Entries Tagged 'SF City Council' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, April 13, 2021

SIDE NOTE: So I got tipped off on Friday that the Veterans Community Housing project was actually on the agenda of the Planning Meeting that was posted last week on Friday (Item 2F) and this is likely how the media figured it out. But if it was on that agenda and the Planning Briefing Agenda, why wasn’t it on the informational agenda? This open government thing seems to be a real difficult thing for the current administration.

Informational – 4 PM

We will finally get a presentation on the 2020 Financials and an update on Downtown Parking, but as I mentioned above, good luck getting a sneak peak, there are NO attached documents.

Regular – 6 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts, sub item #17, this one is confusing because you would have thought they would have already had a design in place in case they wanted to expand the upper level of the Link. Oh, my mistake, I assumed that the city plans ahead.

Items #13 & 15, 1st Readings, Supplemental appropriations for all kinds of things. Apparently we need more money for the outdoor pools that don’t open for several months. Huh?

Item #14, 1st Reading, Naming agreement for the new refrigerated ice rink at Falls Park. As I said to someone the other day, “We need this rink like we need a hole in our heads.” and what makes it even more ironic is that you will have to PAY to use a rink that is being funded with taxdollars and private donations.

Item #16, 1st Reading, leasing parking to the Federal Courthouse. What I find funny about this one is that no where in the contract does it mention the Federal Courthouse.

Item #17, Resolution, A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE 2021–2025 CAPITAL PROGRAM TO ADD DRONES AND A TRACTOR LOADER IN 2021. (Police, $18,000; Entertainment Venues – Events Center, $75,000)
So now the coppers are going to be patrolling us with drones. Sounds reasonable. NOT!

Sioux Falls City Council meetings still don’t livestream properly

Unfortunately it is NO surprise to me that the city council meetings didn’t stream properly yesterday. They were both replaying fine today (INFOREGULAR) The SIRE system they use to post agendas and stream video has been marginally working for over a decade. In fact the past three city clerks have struggled with the system. You would think by now it would be scrapped. At the very least you would expect them to just automatically livestream the video on YouTube, and heck, on Facebook also. In fact, the Mayor is doing his state of the city address from the State Theatre(?) and it will only be streamed on Facebook, which is questionable since you must subscribe to FB to watch it. The ongoing Hatefest towards transparency is mind boggling.

With our Mayor and his administration consistently talking about the technological advances of the city you would think that with over a DECADE of problems with SIRE it would have gotten the boot a very long time ago. A Dotard could have figured that out, but somehow two mayors, three city clerks, multiple councilors, consultants and city IT personnel still seem to be baffled with a system we have thrown millions at when we could use a FREE service called YouTube.

VET HOME TO BE MOSTLY FUNDED PRIVATELY

Of course the Devil is in the details. During the informational meeting the city got a presentation on the new proposed facility. While Sioux Falls taxpayers are footing the bill for the land and pipe upgrades (hey Noem, that is called infrastructure), the organization will provide all the other funding privately. When asked where that money will come from, they really didn’t have an answer. Kind of reminds me of the Bunker Ramp and just taking the developer’s word on it. Here we go again. The city council never learns.

I also found it interesting that the agenda item for this presentation was posted on Friday with NO attached documents (Power Point) which seems the SOP for this administration. But when I checked back on Tuesday morning, the presentation was still absent (Until about 2 PM) But interestingly enough Pigeon605.com had a story up that morning about the vet village, then the Argus and Dakotanews soon followed. So how is a presentation that is put on the agenda on a Friday not have supporting documents until 2 hours before the meeting yet everyone in the media knows what the presentation is about? Taxpayers should always take priority. If my tax dollars are being used to pay a communications specialist, which I am ok with, the public should receive those communications before the media. I also wonder if Pigeon is getting PAID to post these stories? The city has a way of getting information out to the public without using private media except in press releases.

• Put the details/presentation in the Agenda online when posting the agenda on Friday (DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!)
• Post on main city website
• Put on Citylink or do a YouTube video
• Post on Facebook and Twitter
• Send the media a press release and grant interviews (this should be done last)

I’m all for the media doing a story about this, and I learned a lot from the Pigeon story, but when tax dollars are being spent on projects, that information should be granted to the public before the Fourth Estate.

DO WE EVEN HAVE A FUNCTIONING SIOUX FALLS PLANNING COMMISSION?

During the Sioux Falls City Council Regular meeting, Councilor Starr asked a planning department staffer how the planning commission can even function when only 5 members are approving plans with a 9 member board. You could hear Mayor Stoneless grunt and sigh into his microphone. Of course excuses were given because we all know that planning decision are directed by the mayor and granted by the ‘approval’ process of the appointed, paid, planning staffers. The Commission meetings themselves are merely Bread & Circus.

Sioux Falls City Council to receive information on a Veterans Housing Project

During the 4 PM informational on Tuesday the city council will hear this presentation;

Veteran’s Community Project Presentation

As I understand it from my moles this is a tiny house housing project that is tied in with the city’s affordable housing funds. It is in the Axtel Park area. I think the city already bought the land but I don’t know a lot more about funding.

While I am all for helping veterans with housing, I still get a little worried when we are spending local tax dollars on these projects like we did with the cemetery. Veterans affairs should be a Federal issue and come from the Federal coffers. Yes, we do receive Federal affordable housing money and that is a pass through, but when we are spending property and sales taxes on these projects when it should be going to infrastructure for all of us, then I get concerned.

I guess we will await the details from this non-transparent city government.

South Dakota leadership is getting dumber by the day

First, let’s go with Noem’s idiotic statement of the week;

“I was on a call with the White House today with all of the governors talking about the specifics of this package and I was shocked by how much doesn’t go into infrastructure,” Noem said. “It goes into research and development. It goes into housing and pipes and different initiatives, green energy. And it really is not an honest conversation we’re having about what this proposal is.”

In Noem’s mind, she thinks infrastructure is corporate welfare to Canadian oil companies or spending Covid relief money on go kart tracks, hunting lodges and developer bailouts. Her statement kind of reminds me of this clown from Alaska who said, “The Internet is a series of tubes,” the late Sen. Ted Stevens infamously remarked in a 2006 speech on net neutrality. Even Transportation Secretary Pete Beuttigieg made fun of her on the Sunday political shows saying that ‘Yes Governor Noem, pipes are infrastructure.’

MAYOR TENHAKEN TELLS US HIS MENTOR WAS JOEL DYKSTRA

Trust me when I heard Paul say this last week, I literally fell out of my chair laughing;

When Dykstra first met TenHaken, he was starting his business ‘Click Rain’ and became the Mayor’s first client. At the time, Dykstra was running for U.S. Senate against then South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson. While the political backgrounds have been prevalent between the two, both say their conversations revolve around life.

After I caught my breath I soon realized that it explained not only Paul’s leadership(?) style but his relationship with the SD GOP and developers in town. As many may or may not know, Dykstra was a frequent target of the blog when he was running against Tim Johnson and got his butt whooped. Joel often appeared in my toons with a bag over his head like the unknown comic, because I called him the unknown candidate.

There was also a rumor swirling around City Hall that Mayor TenHaken was out of the office last week with little explanation. I agree the mayor deserves personal time off, but strangely his Chief of Staff was also gone. Not sure if they took a family vacation together, but my guess is the trip was political in nature. Wonder who was footing the bill this time?

If the trip was political in nature, that should be disclosed to taxpayers. Of course the Hatefest on transparency is alive and well at City Hall, so we may never know.

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Believe it or not, I couldn’t really find anything in the agenda that sparked my interest except item #66;

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN FEDERAL AID BRIDGE IMPROVEMENT GRANT APPLICATION RESOLUTION FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE W. 49TH ST. BRIDGE OVER THE BIG SIOUX RIVER.

Some have questioned if the city can receive this money, and the answer is yes since the bridge crosses a federally mandated waterway (Corp of Engineers manages the Big Sioux River).

In the Planning Meeting it seems the old track on the School for the Deaf land has found an occupant. Item 2I will provide space for the new Children’s Inn Facility. Surprised it was on the consent agenda. I have heard from people in the neighborhood they have concerns. The item can be pulled if people want to comment.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Erickson uses taxpayer funded media to sell TIF corporate welfare

I almost threw up watching this;

The Bunker Ramp is going to bite us in the rear

The Audit Committee of Sioux Falls meets tomorrow, and they have some precarious recommendations about the Parking Enterprise Funds.

As you can see our debt service is extremely high (mostly due to an ill-advised Bunker Ramp). There is even suggestions that parking employees work in other departments.

This is what happens when supposed leaders make very bad decisions. Will we ever learn?

Panhandling in Sioux Falls is almost at a Crisis Stage

While our Mayor is frosting cakes with his daughter on FB and making bets on college basketball, panhandling in Sioux Falls has become out of control.

As I often mention on this site, the city charter is pretty clear, the city council handles policy and the mayor runs the city, that means he is in charge of the police department and the city council doesn’t have the authority to tell them how to handle crime in our city. However, they can create policy and ordinances that the police would have to enforce.

Over the past couple of years panhandling has been getting worse. This year was the first year in Sioux Falls I saw them ALL YEAR LONG. I have even seen them on days when it was below zero. Their two favorite spots are East 10th and 14th Street on Cliff Avenue. But I have seen them downtown for the first time in over 20 years. It is at a crisis stage and it seems our mayor, our city council, our county commission and the police department are playing a game of whack a mole instead of a permanent fix to the problem.

While it is well within panhandlers 1st Amendment rights to ask for money on a street corner, there are limitations. They cannot walk into traffic or impede traffic. But it also goes for vehicle operators. You shouldn’t be handing money out of the window of your car while idling in traffic.

I think there are some simple solutions we can start with that would have an impact right away;

• Stop giving violations to the panhandlers and triage them. I know we are waiting for the Triage Center to open, but we can still help these people now, in fact it would have been a great way to spend some of the Covid stimulus money but our cruise control government had different ideas.

• The homeless shelters need to help them. We partially fund these facilities with tax dollars, if they are NOT helping them to rehabilitate it is time to cut the funding. I’m not concerned if Bill the panhandler accepts JC as his savior, I want him to get sober, get help and stop running in traffic.

• Hourly police patrols breaking them up in troubled areas.

And this is where the city council and county commission would have to do some heavy lifting;

• Instead of fining panhandlers for walking in traffic, we need to have an ordinance that fines vehicle operators for handing money out of the window. The fine should be somewhere between $100-200 and only applies if you are sitting in traffic in a running vehicle and handing the money out of the window. If you pull over and park in a safe place and get out of the vehicle and give money, that would not apply.

• Anytime one of these troubled areas pops up, there should be very visible traffic signage put up that says ‘MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM MOTOR VEHICLE PROHIBITED. $100 FINE, CITY ORD 000’

The way to fix this problem is not by punishing the panhandlers it is about shutting off the faucet. If you want to help them financially the best thing to do is donate your time or money to one of the shelters in town, the Banquet or even the Triage Center. You are not helping these individuals by handing them beer money from your car, you are creating a very dangerous situation on so many levels.

Mayor TenHaken made a pledge when he was running for mayor, he said he hopes to shut down all the shelters in town because he was going to wipeout homelessness in our community. How is the campaign promise coming along? The city cannot even stream a live video of a public meeting, how can we expect them to fix this problem?

It takes little bites and baby steps, but that isn’t even happening.

Panhandling has gotten so bad over the past couple of years in my neighborhood I have considered putting together a neighborhood security group that will go as a group and break these panhandlers up when the police won’t. It is well within my 1st Amendment rights to ask these people to move along and I have done it several times over the past couple of years without physical threats. I simply explain to them that it is the neighborhood I live in, and don’t want that kind of activity going on there, and when they moan and groan I just take out my phone and tell them that the police will be there shortly. That usually gets them moving. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a simple conversation.

Trust me, I feel for these folks, but by allowing them to continue to beg for beer money doesn’t help us and doesn’t help them, it is f’ing futile!!!!!

I pay taxes and vote for a reason. It’s time our supposed city and county leaders to put on their big kid pants and act.

Private Sioux Falls Airport gets deferred & the city plans to blow Covid money on NEW infrastructure

Well if you blinked your eyes yesterday you may have missed the Minnehaha CC/Sioux Falls CC joint meeting. The whopping 12 minutes of it.

Like the Sioux Falls City Council Informational meeting at 4 PM, the meeting wasn’t playing correctly on SIRE. They still don’t have it fixed and it seems they don’t really care. I guess the city is ran by a lot of Hi-Tech losers, who talk a big game but cannot deliver. Kind of reminds you of what that guy tells you on Sundays about your path to paradise.

Besides the fact that you could not watch the meeting online, it started right at 5 PM right when people are getting off of work.

They deferred the airport item due to a delayed FAA study, then asked for general public input at the end and that was it. I arrived at Carnegie right after it was done. I wanted to address both bodies about the excessive panhandling that has been going on all year long, what they were planning on doing about it, and some of my ideas to fix the problem (like fining people who give from their car windows and signage about ordinances and laws). But when you don’t live stream a meeting and start it as everyone is getting off of work, it doesn’t give you much time to attend.  I’m not sure who the rocket scientist is that thinks scheduling a meeting at 5 PM on Tuesday is a good idea, but . . . oh that’s right, the same authoritarian fascists who have a war on transparency in our city.

Speaking of the Informational Meeting (that was cutting out) what I could catch of it, and from the propaganda piece they sent to SF Bizzo it seems they are trying to sugarcoat how they are spending the money;

Of that, $4 million would be added to the pool of funding for arterial street expansion.

One of the things that has frustrated me is that the city continues to spend millions on new parks, new roads, and expansion while ignoring our core infrastructure. I have always preferred the mantra, take care of what you have first & if you can’t feed em’ don’t breed em’. So while they are spending our tax dollars on subsidizing corporations that pay little to no taxes & crappy wages they are sticking it to us on the back side;

The assessed value of the Platinum Point 52-unit town home complex in south Sioux Falls jumped 35 percent last year — and the developer said it’s just one example of a troubling trend.

For 17 years of owning my home the biggest increases I saw were 2% but most years it was 0%. Last year they nailed me for a 22% increase, which got reduced a bit, and this year they hit me with a 14% increase. As I have been warning people, this is what happens when we have an out of control TIF and tax rebate program to the developers, also we have an affordable housing crisis in Sioux Falls with an inflated housing market and straddle that with criminal justice costs in the County increasing (drug crimes) and a School District on a $300 million dollar spending spree and what you get is a greedy tax collection system. I have argued for a long time this is unsustainable and it’s bound to get even worse.

You can’t keep raping the little guy for more in property taxes & fees while blowing the money on more NEW infrastructure while you can’t maintain the current crumbling infrastructure in our core.

Recently a local government official told me after having a conversation with someone who studies affordable housing and poverty in Sioux Falls they said the problem is hard to fix but easily explained (paraphrasing);

“The gap between the rich and poor in Sioux Falls has widened greatly over the past 10 years, and widening even faster now. There isn’t a middle to upper middle class in Sioux Falls anymore. You are either living in poverty or close to it, in debt up to your ears, or extremely rich.”

There is also the problem with transparency that is not only affecting the citizens and our tax increases but information is being withheld from the city council by the administration. According to charter, the council is the body that is supposed to be making decisions on policy, budget, taxation and fees, not the mayor’s office.

Of course, none of this will end unless people start speaking up. While we will blab at the podium for 2 hours about masks and kids crying about it, we say nothing while our government is literally taking us to the cleaners and telling us nothing about how they are doing it.

Greed is destroying our community and it is being done by ‘supposed’ Christian leaders.

Maybe they need to listen a little bit harder to that guy on Sunday.

Is the City of Sioux Falls blowing Covid stimulus money on unrelated things?

Hard for me to answer that question since this item on the Sioux Falls city council informational meeting has no attached documents;

• Sioux Falls for all initiative

Doesn’t that sound lovely?

If you do a little digging and talk to a few moles and rats at city hall you get another picture (these items are of course speculation from said rats and moles);

• The city has already spent some of the money on paying off debt, which seems odd since most of these bonds have a 2% interest rate. While I am strongly against cities borrowing money anyway, I think the wise move would have been spending that money on helping people impacted by the pandemic instead of bond investors.

• There is supposedly around $22 million that still needs to be spent

Here are the items that they ‘might’ spend it on;

• $4 million on a decorative roof for the Pavilion

• Ice rink at Falls Park

• Hayward Park improvements

• 2nd Police Precinct

• Other projects in the mayor’s wish list.

Honestly, I think it would be difficult determining on how we should spend the money, and I think a large chunk of covid stimulus money is a complete waste, but one city official said it best, ‘Maybe we should put it away for a rainy day?’

Sure.

And does the city council even have a say in the matter? Well according to city charter, funding is their duty, not the mayor so why is this coming from his office?

There is also the little secret that while the Triage Center building fund is okay, there is no real plan for funding the operating costs. Maybe this would be a good place to spend it?

I fully understand it is hard to know what to do with Federal funding, but if I was a thinking man, I wouldn’t spend pandemic money on roofs and ice. Just saying.

Minnehaha County Commission and Sioux Falls City Council set to approve/deny permit for private residential airport

It seems the march is on;

CONSIDER MOTION TO APPROVE, DENY OR AMEND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT #21-17 TO ALLOW EXPANSION OF A PRIVATE AIRPORT APPROXIMATELY ONE MILE WEST OF SIOUX FALLS

It looks like on Tuesday at a joint 5 PM meeting the two bodies will consider the permit for the airport. I am still wondering if the FAA has weighed in;

The airport shall meet all FAA requirements.

I have to admit I am still on the fence about this. The Minnehaha County planning commission approved this 6-0 and the Sioux Falls planning commission denied this 5-2.

While I think that rich folks can spend their money however they choose, and build ludicrous things like airstrips, my main concern is how it will affect their neighbors and the city and county in general. Your property rights end when they inflict harm on your neighbors. This will be an interesting meeting to say the least.