Just been doing some light posting over the past week, because I didn’t want to spend all my time fiddling with my blog while on a 2,000 mile road trip. Many more pictures to come! I picked up ‘Gee Willikers’ in Cody, WY (above).

The audit committee tackles several hurdles on Wednesday. While the Zoo gets a clean bill of health (Bravo! I had the pleasure of meeting the director this summer and having a great convo over BBQ, and hope to follow up soon on her invitations!).

The crime lab has issues with cash storage 🙁

But the most interesting audit was the Transit (Doc:Transit-Audit-9-2015 ) it’s full of ‘concerning’ points (an example below)


It seems the biggest problem with the transit system is not cash flow, but customer service.

The city of Sioux Falls is proposing bus fee hikes (Item #21-1st Reading)


Let’s compare our fare increases to Ft. Collins current fees.

• It is called “TransFort”

• Ft. Collins population is about 150,000.

• Find it at www.ridetransfort.com
• The basic fare is $1.25. The 31-day fare is $25.
• Children and college students ride free all year. (Colleges pitch in for this, I think.)
• Transfers are free.
• They have a program called BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), a modern system that gets bus routes connected faster. Their BRT”MAX” has free wifi, and its stops have screens showing arrival time.  There is comprehensive coverage of the city, unlike our routes provide.
• It’s not perfect, but the Ft.Collins system provides far more value to its riders for their $1.25 than our bus system can do next year for $1.50.
The proposed bus fares in Sioux Falls are too high considering the service available on SAM (even as wonderful as our buses and drivers and passengers are). I have been to Ft. Collins and plan on visiting again soon. Yes, it has a large college there, but the size of the city is comparable, but it is much more progressive (oh, and Mary Jane is legal there). When I visited I was impressed by the progressiveness of the transportation options.


While the city of Sioux Falls had to put together a task force to figure out our transit system (and ultimately making cuts) a Senior Citizen in Hartford, SD went the other direction;

At first, Sturdevant ran into many road blocks.

“I called Pierre, the social services, and I called different places and I called places that had buses and I was getting no place,” Sturdevant said.

But the persistent Sturdevant didn’t slow down.  With the help of the City of Hartford along with area non-profit agencies and businesses, she helped secure grant money that will pay for a ten seat bus that will begin picking up passengers of all ages next week.

“This way, you can pick up the phone and call and say hey, I’d like to go to Dollar General tomorrow, or I’d like to go to the grocery store tomorrow, and so they’ll come and pick you up right at your door,” Sturdevant said.

Public transportation is an important vehicle that keeps seniors from becoming isolated from others in the community.

“Over and over again, AARP research shows overwhelmingly that people just want to stay in their homes and their communities as they age and transportation is really key to doing so, especially when you get into rural areas where people are maybe having to drive long distances either to get to the grocery store, or to a doctor’s appointment, Cathy McLeer of AARP South Dakota said.

Bravo to Ellie for first off, thinking of her community and being active in it, even at 78 years old. But I will have to also congratulate her on not giving up on her mission. So while Sioux Falls is offering only one solution to Paratransit, a solution that long term helps no one, Hartford figures out their transit needs, and they did it using one concerned citizen instead of a bunch of beureaucrats.


And the winner is . . . Coopersmith’s NOT Brown Ale.

Just got back from my beercation in Ft. Collins, and trust me, it was hard to pick a winner.

Best Local Brewery goes to this tiny place called ‘Equinox’. I asked the Bartender how far do they sell their stuff and he said, “Within in a 3 block radius.”

Best rental car, jet black 2013 Dodge Charger, that car rocked!

Best Saturday afternoon drinking partner, my uncle Mike!

Best Saturday Night drinking partner/tour guide, Megs!

Best Hosts, Mike and Joy, who were kind enough to let me stay with them and take me out to some great places to eat.

Best Sunday Lunch, Betta Mo’s Gumbo (sp?) in Loveland, CO where I had the special of the day (shrimp boil) and homemade bloody mary’s.

Totally worth it gallery stop, Loveland, CO, Francisco Goya’s plate prints on display.

Weirdest photo wall art, The Forge, I won’t even post a picture of it because it was so disturbing.

Best place to get a pint, The Mayor. 100 beers on tap, I had a Trinity Saison and a Hoegarrden Wit.

Best detour between Ft. Collins and Denver, Estes Park.

First Brewery I hit on Friday, Fort Collins Brewery, their scotch ale was amazing and their Weisenbach was also probably #2 on my list for best beers.

Equinox Brewery, best brewery in Ft. Collins, hands down, definately craft, craft, craft beer. Their Wit, Saison and Hef were some of the best I ever had. The employees of Equinox, not so friendly, they take ‘Beer Snobs’ to a whole new level.

The one thing I will say about Ft. Collins is it is a ‘Bike Town’ Everyone rides, they even have a thing called ‘Bike Library’ where tourists can ‘check out’ bikes. The other thing that surprised me is that a town with the same population as SF has a massive DT that spans about 6 square blocks, chucked full of galleries, bars and restaurants. In fact there is probably more on two blocks then there is in all of DTSF. The problem I see with DTSF compared to Ft. Collins is ‘Marketing’ DTSF business owners need to do a better job of promoting our DT. Period! We also need to drop the ‘attitude’ DT. Ft. Collins has it’s problems though, the city government is super-duper corrupt. They just recently gave $50 million of taxpayer dollars to a Canadian company to ‘refurbish’ the mall. They also only have ONE cab company, that has a monopoly on the town, and can charge whatever rates they want to. When you ask locals about it, they say, the owner has ‘connections’

I think I tried over 40 different beers while I was there, but it is never enough 🙂