Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

If you think a Meatpacking Plant is a great place to work, watch this

I have argued a long time it is time to get rid of our craphole owned by Chinese Communist investors, and retrain the workers in ecologically safe manufacturing jobs.

Sioux Falls Media ignores the negative effects of TIF 23

As I have said in the past, I have NO doubt that this TIF will pass on March 2 when it comes before the city council. Sure a couple of them will put an amendment in there about ‘getting reports’ on how the $30 million dollar slush fund is being spent, but this is hardly the transparency that should be given. TIF 23 is what it is, corporate socialism funded by the taxpayers in higher taxes, crime and less affordable housing.

While the local media has done a handful of stories about the TIF, they basically just copy the press releases from the Development Foundation and call it good.

What they have not discussed is the very negative effects this TIF will have on our community. They also have NOT told us about the over $50 million the state, city and county taxpayers have already put into this park that really wasn’t needed, and even if you could prove it was, it could easily be propped up by private investment, you know that silly notion that we live in a FREE enterprise capitalist society.

Here are some issues the media could look into;

No studies. There is yet to be a comprehensive independent study on the economic impact of TIFs in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. In other parts of the country where these studies have been done, usually by university economic departments, they have shown little to NO impact on the overall economy. I think the developers in Sioux Falls have run their own numbers privately and probably came up with the same conclusion, this is why you will never get a honest evaluation from them.

Your taxes will go up significantly. This is also a dirty little secret. When the valuation of Flopdation Park’s properties go up, their property taxes go up, but they get those payments back in the form of a TIF (rebate) to pay for upgrades to infrastructure that benefits these private businesses. That valuation in taxes has to be made up with higher taxes on the rest of us. As for the school district, the state coffers (sales tax revenue) will have to make up that shortfall. In other words much higher taxes for us that actually decrease our infrastructure services. It’s corporate welfare on the highest level.

Crime will increase, affordable housing will decrease. Sioux Falls has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. Where will the thousands of workers needed to work at these new facilities come from? Well they will have to be brought in. This is nothing more than growth for growth’s sake that will increase crime, public education costs and decrease our inventory of housing. The only people benefitting will be the banksters and developers while the rest of us will have to pay to clean up the mess.

Profits will not impact our local economy. A lot these businesses are international and national companies that will send their profits out of the community while paying NO state income taxes, no property taxes (TIF) and very little to NO Federal income taxes.

Low wage jobs. There have been numerous studies that show that large industries like this actually drive wages down in communities. This is the scariest part because as I have said above, it will increase our costs for crime prevention and public education.

They don’t need the incentive. The most egregious part of this TIF is that it really isn’t needed. As I pointed out on Tuesday night, this is most baffling part. We are growing business in Sioux Falls at a breakneck speed, if anything, we need to cool our jets a bit. With record breaking building permit numbers and our lack of affordable housing, I just see incentivizing low wage businesses to come here as counter productive and compounding our problems. We are already years behind on infrastructure upgrades to the core of our city (this is where we should be investing the money). On planning preview a couple of days ago a planning employee said a developer told them there is already a 5 week waiting period in getting into a new apartment in Sioux Falls and they have already broke building permit records from the year before in January. We don’t need to incentivize businesses that already want to come here. We also need to help local business thrive, another benefit to cleaning up our core.

I’m hoping our local media wakes up and actually tells the public about TIF 23 and the massive negative repercussions this TIF will have on Sioux Falls and the region because 5 years from now when your taxes have doubled, the core is crumbling and crime is through the roof, all roads will lead to TIF 23.

City of Sioux Falls 2021 Salaries

I just started digging into this, but here are my first impressions.

DOC LINK

LINK TO PAST SALARIES

Once again the highest paid city employee, the head doc over at Falls Community Health (where you currently can’t receive a Covid vaccination) received a $10,000.00 a year raise. She now makes around $256K. I guess I shouldn’t complain, she got more last year with a $18,000.00 raise.

But what is more interesting is how a 3 year employee has garnered a $13,624.00 raise over two years. Shawn Pritchett the finance director was making $166,316.00 when hired, the following year (2020) he was making $171,940.00 and now is getting paid $179,940.00.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an important position, but first off what did he do to deserve this kind of raise, and secondly, while he is the chief accountant for the city he has 29 minions working for him. He isn’t an accountant, he’s a manager and he should get manager pay.

One of my conservative friends said it best to me awhile back and again today when we were discussing this topic, “No one should make more than the mayor.” Mayor TenHaken’s current pay as chief administrator and manager of the city and employees is $130K a year. Think about that.

There was also this little change up. TenHaken eliminated the GIS department and now is calling them the Civic Analytics department;

The manager got a $5k raise and one of her minions got a $4K raise. But why the name change? And what are they doing?

What amazes me the most is that in the middle of an economic downturn in which the city lost tax revenue last year we would be giving these enormous raises while the average city employee got a whopping 1% raise.

City of Sioux Falls hires wanted criminal

Trust me, after reading about all the BS going on in our state yesterday it would be easy to miss this;

Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office has issued a news release concerning the arrest of 35-year-old Josheua King for a warrant issued by Sand Bernadino County, California:

On 02/17/2021, the Sioux Falls Area Fugitive Task Force arrested Josheua Alan King, 35 years old, on an arrest warrant issued by San Bernardino County, California in 2018 for the following offenses:
4 counts of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Minor
1 count of Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child of 14 or 15yrs of age

Josheua King was arrested at the Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls where he was a part time employee. Prior to his arrest, Mr. King was also employed at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Ok, a couple of things to unpack here. Does the city do a criminal background check before hiring people to work around our youth? Heck, even a simple criminal background check would have told us he had a warrant out for his arrest, for around 2 years. If you search the city salaries, Mr. King is listed in the 2021 wages report as making $14 an hour as Midco Maintenance, in the 2020 wages report he is NOT listed, so that tells us he was hired last year something long AFTER the warrant was issued.

Thank goodness the SFPD apparently got a tip hopefully before he committed any crimes at the MIDCO.

I can’t speak for the hospital he was employed at, they are a private entity, but I am concerned they didn’t check his background either.

What is also disheartening wasn’t like he had a previous record that he was already convicted on and time served, he had an ACTIVE WARRANT!

I will be honest with you that I have never had a lot of confidence in our HR department, they have 4 people in the office that make over six-figures yet they don’t do simple background checks!? There needs to be a full outside investigation on how something like this happens. The council, while normally doesn’t get involved in the Mayor’s business, when the mayor and his administration does NOT do their jobs they need to intervene. If I was them I would pass a resolution to audit the HR department.

If I were a parent of young children that took my kids to the MIDCO I would be outraged. We need to get to the bottom of this before something like this happens again.

Folks, these are the things that happen when we don’t have open and transparent government! Apparently it is so bad they are even hiding things internally. WOW!

Our Fascist Governor supports Corporate Socialism

Last night at the Sioux Falls City Council Meeting when the Development Foundation was pushing the biggest boondoggle ever pulled on the taxpayers of Sioux Falls in the history of our city, State GOED director Steve Westra came to testify that the Governor was in support of the $94 million dollar TIF for Foundation Park.

I didn’t think of it until after I testified (FF: 49:00), but I found it ironic that Noem would complain about Communism and Socialism in Georgia yet support blatant corporate socialism for possible foreign communist investors.

The hypocrisy never ends with these folks.

I also made funny about the Municipal Band reach around (FF: 11:40).

Maybe local restaurants can survive Covid by providing good service?

The Condiment Vending Machine. Patent Pending.

Trust me, I noticed before Covid that eating out in Sioux Falls was a crap shoot. Sometimes you get good service, poor food or poor service and good food or poor service and poor food or great service and great food. It’s always a mystery. As a person who worked in restaurants for over 20 years it is frustrating, but I also understand we all have bad days. I have often told people I was top of my game maybe 75% of the time, and when I was like that, you were lucky to have me as a server. The other 25% of the time, I feel sorry for you, because when I sucked, I really sucked (I was also mean to blue hairs, Hoots and people who prayed before they ate, commonly known as the people WHO DON’T TIP).

I have only ate indoors a handful of times since Covid hit and it wasn’t until after I recovered from my own bout with it that I decided to eat indoors. It has always been by myself and I try to sit away from folks. Trust me, I get it that it is probably not fun wearing a mask during a whole shift to wait on people, but it is your job. I have also noticed that service has gotten even worse since Covid. I think it has a little to do with less experienced younger servers who are not afraid of getting Covid working mostly during the pandemic, while the older experienced ones have decided to sit it out. There is also a whole different level of rudeness and flat out lying from servers that I have never really seen before. You know, you don’t have to lie to me, just grab your manager, which also lie to you to. Yah can’t win.

Last night I was baffled by the policies of a certain DTSF restaurant that is a small Midwest franchise. It is a popular place and the food is good for a franchise. I have ate there several times and have never had a bad plate. The service last year before Covid was always really good and the food has never been bad, until the service I received last night.

I sat at the bar to just simply have a quick burger and beer before going somewhere. While the service was ‘acceptable’ you would think I wouldn’t have to ASK every time I needed something. There were literally 4 of us sitting at the bar and 2 were together.

Service aside what was annoying is they have that stupid line on the ticket that asks for you to donate to a charity that they will give to in THEIR name. They have also added a line that asks if you will ’round up’ for the charity (another annoying trick retail is pulling during this pandemic). I always write ‘DUMB’ on that line and write to give their own money since this takes tips away from the servers. But what really surprised me was the $.50 charge for a side of mayo that I asked for, you know, a common condiment that should be included with a cheeseburger anyway. It’s not like I was asking for garlic truffle oil aoli or guacamole, just a side of Miracle Whip.

I will say that $.50 charge probably lost you a customer.

It’s the little things!

What’s next a bubblegum machine with condiments in it that you have to pay for to dispense? Maybe a dishwashing charge if you don’t opt for wax paper and plastic forks?

While we have certainly heard the bitching and complaining about the loss of business in the local hospitality industry during Covid, maybe it’s NOT Covid, maybe it’s your p!ss poor customer service where you beg your customers to give to a charity that you take credit for while charging me for a swab of liquified egg whites. Heck, even Wendy’s and BK don’t charge for mayo on a burger!

While some say they miss eating out due to the pandemic, let me fill you in, you ain’t missing much.

So the next time you hear about a restaurant that has gone under, maybe it wasn’t Covid, maybe it had to do with a mayo famine.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda • Feb 16, 2021

City Council Informational • 4 PM

Presentations;

• Emerald Ash Borer Response Plan Update by Kelby Mieras, Park Operations Manager

• Falls Park Public/Private Partnership Project by Don Kearney, Director of Parks and Recreation

NO ATTACHED OR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS AT THIS TIME

Regular Meeting • 6 PM

Item #4, Awards, Souper Hero Award has NO supporting documents telling us who this is, which is odd.

Item #7, Approval of Contracts;

Sub Item #18, Agreement supports the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House by contributing to the reasonable and necessary expenses associated with a warming site and year-round shelter services, Bishop Dudley Hospitality
House, $120K. I hope this item gets pulled and someone from the BDHH comes and explains why homeless people have invaded my neighborhood over the past 2 years and for the first time since I lived in my home (18 years) there has been year round panhandling (I even saw them on Friday when the wind chill was 24 below). So what is the BDHH doing with our money? Are they combatting homelessness in this core neighborhood? Sometimes I wonder. I still stand by my assertion that the BDHH should have been built behind the jail downtown and not smack in the middle of a neighborhood. The city council was warned, the Catholic Diocese was warned and look where we are at, year round panhandling. I have told many councilors that they need to make it a city ordinance violation for someone to give to the panhandlers from their cars while in traffic. Post signs about the fine and law at the intersections where it most prevalent and it would end over a season. If you want to help these people, that is great, give your money to the Mission, the BDHH or the Banquet, or volunteer your time. You are not helping them by buying them their next can of Joose.

Items #27-40, We have 13 items that have to do with alcohol in our city in one meeting yet we think a plant is bad 🙁

Item #45, 1st Reading: AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SD, ESTABLISHING THE TAX INCREMENT REVENUES TO BE COLLECTED AND AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF TAX INCREMENT REVENUES TO SIOUX FALLS DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC., IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR TAX INCREMENTAL DISTRICT NO. TWENTY-THREE, CITY OF SIOUX FALLS.

This of course is the ridiculous notion we should give $94 million in tax rebates over 20 years to promote low wage companies to come to Sioux Falls while raising taxes on the rest of us. I have said all I can, but I implore the dwindling joke called the MSM in Sioux Falls to actually do a fact based story on what this TIF does to the rest of us, the pros and cons (there are no pros). There has been virtually radio silence from our media. While they focus on hamburger competitions and GPS tracking of food trucks or recycling the same story about Jason Ravnsborg’s lack of indictments they can’t wrap their heads around how bad this is. It’s a story that could be told easily;

• The Development Foundation will receive $94 million in tax rebates that they will pass onto mostly out of state and foreign companies that pay little to no federal income taxes, state taxes and low wages.

• The millions and even billions in valuation will be passed onto to citizens in higher property taxes and the state (which receives part of their sales taxes from taxing food) will have to make up the shortfall for school districts). This is all happening while our building permits are crushing records every year. Why do we need to give these incentives?

• This won’t occur over a year, or even 5 years, this will impact our taxes for 20 years and compound with interest.

• The jobs Flopdation Park will create will have to be brought in from out of our community and since most are barely living wages this will create a crime and affordable housing issue that will be even worse than what it is now. Remember, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, in fact we have one of the highest rates of single working moms and people with more than one job. This isn’t a ‘job creator’ for those of us that live here. Like the Events Center it will create a vacuum that sucks our economy dry by creating more poverty and crime while profits leave our community.

• While they deny it, this is growth for growth sakes that only enriches the Development Foundation, banks, developers and bond salesman while the taxpayers have to clean up the mess.

• It will also further deteriorate our core and proper neighborhoods in Sioux Falls which are the cornerstone for affordable home ownership because our infrastructure money will be funneled into a cornfield for an Egg Roll factory.

This is a bad idea, and I am still baffled why NOBODY in government or in the media is screaming bloody shame!?

Item #53, A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO ENTER INTO AMENDMENT ONE TO THE FIRST AMENDED MANAGEMENT AND OPERATING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AND WASHINGTON PAVILION MANAGEMENT, INC.

They had to amend the contract with the WPMI because of the new band deal. I still think they made this more complicated than they had to and saved the taxpayers $0. But hey, that’s innovation and CLOSED government for you!

Goodbye City of Sioux Falls Health Director Jill ‘Bride of’ Franken

Many of my readers have been asking me why I haven’t posted about the retirement of Jill Franken. To be brutally honest I have been privately celebrating.

But I will give her a brief reprieve.

Jill got the top job under Mayor Bucktooth & Bowlcut’s administration under the recommendation of a city councilor who was very close friends with Jill. Doesn’t really matter who that person was because it is simply a matter of ‘who you know’ not ‘what you know’.

Under Jill’s reign of chair warming she has virtually ignored prostitution in our massage parlors, helped cover up ghost ambulances and as her number one duty to protect public health in dealing with Covid turned it over to our Hospital Industrial complex. Oh, and she killed smoking at Jazzfest, which ironically has been killed anyway.

But I think my best memory of Jill was when she was asked to personally call me by the previous mayor to tell me about all the various distribution sites of FREE condoms. I wanted to laugh, but I think I just said, thanks for calling.

Like most 6-Figure directors in Sioux Falls that quickly cash-in on their retirement at the top of the pay scale I thankfully say, good riddance.

Mayor TenHaken’s HATEFEST on Transparency continues with Ethics Complaint Coverups

I’m not going to mince words, this is just a blatant coverup;

But exactly how often are ethics complaints actually brought against city employees and elected officials, and for what? Well, taxpayers aren’t supposed to know.

There have been 16 ethics complaints filed with the Sioux Falls Board of Ethics since Jan. 1, 2000, according to the city’s recent response to an Argus Leader open records request.

But City Attorney Stacy Kooistra said not only could the details of those complaints not be released, neither could the roles held by those accused. Kooistra cited state law and city ordinances.

The only path to transparency on those ethics complaints is if the accused waives confidentiality.

Of those 16 complaints, only two have elected to do so.

While I don’t think there should be confidentiality to begin with, what I don’t understand is after a complaint has been thrown out, why does it remain confidential? While Kooistra may be correct that they have a right to confidentiality, I think that right ends once the complaint has been thrown out and the public has a right to see the complaint and the reason it was thrown out. I don’t think the law is on their side after the complaint has been thrown out. I believe there are two reasons why they are claiming they can do this 1) They don’t want the public reviewing the complaints that are thrown out and questioning why they were thrown out and 2) This administration has a deep, deep, deep hatred of open government, it’s almost a feverish sickness within city hall. It often amazes me why someone has such deep hate in their souls for something that is the moral, honest and the ethical thing to do AND actually saves taxpayers money.
You also have to remember that ANY complaint can be simply thrown out as frivolous if the complainant doesn’t cite the correct chapter in law/ordinance. You wonder how often this has happened? So while the complaint could have substance, it could get booted due to the ignorance of the complainant. Should the city attorney or ethics board be assisting the complainant to cite the proper ordinance? Yes!!!!

But, not only is there a DEEP HATE for open government they seem to be delusional about what an ethics indictment means;

The confidentiality of the complaints has been cited as a way to prevent their use as a weapon. Neitzert only waived confidentiality on the complaint following his successful re-election, saying there was “clear evidence of a timed and coordinated attack against my character for the purposes of defeating me in my re-election effort.”

Greg seems to be confused, because he WAS indicted on the complaint;

The board found probable cause that there had been a violation of ethical ordinances, but added that it was a ‘common practice’ for councilors to have their expenses paid for by a third party and that the City Council’s rules around such matters were broad and confusing.

The board recommended no individual sanctions against Neitzert, who was later cleared of the charge in a 5-2 vote of the City Council.

While Greg’s best buddies on the City Council dismissed punishment, Neitzert was still indicted by the ethics board and that remains unchanged. It wasn’t a political attack since the ethics board did say he violated charter. Him and the mayor accepted the gift and took the trip. A political opponent had nothing to do with that violation. In fact, to this day Greg hasn’t been able to show evidence that the complaint filed against him had any connection to his opponent. Not one shred. The only thing the ethics commission did say was he didn’t deserve sanctions since everybody was apparently ‘doing it’ even though they gave no evidence of who these other councilors or mayors that were doing it. Even though we know TenHaken has been ‘doing it’ quite a bit.

As I said from the beginning, this is clearly just a coverup. I would love it if Attorney Kooistra provided us the laws and ordinances that cover, coverups but not until he figures out prior restraint and the 1st Amendment.

Sioux Falls economy contracted -.07% in 2020

Sioux Falls citizen and economics enthusiast Mark Weber (who I believe actually has an economics degree) has been addressing the Sioux Falls City Council for several years at public input showing the other side of the Sioux Falls economy. Since the city is usually a month or two behind on releasing the monthly financials (we haven’t had a report since November 2020) Mark draws his data from the SD Department of Revenue. Thank you for your advocacy Mark. Here are his conclusions of 2020;