UPDATE II: I think the vote tonight will be an incredibly low turnout. Some have predicted about 2,000 but I think it will be closer to 6,000. I also think Johnson will win by over 60% of the vote. Hopefully the results come in quickly so Brian’s wife can get pack to dishes and laundry.

UPDATE: I am encouraging people to vote for Johnson. After hearing Mattson’s radio ads about supporting the new social studies standards I just can’t support a Noem puppet.

The ‘Man-Splaining’ video didn’t help matters either;

It has been a very long time since I have looked at a local election ballot and had trouble picking a candidate. This happened when I early voted last week. I voted for Johnson, but almost voted for Mattson.

I ultimately picked Johnson based solely on experience. But I really liked Mattson’s stance on fiscal responsibility, and that he understands the Constitution and 1st Amendment 🙂

I guess what I am saying is this is a NON-endorsement, I think both candidates are equally qualified and having either one serve would be an asset to Sioux Falls.

For once we had a real choice!

(An interesting moment in the video is when candidate Johnson didn’t know how to answer a question about the separation of church and state.)

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce will host a School Board Candidate Forum on Thursday, May 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the school district’s Instructional Planning Center. This forum will feature Dawn Marie Johnson and Brian Mattson who are the two candidates actively running for one open seat on the Sioux Falls School Board.

The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters. Candidates will answer questions on their goals if they are elected.

This forum is free and open to the public. It will also be livestreamed on the Sioux Falls School District YouTube channel and KLRN TV- Midco cable channels 20 and 595.

(I voted yesterday early at the IPC. The person attending the voting told me they are getting 30-40 early voters per day. They are hand counting the vote, so I am sure whoever wins it will be by at least 80-90% of the vote 🙂

About two weeks ago I decided I needed to know more about why the Sioux Falls School Board is considering the cut. I talked briefly to three different school officials. All three of them were clear, It’s going to be cut. While money and participation rates were mentioned, one thing was pretty clear, this cut was inevitable months ago when the school board was having budget talks;

“The lack of transparency regarding the process to cut gymnastics has been unsettling. The level of misinformation regarding the narrative of the gymnastics program’s history is alarming. And to force young women to come before the board to beg to participate in a sport that they love is appalling,” parent Angie Allen said.

I’m obviously on the fence since a majority of my property taxes goes to educating other people’s kids, which I’m fine with, but I do get my feathers ruffled a bit when the only time parents show up to tangle with the district is to save some program for a handful of kids (remember the AP fight with moving the school start date?).

I said to one of the school officials, “Isn’t public school really about educating?”

I also talked to some friends with young kids. One couple told me it has to do with the club sports. I’m all for club sports, just like it costs me money to maintain my bicycles, the payoff is enjoyable recreation and transportation. Sometimes if you want to do something that is NOT offered on the government dole you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. But these parents told me that some of the club sports will not allow membership if you are competing in public sports of the same genre. Then there are the kids on free or reduced lunches who definately are NOT participating in club sports. Not sure if this is true, but it seems odd to me that the school district isn’t sitting down with ALL club sport leadership and the SF Parks department to come up with more equitable options.

Of course that brings us back to transparency again.

I think the school board and administration COULD have found the funding this year, which could have given them a YEAR to figure out a permanent solution thru public meetings and forums. In a year, the conclusion may be the same, but at least you vetted the program with parents in a open forum and tried everything possible to save it.

What if the SFSD proposed cutting girls basketball or boys football? Parents would have torn the Instructional Planning Center to the ground.

Are we saying those sports are more important because there is more participation? Maybe there is more participation because there is more funding?

I agree with gymnastic parents, this is really about fairness. And even if I don’t have children, I do sympathize with these parents, because once again government secrecy provided an authoritarian plan that it seems no one is happy about, even the school board members.

Parents need to ask for open government first, then we can proceed with the negotiations, because what happened Monday night was NOT a negotiation. Parents were handed a decree from school board members who prepared their Monday night ‘I feel your pain’ speech weeks ago.

There is a school board election coming up with a Friday deadline of turning in nominating petitions. As I understand it at least 3 candidates have pulled petitions but not sure how many will turn them in. I am of the understanding a former school district employee, a Trumper and incumbent Cynthia Mickelson all pulled petitions. I guess we will see on Friday how many will turn in the petitions. The election is Tuesday, May 16th.

I’m hoping if there is any forums to hear from the candidates they will explain how they would have handled the community center debacle.

I really don’t have a dog in the fight but I think something different needed to be done, I think this person makes a really good point;

So, it’s disconcerting that the city and school district, led by people who do not use these facilities, think they can make such a disruptive shift without public buy-in. Not a public vote, poll, or anything. 

And here in lies the problem. We know there was NO public input on this. We also know the city council was blind-sided by the proposal. So who proposed this? Was there a public out-cry from parents wanting a different program that now costs them?


We could debate until we are blue in the face as to whether this is a good idea or not, but how the proposal came about is a fine example of how public policy should NOT be shaped. And what makes this even worse is that two local government entities are in cahoots with the coverup.