Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says City Council Members Vernon Brown and Greg Jamison are using scare tactics to influence the vote and appear to be flip-flopping on the issue because they supported an events center a few years ago.
Responding to claims made by the two men, Huether said voters will not have to choose between an events center and safe streets. He questioned Brown's and Jamison's statements that they support an events center.
"You can't say look in the eyes of the people of Sioux Falls or look in the eyes of the people of South Dakota and continually say, I'm for an events center, I'm for an events center and then every opportunity you get to knock it down you do it," Huether said.
The mayor said he is dedicated to keeping city infrastructure needs up to date and that is reflected in a five year plan the city made for improvement projects and an events center. Council member Brown said a surplus in the budget is what is allowing the city to make street improvements.
As part of their plan, Brown and Jamison said setting aside money each year to create a down payment is a better plan. Huether said that was his original plan, but it did not get city council support at the time. Huether added that when the Washington Pavilion and Convention Center are paid off over the next six years, more than $5 million will be available for the events center.
"We borrow less per capita than almost all cities in our great country and we have no general obligation debt. We've got a piggy bank that is full to the brim and more. We are fully capable to tackle this project," Huether said.
With the election just days away, Huether said it is easy to politicize this issue.
"One of the really sad things about campaigns is in the end, you can make up a bunch of stuff to make people really scared and make them stressed and start to question all the things that are going on," Huether said.