Friday, September 23, 2011

Educational or Promotional

The following press release is on the city's website.

Date: 9/21/2011
From: Mayor
Title: City of Sioux Falls Offering Events Center Educational Presentations to the Public

The City of Sioux Falls will be hosting informational meetings about the proposed Events Center on Monday, September, 26, 2011, at the Downtown Library located at 200 North Dakota Avenue and Thursday, September 29, 2011, at the Oak View Library located at 3700 East Third Street.
Both meetings will occur from 6 to 7 p.m. and are open to the public. There will be a 20-minute educational presentation with questions about the project taken after. The citizens of Sioux Falls are encouraged to attend.
If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your organization, please contact Vicki Skuya at 367-8802. The Events Center will be put to a vote on November 8, 2011.

There is a lot of comment and debate about these presentations whether this is something city staff should be doing.

The city has an obligation to present the facts to educate the public on projects they have planned AND which the city council has adopted in their capital program. The event center debate is an interesting one because one half of the councilors supported the mayor's vision and one half opposed the mayor's vision for the event center. Not necessarily a ringing endorsement of support when the governing body is split 4-4 and the person who is pushing a particular agenda foward breaks the tie. The mayor has the power and the bully pulpit whether one likes it or not.

The debate centers around whether the city staff and the mayor are giving "educational" presentations or whether they are just "promoting" the mayor's agenda. It is a fine line. Citizens need to understand the construction and finance plan so they can make an informed decision in the voting booth. The question is - do these educational sessions allow for interaction with the attendees or is it just one sided?

People should go to the "educational" presentations and determine for themselves if the city is educating them to the point they can vote yes on building an event center at the Convention Center/Arena site and incurring a 22 year debt that only passed because the mayor broke the tie to move his event center vision forward.


  1. Agree, this Mayor has broken new ground in the area of advocacy. Some of us watched in pain as the former Mayor almost said too little in the Recreation Center debate. This Mayor is obviously not afraid to go the other way. The No side is struggling for an adequate voice this Debate.

    More news yesterday that we may be sliding back into a new round of recession. Can't likely spend our way out of it. Limited ability to borrow anymore. Have to endure.

    Better to be cautious. Or, gamble. Hard to say. One of the problems with the economy is that people are spending less, no confidence.

    We have decided as a Country we really don't like each other or the other side much. Can't get along anymore. Everything is a fight. The World is watching and we have startled them. It makes them loose confidence.

  2. There's the facts.....

    ......and then there are the facts according to Mike...........therein lies the problem!!

    I would NOT assume that the opposition is lacking a "voice".......

    I am part of the opposition and I have been working this issue for almost two years..........

  3. One problem maybe in the forecasts. What have we used for assumptions, what have we run as alternatives in Worst Case Scenarios. To say that we can borrow $120 million without impacting other things might be a bit of a stretch.

    Also, I did not say that the No side did not have a voice. It has many. But, beyond all belief for me, the Yes side has the momentum. We'll see on ballot day.

  4. ....45 days (until November 8th) can do a lot to momentum one way or the other.........

  5. I just think the no vote is silent right now but will be heard on election day. Haven't talked to anyone yet who said they are voting yes.