UPDATE IV: So I asked Councilor Starr who attended the meeting. He told me it was him, Barranco and Soehl. He also said Selberg had to leave because of it as the city attorney was monitoring the attendance of the councilors at the front door (oh, they know they f’d up royally on this one.)

So the illegally serving councilor Selberg had to leave the illegally posted meeting. Oh the irony. Selberg is not out of the woods yet. If he had one ounce of sense left he would have resigned already and fessed up and taken his punishment.

UPDATE III: I find it funny the mayor livestreamed this on Facebook, but not on YouTube (posted later) or on the City’s Platform. Even the grainy YT video makes you wonder if Poops had some friend film it on a Handycam? I think they know this was a big bad NO, NO.

UPDATE II: The mayor is blaming a ‘clerical error’. Uh, WTF?!

According to multiple city councilors who spoke with The Dakota Scout Thursday evening, the Sioux Falls City Clerk’s Office met the statutorily required 24-hour notice for what was considered a public meeting of the City Council — officially publishing the meeting in the municipal calendar and posting it on the doors of Carnegie Town Hall. 

TenHaken’s sixth State of the City, however, isn’t being held there, and instead, for the second consecutive year, will take place at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, a location that was not listed on the meeting’s agenda. 

As a result, the State of the City won’t be an official public meeting, a technical detail that means a majority of the City Council cannot legally attend.

It may be a ‘clerical error’ but since this is a public policy meeting required by charter to be presented to council each year, that makes it an official meeting, and whether that meeting is on the Moon and NO councilors attend, it is still a public meeting that must be noticed properly. This isn’t about the council’s availability it is about the public’s and the public was misled, this is another reason it is an open meetings violation.

The Charter Lays it out quite plainly;

Section 3.03 Mayor’s duties and responsibility.

The mayor shall, at the beginning of each calendar year, and may at other times give the council information as to the affairs of the city and recommend measures considered necessary and desirable. The mayor shall preside at meetings of the council, represent the city in intergovernmental relationships, appoint with the advice and consent of the council the members of the citizen advisory boards and commissions, present an annual state of the city message, and perform other duties specified by the council and by article III. The mayor shall be recognized as head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law.

So who wants to join me in running the gauntlet of where we file a complaint. State’s Attorney? He runs away. AG Jackboots? He’ll tell you to talk to the state auditor who will ultimately send you back to the State’s Attorney who will put you in the circle of BS once again.

I have maintained for a long time the city needs a public information officer (the SFPD have one, but he doesn’t say much) who handles this stuff, and I would put them under the direct management of the city council. This is becoming ridiculous. It really comes down to an elected official who snubs his nose at frivolous rules and all his buddies in county and state government gladly oblige. South Dakota is slowly becoming a criminal enterprise, ironically called the Dutch Mafia.


UPDATE: I guess only 3 councilors will be attending the event tomorrow because they didn’t want quorum with a possible open meetings violation.

WHY CAN’T THE CITY FIGURE OUT HOW TO PROPERLY POST A MEETING? Maybe they will have a group meeting to discuss it, but will probably post the meeting wrong also. Like I said below, I don’t believe this was done intentionally by our City Clerk, but there is certainly a communication issue.

I have been working on some stuff with the City Clerk that I hope to tell you about in May, but during that process the City Clerk was able to get some stuff back under his control after I informed him it was his DUTY to keep these records. I think he is doing a good job, and it is unfortunate that they seem to be pressing forward with an illegal meeting.

Looks like the state of the city may be off right after the mayor announces that we’re buying a $9 million dollar fitness center (more to come later on that). He fails to understand that they did not properly notice the meeting for tomorrow’s state of the city as you can see on the main site they did say it’s at the convention center but if you look at the agenda it has been corrected to say CC, but that was changed sometime between now and 11:42.

I took this screenshot, as you can see it still said Carnegie. They have since changed it, but it was not properly noticed, and not amended or revised;

The official agenda page is what counts and since it wasn’t 24 hours properly noticed the state of the city cannot legally go forward tomorrow and on top of it, it looks like they tried to fix it on the fly. Not good.

I don’t think this was intentional, but it is still illegal. I blame the communication between the clerks office, the council and the administration. They aren’t talking. How can you have one thing on the main page and something different on the OFFICIAL agenda page?

We will see how this gets spun.

UPDATE: So a foot soldier asks me yesterday, “Is the artist familiar with the weather conditions in Sioux Falls, apparently not, because something built out of crystals, glass, moving lights, seams, etc. will all fail in the weather no matter how good of maintenance.” He also mentions that it would be a much better indoor display because it won’t last long outside.

I never thought about it, but he may be right, not to mention vandalism.


No surprise that the Pavilion follows suit with the city and just picks public art with NO input from the public or an open jurying process.

I was initially told that this artist was chosen because of her specialty in outdoor installation art, but if you look at Lewin’s art (which is absolutely FANTASTIC) you will see that it is very similar to other public art installations throughout the country that were created by thousands of different artists.

This isn’t some specialty like building a skatepark, it should have went through an open jury process.

I was also initially told that since the artwork is being donated by a private donor ($400K) and the maintenance is covered by an endowment in coordination with the sculpture garden that they didn’t have to treat it as public art.

I disagree. Bigly.

First off, once the piece is donated to the Pavilion (actually the city) we own it. It is also sitting in a public space that the public can view and is not in a private gallery setting or within the building’s galleries (as I understand the original management agreement with the Pav, any art inside the building IS controlled by the Pavilion, which is fine.)

Public art, on OUTDOOR public property, must go thru a public process.

While I love Lewin’s work and think it will look fantastic, it didn’t go thru the best process, but that’s how things roll in Sioux Falls. Pay your taxes and STFU!

(c) Copyright Jen Lewin Studio 2023 • Images taken from SOC address.

UPDATE: Let’s just say a ‘concerned citizen’ called me this morning about this project and he asked an interesting question, ‘If the city is purchasing the Wellness center, why didn’t that go thru a RFP process so other private facilities could make an offer if they wanted to?’ I never thought about it, but he is correct, if the city is buying this, where was the RFP? I also got word that AVERA had no clue this was going on.

I have known about this for a few weeks and passed the info onto several journalists that ran into dead ends. Part of the rumor was the city was going to buy Oxbow wellness center, but it was confusing to us because they were currently remodeling. I didn’t find out until yesterday afternoon that it was actually the Tea-Ellis location.

Makes sense though, Sanford can use the purchase revenue to pay for the remodel of Oxbow.

I also knew the purchase price of $9 million and the ‘discount’ they were offering. The Oxbow facility was built in 1988, so we were confused about the big price tag.

And it ain’t a great deal. They are giving us a $6 million dollar discount (according to their appraisals) and we have to spend an additional $3 million to renovate on top of the purchase price.

This is a win-win for Sanford, not so much the citizens. I think they support it, but I also don’t think the administration has the pulse of the community. As a well known business person told me a few years ago about the mayor, he is ‘tone deaf.’

As I have said, the administration never learns.

Also a foot soldier who is a member at the Oxbow facility got this email from Sanford at 10:25 AM, 5 minutes before the announcement;

Tea-Ellis Announcement

Valued member,  

This morning at 10:30, the City of Sioux Falls will announce its proposed plan to purchase the Sanford Wellness Center – Tea-Ellis location.

Should the proposed purchase go through, the City will continue to operate the facility as an indoor health, wellness and recreational programming space. We will also maintain our current physical therapy presence at the Tea-Ellis location as it is today.

Furthermore, Sanford Health will continue to operate the Oxbow Wellness Center and continue to invest in medical and wellness services.

We are thrilled to be able to partner with the City of Sioux Falls in this way, as our common goal is to do what we can to provide opportunities and services to keep our communities healthy and thriving.

This proposal is in the very early stages; however, we wanted to make our members aware and allow them plenty of opportunities to ask questions and join the conversation about this potential transition.

Here are a few details we know now:

  • If the proposed purchase is successful, the City plans to take over operations of Tea-Ellis in late 2024 and no later than Jan. 1, 2025.
  • Until then, Sanford Health will continue to operate Tea-Ellis as normal.
  • In the coming months, the City will be able to share specific information about membership rates, amenities and programs that will be available at their facility.
  • Current Wellness Center members can continue to use the Oxbow and Tea-Ellis facilities as they do now. 
  • At this time, our fee structure, hours of operation and programs will not change. Throughout the transition, we will reevaluate this.
  • Oxbow renovations to the pool and locker rooms will continue as planned with an anticipated completion in fall 2024.

As more details are finalized, Sanford Health and the City of Sioux Falls will communicate updates as soon as possible.

You can tune in to the media briefing live through the City of Sioux Falls Facebook page or YouTube channel, or view the recording after the briefing on the City’s One Sioux Falls playlist

We’re very proud of the wellness community we’ve built at both Sanford Wellness Center locations. The decision to pursue this proposal was not made quickly or lightly. We do believe that continuing to focus our efforts toward more medically based health care services while maintaining a fitness option will be a great benefit to our patients and community members alike.

As always, thank you for choosing Sanford Wellness Center to be part of your health journey.

Be Well, 

Steve Young, president, Sanford Sports
Mike Davidson, general manger, Sanford Wellness Center


The ‘excuse’ the administration has been using to keep this quiet so long is that they didn’t want the Sanford employees getting upset over losing their jobs. Huh? That may still happen Poops.

They make up so much sh!t I’m starting to think the mayor is the one polluting the Big Poo and not CommieFields.

UPDATE III: So a computer nerd friend told me last night that even if a fiber is cut, there are backups, and if that truly happened the calls would have just been rerouted thru another line which would only take a matter of seconds or minutes, so this is certainly suspicious. Hey Dan, you worked in this industry, is my computer friend correct?

UPDATE II: Looks like they took out a light pole in Kansas. Um, ok.

UPDATE: We are back up, but curious what happened? You wonder if the states effected had the same software glitch and figured it out and shared with other states? Presser tomorrow.

Also, CNN is reporting some locations are blaming cell phone companies for the issue, but are keeping tight lipped about WHAT it exactly was (could have been multiple hack assaults) and HOW they fixed it, and WHAT preventative measures we are implementing forward.

If I can’t even trust the SOS office to properly notify candidates of requirements how can you expect any state or local agency to combat this?

So this is an interesting tidbit for tonight;

They also reported that the outages appear to have impacted additional cities and counties across the US, but the reason for the outages is currently unknown.

Usually if IT can’t fix something within a few hours or even minutes, that usually means there was a hack. The City of Sioux Falls has been worried about this for awhile and have been doing different training with cyber security for city IT employees.

You would think with the programs at DSU they would have someone over there smart enough to combat this.

It will be interesting to see how they fix this. They may have to setup a backup or patch, which could take a few hours to a few days. Cross your fingers and hope you don’t have an emergency.


The Sun is reporting 8 states are now affected. I have a feeling by morning it will be 20 or more. This is starting to look like a hack.

The Daily Beast has this article from 2017 when something similar happened.

Reuters said this ‘The Department of Homeland Security has warned, of increased risks of cyber attacks on 911 services, as they have migrated to digital, internet-protocol based systems.’