Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether just increased his stock at Dakota Free Press (and hey—given how little stock he has with me, any increase is significant). Evidently Mayor Huether withheld $100K out of $275K in economic development (translation: corporate welfare) money budgeted for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation last year.
Why? Because, says outgoing city economic development chief Darrin Smith, the Sioux Falls Development Foundation already had about that much money from the city that it wasn’t using:
The foundation was sitting on about $91,000 of unused city money from previous year’s budgets, and Smith said sending another $100,000 to the organization, which had no immediate plans to spend the money, wouldn’t have been prudent.
“We make it very clear in the annual agreement that if we see those (leftover) dollars grow … we’re not going to keep sending those dollars,” Smith said. “Any project that would have come forward that needed help, they would have been in position immediately to help with that” [Joe Sneve, “City Hall Withholds $100K from Economy Booster,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.05.03].
SFDF president Slater Barr says yeah, they are sitting on city dollars, but gee whiz, maybe something will come up, and then golly gee, we need to have lots of public dollars available to juice the economy, because hokey smokes, the market sure isn’t going to work on its own in South Dakota’s biggest, best connected, most prosperous city.
Good choice, Mayor Huether. Now maybe you can spend some of that $100K on boosting the city’s multi-cultural outreach so you can land a human relations coordinator who will stick around for more than four months.