Lincoln County Tax Levy Vote proves local officials are NOT doing the work of the people

I do agree that it was only an 8% voter turnout, but either way, it was a blowout. I have felt for a long time that both County Commissions, the City Council and the School Board are NOT listening to what the citizens want, or in this case, don’t want. They simply show up and vote for tax increases on the minions so they can turn around and give contracts or tax breaks to the welfare queen developers, banksters and bonders.

The system is rigged.

We no longer have representative government in the Sioux Falls Metro Area or even in the state. This is what happens when you have one-party rule by authoritarians who only serve the ruling class. Don’t believe me? A majority of all of the members of all of these governing bodies are Republican. I think the only members that are registered Democrat are Pat Starr, Jeff Barth and Kate Parker (there may be a couple more, but they ain’t telling anyone.)

The irony of the Tax Levy revolt is that it was spearheaded by Republican voters! That is why it still baffles me they continue to vote for the very representatives that don’t listen to them.

I told an older Democrat not to long ago that no matter who the majority party in local government bodies is, you will continue to get tax and fee increases. The difference is the Dems will spend it on the citizens and the Repugs will spend it on their welfare queen developer bankster buddies.

Is it time to Disband the Inept Sioux Falls Planning Commission?

Ironically, it may be a secret goal of Mayor Poops and the rich developers and banksters that support him.

Over the past year I have pointed out on this blog and during public input to the commission itself that they are a useless body. They have non-elected planning staff pre-approve agenda items, they have conflicts of interest with agenda items and recusals at almost every meeting with multiple members AND they have a serious attendance issue barely making quorum at the meetings.

Add another one to the list, as I mentioned Sunday in my agenda post, they had NO discussion on the items tonight because they put them ALL in the consent agenda even though several were controversial like Item 2A which dealt with changing a whole neighborhood into a Historic District (so they likely can get property tax breaks and other historic grant goodies to pay for their remodels).

The meeting lasted a whopping 13 minutes and if you blinked your eye or turned away to scratch your butt, you would have missed what was discussed.

There is an effort by some state legislators whose districts are in Sioux Falls and City Councilors to streamline the planning approval process, or should we say, take it out of the public eye. Developers have been saying for awhile that they are being hamstrung by the planning approval process because neighbors of their projects are objecting. Hey, McFly, that is why we have the process.

After watching the meeting tonight, if you didn’t know the developers and banksters are running this city, you do now.

They should just paint City Hall and Carnegie Hall Black on the outside to match the blackness on the inside.

Charter Revision Commission changes meeting time for NO good reason

From today’s meeting, the good news is that they will be discussing my proposals* at November’s meeting. The bad news is that they changed the meeting time from 4 PM to 3:30 PM, I’m guessing due to the whining and crying of the 1st Amendment Hater City Attorney, Stacy Kooistra. This from the minutes of September’s meeting;

City Attorney Kooistra reminded the Commission of the process for Public Input and the need for items to be listed on the Agenda for discussion or voting purposes. He stated there may be a need to reschedule future meetings to earlier in the day to allow for additional time.

No mention of how I cut him off during public input by saying they couldn’t ask me questions.

During open discussion at the end of today’s meeting they discussed the change (I love how they must have dress rehearsal before the meeting to make sure they can slip this stuff in and make it look legit). Commissioner Carl Zylstra mentions he went and tried to find a meeting longer then last month’s meeting of 1 hour 30 minutes and he could only find one longer in July of 2019 which lasted 1 hour 48 minutes. They quickly moved into a discussion about moving the meetings to 3:30 PM so that they could have more time to discuss items before 5 PM which city attorney Kooistra argued was the time staff needed to leave (there is NOTHING in the Charter requiring boards to adhere to staffers work schedules, if I am wrong, please notate in the comments section and I will update).

Only Commissioner Anne Hajek (partially) objected and said that the later time is to better serve the public (attending). But it fell on deaf ears as they all agreed to have November’s meeting at 3:30 PM so staff could leave at 5 PM.

As I have argued these public meetings are for the PUBLIC, NOT the city staff and I was extremely disappointed in the CRC for caving to the whims of the city attorney and his ignorant objections to long meetings.

This is also contributing to the constant destruction of open and transparent government by this administration and his hitmen. Maybe no one participates in city government because the meeting times are inconvenient. Yup. And they continue their madness with this change.

*Commissioner Carl Zylstra suggested my proposal for having city directors have residency within Sioux Falls could be easily inserted into the charter. So I still have hope that at least one of my proposals will make the ballot 🙂

MJ Advocate Reistroffer proves the incompetence of the City of Sioux Falls Attorney Stacy Kooistra

So Emmett dropped this bomb on the city council last night;

Emmett Reistroffer, a consultant for medical cannabis businesses, believes the current interpretation of the new application process by the city attorney’s office could lead to out-of-state interests exploiting a loophole that could have a business entity or individual submit multiple applications and then squeeze out local business people.


Reistroffer told the City Council during public comment that to ensure a level playing field, they should limit the applications to one per location.

Emmett told me last week he had been in a back and forth with the city attorney’s office about this for weeks with no avail. This is why he showed up during public input last night to inform the council about the issues.

When the MED MJ ordinances were being debated, Councilor Brekke also questioned the City Attorney if the lottery system was even legal. Remember, Janet was the first full-time city attorney, she doesn’t take this lightly.

I have known for a very long time that our city attorney who is trained in military law, knows next to nothing about city law and also struggles with 1st Amendment Constitutional law. Usually if he doesn’t know the answer, he doesn’t answer the question which is happening a lot these days.

Some quick advice for candidates running for local office

I have noticed that several people are now announcing for city races. As I watch this process I see several missteps. As a person who has directly worked with candidates on 5 winning campaigns I want to share some brief advice;

• Never run your own campaign or be your own treasurer. Have a campaign manager who has a winning record and experience.

• Never mention the party you are in unless asked directly (especially in a non-partisan race). I actually recommend people register independent before running in non-partisan races.

• Use your friends for volunteering and raising money do NOT use them for campaign advice (they will only tell you what you want to hear and will never give you critical advice).

• Spend money on a competent walking and mailing list.

• Knock on the doors of voters that wouldn’t normally vote for a candidate like you and keep notes of all your engagements (for revisits).

• Have a clear, simple and concise message and logo and find a good writer who will proofread and edit your materials and speeches.

• Make sure your website and other media works before you announce.

• Invite strangers and the press to engage you whenever possible and don’t keep secrets.

• Vet all of your skeletons before announcing.

• Don’t respond to negative or false information.

• Admit and apologize for any accusations that are true immediately and don’t dwell or play the victim.

• Never use your opponent(s) name when publicly discussing their failures. Pretend you are the only one in the race. Only offer new solutions to their bad policies.

• Target likely voters. Don’t waste money on billboards, yard signs, TV and Radio ads or EDDM mailings (Every Door Direct).

• Smile, stay upbeat and positive.

Read this book!

I have not been asked to help any candidate so far in this election cycle, but will likely be involved in a couple of the campaigns before the election but those candidates haven’t announced yet. If you want my help, I only have one request, you have to allow me to be ‘all in’ when it comes to strategy, and you have to be willing to take criticism (probably the main reason people didn’t ask me in the last city election 🙂

South Dakota Trust Companies don’t benefit us One Iota

With the story about Pandora Papers coming out yesterday, the one thing that has often frustrated me about the trust companies in South Dakota is that having all that money parked here doesn’t benefit the state coffers one bit.

Even if we had a simple state finance charge or a transaction fee that was incredibly tiny, we could rake in millions for education and infrastructure.

The first problem with that is the ones that hold onto the trusts could no longer be secret.

I ask our legislators, why are we allowing them to be here if they serve no public good? You know like PO box RVers, sales tax on food and video lottery.

Nevermind.

When will the Media poll South Dakotans on Abortion?

So we have been seeing a lot of stories about abortion these days. From our governor proposing primitive and unconstitutional laws to protests from both sides of the aisle and rallies.

I guess my question is when is our local media going to pony up and just do a poll of South Dakota voters? Heck, they could even join forces and use the Poli-Sci departments at the public universities to help conduct it.

I think the results in South Dakota would be the same as the rest of the country. Most people support legal abortion as long as it is within a reasonable window of time.

I will tell you why the media won’t touch it, they like the controversy. Even though South Dakotans have voted twice to preserve prochoice in our state there seems to be this attitude in the media that we are split 50/50 on the topic. I don’t believe it for a moment.

Sioux Falls City Council Agenda, Oct 4-6, 2021

The City Council and other boards have a full agenda this week;

The Audit Committee has finally released some audits, been awhile. On Spectra (the people who provide concessions to several city owned entertainment facilities) they found a ton of non-compliance especially with insurance requirements. On the Midco Aquatic Center they have seen an over 50% drop in attendance since 2019 and around a 40% drop in revenue. They were also non-compliant on several fronts and like the Spectra Audit it seems our own Finance Department is not doing regular checks of compliance. For Travel expenses there was several instances of non-compliance. $137,000 travel reimbursements paid directly to travelers (city employees). Many of these results don’t surprise me. I have said the City Manager (The Mayor) is running a rudderless ship and when you have a poor city manager, it results in poor management under that person.

The Planning Commission has decided to go full rogue by putting every single item on the consent agenda this month. Now items can be pulled for discussion by the Commission or Individuals from the public but I find this startling considering that all items are recommended for approval by the Planning Department and I am sure several Commission Members will recuse due to conflicts. Folks, this is what true cruise control government looks like. I am still puzzled why we even have a Planning Commission.

The Charter Revision Commission will continue to review the Charter.

City Council Informational will review building code changes.

City Council Regular Meeting;

On the contracts and agreements (Item 6) in sub items 17-18 they are paying this consulting firm out of Florida to do this?

And of course sub item #38 where we are reviewing the Human Relations Commission.

Why is the City of Sioux Falls paying for an outside Counsel Review of the Human Relations Commission?

So the Sioux Falls city council has decided to bury this on the consent contracts/agreements, Item #6, last sub item #38;

City Attorney’s office, Engagement Agreement for Human Relations Commission Review, Cadwell Sanford Deibert & Garry, LLP, Not to exceed $5,000

A concerned citizen asked a city councilor to pull this from the agenda for discussion and he not only refused to pull it, he refused to tell the citizen what it was about. Mind you, this is on a publicly posted agenda.

So why is an outside law firm reviewing the Human Relations Commission. I don’t know, but let’s make some guesses;

• The attorney running the department mysteriously disappeared and the replacement left to work for the county. Why?

• There has been several accusations that the commission (city) has been dismissing complaints for no reason.

• Was there a Federal complaint filed? The commission probably is funded by some Federal grants and has to follow certain Federal rules when it comes to the appeals.

As I understand it another city councilor has agreed to pull it from the consent agenda and have some one from the administration explain what this review is about.

At this point I won’t speculate, because I am just as curious as you.

Is SD GOP Chair Dan Lederman pushing for a Carbon Pipeline across South Dakota?

Besides the fact that he seems to be lobbying for the State of Iowa at the detriment of South Dakotans, why is he presenting this to the Minnehaha CC?

REGULAR BUSINESS:
10) Briefing on the Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline – Dan Lederman

A MC Commissioner I talked with has NO idea what Iowa Dan will be presenting, but he has a pretty good guess;

Summit Carbon Solutions, the Alden company owned by Bruce Rastetter’s Summit Agricultural Group, proposes building a 710-mile underground pipeline that would extend into or through 30 of the state’s 99 counties.

Summit plans to capture the carbon dioxide emissions from ethanol and other industrial agricultural plants before they’re released into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. The company will compress the emissions into a liquid so it can be transported to North Dakota, where it will be injected in underground rock formations for permanent storage.

So how do you get this crud to North Dakota? Well, you would most likely have to build a pipeline from Iowa through South Dakota. Bring in Iowa Dan.

The company says it has agreements to sequester carbon emissions from 31 Midwestern ethanol plants. In addition to Iowa — the nation’s largest producer of ethanol — Summit Carbon plans to run the pipeline into Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota.

While some would argue this is a great idea I have an even better one, stop using fossil fuels and ethanol and invest in clean energy. The technology already exists where you could run most if not all autos, trucks, semis and trains on electric and they are working on the technology for airplanes also. The electricity could come from investing in wind, solar, hydro and even nuclear energy. We don’t need to make more bio fuels which I have argued takes food out of hungry mouths and doesn’t produce enough return on energy. Ethanol is a big scam, always has been.

But I still wonder why the Chair of the SD GOP is promoting an Iowa business that is interested in running a hazardous waste pipeline through our state. I have argued for a long time that South Dakota Republican lawmakers are consistently working against the interests of hard working residents and baffled why they keep getting elected and now the leader of that party in South Dakota is proving that once again.