Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce' ↓

Sioux Falls Chamber admits Shape Places screwed the pooch on Wholestone Foods project

I am opposed to anymore packing plants in Sioux Falls and think a better approach would be chiding Smithfield to leave downtown Sioux Falls for good. But I also don’t believe in fairytales.

Since the beginning of this process I have been adamant that there is little the city council and mayor can do to stop this, and the Chamber pretty much simplified the reasons why;

The people of Sioux Falls approved our city’s current zoning ordinances by 65% in April of 2014.

This was AFTER the city council had already approved it and the citizens referred it to a vote. I voted against Shape Places because it removed many crucial conditional use directives the council used to be able to apply to projects. I believe that if Shape Places was never implemented, we may not have seen a council approval of a new packing plant because there would have been public meetings to address the conditional uses.

You get what you ask for.

Unlike Noem, I applaud the initiative process in this matter (even though this should have been a Charter Amendment that would have forced a special election within in 90 days of certification of signatures). It would have given WF little time to react with a grandfather trick.

I expect, even with the passage of this measure, that there will be some court challenges.

Did The Sioux Falls Chamber & Experience Sioux Falls (CVB) agree to split?

Not sure. While rumors are going around that a decision to split was made very recently, nobody has said a word publicly, but the Sioux Falls City Council got an update about the possible decision at the 4 PM informational today in which a presentation involving the Falls Park Visitor Center Management Agreement was discussed and these changes;

9 month Term: January 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022
• Discussions are on-going between the Chamber and Experience Sioux Falls regarding potential
separate legal status for Experience Sioux Falls.

• 9/30/21 coincides with the end of the Chambers fiscal year.
• 60 day termination clause exercisable by City, which allows for transition of agreement once an
effective date of separate legal status is determined.

This was first presented at the Parks Board Meeting on November 17, but it was also very sketchy as to what was going on. They called it ‘legal status’ changes between the Chamber and CVB and are having ongoing discussions. Terri Schmidt, head of ESF (CVB) did say;

“ESF becoming independent from the Chamber, that process is really moving along now, and tomorrow there is a major meeting where we are expecting to probably either seal the deal, or being really close to sealing the deal. I don’t know if anyone on the outside will really know the difference, it will be more of back house of becoming independent.”

While NOTHING was said by the presenter at the informational about why this is occurring, the council, who must certainly know, has also chosen to keep this quiet or at least not filling in the blanks. Council Chair Curt Soehl even bragged about keeping it quiet and secretive by saying this at the end of the meeting;

“Thank all those involved for keeping their eye on the ball and realizing there is a lot of external noise going on at this time, for all of this, and to protect the city from everything they do.”

I find it interesting that the council is being publicly noticed about contract changes but during the presentation the public cannot be filled in on the details of a possible split. The hatred towards transparency in this city is even more troubling especially when the chair of the council brags about the secrecy. WOW! Surprised he didn’t just take a potty break during the presentation 🙁

It seems the head of ESF is the only one to at least give an inkling this was going to happen. So was a deal struck last Thursday? We may never know because of all the ‘External Noise.’

I also have a feeling if this was a simple matter of ‘back house’ deals and ‘legal status’ it wouldn’t be that controversial to release that information to the public, especially since it involves our tax dollars. I have a feeling this was a lot messier than they are putting on and they are hiding the sausage making from the citizens.

As I predicted ‘Riot Buses’ from Fargo were Facebook B.S.

While I was uncertain if riots were going to occur, I certainly figured it wasn’t going to be some mysterious group from Fargo. The SF Chamber has apologized;

“Griffen said he should have verified the information with police before suggesting protest buses were headed to Sioux Falls from Fargo. The rumor, he said, came from the Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. organization, whose leader said it came from a city councilor.”

The irony is if you know anything about Anti-Fa, they are a loose knit group of individuals, and certainly not racists, and anti-fascism not pro-fascism. As I predicted, it was a bunch of latch key kids with nothing better to do on a summer night.

Egyptian Ambassador Press Conference

Saturday, November 9th, 2019 • 10 AM

Rep. Michael Saba (Dist. 9) has asked me to assist in setting up a special Saturday Press Conference in Sioux Falls to announce first results of this week’s Egyptian delegation trip to South Dakota led by Ambassador Hamdi Saleh.

“The purpose for this trip has been to buy products” Saba states “Ambassador Saleh has stressed this trip is to ship South Dakota products including commodities such as soybeans, corn and agricultural technology directly to Egypt from us.”

Rep. Saba has been traveling with the delegation from Sioux Falls to Brookings, Watertown and Aberdeen to cement relationships including purchase agreements. This week’s weather issues have not cooled the delegation’s interest in South Dakota commodities, education opportunities and products. The Egyptian trade delegation is building strong ties in South Dakota this week not only for today but for years to come.

The press conference is in the planned for the delegation at:

Sioux Falls Development Foundation (use the North door entrance)

200 N. Phillips Ave

Suite 101

Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Saturday, November 9th, 2019 at 10:00am

Sioux Falls City Council votes against Chamber and approves city flag

NOT the official flag of Sioux Falls

The city council, all 8 of them approved the city flag tonight, but some worried (Rick Kiley) that they would be stepping on the toes of the Chamber and their rebranding efforts.

As I reported back in May, the city, and now it seems that Chamber have been leading an effort to brand the city. Kiley brought it up in the discussion tonight. While this isn’t a bad idea, I wondered when the Chamber was going to bring the public into this discussion, you know, the people who fund this government and live here. Once again, the business elite in town want to decide what is best for us, without including us in the discussion.

Personally, I am offended that these back room discussions have been going on. I guess Sioux Falls is only your city if your Chamber membership is up to date and paid for.

Did Pheasant Fest even have a very big economic impact?

I’m sure some of the restaurants and vendors at the event had a little bump. But it certainly didn’t affect our sales tax much, (City Council is getting briefed on March Financials, the report document is to the right in SIRE) and it certainly didn’t affect lodging. The hotel tax is down over 14% from last year, which equates to the occupancy rates being down.

I was hoping Pheasant Fest would have a major affect on the tax rolls in Sioux Falls, but it seems like it really didn’t make a difference at all. Which I am very surprised about.

I would really like to hear from the CVB as to why hotel stays are down so much from last year.

UPDATE: Chamber says Entenman a life-long resident of Sioux Falls

UPDATE: The Chamber made the error, not the Entenman Campaign.

As I have been telling people, it is often the ‘little’ things you have to pay attention to in campaigns. Details that candidates will try to slip by you.

I have noticed that Entenman’s campaign is built on a lot of spit balling and approximates. Like how he kind of just guessed that 2017 ended well financially for the city. Or that he has the intention to serve 8 years, even though he only did one term on the city council after his bucket list of the Event Center and BID tax was marked off the list. Seems he is learning from his buddy MMM who he would emulate as mayor, it’s NOT a lie if YOU believe it.

He claims in the Chamber interview he is a life long resident of Sioux Falls. Never mind the time he spent going to college in Aberdeen or the over 15 years he lived in Brandon. It’s kind of like a certain legislator from SD that lives in Texas most of the time.

Brandon isn’t a sub-division of Sioux Falls (they probably wish they were with all the water problems they are having) It’s actually a separate community with a different zip code.

Dell Rapids, Canton, Tea, Baltic  . . . Sioux Falls? Close enough.

Keep selling the wage collusion in town

I will at least give Mr. Nasser props for trying to encourage professional careers but the argument is lost with Kiley and the Chamber with the constant push for affordable housing instead of higher wages.

Debra Owen new Public Policy Director for Sioux Falls Chamber

SIOUX FALLS — The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce announces that Debra Owen, J.D. has been named Public Policy Director. She succeeds Mark Lee, Ed.D. who is leaving to become market president of Reliabank Dakota.

Owen will provide leadership in the area of public policy and advocacy on the local, state and federal levels. Her background includes more than 27 years of experience in both business and government leadership positions, including public policy, advocacy, strategy, planning and implementation.

Congrats to Debra, I’m sure she will do a great job!

Mark Lee to leave the Sioux Falls Chamber

Mr. Lee, Public Affairs & Communications Director for the SF Chamber is leaving to run a Sioux Falls branch of his family’s bank.

While I disagree with Mark about 99.9% of the time, I will say I am going to miss him. I’ve enjoyed his multiple jabs over the past couple of years in his Chamber articles directed at me and South DaCola. As you know, I much more prefer criticism over praise, it keeps me on my toes. I hope the Chamber can replace him with someone just as sharp and sometimes biting.