How is Mayor Paul TenHaken doing?

I get this question at least a couple times a day, usually in person or on the phone.

Since he hasn’t been on the job very long, it’s hard to make a definite assessment so far, but there have been some defining moments;

• Changing the name of the 4th of July parade. I’m not sure how big Paul’s ego is, he does like to take selfies. But he did say the parade is about all of us celebrating independence day. Well duh. Good move.

• Paul likes family and personal time. I’m good with that, I think our elected officials gain a little sanity by doing ‘normal’ things. Is the job of the mayor a 24/7 job? YES! But in the age of technology, there is NO reason why Paul cannot have personal time and not still be connected.

• There seems to be some speculation about why he would not read a proclamation at the Pride festival. He did have a good excuse (family time on Father’s day weekend) but you also wonder what he really thinks about gay rights? I guess we will have to wait and see how this plays out with future council legislation.

• He supports the Sioux Falls flag. I think Paul thinks like many city councilors, let’s move on already. It was selected through a solid process, it meets standards, let’s go with it.

• No major press conferences or CityLink shows. I am not sure if he will do this in the future, but it has been refreshing. His staff has been diligent about sending out press releases, and that is all we ask of them. Grandstanding not required. He will however have his Budget Address on July 31st at the Orpheum Theatre. Hmm?

• Bruce and I are considered ‘media’ by the TenHaken administration. Last week we were added to the media list and receive ALL press releases from City Hall, Departments and City Council. Amen.

• While councilors Selberg and Kiley’s attempt to kill public input has been killed, I think Paul saw the writing on the wall, it would not be a good way to start his administration. He worked with council (and the public) to shape the legislation, and he has been incredibly respectful to the public at council meetings.

• While I am skeptical of his choices for Deputy COS and COS, I do know they are capable folks. All I can say at this point is that they will have to be watched closely. I do know that Beck has a passion for public service, and that will serve us well, we will just have to wait and see who else it serves.

• Director replacement hasn’t happened in the way I would have liked to see, but you never know, we may get some surprises along the way.

• Daren Ketchum’s obvious conflict of interest really needs to be addressed. And maybe Paul is handling it behind the scenes, but the whole thing is sketchy, to say the least.

• We will have to see if the drug task unit will work. I have argued many times that we need to seek National/Federal assistance. The Barney Fife approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.

• TenHaken wants to focus on roads. This has been a talking point for mayors for decades. I think our streets are pretty good considering our weather conditions, but I also think our core needs major upgrades.

So far Paul is doing pretty good considering he is still learning the ropes. To tell you the truth, he has been pretty boring, but that is NOT a bad thing. Running a city isn’t rocket science and it isn’t an episode of the ‘Apprentice’. It just takes openness and common sense. I’m hoping in 12 months I feel the same way . . .


#1 JKC on 07.07.18 at 8:38 pm

The major question right now is, whether he takes PRIDE in his work?…. But he did do a good job in getting rid of that menacing “Blimp,” however,… He must of put his BatHaken outfit on for that one…. 😉

And tougher City ordinances need to be passed, too, to prevent a future Ketchum/Legacy golden parachute opportunity….

And roads, well, that’s a political football that will always be tossed around no matter who is in power…. Although, we once had a dedicated penny to that problem. Now, it is just all lost in the shuffle of demands for the most part. Perhaps, it is time to totally rededicate that penny to roads once again…

I am not surprised Beck and TJ are on his team, however, that is how the game is played. But with Beck there, it is an obvious conflict and with TJ it might be partisan…But we will have to see overtime with the latter one…

So for now, there really haven’t been any “Mulligans” used up, yet…. Unless “family time” and “camping” are his coded “Mulligans.” 😉

#2 D@ily Spin on 07.07.18 at 11:09 pm

Running a city is rocket science when you’re left with Huether debt and lots of citizen dissent. I’ve said it already. Keeping the city solvent and making bond payments is where it’s at for this term. Cutting here and there makes it easier. Directors make to much and there are to many. A director for ‘picking your nose’ is not required. Parks with 70 employees, their own logo, independent contracts for golf/mowing, and no minorities deserves a new director with half as many employees.

#3 scott on 07.08.18 at 1:03 pm

if ptk had the ego of mmm, he would’ve announced the “ten haken 10k” already.

#4 Warren Phear on 07.08.18 at 4:01 pm

At this point I will only say two words. Cautiously Optimistic. Cautious really for only one reason, and one reason only. I was at a debate earlier in the year where the moderator asked each candidate to grade Donald Trump. Jolene, appropriately, gave trump an F and went on to explain why. Three others went down the middle and gave trump a C. Paul gave trump a B. I can never, ever, trust any politician who would give trump a B on anything. PERIOD.

#5 D@ily Spin on 07.09.18 at 11:41 am

TenHaken has been occupied with mending Huether mistakes. Perhaps he’ll have a policy once he stops taking another man’s beating. Meanwhile, we’re fortunate we have a new mayor who is at least more honorable and certainly responsible. I don’t like Trump either but I give him a ‘B’. He’s been successful at lowering taxes, adding jobs, elevating the stock market, and addressing trade imbalance. I don’t like him but I appreciate him. His ego will get us into trouble. Let’s hate him then and replace him before he sells us to the Soviet Union.

#6 Warren Phear on 07.09.18 at 5:02 pm

DS, you can appreciate trump all you want. I never will. How can you appreciate him after what he is doing to healthcare? How can you appreciate him after what he is doing to the EPA? How can you appreciate him after what he is doing to public education with devos at the controls? How can you appreciate him after his handout to the wallstreet one percenters? How can you appreciate him after his assault on the free press? How can you appreciate him after his collusion with putin? How can you appreciate him after his daily twitter ramblings filled with divisiveness? How can you appreciate him after his assault on women? Last, but not least how can you appreciate him after his assault on democracy? For me? Never trump. I will always wonder what prompts otherwise civil human beings to buy into his BS.

#7 JKC on 07.10.18 at 12:01 pm

DS, Trump is merely using the Coolidge/Hoover, Reagan, and Bush43 playbook, or what we call crash, crash, and crash once again….