Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sump pump Survey

My doorbell rang today and when I opened it, there were two men standing before me. One of the men stood off about 5 feet from the front door and the other one said he was from the City of Sioux Falls. Kind of reminded me of Halloween night when the kids are at the door and the parent is standing off observing.  The man at the door said they were here to inspect the sump hole in my house. They were polite and friendly. This is not about them.

It was 1:45 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. When I drove down my street, I saw the city public works car on another street and there were two men down at the corner of my block. I expected them to show up eventually but not in less than 10 minutes. There are over 16 houses on my block.

Now why do a door to door survey and inspection like this one in the middle of the day? My street is like a ghost town during the day.  Everyone is either at work or at school. I doubt that my street is any different than any other neighborhood street in Sioux Falls. The majority of the good folks of Sioux Falls are not home during the day. Also, why does it take two workers to walk the neighborhoods of Sioux Falls in the middle of day to take a survey and inspect a sump hole? Couldn't they cover more ground if they worked alone? Wouldn't their survey garner more information if they worked late afternoon, early evening hours when most people are at home?

As I closed my door, I thought how inefficient this public works survey/inspection process seemed to be and what a waste of man hours. Two men walking empty neighborhoods during the middle of the workweek. How many more duplicate trips are going to be made to get this survey done? How credible is the survey going to be when the majority of responses will be "no one at home."

This is not a society where people are home during the day. Businesses, clinics, daycare centers, you name it, have adjusted their operating hours to conform to a changing society that no longer operates within the confines of a Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. environment. I guess not the City of Sioux Falls.  More like thinking in the 1950's when Mom was home all day, doing the wash, baking cookies and planning supper.  Thinking out of the box?   Doesn't appear so.


  1. How ironic coming from a career bureaucrat....This is YOUR stuck in the mud, old school, inefficient city government, Jennifer....the one Mayor Huether is trying to change by bringing more business acumen and common sense to. You know, the same stuff you bash him for all the time!

  2. Maybe the Mayor should let Public Works in on his business acumen and common sense.

  3. @ 10:31pm aka Darrin Smith:

    Name one business that the Mayor has ever started and/or run successfully? He's never risked his own money nor his own reputation.

    Even today, he always has a fall guy in place if one of his grandiose, politically motivated schemes goes awry. Guys like you, for example.

  4. Hey Anonymous fanboy of the Mayor, how about you man (or woman) up and use your own name when you comment and bash on Jennifer? At least she uses her real name. Seriously Jennifer, you shouldn't allow people who aren't even willing to put their name on their comments to comment. It's cowardly. The Mayor's version of "Business acumen" and "common sense" is paying INTEREST ONLY for the first two years of the lame-o location arena that did have a pricetag of 99.5 million that's now 115 million. Seriously, WHAT business acumen are you talking about? You don't learn business acumen at a credit card company, you learn to rip people off which is exactly how I feel about him being our mayor. And please save the reactions to my comments unless you're willing to use your real name. Anonymity is for cowards. If you disagree that's fine. That's democratic. I welcome it. But anonymous bashing of Jennifer is just pathetic.

  5. I would agree with the first commenter. This stuff went on when you were HR director, did you ever challenge it? I railed Munson constantly for holding 'public meetings' during the day, for all the same reasons you pointed out. He would often point out when a major issue would come up, "We held public meetings and very few people showed up." Gee, I wonder why McFly-McMunson? Maybe you can fill us in Jennifer as to why these guys are surveying during the day? My guess is that is has to do with their employment contracts. I will however defend the 'two' worker team. I had a friend who worked for the census several times, and in certain neighborhoods, for safety reasons, they had two people, it had nothing to do with covering more ground. Lastly, I will agree with Traub. Unless people can share their identity, their testimony about wrong doings is moot. While I don't always have identity's shown on my site, I do know most of my commenters personally, and if they are questionable, I do not post their comments.

  6. I worked with Jennifer and she was not a "career bureaucrat." She challenged and pushed back and was no one's patsy. Instead of talking about her try commenting on the topic. Inefficiency is demonstrated in performance. You know it when you see it. And if you are smart enough to recognize it you do something about it.

  7. South DaCola said: "Unless people can share their identity, their testimony about wrong doings is moot. "

    Anyone who uses a pseudonym is still anonymous, so you are no different than the anonymous posters here and therefore a hypocrite. Or is it Poly Amalo, or Poly43, or Lewis?

    It's hard to keep them all straight when people will reply to a comment you make and one of those "profiles" answers for you.

    - Anonymous 1 (There. I differentiated myself just like you have)

  8. And, people continue to pump sump water into the Sanitary Sewer when they know it is wrong. People get sewage in their basements. At least the City is trying. I got a door knob hanger and called. I went home to show them I was legal. Try helping. Get Along.

    Or, run for Mayor?

  9. Why do you have to run for Mayor just because you write a blog? We are just supposed to sit around and sing kumm by ya and never question anything? Funny!! Reporting, commenting, whatever you want to call it whether it's done by newspapers, tv commentators, blog writers, etc., are for the purpose of bringing information, ideas, commentatory to whoever wants to read it. Take what you want from all information out there and do what you want personnally with it. It's comments like "get along" that make me shake my head. I like to hear all sides of everything and then and only then will I make up my own mind.

  10. Jennifer, Ironic that you commented on this for a different reason: I saw a black/plain Public Works car - 2 guys lounging in the front seat - about 10 days ago. It was about 1:45 or a little later in the afternoon (after lunch) and they were parked off the street nicely positioned in the shade and chatting it up in a church parking lot. Great idea Mikey!

    Signed, Anonymous 2