TenHaken has been anything but a leader

When I first saw this article, I thought maybe it was an Onion parody;

Paul TenHaken, Sioux Falls mayor (R): He has carefully balanced South Dakota’s resistance to mandatory restrictions with the public health needs of his city, where a Smithfield pork processing plant became a hot spot. He enacted a measure that “strongly encourages” people to stay at home, but decided against an order.

I also find it interesting they put the (R) behind his name considering the mayor of Sioux Falls is a non-partisan position.

He has blamed everyone else and made excuses all along the way as to why he couldn’t lead on this. Here are some memorable moments;

• Twice mentioned he didn’t sign up for this. I think the second time around he said in a press conference, “This Sucks!”

• Failed to use manuals in place to deal with this crisis (I have heard from several past city officials that they do exist).

• Failed to get his health department to do proper inspections of businesses and give them a hand up in helping them prepare a safe work environment.

• Blames the Governor, the Legislature, his own city attorney and others why he cannot lead.

• Has butt heads in private and public meetings with the city council than turns around and puts the decision making in their laps.

• Has thrown transparency out the door by having executive sessions that don’t pertain to the criteria of having them.

I have argued from the beginning, as the city’s administrator, as the charter dictates, he has the power to force his city directors and health department to take action. He doesn’t need the blessing of the city council, the mayor, the legislature, his health board, city attorney or even the president to do it. He has the executive authority to enforce health ordinances on the books. And I think if he would have taken some of those measures early on, we wouldn’t be where we are at. I even think some if not most of restaurants could have stayed open if he would have set those guidelines early.

But we really can’t wrestle with the past, but we can take measures moving forward. A new report came out today from the White House that the midwest will be hit the hardest over the next two months because we were the last to start having outbreaks. Letting up now won’t end well for us. I would ask Paul to start leading, but I’m afraid it is too late for that. Hold on tight folks, it is going to be a rough summer.


#1 Steve on 05.04.20 at 8:19 pm

I was in the military many, many years and experienced both good and bad leadership. This Mayor is a very good example of bad leadership. So many others doing the decision making for him and he doesn’t hesitate to take the credit……between selfies.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.04.20 at 8:34 pm

Axios is the source for this story. That should tell you enough. Yet, some Dems are liking this story on social media, and why?

Just remember, when his leadership was organizing a children’s art contest, he was also complaining about people contacting him about their employer’s actions or inactions relative to the virus, and then Smithfield blew up on us all.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 05.04.20 at 9:13 pm

“Mission Accomplished”

#4 D@ily Spin on 05.04.20 at 10:30 pm

He’s who we’ve got. He’s right in that he didn’t sign on for this. Just imagine how bad Huether would have managed this. He left the city indebted with major debt and vacant play palaces. TenHaken would have had resources but Huether wiped them out. About all TenHaken can do is ride out this apocalypse with the rest of us.

#5 anominous on 05.05.20 at 9:07 am

PTH seemed like a pragmatic free-thinking skeptic who wouldn’t drink Kristi’s kool-aid until he was sure everyone else had, but has since proven himself to be a minimum wage nothingburger flipper.

#6 Agitator on 05.05.20 at 9:52 pm

Perhaps he should move back to Worthington and get a job at JBS when they reopen!

#7 Signer on 05.06.20 at 2:04 am

He signed up for this whether he likes it or not

#8 A former, now black balled, "Leadership Team" member on 05.06.20 at 12:27 pm

Yah, he could set-up a new “Leadership Team” at JBS, too. That might help.

#9 Is the kids' art contest still going on? on 05.06.20 at 2:04 pm

Hear! Hear! “…nothingburger flipper,” that’s a good one!