Hey Kids! The Mayor Wants to Add More to Your Future Burden!

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of our silly little Mayor. For a so-called conservative Republican, he sure likes to spend money. Unfortunately, it’s OUR money. Well, some of it is our money, but a lot of it will ultimately come out of the pockets of our children and grandchildren.
Yet it’s not just Munson who is to blame. Our City Commission certainly has no problem saying yes to almost every little plan he and his cronies think up. Every time he comes up with an extravagant idea, you can count on De Knudson to be two paces behind him clapping and smiling, along with Vernon Brown spouting out old KELO clichés about the “spirit of caring” and “creating opportunities for all people”. Yeah, right.
This past weekend, reports in the daily paper indicated that Munson and his pals had another laundry list of wants to be funded through another bond issue. Not a big list, really. Just $46 million or so for sports fields, windows, “fishin’ holes”, and zoo upgrades. Yes, that’s sarcasm.
Oh yeah, and a new bridge on 41st Street that “might” be reimbursed by the federal government. Do you really see that happening? Generally, aren’t federal funds requests sorted out before a project? I’ve never seen the government supplying money for a project that’s already been paid. I’m sure it’s happened somewhere, but it just seems to be quite a long shot.
All of this wouldn’t be so worrisome if the bills weren’t starting to add up. According to Council member Kermit Staggers, our current “outstanding or authorized debt exceeds $280 million”. This number would be much higher if voters hadn’t rejected the controversial swimming complex a couple of years ago. There’s also the upcoming debate on a new Arena that could potentially drive that figure even higher.
The source to repay this debt is the so-called “second penny” tax that we voted in a few years ago that was originally supposed to be used ONLY for street maintenance. Of course, it didn’t take long for that money to be absorbed into the general budget. If that money had been used as intended, we probably wouldn’t need to borrow to replace that 41st Street bridge.
The timing of this plan is not the best, either. Just two weeks ago, the council approved steep water and sewage hikes, and my friend De complained that the fees were not raised enough for her liking. At a time when it’s becoming clearer every day that we are probably headed towards an economic downturn that will probably have a larger affect on our citizens than similar situations have in the past, it’s probably not best to add to our city’s debt. Then again, this administration is not known for looking at anything other than seeing their names on statues and plaques congratulating themselves for conning the citizens once again.


Anonymous said…
Geez where do I start with this blog.

"Oh yeah, and a new bridge on 41st Street that “might” be reimbursed by the federal government. Do you really see that happening? Generally, aren’t federal funds requests sorted out before a project? I’ve never seen the government supplying money for a project that’s already been paid."

Response: Wrong. If local communities want a federal block grant for a public project (like bridge building), the local community needs to start funding the project, and gather up matching funding that the local community would need before the SD Congression delegation makes the final request for the percentage of funding provided by the federal government. And if O'bama is elected as President, there will be a federal percentage provided by Washington. McCain is a Repuke that believes local government should pay for its own bridges, even if they can't afford to.

Scott said…
The key words is "start" funding the project...much like we did with the Lewis and Clark pipeline. The Mayor's plan is to just pay for the bridge, and sit back and hope his pals in Washington pay back a future administration. Do you really see that happening?
Anonymous said…
All funding is required to start with the local government starting the project, and being able to prove that the city can pay its percentage portion of the bridge project. Local government committment is required by federal mandate. As far as the feds making good on their portion depends on who's in office. Bush cut funding for Lewis and Clark because of ideological convictions that local government should pay for 100% of the costs. The Dems pushed for Lewis and Clark because they believed Gore, and later Kerry, would control the executive branch. It all depends on who is Caesar. Mayor Munson is kind of a closet Democrat trying to continue his political aspirations as a moderate Republican. Which is why he gambles that the Dems will take over the White House. It's a million dollar crap game, but the infrastructure needs to be developed if the city is to grow.
The answer to your local government concerns has to do with the city charter being changed in the '90's. Sioux Falls use to have a Commission form of municipal government, and the voters changed it to a 'strong Mayorial system' of government. The Council has limited powers, and the Mayor has a cartel of control in Sioux Falls. Brown and Mother Dee don't worship the Mayor. They have to support him if they want his voting block to support them when they run for Mayor. That's just the inherent nature of dictatorship. No one really knows why Munson won overwhelmingly in his last campaign. Grey hair gets chicks? looks like daddy? the closet Dem image? seen as moderate? skilled double talker? all the above? I don't know. But those that have the ambition to be Mayor someday have to ride his train until it stops.
The solution to this is for honest folk to win the next Mayorial race, and some Council seats, and then insist on presenting a new city charter to the voters. I favor a 'Council' system of government. No Mayor and no jackass city manager. Just a 20 member city council where each member is paid $10K per year. That's a lot less then what the city spends now. The Mayor's niece alone makes $98K! City ordinances and all documents would be signed by the Council Chairman whenever a Council majority passes a motion of action. A 20 member Council is more Democratic and would be more open and accountable to the people. But I've always been a fan of the legislative branch. Down with the executive fascist pigs!

Scott said…
Thanks, Kurt, for that analysis.

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