Friday, February 18, 2011

The Mayor’s Broken Promises

 I joined the Build It Downtown Group because I believed in what this passionate and highly committed group of business people wanted to do – engage the Mayor in considering alternative sites for an event center. Consider, not demand. Talk, discuss and give input to the mayor and his staff as they work through the process. Work with them on this project.  It is a noble cause spearheaded by noble people who have the best interests of the city at heart. These people are taxpayers, citizens of Sioux Falls and voters. This group has worked hard to gather data, meet with architects, engineers, city planners, developers and the public. They have studied this issue extensively and reviewed dozens of cities’ successes with their own events centers. They deserve to be heard, not ignored.

Why is it that this group is being ignored and even demonized? Well, there are many factions at work with respect to this project. There are people who are adamant in their support of the Arena site. There are people who believe other sites should be considered for an event center. There are people who are adamantly opposed to the whole idea of building an event center. There are people who think the downtown retailers are behind the movement for their own personal gain. People are all over the place when it comes to an Event Center and yet the Mayor moves forward like his concept for the Event Center is the only good concept. He is already telling his “adversaries” that they will be the losers and they should just get on board and be a team player when he proves his idea is the only good idea.

What I don’t get is why the Mayor and members of his staff choose to ignore the Build It Downtown group’s repeated requests to meet and discuss their ideas. These business and community leaders has been trying to get a meeting with the Mayor and his staff to discuss possible downtown locations as an alternative for some time. All they want to do is give input to the city. Why is the mayor so threatened by differing points of view? After all, he did say he was willing to consider a downtown location. He did say he was committed to downtown revitalization. So why ignore input? All he has to do is listen to other ideas. Listen – what a concept. Not something the mayor seems to be very good at when it comes to this process. I guess people outside his immediate circle of control don't count. I don't understand why he seems to be so afraid to just talk to this group. I have worked for a lot of mayor's and I have never seen a mayor blow off a group of people like this mayor has done. People deserve to be treated with respect even if he doesn't agree with them.

Build It Downtown members have been trying to get a meeting with his staff to discuss possible downtown locations. They first refused to meet with the group, now they just ignore their requests. Build It Downtown asked for public record information and they've refused to provide it. This is a demonstration of an open and transparent government that the mayor promised when he was elected?

The Public Works Director stated at the most recent Event Center Update Session on Monday that they will be going to identify the most suitable and feasible downtown site by the end of February. That is in a few days. What criteria and input are they using to determine the most suitable and feasible downtown site? The audacity of this mayor never ceases to amaze me. In my opinion, his lack of respect for ideas other than his own is downright disrespectful to the voters and citizens of this community who just want to work with him on this important project.

The mayor promised to seek public input before decisions were made. He has chosen to ignore or even listen to voters who want to give input or their opinions regarding this important project. He is failing to keep his promises. He is failing the voting public.


  1. You seem surprised? LOL! I knew Mayor Hubris was full of it the first time I talked to him in person. Ironically, if Dr. Staggers were mayor right now, he probably would be completely NOT involved with the discussion, in fact he encouraged private involvement like BID. But hey, Mike is the progressive not Kermit. LOL!

  2. I have to agree there needs to be private involvement on this events center discussion. Where is everybody and why isn't anybody speaking up? There wouldn't be any discussion from Dr Staggers because Dr No would not have pushed any new kind of agenda for Sioux Falls. Both wrong for Mayor but for different reasons.

  3. I wonder if many of "The Good Citizens of Sioux Falls" who voted for this mayor aren't by now wishing they could take their votes back? Fortunately I live outside the city limits or I too may have made the same mistake.

  4. The "Good Citizens of Sioux Falls" who worked hard on his campaign are in fact taken aback at the turn-around of My Man Mike. When he surrounds himself with "yes" men (who are forced into that position because their livelihood depends on it), he is failing to see that his city-wide support is dwindling. He may be in for a rude awakening in 2014.

  5. All good comments but I am not sensing the typical Sioux Falls voter recognizes the train wreck this really is. Mike is a pro at marketing himself and saying what sounds good at the moment, and very few people outside of bloggers are willing to publicly take him on. Unfortunately the media has largely fallen for his spin/bullying too. Hate to say it, but if an election were held today he would be hard to defeat.

  6. It's true that people are afraid to take him on publically due to his instant anger and his inability to accept criticism. It's also not clear how vindictive he may be. But privately the number of people disenchanted with him is growing rapidly. I'd like to see him succeed, as would many of his former supporters, but he will need to have an attitude adjustment.

  7. My biggest problem with the EC talk is the near complete lack of discussion on how and who is going to fund this thing. Cart seems to be way in front of the horse on this one.

    Watched the latest listening and learning session rerun on city channel 16. Had to shake my head a little when a citizen commented how much she liked the snowgates. Then the good mayor could not pat himself on the back hard enough. This sanowgate thing is solely the idea of Dr. Staggers. He tried getting them here for years. Just our man mike stealing another idea from the evil Dr. No.

    Polly Amalo