What reactions are you getting, any from city hall? Attorneys? Citizens?
City Hall has not contacted me. At one time there was a private meeting with the council. They considered reimbursing me for my legal expenses butÂ most councilors and the mayor vetoed. Private attorneys use my case toÂ dismiss lawsuits the city files. I’ve made attorneys aware of the suit.Â I offer my card and testimony should theyÂ need me for a pertinent case.Â Citizens are a big disappointment. Their initial reaction is they’d accept cityÂ demands before they’d go to court.Â I, myself,Â shall always protect and defendÂ my constitutional rights. I’ll use all of myÂ energy and assets if necessary.
Tell us about Zamby, Vietnam monkey story. Also, is Zamby (the monkey) a reflection of how the city ‘monkey’s around’ with citizens and our tax dollars? Also talk about your service to the country.
IÂ inherited a monkeyÂ in Vietnam. He’d rideÂ on the canvas over jeeps or trucks. Monkeys have no intestines andÂ surge without warning, messy. They’re good companions. He’dÂ go apeÂ in the bunker and wakeÂ us to shoot huge rats. A cat wouldÂ work better. Citizens areÂ like monkeys. TheyÂ lackÂ intuition andÂ awareness.Â TheyÂ follow one leader. Works if the leader is not aÂ self-centered greedy arrogant narcissist. We’re no longer an all American city. More like Jonestown, South Africa or a David Koresh compound. Tax dollars, my grievance is we should do moreÂ for the majority (our working class). They work 12 hour days and don’t have the interest or energy for tennis or pickleball. They can’t afford concerts coming to the EC.
I was a US ArmyÂ artillery surveyor in Vietnam. I travelled with infantry into newÂ battery placements. Guard duty was in a 90′ tower spotting enemy mortar tube flashes. I knew it was coming because of the 50 cal machine gun spray beforehand. I went into Cambodia 50 miles with special forces and mercenaries. Nixon said no further than 21.7 mi., bullcrap. I turned in my Mattel M-16 and bought aÂ grease gun. I also had a 40mm grenade launcher with HE, WP, shotgun, and flareÂ bandolier. Lots of stories. To much for here. IÂ get VA benefits for Agent Orange Heart Disease (5 surgeries) & PTSD.
Talk about the city lawsuit? What you had to go through for 7 years. What about assistant city attorney, Shawn Tornow’s involvement.Â
The matter started in 2003. My background is land surveyor and real estate. IÂ reviewed city ordinances. Adding to your drivewayÂ did not require city approval. On my block of 30 homes, there were 13 similarÂ driveway extensions the city had no zoningÂ exceptions for. I would have compromised. TheÂ only solution the city gave was remove it or we’ll fine you $150 per day till you do. I appealed and went to 4 city hearings. One was 8 hours long. They denied another (with 5 city directors) happened. I proved it did. It became necessary to appeal into circuit court. At some point, they dropped the driveway argument and the suit becameÂ a constitutional matter. I won but my uncompensated cost was $50k. The city, not I, appealed into SD State Supreme Court. At this point, 3 law firms had participated. One agreed to handle the case pro bono.Â Legal research was free from the SD School of Law. There was some back and forth but the city lost. They hired a private law firm to suppress the matter. I’d like to find out what grade schoolÂ Shawn TornowÂ (then city attorney) learned law from.Â He’d not show up for court and wouldn’tÂ comply with court orders. His defense was to make it last.Â It did for 5 years via 30 minute courtÂ dates. Each time (I lost count), he’d delay to a future date.Â Â He was terminated (but not because of my lawsuitâ€“the rumor is he was caught trying to ‘fix a traffic violation ticket’ for one of his kids). There’s no reward for fighting city hall. I’d do it again but don’t recommend it.
Talk about how much it cost you, not just financially, but health wise & personal relationships.
My spouse of 23 years moved out before the Supreme Court decision. There was to much duress for her.Â She watched my hypertension become a problem. IÂ had financial issues from the suit andÂ nearly lost my home. It wasÂ important to holdÂ itÂ but hard to live in a big house alone, lots of memories. Tornow had recruited my neighbor to harass me with false police reports. There were a dozen or moreÂ per year. Police (in force) would come to my door. Their intent was to provoke and come up with a charge. I’m a disabled senior. My neighbor (a large man) andÂ his two 20 something sons would threaten me often. He served me a little known protection order process meant for battered women and we ended up in court. I travel for business and proved his accusations were times I was out of town. IÂ wantedÂ the court to require his mental evaluation. He would lose his professional medical license so he agreed to move. The code enforcer came to my home probably a hundred times. He’d sit outside evenings in his personal car. Sometimes there would be a rent car outside with a big guy taking pictures. Many times, I’d carry a concealedÂ pistol when I was working in my yard.Â I live in a small townhouse now. I want to be sure I have a vote in city elections and I wantÂ to speakÂ at someÂ public comment council meeting sessions. I choose to be an active outsider discouragingÂ people and business from locating in Sioux Falls. Surrounding communities areÂ not the crime syndicate the city of Sioux Falls has become. They have midwest values andÂ government of, by, and for the people. This area is ripe.Â Move hereÂ for sure butÂ locate in Brandon, Tea, or Harrisburg.
Unconstitutional city fine / fee process. Explain to people how the city can’t sue you anymore. Idle threats, harassment, etc.
Ignore all city fines, fees, permits, etc. They’ve refused (since 2008) toÂ reviseÂ ordinances and charterÂ to allow appeals into court. They’ll try to get you into small claims court. Appear but stateÂ you want your case heard in circuit court. Small claims is voluntary, you have this option. They’ll not file suit in circuit court becauseÂ the case is dismissed. They can’t sue you becauseÂ they do not comply withÂ South Dakota Civil Procedures (each and every point).Â TheyÂ have a Writ of CertiorariÂ exempting them from lawsuits. They’ll use it if investors sue for default on EC bonds.Â Simply, they can’t sue you and you can’t sue them. Why do we haveÂ a city government who can’t enforce rule of lawÂ or force action? Idle threats, certainly. It’s hard not to laugh out loud.Â They’re ignorant, they should be angry they can’t enforce anything. There should beÂ code enforcement once democracy is restored. One of the present code enforcers is a bully who was ‘dismissed’ from the highway patrol and the city of Yankton. A code enforcer is not a peace officer. He/she must not have a badgeÂ nor haveÂ arrest capability. Cities must at first use a diplomatic way to deal with citizens. If the city calls a hearing and serves you properly (certified mail or sheriff’s deputy) go butÂ bring a voice recorder. If it’s serious or a big dollar amount, bring an attorney and court reporter.Â See how fast the hearing is cancelled. If they continue â€“ you should (certified) send a letterÂ opting for a court appealÂ in lieu of a city hearing. You’ll not hear from them again. What’s sad aboutÂ city absence of authority isÂ they can no longerÂ stop or restrictÂ the number of casinos, asian massage parlors, nude juice bars, etc..
Why do you want others to join in? Talk about censorship and transparency in local government.
I’ve learned not enough citizens care. I probably shouldn’t either. The city has no authority. They can sit in council chambersÂ acting important and refining ordinancesÂ so long as we (the people) don’t have to respond, comply, or even listen. The few of us who do care would like to have something to say. There is public comment with potential city doctoring/manipulation or at the end of a session. SIRE, the online meeting viewing software still doesn’t work after many years of malfunction. This is either blatant soft censorship or incompetenceâ€“probably both. Our local newspaper and broadcast media will not report city unconstitutional actions or city harassment. City spending is non-competitive bid (the mayor has the authority to pick any bid, low or high). The mayor decides everything and hires ‘favorable’Â suppliers/contractors. Most on the councilÂ are in bed with the mayor. The council decides you can’t text and driveÂ but you can readÂ an email. It was suspected that many EC contracts were in the works before the location and vote even took place. Heck, the planning department was following the new Shape SF zoning procedures before the council even passed it. Some bond money probably goes straight to the contractor before being approved by the council. The city has new revenue from sales tax growth. Politicians and public project developers are getting rich but the citizens can’t affordÂ milk for their children.
Tell us about code enforcement, what you think is good, what you think is bad.
Code enforcement takesÂ common sense, people skills, and pertinent knowledge complimented with ongoing education and training. The city has one goon. There used to be a city personnel office. If you walk in there, you can’t find anybody. I made 4 formal complaints against the code enforcer. None were answered. It’s all bad, anything is improvement.