City of Sioux Falls Director salary increases at a minimum

I was actually surprised that large salary increases for directors were at a minimum this time around. Click on links below to view documents;

2022 salaries

2023 salaries

The list is pretty short of who got big ones. As I projected when the debate about giving the mayor a raise during the last election was floated and turned down by the voters, that due to inflation, the mayor and city council would still get very good pay increases even without voter approval.

• Mayor Paul TenHaken: $12,000+

• Angie Uthe, Assistant Director of Human Resources: $9,400+

• Kurt Peppel, Assistant City Engineer: $9,000+

• Matthew McArearey, Fire Chief, $8,400+

• Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, Chief Medical Officer: $7,800+

• Shana Nelson, former Audit Manager and now City Housing Compliance Manager went from making $90K to $97K. A $7,000 raise isn’t bad for jumping the council’s ship. Still would love to know what happened. Maybe one of these days Alex Jensen who was her direct supervisor as council chair will spill the beans, yeah right!

• Erica Beck, Mayor’s Chief of Staff: $6,000+

Speaking of directors, I have noticed lately that the city council loves to spend several minutes at each informational meeting complimenting the directors and mid-managers who are doing presentations. That’s great, and everyone appreciates a thank you when you do your job. But the gushing is out of control. Many directors receive at least a 6-figure salary, a pension and other benefits. They are well compensated for ‘doing their jobs’. A simple ‘Thank You’ should suffice. Selberg, Jensen and Soehl are the worst of the bunch (Barranco is even joining the ‘your so wonderful’ crowd). Like I said, everyone deserves a thank you for a job well done, but the plump paychecks these public employees are taking home should be thanks enough.

I also find it ironic considering the piss poor job the engineering department did on vetting the bid for the 6th Street Unity Bridge and the fact that Council Chair Soehl is continually bitching about how long the meetings can go. Maybe grab director Bob in the hallway and tell him thank you after the meeting instead blowing smoke and gobbling up time with your requiems of appreciation.



4 comments ↓

#1 Meh on 01.22.23 at 8:36 pm

I understand what you’re saying however to play devil’s advocate I will say this.

If you want to retain talent in this era, you need to pay to compete. Private organizations offer substantially more salaries/opportunities and if you want personal to stay you need to compete. We are no longer in the era of “retire or die” for city employees, you need to compete to keep valuable members. We all complain about the city and criticize how they run things however a government job is very much a thankless job.

#2 l3wis on 01.22.23 at 9:09 pm

City Directors get a thank you every payday. As we say in the server business when you get a crap tip from a over complimentary guest; compliments don’t buy groceries.

#3 l3wis on 01.22.23 at 9:12 pm

I heard a rumor once that some of the building inspectors for the city are failed private contractors that couldn’t make it in the real world.

I think we have great city employees, and I think they deserve a living wage and benefits, I just don’t understand why some councilors have to out do each other on who can kiss the most ass in a public meeting.

#4 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.25.23 at 3:16 pm

“…I just don’t understand why some councilors have to out do each other on who can kiss the most ass in a public meeting…”

But that helps to make them more popular at the annual office Christmas party.