The View From Here

Welcome to My Personal Blog
– Joe

Recent Posts

Our Open Primaries Proposal is Having a Moment

Amendment H, our top-two open primaries initiative in South Dakota, is gaining momentum. The state recently approved it for voters to consider on the November ballot. Then the recent primary election left many people in the state disappointed. Increasingly, South...

One Reason Your Property Taxes Are Too High

Property taxes are painfully high in South Dakota for some taxpayers, and they continue to rise. One contributing factor may be the excessive number of governments and unnecessary public employees in the state. Too Many Governments South Dakota has the second most...

South Dakota’s Closed June Primary Election

Unfortunately, the upcoming 2024 South Dakota primary election promises more of the same for our state. Many voters will be prohibited from meaningful participation and there will be little competition in most races because of our closed primary system. I hope it will...

Does South Dakota Have Too Many Universities?

Savvy business owners and managers are always looking for efficiencies in order to enhance profitability. Not so in government. The motivations are different there. Government officials tend to resist change. Once a government benefit, building or department is...

Relocating the Penitentiary

South Dakota is finally moving forward on the long overdue replacement of its men’s penitentiary near downtown Sioux Falls. It announced a new site and a timeline for the move. However, the process for selecting a replacement site has raised questions and concerns...

Downtown History

Downtowns serve as the lifeblood of communities, embodying vibrant businesses, engaged citizens, cultural events and employment opportunities. Downtown Sioux Falls thrives today thanks to the tireless efforts of past generations in both city government and the...

Prioritize Pedestrians Downtown

Downtown Sioux Falls is increasingly known as a center of fun, festivals, activity and excitement. As the centerpiece of our community, it is the place to go to enjoy outdoor dining, arts, culture and major performances. It is a "must see" destination for many...

Building Community Through Music at Levitt

The Levitt Shell in downtown Sioux Falls has experienced tremendous success as a center for community engagement. Each summer it hosts 50 free concerts attracting diverse crowds that often number in the thousands. It has become one of the most popular attractions in...

Does Rapid City’s New Mayor Have a Mandate?

Rapid City elected a new mayor this week from a field of five candidates. I wish incoming Mayor Jason Salamun the best. However, it is important to note that he enters office with only 32% of the vote; two thirds of voters picked someone else. This outcome exposes the...

It’s Not Too Early to Be Thinking of 2026

Sioux Falls and South Dakota have a big election coming up, and I don’t mean the 2024 presidential election. In 2026 we will elect new city and state leaders. While that will undoubtedly be entertaining, it may not actually change much. But before then we have...

Downtown’s Popularity Creates Challenges

Downtown Sioux Falls has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Once struggling to attract shoppers and visitors, it is now bustling with activity and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. However, as more and more people...

Should Sioux Falls Have a City Manager?

For nearly 30 years Sioux Falls has had a mayor-council form of city government. It has generally worked well. But someday community leaders may want to consider switching to the more popular council-manager system. City Commission Had to Go In the 1980s and early...

Sioux Falls Needs a Plan

Organizations benefit from planning. Governments too. Good strategic plans encourage people to work together toward common goals. Planning also promises to increase our chances of a better future. Unfortunately, our city council hasn’t created a long-range plan for...

Election Reform Makes Sense

The powers that be in sports do a good job of keeping their games up to date and entertaining. Professional baseball periodically tweaks the rules to improve the game. So do NFL team owners. And tennis and golf rules officials. The games are better for it....

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