Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't Vote No Because of Me

The mayor appeared on the Argus Leader Sports Web Live on October 11 and was interviewed by Stu Whitney.

The mayor seems to think that people are going to vote no on the event center because they don't like him. He said people will stop at nothing to defeat this event center or defeat him. He said the no people are impacting the city negatively to hurt him. When did this whole thing become about him? The arrogance of those statements are beyond comprehension.

This election is about the financial health and well being of this city. This election is about whether the taxpayers want to take on a debt of  $172,763,000 until 2033. People are voting no because they don't like the location, they don't like the financial plan, they don't think there is money to operate the event center, they don't think an event center should be built on the justification of additional flat floor space for more conventions and trade shows; they think the parking plan will not accommodate simultaneous events.

During this interview, the mayor said that the primary tenants of the event center are not sports teams.  He stated that the primary tenant will be the conventions, the conferences, the big events,  trade shows. "That's the power of this investment."    But when I look at the mayor's event center presentation materials, it shows the layout illustrations for a hockey game with a 10,450 seat capacity, and a hockey game with a 3300 seat capacity; the basketball with 12,000 seat capacity and one with a 3500 seat capacity. Why is the city showing these sports illustrations when he says the primary tenants are conventions, big events and trade shows? This event center plan has an identity crisis. It doesn't know what it wants to be and for whom.

It is so disingenuous to say that those who are speaking out against the event center are creating mistrust and fear. 

I can honestly say that my voting no has nothing to do with whether I like this mayor or not. My vote is more important than that.

It's not about a person or a legacy or whether I like someone. It is about what I believe is in the best interest of this city. I do not believe this plan before the voters on November 8th is the best economic plan for this city at this time. 


  1. Very well done, Jennifer! These are the reasons I voted "no" as well - the plan is schizo while being financially irresponsible. Gee, what a winning combination!

    And while I won't speak to any personal feelings for our lord Mayor (I have met him in person and he seems a decent enough fellow), I can't help but notice the overwhelming display of self-aggrandizement in nearly everything he's done during his term. And should we talk about these public displays of paranoia and ego-driven martyrdom? I think we've found the channeled spirit of ol' Tricky Dick Nixon! Wouldn't be surprised if he bugs his office!

  2. His rant about 'Legacy' was a replay from my podcast. The question was sent to me by a prominent reporter here in town (TV not newspaper). And it really torqued him off. His comments about 'bloggers attacking his family' were off base. I don't think that you or I have ever attacked his family. His wife is heavily involved with the Tennis association and his daughter was the ONLY person to publicly speak about the Arena location. Sorry Mike, but you have drug your family into the fray. Stop playing the victim.

  3. Mike is a bit of a lightening rod, kinda of like a former governor. I can not think of another strategy that could have gotten the EC this far. Like it or not, he has the momentum, he is making it work, he is close to getting the Vote.

    Build It Now has money. The new Opposition has none.

  4. Oh, Ps. Scott, just because his daughter was naive enough to stand up and speak on this issue does not mean that people have to single her out for vicious attacks. People still have a choice in what to say and write.

  5. Funny how Jennifer and a small number of others supported everything about this plan when there was a chance it could be downtown. Never heard anything about timing, the economy, finance plan, parking, etc. If there had been any leadership whatsoever in city hall before this, we wouldn't still be having campaigns for events centers, rec centers, etc. because we'd already have them. Those who have left city government in recent years are hypocrites, but certainly not leaders. All talk, no results, that's their legacy - they know it and it's killing them, so rather than see others be successful, they'll sacrifice community progress, how sad.

  6. I have never in my life heard so much bull shit as this last comment.

  7. There is so much wrong with this maor and his vision that it cries out for a resounding NO vote on November 8th. I have to admit it, I do not like him, but I dislike his location and financial plan even more. I don't trust the city Councilors who have sided with him either. And lastly, we all know those City Directors are scared to death about being fired and to survive they do what they are told by their "boss". That's the politics of it and you all know that. I will be disappointed if this passes and heartsick for this city.

  8. Why is it so wrong to vote no because of location? I am voting no because of location.
    Also, there was no negativity about the finance plan because it wasn't revealed until after location selection.

  9. "Oh, Ps. Scott, just because his daughter was naive enough to stand up and speak on this issue does not mean that people have to single her out for vicious attacks. People still have a choice in what to say and write."

    You are right, They have a choice. I never once attacked his daughter or wife. Kylie posted a column about the media on a blog, and I linked it. Huether seems to be confused as to what a political attack is. Having a difference of opinion and posting that opinion on a blog, is not an attack, it is a disagreement.

  10. @ 6:53 p.m. Jennifer and a small number of others? Who are you kidding. There are a couple thousand + on the Build It Downtown website who think this plan is not right for Sioux Falls right now. Lack of leadership? This town would not be where it is today without past leadership both at the elected official level and the department head level. The statement that those who left city government are hypocrites is a pretty broad statement and completely without any redeeming value or merit. You clearly don't know the meaning of leadership or you wouldn't say such stupid things.

  11. "Funny how Jennifer and a small number of others supported everything about this plan when there was a chance it could be downtown."

    When exactly was there a chance it could be downtown? The Mayor himself said on Belfrage's show that he never for a second considered the downtown site. Didn't the Mayor also get comped schematics from Populous early on? My guess is they showed basically the same thing as now, just with a different style.

  12. I am voting no because I think the Mayor is a complete tool.

  13. I am voting "NO" because......

    I spent 13 months attending the 2009 Task Force meetings, AND.........

    I have been at all of the Mayor's EC updates, AND....

    I have attended all of the EC public Q & A sessions, AND......

    I have been at two of the EC "Roadshow" sessions........

    AND, because I AM a well-informed voter..........

    I will NOT agree to a 22 year commitment to a "flawed plan"!!

  14. You know what's's subjecting all City Directors to political appointment. Every time a new mayor is elected those career professionals are subjected to the political whim of this elected mayor who doesn't know diddly squat usually about how the city is run or it's finances. Look at the decimation of directors this current mayor has wrought. Every mayor elected has done some form of it but usually it was city attorney or maybe fire or police. When you make them all political appointees, unless they have backbone, they won't stand up to someone elected who is a tyrant and uses the f....word behind closed doors and rules by fear and intimidation and fear for theirr livlihood. Talk about leadership? There is none going on down at city hall today. Everyone is afraid for their jobs down to even the civil servants who supposedly have protection.

  15. I find it absolutely astounding that so few people are willing to put their names behind their comments. Jennifer puts her name behind her opinions so why should "anonymous X14" think they're going to be taken seriously? I say attack Jennifer and other people's positions all you want, but anonymous commenting is just cowardly.

    Oh yeah, this plan sucks. The communication has been a joke. The Mayor doesn't have the vision for building a truly vibrant city. He never considered another location because this has never been about doing the right thing, it's been about doing Mike's thing.

    I'm 33 years old and I'll wait another 10 years and spend 2X as much if we can get a plan that make sense. Doing something NOW is never better than doing it RIGHT. Don't build it NOW unless you're going to build it RIGHT.

    I know Facebook isn't scientific but how hard is it to "Like" a page? Build it Now has 285 "fans". Build it Downtown has 2000+. I've seen ONE house with a Build it Now sign in the yard. Money doesn't buy elections. That money will be a waste, just like the $600,000+ Mike has already spent on this flawed process. 50K from Sanford or First Premier is NOTHING to them. That $ isn't support, it's token chump change. No has momentum. The ONLY person who is championing this is the Mayor. Doesn't that tell you something about its lack of support and/or his obsession with controlling the spotlight? Jennifer, keep writing. All you anonymous people need to step up and use your real names or stop attacking Jennifer for actually having an opinion.