Holding one job for over three decades is unheard of anymore in today's workplace. And one Sioux Falls employee will be missed. After an honorable 32-year career with the City of Sioux Falls Director of Planning and Development Services Mike Cooper announced his plans to retire in April 2019.

“Over the past 32 plus years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented and dedicated people who have helped accomplish a lot for our community,” says Cooper. “Anyone who’s been involved with public service knows that sometimes it can be very challenging but also very rewarding. I look forward to continue providing the city my support through this transition period of selecting a new director.”

Cooper began his career with the city in 1986 as a senior planner. He moved through the ranks of the city becoming Assistant Director of Planning in 1990 before serving as Director of Parks and Recreation in 1999. In 2005, Cooper returned to Planning department with the appointment of Director of Planning and Building Services.

During his tenure, Cooper amassed a long list of accomplishments to benefit the people of Sioux Falls. Cooper was pivotal in the land donation and build-out of Arrowhead Park, Harmodon Park, and several miles of the recreation trail system. He brokered a deal with Xcel Energy to move their remaining utility lines from Falls Park to the Stockyards land.

Cooper also facilitated the public-private partnership that led to the demolition of the Zip Feed Mill and subsequent development of Downtown’s East Bank, which led to millions of dollars in private reinvestment into the city’s core. Under his leadership and tenure as Planning Director, the city of Sioux Falls has experienced consecutive years of record building permit growth.

Cooper is also the 1996 recipient of the city’s prestigious employee V.L. Cruisenberry award to honor city employees who demonstrate excellent performance, judgment, productivity, loyalty, professional pride, and other noteworthy accomplishments in relation to city employment.

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