Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

If I was Stehly, I wouldn’t spend one single penny

As I told Alex last night when I ran into him, I’m not sure if Theresa is running for a second term. But I what I did not tell him is, she is unbeatable, no matter how much money you spend. The only thing that could make Stehly vulnerable is if several people jump into that race (I do think there will be others). But in a head to head challenge between Alex, or anybody else, she can’t be beat. I am so confident of that, I would advice Stehly to raise NO money and spend NO money if she decided to run for re-election. It would be an amazing sticking point to prove money in local politics corrupts the system.

While I don’t agree with Theresa on many things (trust me, we have a lot of disagreements, and I also argue with her about her ‘style’ and ‘form’ sometimes) but the one thing that makes her extremely re-electable is that she listens to the people, and is their voice when NO one else on the council will speak for them, and for this, she will be impossible to beat if she runs.

Stehly Report, Sept 2019

Councilor Neitzert makes some interesting statements

Oh, the irony of former chief bullsh*tter having a press conference about his 123 page book (that I presume has been extremely edited, or should we say ‘polished’) the same day Councilor ‘Mama’s Boy’ Neitzert makes his re-election bid;

“We need an honest, informed and principled leadership more than ever to address the many challenges and opportunities as our city continues to grow. I believe I have proven to be that type of leader.”

I’ll let the honesty and principled statements slide for now, we will have plenty of time to talk about those, but I hate to remind Greg that if he were truly ‘informed’ he would have NEVER fought for the Bunker Ramp, in fact, any city official (elected or not) that helped to push that thru was anything but ‘informed’ and maybe just a little bit ‘dishonest’. And let’s continue with that theme;

‘update annexation policies to foster more neighborhood cooperation’

The annexation task force did a quick 180 after Theresa Stehly used her own resources and time to notify NON-RESIDENTS of the potential annexation efforts by the city of Sioux Falls. She certainly did not have to do that, but because of her efforts the task force members, including Neitzert and Kiley found out what a pitchfork up their rears feels like.

And speaking of Theresa, she still hasn’t decided if she will run or not. But the rumor around the South of 57th street water cooler is that councilor Erickson and Mayor Paul are helping her potential opponent, Alex Jensen, with fundraising and organization. I also heard Neitzert’s potential opponent is getting a little assistance from a former mayoral candidate, no worries, it’s NOT the zombie guy.

I won’t be commenting on a couple of things

The complete meltdown of the SD Democratic Party’s financials and the mysterious absence of our State’s attorney has been in the news cycle recently. While I have a lot I would like to say, I decided that I will let these matters sort out themselves. There is a lot of rumors and gossip going around about both issues and until the truth comes out, it just wouldn’t be fair to speculate (even though I do that a lot).

Also, I don’t give a sh*t about either issue. Really, I don’t.

In other news, Sioux Falls City Councilor Greg Neitzert will have at least one challenger this Spring. The announcement is coming this month, but most people probably already know who it is. I have never met this person, but if I had to sum up the race today, Greg would beat him. I think the only way to knock Neitzert out is to use the silly 50+1 rule against him and have multiple people run in his district.

At this point I have neither recruited or assisted anyone for a city council race for the upcoming Spring election.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Sept 3-4, 2019

City Council Informational, 4 PM, Sept 3

A presentation from the planning department on a ‘Pedestrian Plan.’

City Council Regular Meeting, 7 PM, Sept 3

Item #6, Approval of Contracts. I find it interesting that the city is going to pay $300K for a school park? I have no idea what this plan is or if it is in coordination with the school district. Hopefully we will have more details at the meeting. It also looks like the money is JUST for ‘planning’ the site. We are also dumping another $45K into the indoor pool for something called ‘window fans’. I remember when they were designing the place, we were told they would take extra care in ensuring we would use durable materials and equipment to keep maintenance costs down. I find it interesting that after only a couple of years we are installing new equipment.

Item #35, 1st reading, Renewing franchise agreement with Midco.

Item #36-37, 1st Readings, Kirby downtown dog park and gifting agreement of $600K.

Planning Commission Meeting, 6 PM, Sept 4

Item #5B, Bob’s Chicken Casino. Planning department recommending denial due to neighborhood opposition.

Item #5C, Another casino on North Cliff, while some of the neighbors oppose, the Planning department recommends approval.

Item #5E, It’s a Pizza party! They want to build a pizzeria in a residential neighborhood by USF, they would serve beer. Some neighbors are opposed to alcohol in the neighborhood.

Item #5I, Looks like the Sanford Sports Complex is considering building a baseball stadium. First time I heard about this.

Public Safety Facility needs to be a joint effort

This is a guest post by Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr. I agree with Pat that we should NOT be paying for this entire project by ourselves. Our Fire and Police chiefs should be working with the finance department on how we can save money and build partnerships. I think ALL department directors should be looking at ways to be more fiscally responsible.

Emergency preparation and response are fundamental responsibilities of government. These are always at the top of the planning list when we discuss budgets and people.

Sioux Falls has a public safety need. It’s a big one. The projection is a $30 million dollar bond issue. The problem here is, it is planned to be a $30 million bond issue with the citizens of Sioux Falls on the hook for it.

The City needs to provide an adequate training facility for its Police and Fire Departments. The need is real. Current facilities are substandard and the departments have outgrown them.

Now, this is where the discussion begins. We know the need. The Sioux Falls Police and Fire departments have put forth a plan for addressing their needs.

Keep this in mind, their needs. The vision needs to be bigger. Sioux Falls is the regional leader in business and entertainment. We need to be the leader in public safety as well.

As we review plans for bonding and facilities, we must consider the needs of our region and include them.

Sioux Falls does not have our only emergency responders. We must consider how we can build a regional facility to train local, county, state and federal safety personnel. Look around the Sioux Falls area. If there is a major emergency in our area, don’t you want highly trained responders?

There are many hard working public servants in addition to Sioux Falls Police and Fire including:

1. Minnehaha and Lincoln County Sheriffs and Deputies

2. SD Highway Patrol

3. Game Fish and Parks Officers

4. SD Department of Criminal Investigation

5. SD Penitentiary Officers

6. FBI

7. US Federal Marshal Service

8. TSA – airport security

9. Homeland Security

10. Sioux Falls ambulance

11. Regional community ambulance crews

12. Regional partner fire departments

13. Regional partner community based law enforcement

14.    Civil Air Patrol

I am sure everyone can add to the list – but the bottom line is, all levels of public safety personnel need state of the art training to protect the citizens of Sioux Falls and the region.

This is not a vanity bonding project as so many of our recent bonding projects we have been in Sioux Falls. This is public safety.

Training all levels of our emergency responders does not stop at our city limits. We must have our responders knowing how to work with their regional partners. There must be regional cooperative agreements so all responders receive the training that keeps us safe.

The funding must come from all levels of government. The citizens of Sioux Falls cannot be the sole funding source for this extremely important regional project.

There must be a search for and securing of state and federal grants.

I encourage you to become involved. This plan will happen quickly and will be decided by the end of 2019.

$30 million is asking too much for the handful of the people of Sioux Falls, with promises to let other responders use. Simple statements don’t protect us. We need all regional agencies to be fully trained for them and for us. This project is too big for just Sioux Falls to own and control.

Metro 911 has no emergency backup facility

During the joint Minnehaha County Commission/Sioux Falls city council meeting they had a budget presentation by Metro 911 (they jointly fund the facility). I was shocked to hear councilor Kiley say they don’t have an emergency backup facility (in case something were to destroy or close the current facility like a natural disaster, they have no other place to perform duties). Kiley brought this up because they are budgeting for a backup center (so that is good). They are also adding 4 new employees.

I can’t believe a city this size doesn’t have a backup 911 and they continually short staff them. I have also heard that the SFPD is about 16 officers short. This is what happens folks when we blow all our capital on play palaces, emergency services suffer.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Stehly suggests changes for Whittier Neighborhood

August 26, 2019

Dear Business owners, Board members of the Bishop Dudley house, St. Francis house, Banquet staff and Whittier Neighborhood Citizens, 

As we move forward in our discussion about safety, economic vitality and social services in the Handyman/Whittier neighborhood area, I wanted to let you know what my plans are as your At-Large City Council member. 

First, let me assure you that I have been a strong advocate for helping those in need in our community. Through the years, I have personally contributed to the St. Francis House, The Union Gospel Mission, The Salvation Army , The Family Connection, The Vincent De Paul store and The Good Shepherd Center . I have supported City funding for the Bishop Dudley house even when the previous mayor had recommended that it be cut from the budget. I spent a night last fall sleeping in the Bishop Dudley Parking lot as an advocate for that facility. I have served at the Banquet, and I have housed a homeless person in my own home.

The challenge we are currently facing in our community is to find solutions to ensure that homeowners, business owners and people in need are all provided for in our City.

These past weeks, I have been blessed to have conversations with many of the stakeholders involved in this issue. From those conversations, I have developed a list of tangible goals/priorities that I would like to work on with all of you. My goal would be to implement these in the next year, and then do a reassessment. I welcome your feedback.

1. Designate stronger police presence in the Neighborhood. We currently staff our schools with approximately 15 school resource officers. I recommend that we designate a resource officer for this area of town.

2. Add additional foot patrol officers to rotate in the residential areas and businesses. 24/7

3. Add a small precinct in the new development where the Chinese restaurant was. If this area does not get developed then put the precinct in another building in the immediate area.

4. Place restroom or porta potie facilities on public land and open spaces in the area.

5. Develop more stringent vagrancy /loitering ordinances.

6. Develop new parameters of Liquor establishments near homeless shelter.

7. Aid in forming a neighborhood /business association in the Handyman/Whittier area.

8. Develop a tax incentive program to assist homeowners and small businesses in fixing up their property.

As I mentioned above, I welcome your feedback. I look forward to working with the Mayor’s office and my Council Colleagues as we find solutions for our citizens. Having a yearly checkup on the progress /needs and frequent communication by all involved, will be imperative to protecting the economic opportunities and safety concerns for our community.

Best Regards, Theresa Stehly

City Councilor-At Large

Phone: 605-367-8806, Cell: 605-929-8783

Email: tstehly@siouxfalls.org

A lot of Chicken Littles have been emerging over Triple Check the Charter

I was in amazement over the past 24 hours of all the peeps crying the sky is falling over Triple Check the Charter. Most of what is being said is pure bunk. First let’s start with KSFY’s story.

Besides the fact they mutilated the logo for the measure (eliminating the check marks and descriptive wording at the bottom) they seem to be a little confused.

‘One portion calls for the mayor to be taken off the city council and removes his tie-breaking vote. Any vote ending in a tie would fail.’ (while this part is true, it still doesn’t eliminate the mayor’s ability to VETO council action. With a VETO by the mayor, it would take a super majority to overturn the VETO. He still would have the power to stop legislation he doesn’t agree with).

‘Another item would turn city council elections into a simple plurality.’ (This was actually in the original charter until Councilor Rolfing decided to fiddle with it).

‘A third measure would require a 2/3 majority to pass any bond measure, meaning at least six of the eight council members would need to vote in favor.’ (This is actually the most important part of the amendments IMO. It would force the council to be in consensus when it comes to borrowing money and is an excellent measure that encourages fiscal responsibility of our tax dollars. The only ones that are crying about this are bond salesman).

‘It also calls for city council to develop a strategic plan.’ (That is false. There is NO amendment for that on the proposed petition. Maybe someone should tell KSFY that the word TRIPLE means THREE. Councilor Janet Brekke has proposed several times that the council come up with a strategic plan, but that is NOT a charter amendment proposal, that is just simply doing their jobs as policy makers).

KELO also posted this comment by Mayor TenHaken;

“To put that responsibility of the strategic direction of the city into the hands of eight part-time city councilors is, I think, a very dangerous thing to do,” says TenHaken in a video on his Facebook page

I am completely baffled by this statement. Why would it be dangerous for the policy makers of the city, the city council, to come up with a strategic plan? It is clearly ALREADY spelled out in charter that is it their job to create and establish policy. The petition doesn’t change this one single bit. The only thing that is ‘dangerous’ is our mayor making statements like this. It only confuses voters and is a form of voter suppression. The city council already has the RIGHT and the POWER to implement any policy or plan they want to, and the mayor can’t do a damn thing about it except VETO it. It frightens me that either PTH doesn’t already know this, or he is just flat out lying to scare citizens.

But the rhetoric gets even thicker at the CRC meeting when commission member, Ann Hajek makes this statement at the end of the meeting;

. . . however, this would be a major change to our form of government if adopted, so I think it is important for people to understand that there is some mis-information out there. So it is part of our job as the charter commission to let them know it hasn’t changed and we are in place to keep it in line . . .

As I mentioned above, the only people that are scared are the bond salesman and developers/contractors because it creates a higher threshold for bonding. Mrs. Hajek is married to lead counsel for our major bonding company.

But what I find even more ironic about her statement is that the charter, which was implemented in 1995 is just fine as is, and that the CRC’s job is to protect the status quo. It has actually changed several times since than, it just hasn’t been because of a citizen driven petition. The CRC and city council has made changes.

We heard the opposite with Shape Places. We were told several times we had to change our zoning laws because they haven’t changed since 1986. They actually were amended hundreds of times since 1986, and ironically since Shape Places has been implemented, it has been amended a handful of times to. Why? Because the city council that passed it didn’t bother reading the 400 page document before approving it. The Charter, like zoning laws, have to be updated from time to time. Triple Check the Charter is simply some ‘updating’ to the charter. Don’t listen to the chicken littles in our community who have a lot to lose ($$$) if these changes are made, while the citizens have a lot to gain in tax savings. If passed, progress would occur through a consensus of our council and within the parameters of fiscal responsibility. This isn’t ‘dangerous’ it is just no-nonsense government.

Sorry Paul, Sioux Falls City Government is broken, on many, many, levels

Just because the mayor can’t vote on the council, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have VETO power (which I agree with).

He also spreads the GOP talking point lie about signing a petition. Signing a petition doesn’t mean you are FOR or AGAINST something. A valid petition drive means it puts it on the ballot. It just gives you the right to vote on the measure, it doesn’t mean the measure passes. They of course know that, but they continue to muddy the waters. He also says that according to the Charter the Mayor sets the agenda. This is also a ‘half-truth’. As I have said in the past, the Charter gives the mayor the power to run the city operationally and administratively. He certainly can give policy suggestions to the city council whether he sits on the body or not, but he is NOT the policy director for the city, that is the city council. He is sadly mistaken if he thinks it is his job to set policy, another reason why we need these checks and balances put in place. And one more contentious issue that PTH didn’t bring up in the video, by making up rules two weeks into the drive (especially the one about limiting circulators) it is simply voter suppression and a violation of 1st Amendment rights. The city attorney’s opinion on this doesn’t hold much water.

Is the mayor’s leadership so minimal he has to hide his comments on Facebook? Notice how he does not remind us of his previous desire to be a small government conservative who won’t waste tax dollars on bonding? He was to be the great consensus builder opening up local government to everyone? He seems to be taking on the approach of his predecessor? He seems to have forgotten the why in this post.

Paul TenHaken was live on Facebook August 26th, 2019 to say: “Some people are trying to tinker with your city government. Let’s talk about why that’s a bad idea (in addition to the many reasons below).

☑️SmartAsset – #1 City in the country for Young Professionals.

☑️Livibility – 7th best city in the US to live in.

☑️Record building permit valuations for past 6-7 years. (yet we continue to handout TIFs, tax abatements and rebates and other corporate welfare to big developers? Why?)

☑️2.5% unemployment. (and super low wages. Around 70% of South Dakotans make below a living wage)

☑️Wallet Hub – 11th best run city in America.

☑️Paid of $4mm in bonds EARLY just three months ago.

☑️TechRepublic calls us one of the top 10 cities in the country for entrepreneurs.

BTW, thanks for the tip PTH, we’re sharing as usual to our YouTube followers.