Oh Yes, They Call It the Streak

(Disclaimer: I have yet to completely verify that this week's Get Out of Town "victim" is indeed the same person caught streaking in the mid-70's. However, three independent sources supplied the same info. I would appreciate any further information, including the Argus Leader story and photo.)

Today’s story begins over thirty years ago. On April 2, 1974 millions of viewers watching the Academy Awards saw a naked man run by actor David Niven on live television. Funny thing is, instead of a FCC crackdown and new rules on broadcast networks (ala Janet Jackson) the nation just chuckled.
Streaking had hit the big time. For years nothing more than a fraternity prank, it now became the sort of fad now celebrated in awful shows such as “I Love the 70’s”. Ray Stevens even had a novelty hit in May, 1974 with a song celebrating the behavior.
Even the na├»vete of a small town such as Sioux Falls dealt with this trend. One day in the mid-70’s this entire city was shocked to see a photo of a nude male on the front page of the Argus Leader. Memories are hazy on this pre-internet story and photo, but during a timeout at what most agree was a Lincoln-Washington basketball game at the Arena, a young man displayed his shortcomings as he ran from one corner of the court to another before being escorted to jail by the police.
There is such a thing as youthful indiscretions, and the person in question has certainly done pretty well for himself. Years later he took over his father’s company and has become one of our city’s best-known downtown insiders. Like many second-generation businessmen, though, he does appear to have a problem with self-entitlement. (Trust me, I know about this problem.)
Of course, I’m talking about Jeff Scherschligt, who recently was publicly embarrassed once again when the Zip Feed Mill failed to blow up as planned. He’s also the center piece in another financial controversy that’s plaguing Dave Munson’s term as Mayor.
To be fair, in some respects I understand Scherschlight’s anger and frustration. He thought he had a done deal with the Zip property, and it must be aggravating to find out that he has a few more hoops to jump through.
But I don’t completely buy his “woe is me” tale. He already has his deal to make the land a special tax district to help with his development. The deal that has yet to be finalized is a $400,000 interest-free loan and a five-year option for the city to buy a portion of the land for the long-proposed event center. Included in this option are a number of special provisions for building specifications, parking, and environmental cleanup. Yet neither Scherslight nor the city will let us look at the results of a recent environmental study of the land.
Many supporters of the project claim that certain city commissioners are just playing politics in their criticism of how they were left out of the loop of these negotiations. I recently chatted with one of those in question, and he claims it’s nothing of that sort. “All the mayor has to do is contact us. How hard is it to call us or send out an email stating that this guy has proposed this or that, so should we look into it? It would take maybe five minutes a week to keep us updated.”
Technically, the Mayor has every right under the city’s charter to negotiate deals such as this. But if we really want our city council to be just a rubber stamp for the Mayor’s whims, why do we even need them?
As for Scherschligt, I think he’ll be all right. He’s been whining for the last couple of weeks that anybody who is against his plan is “against progress” (my least favorite political statement) and that he’s turned down many bigger offers for that property because of his love of the city. Whatever, buddy. I suggest that you just take the highest offer. At least then my money isn’t lining your pockets.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Jeff as a streaker? That is just too good to be true!
danugh said…
I can confirm that he was indeed the streaker.
Anonymous said…
So what? Are you going to slam the guy for some indiscretion done 20 - 30 years ago. How much crap have you smoked or shot up your nose in the last 20 years? Plenty - no doubt about it.
Anonymous said…
The Mighty Scott Hudson strikes again!

And regarding the above "indiscretion" comment, the guy must be a serious attention whore. It would be crass, however, to imply drug use. UNLESS Scotty can dig us up a public record.
T. Renshaw said…
Jeff S. was definitly the S.F. streak.

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