Local notes

  • Unlike the building that needed to go down for the events center that was eventually to be its partner, the proposed rec center for Sioux Falls was decimated Tuesday. Voters rejected it about 2-to-1 in a voter turnout of about 23 percent. Seems like quite a slap in the face to city government, the Chamber of Commerce and the like who pushed it so heavily. Since the “opposition” was outspent by a multiplier of several hundred to one, it shows how motivated people are to vote when their pocketbooks are at stake. It’s hard to sell a project that not only asks voters to raise their own taxes but to also incur what would undoubtedly be ongoing subsidy costs.
  • This morning’s headline in the local daily: “Minnesota below national average when it comes to paying teachers.” This time, you had to read to the sixth paragraph to find out that South Dakota ranked last in the nation in teacher pay. Still no article about that in the daily. But maybe that concept is gaining momentum. Today’s story was on the third page of the local section whereas yesterday’s story about Iowa’s ranking was on the last page of that section. Of course, if the rec center vote is any indication, better not put funding of teacher salaries to a public vote any time soon.

You have the God-given right to kick the government around — don’t hesitate to do so.

Sen. Edmund Muskie, 1968 speech

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