The new Mayor of Sioux Falls has learned a lot since taking office. There is also the expectation that more knowledge will be gained as the city's elected leader.

As Mayor Paul TenHaken reflects on the first three plus months in office, two overriding themes appear. One aspect would be the joy in working with the executive team on a day-to-day basis, the other facet would be positive interactions with other local units of government.

“How can we start to lock arms a little more so that when you have a school bond vote, we can come to Dr. Maher as a city and be supportive of that. Then that can be reciprocated and the school district can be supportive of our projects to show a ‘we approach’ to the region with the county, school districts, Brandon, Harrisburg, Hartford, Lennox and so forth.”

Specifically, TenHaken points to regionalization of Sioux Falls services by including other communities who can take advantage of plans already set in motion.

“Some people get a little bit skittish because (the perception of) it’s one more step toward Sioux Falls encompassing everyone. Rather, the goal is how can Sioux Falls expand our water reclamation facility and double the capacity and then let our sister communities share the costs and work together.”

Economy of scale discussions also play a part in future governmental operations and TenHaken believes that working toward consolidation will eventually happen.

In evaluating his own performance over the first 100 days, TenHaken admits there are many positive developments, but always with room for improvement.


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