Sunday, January 3, 2016

Proposal to use city property at Omaha and Mt. Rushmore Road for solar panels

Hi,
   I'd like to propose a use for the city property on the northwest corner of Omaha Street and Mt. Rushmore Road.  I would propose that the city build a solar panel farm there that would provide power to the Central High School, and perhaps even to the Civic Center.
   This proposal would:
* make an economical use of the property, since it would be providing "free" electricity to the high school once its' paid for.
* provide vocational training for high school students who will learn how their school is powered.
* be relatively cheap because the land is already city-owned, and the power line to the high school would be quite short.
* indicate that Rapid City is a city that is keeping up with technology and is environmentally aware.
   I do not know the actual technical nor economic details other than the above.
   Attached is an overlay of the property with solar panels from a solar farm in Arizona.
   If you would like more information about this idea please feel free to contact me and I can make a more detailed report.
Sincerely,
Jeff  Jacobsen

Sunday, August 16, 2015

SD pays less for education than most states

http://www.bhpioneer.com/article_dd26f852-4296-11e5-8c11-cfda75908b0f.html

"NORTHERN HILLS — When it comes to education spending, South Dakota is definitely in a slump and has been for quite some time. As a result, local school districts struggle to keep programming alive and teacher salaries competitive.                    
According to U.S. Census Bureau data assessed recently by the Black Hills Knowledge Network, South Dakota spends about a third less than neighboring states on education as a proportion of personal income.

Already last in the nation for teacher pay, South Dakota also ranked last regionally and 47th nationally in 2012 for its spending on K-12 education as a proportion of personal income, according to the most recent U.S. Census data available.  "

This is ridiculous.  Education is hugely important for every aspect of a person's life and for a community.  We are hurting ourselves by pretending that taxes are evil or whatever.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rapid city finds more money for teachers

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/budget-tactic-frees-up-million-for-teachers/article_775225c5-3538-5dd8-a1e2-21c756b1a446.html

"According to a news release from the district, the linchpin of the deal is an agreement to divert $4 million in capital outlay funds toward general fund expenses, and then use the freed-up $4 million in the general fund to raise teacher pay.
The budget maneuver is allowed by a state law that was adopted in 2009 and was supposed to sunset in 2012 but has since been renewed through 2018."

This is where our money should go first. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

divert construction funds to schools?

http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/school-board-president-use-construction-money-to-do-something-for/article_d10eb994-33eb-5323-b960-b9796c1b594f.html

"Board Vice President Matt Stephens, who said he sees both sides of the argument, said that when voters in June rejected raising their property taxes to give the district more operating money, they sent a message that they think the district has enough money to raise teachers' pay.
'It sends a mixed signal when we start building projects, but not giving increases to the staff,' he said.
The discussion on how to spend the capital-outlay money probably will continue at the board's first meeting in August. "

I like this idea.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mayoral candidate Allender's view on Civic Center expansion

http://chiefsview.com/2015/04/16/lets-talk-about-the-civic-center-expansion/

"I believe that if the Civic Center expansion would have passed the public vote, it would have been a successful endeavor. I also believe that there were many errors made during the planning process, public information process and marketing campaign. Overall, no one in their right mind could have expected a majority of Rapid City residents to accept the expansion plan after being kept in the dark for over three years. Plus, $180 million is too much money.
While the $180 million Civic Center expansion project was the most expensive purchase proposal in the history of Rapid City, Mayor Kooiker sought to shield himself throughout the entire process. There are people in Rapid City who voted for Sam Kooiker because he promised to protect them from big government. There are also people who voted for him because he promised economic development. Ironically, when you try to play both sides of the coin, you can’t win.
Unfortunately, during this massive failure, the City spent $700,000 for studies and design and we are no further ahead on this issue than we were three years ago. In fact, the City has taking a giant step backward, if the original intent was to merely bring the Civic Center Arena into ADA compliance.  One thing is for certain: we now have a legal, binding agreement with the federal government to bring the Don Barnett Arena into compliance with ADA codes. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent doing so, and in the end, we will have the same Civic Center arena we have today. Is this progress?"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Facts about the civic center expansion vote

http://rapidcityjournal.com/now/today/rcj/facts-on-the-failed-million-civic-center-expansion/collection_eaee458e-d492-11e4-b164-b3e858f99242.html

1. Almost 13,000 voters
2. costliest proposed project ever
3. "last stand-alone special election"
4. 1 of 14 districts voted in favor
5. only 1 voter in Seeger district voted in favor.