folks will still have to drive the whole 3 miles in their Range Rovers to Tea Town. I feel so bad for them . . . maybe we should start a Go Fund me for a valet service?

I also made some comments on agenda item #5 and some other ones about panhandling and TIFs during public input. I have been throwing around the idea of taking panhandlers to the neighborhoods our elected officials live in and let them ask for money there. That would be fun to watch.