While I was doing my early morning reading in bed, I noticed a couple of interesting stories that seemed to intersect with each other. How do they relate? Think Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether, who recently changed his long-time Democrat Party affiliation to independent, as he is trying to shed the liberal Democrat label as he prepares to run for office.
First off, this story from KELO-AM back on February 15th:
Sioux Falls has made another top 10 list, however this one is nothing to be proud of.
The web site 24/7 Wall Street has named us the third fastest growing crime city in the nation in their annual ranking.
The ranking took into account a four year boom in violent crimes per 100,000 residents (from 215 to 364) and the city’s growing drug problem (meth seizures quadrupled from 2015 to 2016).
Let that sink in – Sioux Falls is the third-fastest growing crime city in the nation. Four-year boom in violent crimes. Growing Drug Problem.
Now, here’s another story, more recent, from National Review, on a governmental phenomena they’re terming “The Bloomberg Syndrome:”
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg used to offer all sorts of cosmic advice on the evils of smoking and the dangers of fatty foods and sugary soft drinks. Bloomberg also frequently pontificated on abortion and global warming, earning him a progressive audience that transcended the boroughs of New York.
But in the near-record December 2010 blizzard, Bloomberg proved utterly incompetent in the elemental tasks for which he was elected: ensuring that New Yorkers were not trapped in their homes by snowdrifts in their streets that went unplowed for days.
The Bloomberg syndrome is a characteristic of contemporary government officials. When they are unwilling or unable to address pre-modern problems in their jurisdictions — crime, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation — they compensate by posing as philosopher kings who cheaply lecture on existential challenges over which they have no control.
What has Huether’s tenure been characterized by? Empire building, ego, and pontification.
Since early on, Huether ram-rodded through building projects, which often had the community sharply divided; The Denny Sanford Arena, a new indoor pool, and most recently, a new city administration building. But alongside that, we’ve been constantly reminded of Huether’s massive and unabated egomania through such things as his top ten lists, as well as his infamous municipal ad campaign and billboards featuring.. himself.
While Huether was glad to tout sales tax revenue as an accomplishment when times were good, he’s not talking about it so much anymore, especially because it’s a statewide economic trend under which he has little to no control. Same thing goes with employment. Those economic conditions are largely on autopilot, and not affected as much by city hall as the local citizens would care to think.
One factor that can effect quality of life, as well as whether businesses want to locate in an area is crime. And during Huether’s tenure, it’s been been growing by leaps and bounds while Huether has been writing his top ten lists over the course of his time in the mayoral office.
And it’s continuing to get worse.
Sure, Sioux Falls has a low unemployment rate, but you might get carjacked at McDonalds. And this has happened largely under Mayor Mike Huether’s watch.
Coming into the last year of his mayoral tenure, he’s gone from calling himself a hero for city workers clearing trees during “Operation Timber Strike” to finding out from the evening news and crime statistics that he’s Mayor Mike Huether of Crime City, U.S.A.
So, what do you think? Has Huether dickered over minutia and empire building, fiddling while
Rome Sioux Falls burned under his watch? Is it going to affect his campaign for whatever office he’s going to run for?
The floor is yours.