Social Distancing? Not so much

I found this picture on FB last night, this is a line outside a popular bar in DTSF. While the restrictions are not set to lift until Tuesday, I have noticed many drinking establishments have chosen to just ignore them anyway. And why not? There are no leaders or people in authority in charge in this town. The worst part about this pandemic isn’t scenes like this, it is the total lack of leadership by our elected officials. Why implement half-baked rules with no real teeth if people are just going to ignore them anyway?

Sioux Falls City Council Forums, May 21, 2020

Why is the State of the City address being done in an undisclosed location?

Further proof of hypocrisy. While the rest of us go on with our normal lives, our mayor has to hunker down for his state of the city address. This is ridiculous, there is NO reason this cannot be held at Carnegie. As a city councilor pointed out to me, “We have a public meeting at 3 PM that day at Carnegie.” Isn’t it funny on one hand social media is so bad (when they are criticizing you) but ok when you want to hide from the Covid babies. So which is it Paul? Is it safe to attend public meetings or not? Better put on your thinking (trucker) cap before answering that one.

The ‘HYPOCRISY’ of Sioux Falls City Government

The right wingers and the media have been having fun with my outburst the other night at the council meeting. I get it. The only thing I regret is that I did not stop at my 3 minute mark. For that I (mildly) apologize. But my decorum pails in comparison to what several councilors (RS5) have been up to and the mayor. They have been violating the Roberts decorum rules for months. One of the reasons I showed up is because I was frustrated with how Councilor Erickson constantly berates Councilor Stehly anytime she proposes an ordinance or resolution. She is vicious. Any councilor has a right to propose ordinances and resolutions, and it was a good one, but we know Erickson is doing this because the election is two weeks away. It is politically motivated and disgusting and highly unethical. On top of that, she should of recused herself for voting on a resolution that affects her private business. Also unethical.

But let’s move onto Mayor ‘Child of God’ TenHaken (as he called himself in a FB video last night posted above). Mayor ‘COG’ has been speaking out of order for months. One of the reasons I assumed that the security guard didn’t even get up from his chair when the mayor demanded it from the podium is because the mayor didn’t have the gavel, Council Chair Selberg did. It was Selberg’s duty to gavel me and send me on my way. While my outburst may have been disruptive, it was NOTHING in comparison to the Roberts Rules violations of several of the councilors and mayor. If we want to have a discussion about civility and decorum, let’s have it. But first you need to obey the rules also and set an example. I often tell elected officials when they demand respect that respect is earned and not automatically granted. If you respect the rules, I will also.

Of course what got lost in all this is what I actually testified about and why it was hypocritical of the ENTIRE council and mayor to do what they did. They are telling the private sector that it is safe to go to work and go out to restaurants and bars but several city employees are (supposedly) working from home. But we really have no proof. The issue I have with this is that if you are telling the rest of us it is safe, it is time for city employees to return to the office, provide services, open the pools, libraries and transit. Many of the low income people in our society are suffering because they don’t have access to the library (internet) and to transit. I think is it HYPOCRITICAL to say the private sector is safe but public employees are not. Are they some special class of people? It appears that way. And on top of that, why is it safe for public works, parks, fire and police to show up to work each day, but not building inspectors, librarians and other office staff? I have been working in an office all the way through this, we put measures in place to be safe, and so far, it has worked. This isn’t rocket science folks. (FF: 2:50)

Calling out elected officials for being hypocrites is NOT dangerous to civil discourse. It is calling a spade a spade. Kettle meet black.

But the media has had fun playing my clip on the radio (KELO AM Right Wing Wacko Radio) without identifying me. Joe Sneve has been the only one to identify me on twitter. But last night’s performance between Don Haggar (Americans for Stupidity) and Mayor ‘COG’ was interesting on FB. Without mentioning my name throughout but throwing me in the basket of deplorables. Everyone they mentioned was anonymous which made it seem we were all one in the same, from the anonymous blogger (not sure who that is) or the anonymous 2nd Amendment threatening person on FB, to the fake twitter accounts and finally me who was a fellow ‘Child of God’. I’m not sure if Detroit ‘COG’ Lewis has a very good ring to it.

I will state something I have said several times before, I don’t do anonymous posts on my site, FB or twitter. If I have an opinion or criticism you will get it directly from the horses’ mouth. What I found odd (or even more hypocritical) was the mayor complaining about social media but admitting he uses it all the time to get out his message and videos. I have often suggested to my elected official friends that you probably shouldn’t have a FB page associated with your political position, and if you want to post a video, do it thru YouTube where you can shut off commentary. But that’s a whole other discussion.

One thing Paul pointed out was he preferred that citizens reached out to him privately instead of thru public input. I have the exact opposite opinion. When citizens have concerns and grievances with elected officials, they need to air them publicly to not only inform those officials of issues but the public. Unless it has to do with personal information about yourself, you should always strive to air your concerns in public during public input. Democracy dies in darkness folks, and there has been a lot of darkness from the administration these days.

And lastly, Paul keeps peddling this idea that our tax dollars should not be spent on tornado cleanup. He exclaimed during the video ‘Look how much money we saved!’ Really? We are concerned about saving money during a disaster cleanup? Infrastructure maintenance such as roads, storm cleanup, etc. should always be top priority. And last I checked we got reimbursed by FEMA. I will say it again, we pay taxes for exchange for services, not for entertainment facility mortgages and failed parking ramps. When there is a storm, send out the troops and clean the sh*t up hypocrites!

Count Jensen’s RECORD in the Legislature wasn’t all that great

I know I have posted about this before, but Alex’s record in the legislature is NOT that stellar. He voted for the highest tax increase in the history of the state which hasn’t helped the teachers one iota and has actually made food and utility costs go up even more, he voted against gun safety laws and voted for the transgender bill. If this is his ‘supposed’ great record in the legislature, I’m not sure if I would want someone like that. I also question his experience, while his opponent has spent well over 14 years being involved with public service (ran for council 3 times, served 4 years and managed two successful petition drives) his total political experience has been 40 days in the legislature. Heck, he has spent more time running for office than actually serving in office. As I have said before, Alex is a nice guy, but he certainly isn’t qualified to serve on the City Council, and this is the main reason he was picked to be a patsy, they wanted another rubber stamper that would work very little and ask very few questions.

I also find the endorsement of the former governor interesting. First off, Denny was the biggest donor ($10K) to Alex’s $85K war chest. Secondly, Denny doesn’t even live in Sioux Falls, he lives in Garrettson. And thirdly, I’m not so sure I would want a person who was involved with two major corruption scandals (EB-5 and Gear Up) to endorse me. It’s kind of like saying, “I know I was crooked, but hey, Alex is a good guy, somebody like me should know.”

Lastly let’s bring up the ridiculous amount of money that has been raised to get Alex elected. Raising this kind of money to run for a seat that pays $19K a year should tell you something. Alex’s support doesn’t come the average Joe, it comes from the monied elites in town. What do you think his agenda will be if elected?

I’m not even sure what Stehly has spent, I haven’t assisted her this time around, but if I had to guess it was probably about 10% of what Alex has spent.

I would have given this race easily to Stehly before Covid hit, but I’m not sure who will win at this point, it is anybody’s game. The incumbent of course usually has the edge, but with a primary involved it could be a different game. I encourage everyone to vote for Stehly. But if she loses, we know there is only one reason why . . . MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

You can ask for assistance

A voter pointed this out to me today when they got their absentee ballot in the mail, this note was included. Someone can assist you with your absentee ballot if you unsure about an issue or candidate, especially in the security of your home. Every election I get numerous friends asking me how to vote on issues and candidates and I always help.

Sioux Falls Economy April 2019 vs. April 2020

Yesterday during the Sioux Falls City Council informational there was a presentation on the April Monthly Financial report. A citizen who has an economics degree, Mr. Weber often comes and breaks down the numbers further during public input. Yesterday he brought this graphic comparing 2019 to 2020 by the various business sectors. Makes me want to invest in medical labs.

Sioux Falls City Council At-Large Rotary Forum

UPDATE II: Is the 26th Street Bridge Project having issues?

UPDATE II: I got word today that the contractor DID NOT send out a letter to neighboring businesses (but were given a verbal notice). There also seems to be a denial about the time line and why that timeline has moved (From the Public Works Department);

Project update – The extensive wet weather of 2019 and a private utility relocation issue, has the project tracking 8-12 weeks behind schedule. The project team is working to see if segments of the remaining project can be accelerated to make up for some of the delays noted in 2019. Our goal is to open the road to traffic this year (2020).

Funny, according to this post on the city website;  

Completion Date: July 2021

That’s more like 8 months overdue and not 8 weeks. The original promise date was November 2020. So which is it? And why is it?

UPDATE: FF Video to 7:40

I heard a rumor today that the general contractor sent a letter to neighboring businesses that there could be delays in the project. The supposed problem is the new part of the project is NOT matching up with the I-229 overpass.

There of course are some unknowns here;

• Who got the letter (and does it exist)?

• Why is the general contractor sending it out (did they send it or did the city or state DOT)?

• Who’s fault is it? The Engineers? The Contractor? The city? The state? The railroad?

• If this is true, will taxpayers be on the hook?

This is around a $32 million dollar project. If there is a major SNAFU, who will be on the hook? If this is happening, maybe we should call this the ‘Bunker Ramp Bridge’.

Stay tuned. I have a feeling others in the local MSM have been sniffing around.

Is the City of Sioux Falls ‘experimenting’ with a public ambulance service?

So if you were going to tip your toes into the water, wouldn’t you have told the city council in an informational or the public instead of burying it in the consent agenda? Notice it is an executive order,

Item #6, Approval of Contracts, Sub Items 31-32;

I have a feeling it was buried because we are being used as a pawn in a game being played by a for-profit ambulance service. We’ll see if this gets pulled tomorrow night for discussion.

Also the Public Works Director was asked what was going on with the 26th Street project . . . radio silence. I guess that’s telling me it’s worse than what we may imagine.