Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Noem seems to be concerned SD is going to turn into a communist country

Love it when our Supreme Leader makes the news;

In explaining her rationale against issuing a stay-at-home order, Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters, “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety.” She also pointed to the state and national constitutions that “prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done.”

I have been told over the past week by several lawyers, specializing in municipal law and having experience with the Home Rule Charter, that the mayor has broad power when it comes to these kind of orders. The state legislature and governor have zero powers over our Charter when it comes to public health and safety of our community. The mayor or the city council can easily put ordinances in place that direct our public health officer to put for measures in place and enforce them, and the governor can’t do a damn thing about it except whine a little.

Trust me, I’m still on the fence as to if and when we would do it, but I think it is perfectly legal and can be done within a 24 hour period, not 5 days like PTH continues to say.

Sioux Falls is not Milbank or Mobridge. We are at a greater risk, and what could be safe in those towns, just isn’t safe in Sioux Falls. How can we rely or depend on the Governor to make those decisions for us, or the drunken sailors we call our state legislature (what a f’ing embarrassment).

Think about it. How is it ‘legal’ to close restaurants and bars that are private sector employers but not credit card call centers (that could easily have workers work safely from home) without laying them off? I will be working from home next week and all my employer asked of me was to have a working PC, internet and if I didn’t have a PC I could borrow one. I will have remote access to my work computer thru the internet. It really is that simple.

I believe it was legal to shut down restaurants due to health department concerns, and I think they have the same legal right to close other non-essential employers.

I told a restaurant owner that it is discrimination to say one private sector business has to be closed while the other doesn’t. And their legal arguments are laughable about closing one but not the other.

I have been of the contention that it is all or nothing. Either you shut down all non-essential employers with 10 or more employees or none at all.

The tricky part is we don’t know what that magical time frame is. The modeling on this virus has been all over the map. One day we are told 100K will die the next we are told 2 million. I do believe though Sioux Falls has a very short window to make that decision. I think they should also be cautious how they approach it, while legal, it also has to be timed properly. I have suggested to city councilors (who may be drafting something) that if you do it (stay at home order) it should be short (2 weeks) with an option to review and renew every 2 weeks. This gives them time to evaluate if it is working or not without being totally detrimental to the economy. Let’s face it, some people have to work, we can’t get around it. But we must make these decisions with a scalpel and not a machete.

Sioux Falls City Election, YES on A, NO on B

As people have been absentee voting, many have asked me how to vote on the amendments. Amendment ‘A’ is pretty easy to understand. Amendment ‘B’ is a little more complicated, but I will lay it out for you 1) VOTE NO 2) If this was as simple as following state law, the council would have passed this already, they did not, because it is more complicated than that 3) this would increase the number of signatures you would need to petition our city charter. It should be made easier to petition our local government not harder. This is simply an attempt to justify the questionable rules that were implemented on Triple Check the Charter. How can you apply rules to petitioning when citizens haven’t approved those rules yet? VOTE NO!

Stop making fun of my sneakers!

Upset because we’re tired of the leadership led Goat Roping, watch this thin skin report from Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken. Instead of dealing with the problems at hand, the mayor goes Trumpster.

Blaming everyone else instead of their incompetence is the city of Sioux Falls response. Blaming the inaction of the city on commenters and news reports of their inaction is uncalled for. You do not lead successfully by scraping the bottom of a barrel unless you are looking for gold flakes while mining.

Oh, and Paul, respect is earned not automatically granted to elected officials. You work for us, not the other way around. You ‘signed up this’ whether you knew it or not. If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get out now.

BTW, why wasn’t this press conference shown live on Sioux Falls City Link / Channel 16?

‘A Goat Rodeo’ – Sioux Falls City Council special meeting

During the special meeting today at 4 PM, Mayor TenHaken called the current crisis a ‘Goat Rodeo’. What he didn’t mention is he is the head rodeo clown.

What was supposed to be a simple meeting about taking further action against the corona virus pandemic in Sioux Falls turned from a goat rodeo to a real sheep sh*t show.

While the health director was addressing the council about possible further action, some councilors decided this would be a great time to discuss some of those further actions. Stehly was well within in her rights to ask these questions, and a very respectful exchange was occurring between her and the health director Franken when the mayor decided to cut off the questioning because it wasn’t relative to the ordinance, even the city attorney jumped in to say this wasn’t about what may be further done.

Starr called for the adjournment of the meeting and Stehly seconded it, to the mayor’s befuddlement, he asked why? Starr stated that basically if they couldn’t have a discussion and ask questions they might as well go home.

But it got better, councilor Brekke, who was joining the meeting telephonically, basically said it was their right to ask these questions and told the city attorney she was ‘confounded’ as to why he thought he could shut it down.

Of course the mayor and the health director went into apologetic mode as councilor Erickson complained about the barking dogs of one of the telephonic councilors joining (funny, I thought it was her barking, as she normally does during the meeting. She is starting to remind me of a former . . . erp . . . councilor).

From D.C. on down, I’m beginning to wonder who is really in charge right now. The answer is simple; The virus.

Sioux Falls City Council RS5 and Mayor TenHaken prove again tonight their immense HATE for transparency

Tonight at the City Council meeting Councilor Starr offered a a simple amendment to the $1 Million dollar gift to the Community Foundation (specifically the $750K from the general fund). He wanted the city to have the ability to audit the rental assistance program after it was completed.

A fair amendment that was actually suggested by Councilor Neitzert just minutes before the amendment was proposed. Greg basically said he discussed it with the internal auditor and thought it was a good idea (he of course didn’t know Starr wanted it in writing and quickly melted with the rest of the RS5 after proposed).

Even the CEO of the Helpline Center, the ones processing the applications for rental assistance and in charge of dispersing the money (starting this week) agreed they would let the city look at the program and dispersements in a spreadsheet. (this was also before the amendment was proposed).

But since Pat is part of the Right Way 3, the RS5 has a fit. I thought Councilor Soehl was going to pop a vein in his head he was so pissed that Pat dared to suggest transparency with taxpayer funds.

Why? They hate transparency, because the public would get to see who greases the palms of the RS5.

Heck, when Soehl questioned City Attorney Stacy Kooistra, Stacy couldn’t even figure out if this was a contract or a supplemental appropriation, but gosh darn it, he was pretty darn sure it was the job of the ‘administration’ to negotiate the contract or whatever it is. So sure that Mayor Selfie handed the gavel over to chair Marshall Selberg so he could look like a powerful leader who had a pout fest earlier today because the State Legislature wouldn’t give him the authority to close businesses (than Noem later said he has that authority thru the city’s health department) but Pauly is scared some of his buddies might sue. Please Paul, take off the trucker hat and Converse All-Stars and put on your big boy pants.

It got even better when Councilor Ricky Lee Kiley accused Councilor Starr of aligning himself with folks who are ‘critics of the Community Foundation’. Who are these mysterious folks he speaks of? I think the rental assistance program is a good idea, and I happen to agree with Pat that it should be transparent. You know Ricky Lee, if you were talking about a certain blogger, you can use my name, just make sure you mention my URL also, because if you are going to insult me, at least give me some free advertising. Maybe I’ll volunteer to print you some flyers for your next violin concerto.

But Theresa had the last word when Soehl said we needed to get this done ASAP and worry about the auditing later. She mentioned that we have heard this before and reminded them of the colossal mistake, the Bunker Ramp. You could have heard a pin drop.

Once again, it’s ramrod, ramrod, ramrod than worry about the hurried mistakes and secrets later. Pathetic.

Stehly Report, Mayor Ten Haken gives ‘vague’ answers about public safety

You’ll see his answers to Theresa’s questions at the bottom of the column. Not only does he say there is a temporary hospital plan, he basically says they don’t need to tell anyone until it gets bad.

Usually you should share those plans before it gets ‘bad’.

He also has NO idea how much the taxpayers are giving to the Community Foundation. He says $750K, it’s actually $1 Million.

We know who the really leader is in this column, and it’s not the guy answering the questions.

Absentee voting starts TODAY for Sioux Falls City Council and School Board!

HERE is all the information you need to absentee vote. I believe however the absentee vote in person moved to the election center east of the Minnehaha County Administration building on 6th street.

We still don’t know if the State Legislature decided to postpone April municipal elections, they were debating it today.

And you know who to vote for . . .

John Michael’s Forum: Landlord Rod Schmidt says don’t worry about rent

Listening to these two characters talk is worth the time.

UPDATE: City of Sioux Falls is using the backdoor for rental assistance

UPDATE: This was the explanation from council staff;

$250k is from the Planning and Development Services budget.

The administration is requesting the Council to appropriate an additional $750k  from the General Fund available fund balance (reserves) to support the One Sioux Falls Fund.

The funding for the Community Foundation is for $1,000,000; $250 (P&D) funds and $750 (General Fund Reserves).

The funding is one in the same.

I want to thank the city for finally contributing to rental assistance, and I think they will have to do a lot more, but I do have some issues with how this assistance is being delivered;


WHEREAS, on March 12, 2020, the Mayor issued Executive Order No. 218 declaring an emergency to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19); and

WHEREAS, the Mayor has collaborated with the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation to establish a One Sioux Falls Fund (the “Fund”) to help local residents and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 in Sioux Falls; and

WHEREAS, the Fund will consist of both public and private sector contributions; and

WHEREAS, the Fund will be used for public, charitable, or humanitarian purposes and accommodation. Specifically, the funding shall focus on any of three critical areas: health, housing, and food security; and

WHEREAS, Section 5.07 (b) of the Charter of Sioux Falls allows for an emergency appropriation to be made to meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property, or public peace;

I don’t take issue with the amount of funds themselves ($750K) because I think we are going to need a heckuva a lot more.


What is wrong here is the delivery system because it lacks transparency. It would be logical to assume no matter who pays for this the money will be direct payments to the property owners of the rentals. But by transferring public dollars to a private fund, the taxpayers will never see who is receiving these funds. Once again, I will stress, this is not about knowing the names of the renters, they will not be an equation in this because they will never see the money, it’s about knowing what property owners are receiving the payments. Will it be the big guys? The little guys? Will it be evenly spread between them? We will never know because the city will be giving up their rights to transparency by having a private non-profit distribute the money.

So what is the fix? The property owners need to apply for the funding from the city themselves so that all transactions are open and transparent. I keep telling people that during a time of crisis, full transparency is the key, this is just another example of a backroom deal that doesn’t need to happen to accomplish the ultimate goal.

But there is another issue with this money transfer, the city council was not consulted on the ordinance before it was posted (or at least some of them weren’t) they also were not asked to help draft it or the amount. While the mayor may have some emergency powers, the council is the legislative body that is in charge of drafting legislation like this. Some have even suggested to me that the mayor is violating charter and ethics by proposing this distribution before consulting with the council. It should be an interesting meeting to watch.

If Sioux Falls has emergency plans, what are they?

Many cities across the US are setting up temporary hospitals in convention centers to deal with the non-critical patients. Are we?

I’ve been told by several people that ‘maybe’ the city has plans for things I have pointed out over the past week;

• Temporary hospitals

• Food insecurity

• Housing assistance

• Flood control

I have argued that if that is the case, we certainly haven’t been communicated that. At the Thursday special council meeting several officials bragged about the daily press briefings on the virus crisis, but if they are not sharing critical information and plans, what’s the point?

We have heard about the plan to help people thru the Community Foundation, but that pot is going to have be a lot bigger and the city needs to start preparing to dip into the reserves. WHAT IS THE PLAN?

Feeding South Dakota has been giving out food but lack enough volunteers. I suggest city employees help with this, but what is the long term plan when grocers shut down? WHAT IS THE PLAN?

We have heard literally nothing on temporary hospitals being set up. Maybe all the cars at the Sanford Fieldhouse were people setting one up there? But I doubt it. WHAT IS THE PLAN?

Many people have been reaching out to city councilors asking if we have a stock of sandbags in case a flood occurs again. WHAT IS THE PLAN?

If we do have plans, that is wonderful. But in a time of crisis we must share those plans with the public, if we don’t have plans, we need to be working on them instead of concentrating on campaigning for the next election.

Now is not the time to ignore transparency. Democracy dies in Darkness. Tell us WTF is going on!