Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Upgrading Security At South Dakota's Governor's Residence Is An Okay Thought . . . But $400k For A Fence? Sounds More Like A Bill For Barricading A Compound

     In a state where "frugality" is practically the official byword when it comes to setting
Our House
Is A Very, Very, Very Fine House
public policy, the recent story that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is looking into fencing off her official residence to the tune of four hundred thousand dollars comes across as extravagant and maybe even a bit self-indulgent--if not altogether self-aggrandizing.   
Looking around the internet, I find that the national average for installing chain link fencing, including a gate, comes to around $10/linear foot plus installation.  Installed, 200 feet of fencing should cost about $3 thousand.  At 14,000 square feet, (I haven't been able to find the outside dimensions) the governor's residence will require more than that, of course, but just plain fencing will cost a fraction of the amount that the governor's office is talking about.  Adding some extra touches for security should be considered, but at a price tag of $400 thousand?  Seems a bit much.  South Dakota's State Engineer and the Bureau of Administration are "reviewing security needs" but final decisions have yet to be made.
     There is some need to review security at the residence.  According to a story on the proposal in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader last week, break-ins have occurred at governors' residences in Michigan, California, Wyoming and Louisiana during the past couple of years.  It seems reasonable that the presently un-fenced South Dakota residence should have some sort of barrier around it, but security consultants can probably find ways of adequately protecting Noem and her official residence that won't cost the kind of money being mentioned.  A scan of available home security systems and their costs comes up with an array of designs that cost in the hundreds of dollars to install and require monthly charges ranging from $15 to $35.   What our state officials are contemplating to get to a price range of nearly a half-million bucks is hard to imagine, but it will take some convincing to make me believe that our governor needs more than the kind of security that can be bought by most homeowners in South Dakota for price tags that are probably negligible when charged to the state's budget for facilities like the governor's residence.
     Considering the cascade of natural disasters that have occurred in South Dakota in recent months, taking $400 thousand dollars off the top of the state's budget for an overblown security system is insenstive and cavalier. Noem should order a sturdy fence, a good and basic security system, some night lights that keep the place lit up 24/7--all the stuff that most pragmatic commercial and residential property owners do routinely--and live in her home with a sense that she's probably as secure as she'll ever need to be.


  1. Where is the money coming from in the budget? I don't remember this being discussed during the legislative session.

  2. Perhaps this investment is needed. Make the fence 12 feet high, the razor wire facing inwards and cut off all communication links. Be sure to accomplish this while kristi is inside. Gates ?? Optional.
    Couldn't hurt.