Entries Tagged 'SFPD' ↓

UPDATE: JazzFest Killed

UPDATE: The story going around is that JF lost significant money this past year, which doesn’t surprise me. Having to pay for generators, bad weather damaging stuff, no major acts and having the headliner cancel probably did it in. I’ve even heard they are so broke from it that they may have to hand over the concert series they hold at the Orpheum to the Pavilion management, but we will have to see what happens. I think they ‘could’ bring it back in 2021 but would still need to do something like a small Saturday night concert this summer and bill it as a ‘mini’ JF just to keep it relevant. But with the money situation, I’m not sure if that is even possible.

I also have heard that people are blaming Mayor TenHaken because of the proposed ordinance to charge for police assistance. I guess he has been on the horn with certain people mad about the blame game. I won’t defend PTH on much, but it really isn’t his fault. Sure the proposal is stupid and ridiculous, but the city council hasn’t ironed out the details yet and may vote it down anyway IF it is even brought forward. So while the ordinance proposal is moronic, it hasn’t happened yet. I was actually surprised he was so annoyed with it, I would just blow it off.

As you have heard in the news, JazzFest has ended (but will consider doing it in 2021). I think once you go there, you can never recover.

It saddens me for several reasons, I assisted with JF for several years in different roles with graphic design work, helping to design the logo two years, and designing countless other items for them. It was always a tradition for me, for at least 20 years. I will miss it.

Some think it may have to do with the city council considering charging for police assistance, but I think it really has to do with all the problems from this past festival and low attendance, and former director Rob Joyce leaving. It of course has never been the same since Janoct Adja died 🙂 We may never know. I think that this city has been going towards more ‘family friendly’ festivals lately (not that JF wasn’t) and it is just hard to put on these kind of large events anymore.

I actually think the city council has the votes to either kill the police ordinance, or at least reduce the proposed fee of $70 an hour per officer significantly. I would like for them to pass an ordinance that only charges ‘For-Profit’ events for police assistance and leave the non-profit’s exempt.

As we know these events bring in huge economic impact that can cover the police costs, it is just a matter of the city budgeting for it and paying the officers for these duties. Which is easily done instead of continuing to screw the police union.

Isn’t ironic that our mayor was in DC yesterday bragging about how he doesn’t want to burden the FOR-PROFIT telecoms (who make billions a year) with high fees for 5G poles then turns around and depends on volunteers to clean up after tornados, doesn’t plow our streets and now wants to charge for police assistance (even though they have plenty of money in the budget for it). This administration’s priorities are messed up, and you will see that when the $21.5 million dollar TIF for a private developer gets passed with NO evidence or studies proving TIFs provide economic impact to our city. The arts and other non-profit events in Sioux Falls have already had numerous studies showing their impact, but who has time to read that stuff? For TIFs and telecom handouts we’ll just take your word.

‘HOLY SMOKEBALLS’ This is how our Public Safety officers spend their time (and your tax dollars)

Sioux Falls City Councilors question the fees for police service

I first want to make a correction. According to council staff the police department is the department that is pushing for this and NOT Councilor Kiley (though I have heard differently). That aside, several councilors questioned charging non-profits for this due to economic impact at today’s informational meeting. Councilors Erickson and Starr were the most vocal. Starr went on to ask Deputy Chief of Staff, TJ Nelson if the city would be giving rebates to the non-profits putting on these events because of the massive economic impact.

Erickson talked about youth sporting events.

There was some discussion about maybe separating non-profit from for-profit events (which makes sense). They all agreed that more discussion needs to happen before they move forward.

I remembered when we were told about the economic impact of the veteran’s cemetery and why it was a good idea to gift the land.

While I think it is appropriate to charge for for-profit events, I’m not sure it is wise to charge non-profit events. As Starr also pointed out, if we need more money for staff and overtime for the officers, they should budget for it instead of tying it into this. I think he said something like the police union got ‘HOSED’ by the city last year in contract negotiations.

Another funny moment was when Erickson asked about how you determine something is a political rally/protest which is considered a 1st Amendment event and the city could not charge for police security. She jokingly said (and she did apologize for the comparison) that what if the Zombie Walk parade said it was actually a political event to bring awareness to pro-life issues 🙂

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, MONDAY, November 18, 2019

As you can see, the council meeting is on Monday this week because, I believe four councilors are leaving Tuesday for the National League of Cities City Summit in San Antonio, TX. I think the four attending are Starr, Stehly, Erickson, Neitzert and his hand sanitizer (they give free soap at the hotel).

City Council Informational Meeting • 4 PM

There will be presentations on;

• October Financials, the city is still riding in at about 6.4% from last year, which is good.

• Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum Management Agreement, which is a year to year agreement

• As I understand the last presentation, the city is going to start charging for events at the Levitt, but there has also been a smaller discussion about charging for police security at various events. One that has been discussed for years is JazzFest, yet the discussion quickly dies once it is pointed out to the PD that that event brings in tax revenue and has an economic impact. I heard from a city mole that the SFPD has been complaining they have to work the event which causes them to take a day off in the middle of the week then have to work a Saturday. Not sure if that complaint is true, and besides, all I have ever seen POs do at JazzFest is hang out in the beer tents and eat. Seems like a pretty good gig. I also want to point out that they are paid to do a job – does it matter what or where they are doing it? Seems like a grievance they can bring up to their Union rep. Also, even if we start charging for police presence at JazzFest and other events – how does it solve the scheduling issue? It doesn’t, which brings it back to just a ‘money’ issue. If you look at slide #11 on the attached PDF on the presentation, you will find some curious ‘numbers’. First off, the officer count is questionable. I think someone did not do the math correctly in that column, because it basically says that there was only two officers at every event. So let’s just review the hours. I found it suspicious that ZombieWalk (a parade that lasted about 20 minutes had 8 logged hours, or Jazzfest, an event at most lasting about 20 hours total had 464 hours logged (that breaks down to about 23 officers working the event at the same time – hardly). Also, if we are going to start ‘charging’ for police presence, we have to be fair and charge for all events. This would include ALL parades, funeral processions, and YES campaign security for a private fundraiser when the president shows up and doesn’t do a public appearance. I think they are going down a rabbit hole that they will never get out of. As a city official said to me when I asked them their opinion, ‘This is what we pay taxes for.’ In other words they were against charging the fees since we are already paying for these services. I would agree (though I still think Noem owes us $20,000). Also, the yearly cost is peanuts, $125K a year. I’m sure the city recoups those costs in tax revenue generated by these events at least Ten-Fold if NOT more. Much to do about nothing. What they really need to do is fix the scheduling of the officers so that covering these special events is done fairly with all of the staff involved.

UPDATE: I’m curious what this means in the ordinance ‘Adds First Amendment Activity to ordinance’. I don’t know, there are NO details about this in the presentation, but my guess it has to do with political rallies or protests, which I find odd. The 1st Amendment is broad and already protects us. A municipality really doesn’t have the power to amend the US Constitution. That part of the proposed ordinance will be an interesting discussion.

UPDATE II: I did some more research on this. I guess this is a pet project of Councilor Kiley who has been pushing this for awhile. I heard that the mayor is kind of on the fence and thinks that the fees should be selective based on the nature of the event. Not sure what we will hear from either one of them. I also know this is something that Barthel pushed for when he was working under the last mayor, and Bowlcut shut it down, because he saw it as a ‘scheduling’ issue, as I do.

I also want to point out that Kansas City used to have a massive Jazz and Blues Festival that ended about 15 years ago because the city said they were going to start charging for police presence. It killed the festival.

If you look at this STUDY from 2015 of the economic impact of these events in our community, you will see the massive returns. It was stated one time by the CVB that JazzFest alone (depending on it’s attendance) brings in about $9-20 million in economic impact. While I understand that this seems like a handout, the economic impact covers the $125K easily. I guess non-profits around town have been very nervous about this for awhile and that if this happens, JF will move to the fair grounds which will essentially KILL the event.

I see what is going on here. They want to charge rental fees for the Levitt, which I totally understand and agree with. With a new facility like that it is wise to get these things in place early and build on them. But the rental of the Levitt has NOTHING to do with police security at these events. (They are separate ordinances, but somehow are coming forward at the same time). What they are basically doing is trying to tie this in with it, to get it passed. It what legislators call ‘hog housing’. It is how the Pavilion* got passed. And with Kiley on the way out in a few months, he wants to get this done before he leaves, similar to the idiotic move by Erpenbach and Rolfing to rig our local elections with council runoffs. My advice to the council is that if they are going to do this, they are going down a very slippery slope that could kill many great public events in our city.

*Notice that Sidewalk Arts Festival and German Fest was NOT included on the chart for police presence.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM

Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub Item #8, HVAC upgrades to Events Center, $255K. Can you imagine as a business owner, that after you made a multi-million dollar building expansion that in 5 short years you were told you needed to spend this kind of coin to upgrade the HVAC system? Now I understand regular maintenance, but this just sounds shady. I have seen this a lot with the EC, we cut corners while building it and now we are making very costly upgrades that should have been included to begin with. What a sham.

Items #38 & #50, $200K for bike trail expansion.

Items #46-47, 1st Readings, Rail Yard Flats purchase agreements

Item #49, 1st Reading, adding a new city election precinct, by splitting one in half in an expanding neighborhood in Lincoln County

ATF investigating Sioux Falls home explosion

A source that follows crime closely in Sioux Falls told me that the home that exploded was a ‘squatter’ house and that the SFPD responded to a call there just the week before to throw out some squatters. I’m not sure if that was the case. I’m sure the ATF investigation will find a cause of the explosion.

While Mayor Selfie yucks it up at the Law Enforcement Dinner, his policies say something else

Oh, the irony. Just a few days after I did a post about Mayor TenHaken’s speaking engagements instead of citizen engagements, he takes this picture.

Surprised he would even show up to a dinner honoring law enforcement after stiffing the police union and struggling with his campaign promise of cleaning up crime in this town.

I wonder if they served him a plate of crow last night?

City of Sioux Falls trying to package new public safety facility bonds with past bad decisions

So this is what the city of Sioux Falls does, they make bad decisions in the past and instead of trying to correct them, they just pile it on with more bad spending decisions.*

While the new public safety center is needed, no doubt, they are playing a game with bonds and re-financing prior bad decisions;

Also included in the potential bonding package would be about $3 million for a new fire station in southeastern Sioux Falls and between $7 and $10 million for the third phase of the River Greenway project downtown. 

The two bonds being considered for refinancing were taken out by the city in 2009 for quality of life improvements, along with the flood levy project completed in 2015. Those bonds have $11.85 million and $19.7 million remaining on them, respectively.

That’s right, besides the public safety needs we want to continue to fund the river Greenway Project expansion (that is NOT needed – and likely will continue to flood due to global warming) and let’s not forget the fancy footwork the previous mayor played with Federal Funds that would have paid off the levy bonds but instead used the money to pay for the MAC that we didn’t need and continues to lose money each year.

If I was on the council, I would have NO issue with the re-finance and funding the public safety facilities, BUT, I would nix the expansion of the river greenway and just do inexpensive bike trail upgrades, etc, and stop building Roman like structures. We need to work on flood control of the Big Sioux, not build more monuments to nothing.

*There is a rumor I heard from another local media person that the city may need more money for another failed over budget project in town. I have no idea what that would be, or the cost – but I have my guesses. I guess the cat may be let out of the bag as soon as this week. Oh, brother.

New Sioux Falls Police Officers

Eight new officers were sworn in. Six Males and two females. I’m not sure if any of them are minorities.

I decided to do a little research on our local TV stations to see how they breakdown in these matters. I only counted the ON-AIR personalities, this is what I found.

ALL STATIONS COMBINED: 49 TOTAL • 32 MEN • 17 WOMEN • 4 MINORITIES

KELOLAND-TV: 21 TOTAL • 14 MEN • 7 WOMEN • O MINORITIES

KSFY-TV: 14 TOTAL • 10 MEN • 4 WOMEN • 3 MINORITIES

KDLT-TV: 14 TOTAL • 8 MEN • 6 WOMEN • 1 MINORITY

Not that this has any correlation, but I just thought it was interesting. Also not shown in the numbers are the LGBTQ community, which a few of the stations do have.

The lack of transparency creates mistrust in police

So there was an officer involved shooting last night, but little details;

The suspect in that call was believed to be armed in the 3600 block of North 6th Avenue.

Police don’t know how many shots were fired at this time.

The suspect is in the hospital and his condition is unknown at this time.

What kind of weapon was he carrying? A gun? A knife? A baseball bat?

The officer doesn’t know how to count bullets in his clip?

You mean the hospital isn’t telling the investigating officer/supervisor the condition of the suspect?

Yeah . . . right.

If the SFPD would be more transparent about their business, people would trust them more. There is absolutely NO reason why the police cannot answer those very simple questions above, and since the suspect is in custody, there is really NO reason to keep them a secret. It will be interesting to hear what information they give us at the police briefing.

Looks like the key deposition in the Falls Park death case was from a SFPD Detective

Now we can see why the city is trying to throw out the case, it seems, this detective’s deposition could be damaging to their case.

I want to applaud the detective for being honest and transparent in his interview, not that we shouldn’t expect that from any Sioux Falls police officer, but it was refreshing to see. They could have easily been vague.

Keloland-TV Screenshot