UPDATE: Paul is trying to make up for lost time in this interview with Belfrage. Sorry, too little, too late.

During the presser yesterday, PTH brought up he didn’t want to tell the council in executive session about this because information from those sessions tends to get leaked out. Anything within the laws governing executive sessions cannot be discussed. But any hypothetical legal discussions or policy discussions need to be in the public. Councilors CAN talk about policy and hypotheticals with the public, and he seems to be confused about what an executive session is for.

I also have heard several Sioux Falls area legislators reached out to the City Hall saying they would assist in changing the state law, they are awaiting a response.

In defense of PTH, maybe he is correct, maybe the only option we have TODAY is to dispose of the animals . . .

But, state law and city ordinances COULD be changed that could possibly save them.

That is what ‘leaders’ do. They work with the public and the stakeholders to come up with a compromise that everyone can be comfortable with instead of a poutfest presser after 11 days of dead silence.

*Note to MisTaken’s communications staff; milk, cookies and a brief nap before the next presser will work wonders, and remember to wipe those eye boogers away before the cameras are rolling!

It starts with bringing the public along in these discussions. When you look at the poison report (the only document they provide with NO recommendation) it was presented on July 21 and official on August 1. The city did not make an announcement for another 18 days. Wouldn’t the smart thing to do is hold a press conference about what options the city may have before we throw it in the council’s lap?

I would also agree with PTH that is is his responsibility to work thru the minutiae of this deal with the Zoo, but he should bring the city’s policy body along in the process instead of hurling spitballs at them at a press conference.

I could rant for days about all the crap said at this presser today (like when he kicked someone from the public out of the presser and said it was only open to the media) but at the end of the day, you can’t get all poopy pants about your laxity, have the CEO of the Zoo in almost tears, and claim others are spreading misinformation.

When you keep the public and the council in the dark, that is when rumors and speculation begin to grow, and PTH gave them 432 hours to grow that mushroom, so don’t be surprised the public is trippin’ ba!!s over this.

I don’t give two rips about who the mayor ‘thinks’ is causing issues for him, if he wants to find the real culprit, he can just look in the mirror.

The media was informed today that the administration will be holding a presser Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM to put a hold on the timeline for the Delbridge Museum Mounts disposal.

It seems somebody has been listening. Councilor Neitzert did an interview on Belfrage this morning, and it was NOT a glowing review of city hall.

They CAN be saved, but where will the money come from?

I think we should do something like this to make them more interesting 🙂

Maybe instead of a mural on the Bunker Ramp, they could project a giant fireplace on it at night with all the mounts reduced to just head mounts surrounding it. We need to get creative, but don’t ask any experts outside of Sioux Falls, because they make us look like a bunch of rubes, oh that’s right, because we are.

I’ve been telling people recently if there was something I could change about the demographics in this community it would be making people more culturally aware. I can almost guarantee most people don’t know or don’t care about those mounts, which is unfortunate.

Trying to come up with a reasonable solution to this problem will be difficult enough, but when you are dealing with people who don’t want to have a cultural understanding of the significance of these mounts, it makes the lift even harder.

*Rumor was the mayor tried to get the Parks Board to have a special September meeting this week (they only meet once a month) to approve the destruction and disposal of the mounts. Oh the irony, we have an E2 ordinance on the books for 5 years that isn’t enforced and when faced with making a decision they plead ignorance, but somehow they have the expertise to approve disposing of invaluable mounts when the mayor snaps his fingers.

Place hand on face, shake head from left to right.

UPDATE: During Coffee with the Councilors this morning (Starr and Barranco were in attendance) a taxidermist and someone representing West Sioux offered to take the collection at their expense. The councilors seemed open to the idea. I mentioned liability issues but Barranco felt a waiver could be written. I joked with the group that the Zoo should get a VPN and sell them on the black market, they could raise all kinds of money for butterflies and lions 🙂

I support letting them take the collection, but like most things with the city, it will get very messy, very fast.

Well you have to give them credit for using fancy word games;

During the coming weeks, the Sioux Falls City Council must approve the surplus and disposition of the Delbridge collection, according to the release. The city and zoo will also work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to safely disposition the mounts in the collection. It’s expected to take several months.

In other words they are taking them to the city dump and DISPOSING them! They are not getting REARRANGED! Now remember, if there is any asbestos in them, don’t drag it across town in some leaf bags and a late model Chevy like some other ‘LLCs’ did. But no worries if you get caught, you can get out of the fine with a couple of TIFs and Parking Ramps to boot . . . I mean a settlement check.

“This difficult decision was reached after extensive discussion, research, testing and consultations about best practices to manage aged taxidermy with experts at other reputable museums,” the release read.

I am willing to take their word for it that they have no other option but to dispose of them, but I would be curious what kind of research they did trying to find an institution that would take them and restore them? I told a city councilor they need to request the consultation reports.

Sometimes you have to peruse the city council’s consent agenda a few times before you catch stuff (Item #6).

Sub-Item #14, Great Plains Zoo Master Plan; Agreement for professional services, CLR Design, $80K (as pointed out to me, non-profit’s subsidized by the city usually pay for their own master plans, at least the Washington Pavilion Management Company has in the past for theirs. What is even more troubling about asking city coffers to pay for this is the new the partnership the Zoo has with the Butterfly house. Is the city gearing up to becoming a bigger owner in the Zoo’s capital? I’m all for long range masterplans, but instead of a study on penguins and butterflies maybe the city council needs to have a masterplan for the long term growth of the city.)

Sub-Item #22, Indian Mound Retaining Wall Rehabilitation – Bank Stabilization – Evaluation and Preliminary Design; Agreement for professional services, Infrastructure Design Group, Inc., $52K

UPDATE: This is a different retaining wall closer to the bike trail by the Country Club.

This week was busy with another non-profit merger;

The Butterfly House & Aquarium has raised $4.2 million toward its capital campaign to expand aquarium exhibits, which can be applied toward the project, Otto-Pepper said.

Of course the Butterfly House is merging with the Zoo and it seems they have raised a lot of money.

LSS is also merging with the Multi-Cultural center, which I fully support, and probably is long past due.

But you have to wonder what is going on with their bank accounts.

As you know, the Levitt has yet to release numbers from their 2021 season even as their 2022 season has been finished for over a month.

The Denny Sanford Premier center is up for contract renewal and they are taking in millions in profits and commissions.

According to the Pavilion’s annual report in 2021 they had over $5 million in the bank. This is after basically skipping a year due to Covid. You also have to remember that we not only give the Pavilion a yearly operational subsidy but we give millions each year fixing the building due to the poor construction of the facility to begin with (windows, roofs, etc.)

Maybe it is time the city council takes a hard look at how much we are subsidizing these facilities taking into consideration how much is in their bank accounts. Do we really need to subsidize the Pavilion, the Zoo, the Denty and other facilities when they may have millions in their bank accounts. I don’t think so.