Entries Tagged 'Sioux Falls' ↓

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Dec 10-11, 2019

City Council Informational • 4 PM • Tuesday, Dec 10

Update on Legislative Priorities for the 2019 session and a presentation on Walkability by Councilor Stehly (I’m not sure what her presentation is about). But I see they continue to peddle the perceived benefits of TIFs;

6. The Sioux Falls City Council supports tax increment financing (TIF), an economic development tool that has led to millions of dollars in increased property value, benefitting both the state as a whole and the local entities sponsoring the districts, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the process.

I say ‘perceived’ because we have NEVER gotten evidence that it has benefitted us.

City Council Regular Meeting • 7 PM • Tuesday, Dec 10

MORE INFO COMING

Charter Revision Commission Meeting • 3:30 PM • Wednesday, Dec 11

The hammer continues to drop at the CRC. As you can see from this graphic, they have been very good at killing stuff;

Oh, but they are going to get something done, making it more difficult to do a petition drive when it comes to the changing the Charter;

The petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the proposed charter amendment and must be signed by registered voters of the city in the number of at least 5 percent of the total number of registered voters at the last regular city election, (change) or the number of signatures required by state law, whichever is greater.

When I talked to fellow city government nerd about this the other day, they said ‘If it gets on the ballot, we will make sure it doesn’t pass.’ The irony of it would be the mantra of the CRC and saying they don’t like to put stuff on the ballot because people just vote ‘YES’ on it without researching it. I will guaran-F’ing-tee you that if they put this on the ballot, we will make sure the public is VERY informed about what they are trying to do and it will be fun to watch the ONLY thing they approve for the ballot fails, or at least we hope it fails.

I also find this discussion curious;

Clarification of Duties of the Charter Revision Commission on its Webpage

Huh? This is what is listed on the city website;

The commission may deliver a report to the city election authorities framing and proposing amendments to the Sioux Falls Home Rule Charter. The commission holds at least one public meeting each calendar year for the purpose of receiving recommendations from the public regarding revisions to the charter and to take action upon any matters before the commission relating to proposed charter revisions.

It will be interesting to hear what changes they want to make.

Sioux Falls Arts Council has call for art

You can apply HERE. I think the call for art at city hall is a ‘paid’ exhibit.

On-Demand Transit Pilot RFP

I was able to find the RFP on Friday when it was released.

LINK TO ENTIRE PDF DOC

Sioux Falls City Councilor Pat Starr Inside Town Hall

Our 5G ‘Jet-Setting’ Mayor TenHaken

Am I the only one who finds it a bit ironic that PTH doesn’t have the time to hold a ‘regular’ press conference on the Bunker Ramp, where actual media and constituents can ask questions, but apparently has time to fly off to China, California, and now DC to testify in front of a Senate Committee (FF 31:30);

Many people have been questioning where the money is coming from to send him all over the place, but I ask a bigger question – is he running the city or is someone else? Remember, COS Beck has the executive authority to sign executive orders and paperwork for the mayor, it was one of the first things he granted her when he hired her. So are we paying the mayor to fly all over the place, or are we paying him to do the job he is supposed to do according to charter, which is to be the city manager. I totally understand you have to negotiate opportunities for the city (we will get to his 5G crap in a moment) but as a guy who is consistently talking about technology I want to ask him if he has ever heard of email, a cell phone, or SKYPE? Here’s a little insider baseball Paul; they are all a lot cheaper than jet fuel.

I still believe my conspiracy theory also that they are prepping TenHaken to run for Congress. I still think Rounds is NOT going to run, and Dusty will run for his seat, and TenHaken will run for Congress. His little ‘trip’ this week is just another indicator that Thune has taken him under his wing and preparing him for a statewide run.

Gag me with a gigantic shovel.

The guy has made mistake after mistake after mistake running the city. Heck, he can’t even figure out how to plow the streets or pick up trees. He does have one thing down though when it comes to being prepared for Congress – his lack of communication and interaction with constituents.

So why was PTH in DC? To brag about how he hosed constituents on 5G and ramrodded it thru with little interaction or participation from the public, heck he didn’t even fill in the city council;

“We want several more small cells as well as the entry of AT&T and T-Mobile small cells into our market. the strategy of Sioux falls for dealing with this was simple: cover our costs. as mayor, it’s not my intent to profit off carriers to deploy small cell infrastructure,” said Mayor TenHaken.

So how much 5G coverage do we really have in Sioux Falls? Just look at the map below. Basically only DTSF has it. So how will this ‘drive’ our technology in Sioux Falls if we only have it DT? It won’t, we are simply lab rats, as I always assumed we would be. Maybe PTH can fly somewhere to figure this out further, or send his Director of Innovative Drinking and Gambling figure it out? As Nancy Pelosi would say, “I pray for these people everyday.”

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.

Metro 911 meeting this morning

According to councilor Stehly on FB and local media;

Happening Now: Metro 911 wants $9-11 Million for a new facility vs $6-8 Million to remodel. Unfortunately,the meeting was not recorded.

She also told me that she was chastised at the meeting by another city councilor for posting that information on FB. This was a public meeting, so I’m not sure why that was an issue? Oh, because without the media there they can try to keep people in the dark. I’m not sure why our public officials like secrecy so much. I have often argued that if you keep the public informed from the beginning they can never come back and say ‘You never told us about this.’ That is why the Bunker Ramp has been such a disaster, too many behind closed door deals.

Well looky there, a quorum of leaders in a public building, wouldn’t that be considered a ‘public meeting’?

TenHaken interview reveals his lack of leadership

The first thing he does in this interview is blame the last guy for the problems with the Bunker Ramp. While there is ‘some’ truth to that, he could have put the brakes on immediately after he took office, instead he took a piece of toilet paper signed by developers that said they were good for the money.

Then he says he doesn’t want to do an audit until after it is finished, while that is SOP, and I get it from a financial standpoint, there is NOTHING stopping him from looking into what went wrong RIGHT NOW. That doesn’t take an audit to achieve, it requires him doing his job as the city manager and city employees boss (his main job according to charter) and putting a boot up their butts or at least a stern talking to and get them on investigating what went wrong before we sign on the dotted line for another developer to finish it.

He once again fails to lead.

I really believe one of the reasons the deal fell through towards the end is because of the Sioux Steel development and potential for a TIF funded parking ramp.

This is pure speculation of course, but think about it for a moment, what if they would have allowed the Bunker Ramp Hotel to be ‘scaled back’ and finished? That means a nice hotel in the center of our downtown would have opened at least a year before the Sioux Steel Hotel and Convention Center. Things that make you go hmmmmmm. I won’t get into all the players involved, but something smells funny here.

Towards the end of the interview, PTH continues to blabber about charging non-profits for police assistance, China and Kermit.

YMCA Youth Center is a great idea, but let’s be cautious

Before I even had a chance to allow the thought to pop into my head, someone said to me,

“How much you wanna bet this project will come to the city to help fund it, either in capital, operations, or both?”

I have yet to hear that, but seeing some of the players involved with this, I’m not going to hold my breath.

Councilor Stehly gets it done without even voting

As I have mentioned in the past, Councilor Stehly has gotten a lot of things done without the votes, but by just simply putting on pressure.

She did it again this afternoon at the Audit Committee Meeting.

She asked for several things from the podium during the 2020 Audit Plan presentation;

• An external audit of the Parking System (Theresa mentioned that she found it odd that the city wants to keep building or subsidizing parking ramps downtown yet wants to sell off flat parking lots).

• An audit of the CMAR (Construction Manager at Risk) process.

• Travel expenses of city staff (I guess that during the current administration, city directors and staff, and mostly the mayor, have been taking a lot of ‘junket trips’ but not really giving a report to the public as what they are doing on the trips. Recently TenHaken put up a short column about his trip to China, but never really told us what was really discussed. We also get a lot of updates on FB from the Innovation Manger and all the different cities he has been drinking in.

• A study of City Director salaries in comparison to other cities. Something I pointed out the last time the HR department did a wage study, but did NOT include city directors. How convenient.

The committee argued the merits of all the items. Councilor Brekke mentioned that maybe the city council budget analyst could look into the last two items and do a presentation on those findings – which I agree.

Audit Manager Nelson suggested that the CMAR audit would have to be done externally due to it’s speciality of the audit.

But they got into a long discussion about the external parking ramp audit. Councilor Kiley said he didn’t want to put it on the audit plan because they are in the middle of litigation, but other members argued that there was nothing wrong with putting it on the agenda, and if they have to pull it in the future, they can. The amendment to add it passed with Kiley and Chair Neitzert voting against it. Councilor Stehly doesn’t sit on the committee so she couldn’t vote on it.

T.J. TypeOver said they won’t audit it until it is done;

T.J. Nelson, deputy chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said City Hall isn’t opposed to a review of the parking system or the ramp, but not until the ramp project is complete and the dust settles on any lawsuits surrounding it.

“The administration will complete a comprehensive review of the process that led to the prior approval of this project by the Huether administration. This will take place following the ramp’s completion and resolution of any outstanding legal matters,” he said. “At this time, the administration supports a financial or construction audit consistent with the time frame outlined above.”

Yeah, after we have f’d up in every possible way we can, then we will tell the public how that f’k up occurred. WHAT!? Wouldn’t it be wise to figure that out BEFORE we move ahead with another developer or even litigation? Wouldn’t this help our case? Sometimes I wonder if putting money in a burn barrel would be a better way to spend money then paying city communication staff.

There was also a presentation on the Landfill Audit. There was a lot of problems going on out there where basically employees were not following procedures and not doing proper inspections. You can listen for yourself. My view is the city is missing out on a lot of landfill revenue due to the laziness of the employees. I think they were warned about these things in past audits. I think it is time to start handing our pink slips, then maybe they will get the picture.

Chair Neitzert mentions at the end they are going to start the process of hiring another staff auditor (which they do need). I wonder if this time they will actually put an employment ad in something besides Tidbits and the City Hall’s lunchroom?

PUBLIC TRANSIT MEETING

I still haven’t heard all the details of what happened, but I guess a committee member got a little irate about how the public is being left out of the decisions they are making. More to come.