The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More on Kooiker Chapter (whatever)

I have read everything being made available to the public – several times.

I've consulted with several attorneys. And, here are some conclusions...

1.) FACT: There is nothing that I can find in South Dakota's Codified Laws permitting a City Council to punish (censure) one of its members for anything short of bribery or disorderly conduct.

2.) FACT: There are no South Dakota Supreme Court decisions on the matter.

3.) FACT: Alderman Kooiker is not accused of either bribery or disorderly conduct. He is accused of asking questions.

4.) MY OPINION (and I'm not a lawyer): Mr. Kooiker's rights to due process have been violated, as have his First Amendment rights of free speech.

5.) FACT: The City Council has spent around 17,000 taxpayer dollars investigating Mr. Kooiker's use of email to obtain answers to questions raised by city employees and constituents.

6.) FACT: The individual making the complaint submitted as evidence of Mr. Kooiker's harassment of him, fewer than 20 emails sent from Mr. Kooiker to him in the last seven years. Each of them has been cordial and professional.

7.) FACT: The censure resolution has surfaced fewer than 30 days prior to the time Mr. Kooiker will be taking out petitions to place his name on the ballot for re-election.

8.) MY OBSERVATION: The mayor and some members of the council have made it no secret they do not appreciate the alderman from Ward 2 poking around their wasteful spending.

9.) FACT: Mr. Kooiker first asked for an accounting of the discarded Transit brochures back in September of 2009 and has still not received a straight answer.

10.) FACT: The invoices provided to Mr. Kooiker are invoices from the printing companies to Robert Sharp & Associates, a Rapid City advertising agency retained to conceive, design and print the brochures and signs in question. They are NOT invoices from Robert Sharp & Associates to the City. The invoices provided to Mr. Kooiker do not represent the TRUE costs of the brochures. They do not include Robert Sharp & Associates costs.

10a.) MY OPINION: The release of the printing companies' invoices to Robert Sharp & Associates represent a concerted effort by someone to deceive Mr. Kooiker and the public.

11.) MY OPINION: The resolution of censure is a political effort to smear Mr. Kooiker's excellent reputation, in an attempt to discourage him from running for re-election now, and/or for mayor next year.

12.) MY OPINION: There are several individuals who have an interest in discouraging Mr. Kooiker from running for re-election or for mayor. They know who they are. And, so does everyone else.

13.) MY OPINION: There is no percentage in telling those people they should be ashamed of themselves. They have demonstrated before, and now again, they have no shame.


Anonymous said...

While most can appreciate Kooiker's interest in fiscal conservatism - his apparent lack of judgment in scope may warrant review. Just like a classroom springbutt is disruptive and counter-productive, so too is Kooiker's likely mindless chasing down what amounts to a drafting and printing mistake.

The city is a $150 million dollar business. Are there CEOs or boards out there that run $150 million businesses by ferreting into small errors amounting to less than is found in petty cash or is charged for an annual vehicle service and set of tires?

Kooiker's at risk of turning into a characterture that is good for popcorn sales.

caheidelberger said...

Michael, I appreciate your attention to detail on this important local story. Keep at it!

Bill Fleming said...

Mike, is Sam arguing that Robert Sharps charges for design and production of the brochures were also a waste of money? i.e. are the design and typographical program still in use, with the necessary changes being made? Or was there some major design element that had to be reworked completely? Ive not seen the brochures. Can you post a copy of one alongside the brochures currently in use so we can see the difference between the two?

Michael Sanborn said...

The difference in the two brochures is minimal, I think. I don't have possession of either the new one or the old one. But you make a good point.

I don't believe that Sam is arguing anything was a waste of money. He was trying to find the facts.

I believe Sam is trying to find out how much money was invested in the brochures that were thrown away.

I'm confident the employees who valued the brochures were wrong. I'm also confident the invoices provided to Sam, were also wrong because they did not include Sharp's commission.

Simply, Sam was trying to find out how much the city had invested in the brochures that were thrown away and the cost to reprint.

He still doesn't have that answer after trying since September.

Bill Fleming said...

Weird. That should be a no brainer and take about 20 minutes.

Bill Fleming said...

Mike, do you know the physical size of the piece, folded and open, and the quantity that were printed. I'm assuming it's a 4 Color job.

Do you have a copy of the invoice from the printer?

Michael Sanborn said...

There are two invoices. One from Simpson's Printing in Rapid City, (6-29-2009) which appears to be for the original brochure. The other is from Sioux Printing (9-15-2009, the same day Kooiker asked for it) for the re-print.

Simpson's is for 20,000 each of 5 brochures. They charged $46.47 per unit (1000). ($4647.00) Then they charged for new plates: $360.00.

The brochures are 8.5 x 11 tri-fold.

Sioux Printing charged $66.4652 per thousand for 25,000 brochures ($1,661.63 to reprint.

What I saw from the photos of the brochures in the dumpster, they appear to be 3-color spot, but I don't know that for sure.

I believe the brochures required changes to the route map. The design was fine.

But no accounting for the original design, nor the redesign is included in the materials sent to Kooiker.

And, you're right, it takes about 20 minutes to figure that out. It makes no sense to delay for months and create a bogus harassment case out of it.

Michael Sanborn said...


I'll scan the invoices and post them later.