• December 2018

We are One Sioux Falls

By Mayor Paul Tenhaken
City of Sioux Falls

Greatness starts with a clear vision of the future. –Simon Sinek

As a growing community and economic hub for the region, a unified and clear vision for Sioux Falls is crucial for our success. In the early days of my administration, it became clear that city employees, community groups and the public were hungry for a unified vision to move Sioux Falls forward, but also a framework to help them determine priorities.


In September, I launched the One Sioux Falls framework as a means of shaping the priorities of my administration. The four categories below represent areas of opportunities and challenges for the city. Results in each of these categories would produce positive and sustaining community impact for Sioux Falls.

Safety and Health: The city will strive to provide a safe community in which the health and well-being of our citizens is above the national average. The key to success in this category is addressing the increasing addiction and mental health challenges of our citizens. The city and county are determined to provide treatment for addicts and strict enforcement for drug dealers and suppliers. We have taken early steps to combat meth and opioid use in the city resulting in record-setting seizure levels of illegal drugs, and are in the early stages of launching the TRIAGE Center to better serve people with addiction-related and mental health emergencies.

Accessible Housing: The city will work to foster the availability of housing options at all income levels, throughout the city. We have notably rebranded "affordable housing" as accessible housing; reinforcing that safe, clean and affordable housing is accessible to all citizens. While we will continue to focus on administering our federal funding, we will also charge ahead to increase rental stock and first-time homebuyer options in collaboration with the private sector and nonprofit organizations. Our vision is that regardless of one's income level, access to safe and clean housing in a great neighborhood is available to all citizens.

Workforce: The city will continue to develop a community with a quality of life that will attract and retain the best employee base in the United States. As a municipality, we are focused on infrastructure, services, amenities and attractions that make residents want to stay here and motivate visitors to live here. Investing in parks, entertainment and recreation venues, and continued investments in downtown will continue to strengthen and enhance Sioux Falls' quality of life. We also remain committed to working with partner organizations in an effort to collectively address our workforce challenges.

Engaging People: We will engage, collaborate and partner with the community to solve our challenges and seize our opportunities. The city will be launching new ways to engage our citizens to be active in the decisions of City Hall, as well as ways the community can help solve city problems. Your input and engagement is invaluable to the progress, growth and success of Sioux Falls, and we will implement creative ways to engage you, at your convenience. At the same time, we will also engage the 1,300 city employees more regularly to continually identify methods for improving the delivery of services by the city.

The overarching themes surrounding these categories are Innovation and Foundational Growth. My administration is using technology and innovation to solve long-standing problems and ensure the city is well-positioned for the future. We also won't lose sight of the foundational investments in our infrastructure that are necessary to sustain our population and prepare us for future growth.

Soon you will hear about specific, measurable goals of my administration that touch on all of these categories. A mantra I live by is, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." My hope is that you as a resident, business leader, nonprofit leader or young professional can apply this same framework to some of your passions to help move our city ahead.

Together as a community–as One Sioux Falls–we can help solve our greatest challenges and seize our greatest opportunities so that Sioux Falls continues to be the best city in the world and a place we are all proud to call home. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your mayor, and let's charge forward together as One Sioux Falls.


Paul TenHaken was elected mayor of Sioux Falls in May 2018. He is the founder and former CEO of Click Rain, a marketing technology agency in Sioux Falls. He has won numerous business and entrepreneurial awards over the years, but his proudest accomplishment is his family – wife, Jill, and their three young kids.

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