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Noem on De-Fence, Decides Not to Barricade Governor’s Mansion

No pheasants or fence—after significant public criticism, Governor Kristi Noem has backed away from her proposal to build a $400K fence around the Governor’s Mansion in Pierre:

Governor Kristi Noem tweeted out the announcement on Monday.

There are no plans to build a fence.”

Noem’s administration was looking into the possibility after public safety officials recommended reviewing the residence’s security needs. The Governor says that research is completed and no fence [Mark Russo, “Noem: No Fence in Pierre,” KELO Radio, 2019.06.10].

Yesterday’s backtrack offers a little hope that we can get Governor Noem to back away from some bad ideas. Now let’s see if we can get her to reprioritize the $400K she budgeted for her fence toward something more productive.

21 Comments

  1. troy 2019-06-11

    CH,

    Your article is misleading. There was only a preliminary proposal to build a fence as a security enhancement. It was one of many options. The Governor had made no indication of an opinion one-way or another on this or any other option. There was no money appropriated for it.

    At any one time and have been for decades, there are literally hundreds of security enhancements, aesthetic/landscaping improvements, and access changes being discussed at literally every state government building in the state. The only reason this became news is it was the Governor’s Mansion and an easy opportunity to impugn the Governor.

  2. jerry 2019-06-11

    “PIERRE | Concerned for Republican Gov. Kristi Noem’s safety, the state of South Dakota is considering spending up to $400,000 to construct a fence around the Governor’s Mansion in Pierre.

    According to state documents dated April 29, the state’s Office of the State Engineer and the Bureau of Administration are accepting statements of interest from companies to construct a fence to border the mansion by Sept. 30, with the budget subject to change.” Rapid City Journal June 6, 2019

    Doesn’t look like impugn to me, looks like facts.

  3. mike from iowa 2019-06-11

    If she had 400k budgeted for a fence, wouldn’t that mean there were plans to build a fence?

    Now let’s see if we can get her to reprioritize the $400K she budgeted for her fence toward something more productive.

    Charles and David need moar taxcuts, you betcha.

  4. Troy 2019-06-11

    Jerry,

    Statements of interest are far from Request for Proposal, a formal budget, and even a preliminary decision to move forward.

    Statements of interest are investigatory to see if it is even possible to be done, what it might look like for a range of costs, and whether it will actually do the job.

    The only reason this was discussed was it was about the Governor’s Mansion and an easy target to take a cheap shot at the Governor personally. The State Engineer’s Office, Department of Public Safety, and Bureau of Administration are not the Governor.

    However, if you think the Governor is so capable to be involved in such preliminary and relatively minor explorations by State Government, you obviously must think she the smartest person in the state and has the greatest staff in history to keep her so broadly informed. The reality is if she was even aware of the idea (prior to it breaking in the news) her reaction was “I’ll look at it when you have it fully fleshed out, it is fully justified and has all the appropriate recommendations.”

  5. jerry 2019-06-11

    As the article is behind a paywall, it does go on with this.

    “Noem spokesperson Kristin Wileman said via email that the state has not yet made any bids and the departments are “reviewing the security needs for the governor’s residence, but no final decisions have been made.”

    I would have thought that when this new mansion was built that the state would have considered some kinds of security measures besides a $400,000.00 fence. Why was that not done? Does GNoem even live there? Cory did not deceive in his post anymore than this news report has. Sorry that neither of these fits your agenda Troy.

  6. bearcreekbat 2019-06-11

    Troy’s comment in response to Jerry about the June 6, 2019, R.C. Journal governor fence story states,

    The only reason this was discussed was it was about the Governor’s Mansion and an easy target to take a cheap shot at the Governor personally.

    The story was on page 6 of the conservative R.C. Journal. It is credited to the Forum News Sevice rather than to one of the Journal’s excellent reporters. Here is a link to a purported Forum News Service web page, which describes their functions:

    http://www.forumcomm.com/blog/portfolio_page/forum-news-service/

    As best I can tell this organization has no particular axe to grind with Governor Noem nor reason to take a “cheap shot” at her. Maybe Troy knows something about Forum News Service. or the authors of the story, that factually supports his comment regarding the story Jerry referenced that he can share with us.

    Otherwise, it appears Troy’s comment may be a reflection of the paranoia that seems to have developed in conservative circles after Trump took over the party whenever the news media reports on something current Trumpists and sycophants do or say.

  7. Troy 2019-06-11

    Let me speak slowly:

    I made no statement about the accuracy of the article. It properly said it was a request for a Statement of Interest by the State Engineer’s Office, Department of Public Safety, and Bureau of Administration. That is a long ways from a Request for a Proposal or opening a bid/design process. Statements of Interest are analagous to you doing a Google search to see what garage heaters might cost which isn’t the the same as making the commitment to buy one.

    My accuracy comment was with regard to the personalization of the fence as Governor Noem’s. The State Engineer’s Office, Bureau of Administration, and Department of Public Safety are not the Governor. They are likely in similar stages with literally hundreds of other similar security or aesthetic improvements at literally hundreds of other state buildings. Cory said it was “her proposal to build a $400K fence.”

    Additionally, it is inaccurate to say Governor Noem had backtracked as she hadn’t approved what had yet to have been proposed. Further, the article as Jerry pasted made it clear it was exploratory in nature while Cory had asserted she had approved the expenditure.

    Unless she is the smartest Governor in history and has the greatest staff in history, this project was at a stage in the process I’d be surprised she had more than tangential knowledge about until it became public.

    But, I’m glad you have such high regard for both her capacity to be involved in even the mundane exploratory issues pursued in the bowels of the bureaucracy and the capability of her staff to aggregate all these things for her to review.

  8. SDBlue 2019-06-11

    “Unless she is the smartest Governor in history and has the greatest staff in history, this project was at a stage in the process I’d be surprised she had more than tangential knowledge about until it became public.

    But, I’m glad you have such high regard for both her capacity to be involved in even the mundane exploratory issues pursued in the bowels of the bureaucracy and the capability of her staff to aggregate all these things for her to review.”

    So, you’re saying we shouldn’t mock No Show for an unnecessary $400K expenditure because she in essence has no idea what is happening behind the scenes in her administration? Oh that should make us all feel SO much better.

  9. jerry 2019-06-11

    Writing very slowly, I think that folks who are press secretary’s are really clueless to what the boss really wants or even knows, or for that matter, even themselves. In this case, it seems the press secretary took it upon herself to make a public announcement regarding her boss.

    ““Noem spokesperson Kristin Wileman said via email that the state has not yet made any bids and the departments are “reviewing the security needs for the governor’s residence, but no final decisions have been made.” Rapid City Journal June 6, 2019

    Someone should tell Ms. Wileman not to go around sending emails without making sure that she reads them slowly to her boss. This will hopefully fix the problems that seem confusing for many men to dissect the message when it is even written slowly.

  10. Debbo 2019-06-11

    Gentlemen, go easy on Troy. He’s working hard to defend Noem and it’s such a tough job.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-12

    Tory, iTroy, it’s always good to hear from you. Alas, Noem is misleading. They had a proposal to build a fence. They backed away from the proposal after it went public and people scoffed.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-12

    It became news because it was one more sign of Kristi Noem’s brittle defensiveness and over-inflated sense of her own importance.

  13. John Tsitrian 2019-06-12

    Hard to accept that Noem would be “tangentially” aware of a proposal that was touted to the media via her press secretary.

  14. leslie 2019-06-12

    I heard a sports analogy today (forgive me :)

    *Trump* is the double asterisk president, elected by putin, impeached by conspiracy of obstruction.

    Our state too is the double asterisk state. Gov Noem, and AG Jason whatever his name is.

  15. Jenny 2019-06-12

    That’s what my immediate thought was, Corey. Noam backed off on her fortress wall after they seeing how unpopular it was.

  16. JW 2019-06-12

    Not buying Troy’s limp-wristed explanation. Thus far in this administration, nothing gets done without the governor’s full knowledge and approval. And if it’s her idea, it gets done without questioning, and without regard for where the money is going to come from. Should we trust the tweet that a security fence won’t be built? Not on your life……… It may not be built this budget cycle because money hasn’t been appropriated but anyone willing to bet that such a budget request doesn’t show up in a carefully screened budget bill in the remaining 3 years of her term? There is a huge issue of transparency and trustworthiness.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2019-06-13

    Here’s the thing as far as I’m concerned, at least.
    I doubt many South Dakotans would begrudge any governor, republican or Democrat, a decent security fence around the mansion.
    Why the fence had to have a ridiculous price tag of $400,000 is beyond the practical whether the money was budgeted or not.

  18. Debbo 2019-06-13

    Excellent point Roger. I concur.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-13

    A serious security threat can jump most reasonable residential fences. The proposed fence would have been more about privacy/secrecy than security. Does the Governor’s Mansion have a burglar alarm? That should be plenty if any occupants are nervous.

    But as your next Governor, I promise the only fence I will put around the Mansion will be a simple dog fence out back so my best friend can go out to do his business without supervision.

  20. SDBlue 2019-06-13

    Dear (Whichever god or spiritual being you pray to…or not):

    Please, please, please make Cory our next governor.

    With deepest regards:

    All Sane South Dakotans

Comments are closed.