- All those cities, in their infinite wisdom, located their event center in the heart of their cities where it offered more than a drive, a parking spot, an event and a drive home.
- What good is more flat floor space if we have fewer conventions because there is nothing to do out there and no place to go for entertainment, consequently no increase in sales tax for our city.
- There are many reasons to build an event center downtown but the most important is the economic impact and to grow our tax base.
- You must examine the past if you are to have a clear vision for the future.
- It makes no sense to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.
- Don't put a $100 million project out there to take care of a $13 million problem.(floor space)
- This city has never spent $120 million on a project before in its history. We want to be able to learn from what other communities have learned and also what we have learned in Sioux Falls with the history of the Arena site. Look at the studies that have been done and the economic impact to the city. In good conscience, you'd vote for a downtown site.
- Sioux Falls is so close to getting to the next level and an event center downtown will get us there.
- Mayor, I understand the decision may come down to your final vote and I just want you to remember the conversation we had on Phillips Ave. when you were campaigning.
- We have South Dakota winters. Tell me how they're going to get there (Downtown)
- I'm representing small cities and senior citizens and senior citizens don't want to walk downtown.They want to get in their car, get going home, get something to eat. They're afraid, they're old, they're in wheel chairs, they're handicapped. They want some place they can get in and get out of the Arena real quick.
- Are you having fun yet? People say there is nothing to walk to at the Arena. You can walk to Covell Lake, Terrace Park, band concerts, water park and pool, Veterans Memorial Park, beautiful trees in Elmwood. You can go to the Ramkota and use their pool and restaurant, Sheraton and its restaurant, Sioux Falls Inn, Arena Motel, Motel 6, Brimark Inn, Kelly's Inn, Buffalo Wild Wings, Nuttie's Bar, Jono's Bar and the Rolling Pin.
- It's 11:05 p.m. and I just want to let the people of Sioux Falls know that we still have a packed house that's engaged in this critical topic for your city, Sioux Falls. You should be very proud.
- If we do it right, this project can be the signature project for the next generation.
- When you look at the potential and the bottom line for the city for the next generation you come to the tale of two returns on investment: the good and the better. If we go for the good or if we go for just build it or if we for the quickest and easiest option, we short change the city for a generation and unfortunately it might just make what the naysayers say, come true.
- The younger crowd of Sioux Falls deserves a voice on this issue which will quite frankly affect us a lot longer than anyone else.
- Downtown is the vision. It's the future of this city. Let's do the right thing and not regret what we did 40 years ago.
- The AECOM study does not make a location recommendation. It says if you build it at the Arena you can expect to see $6.1 million of new development. If you build it downtown, you'll see $51.1 million in new development.
- The decision will be the legacy of this mayor and city council.
All this testimony when you knew darn well, no one was going to change their minds. You could see it especially in the no vote group. Some of the no voters didn't give the downtown supporters the courtesy of eye contact. Some smirked at the remarks. No engagement or nodding of the head unless a testimony was geared to their position.
The lecture by Rolfing was patronizing and insulting. These are his constituents. He was elected at large, These people who strongly believe that the downtown site is the future vision of the city deserved his respect, not his degradation. These were people who were passionate and had the courage to speak up. He should be thanking them for taking an interest in their city, not telling them how he was disappointed in them.
The downtown supporters who had the courage and passion for the future of their city and stated that they could not support an event center at the arena site are not poor losers in this debate. To say they are is a great disservice to them. Their lack of support for the Mayor and the 4 no voters has nothing to do with the fact their preferred site wasn't chosen. It has everything to do with what is right for the future direction of this city. To say they are all poor losers is an injustice to all these people who have elected to participate in their local government by getting involved.
Councilor Rolfing said people have made it out to seem like the Arena and the Convention Center have been a complete flop. I was there and I didn't hear anyone say those two venues were a complete flop. What they said was the location decision back then was a mistake. Carol Twedt said it best when she said that she supports and is proud of the convention center but the predictions that building the convention center at the arena would grow the economy and the tax base were wrong, wrong, wrong.
The last speaker was the highlight of the evening, however. I would venture to guess that everyone was a bit in shock when the mayor's daughter came to the podium to speak. The mayor did not blink an eye as his daughter gave a cheer out to the council to come together and produce an 8-0 vote on the Convention Center/Arena site. The only thing missing were the pom poms.
I am sure the mayor's daughter is a wonderful young woman but her appearing before the council on her Dad's issue was so out of place. Politics 101: you don't trot out your family members to promote your cause. It is a pathetic attempt at self promotion to use your daughter in this fashion.
I find it interesting that the "golden boy" of Citibank could not find one person in the business community to close the deal for him. He had to use his daughter.
And that's a wrap!