When I have written parodies in the past, I have been warned by friends to be careful how I label them so people know for sure that it is a parody. I didn’t find a disclaimer on their latest article;
For dealing with such unprecedented problems all at once, Mayor Paul TenHaken is KELO.com News’ â€œPerson of the Year for 2020.â€
Boy, nothing like a good laugh right away in the morning. I am curious who with the news team at KELO decided this was a good choice (names please) and who were Paul’s competitors? Not sure, but they tell us why he was named (by unnamed folks) beating out (unnamed) competitors;
Sioux Falls mayors had faced civil unrest before. Sioux Falls mayors had faced great economic uncertainty. And Sioux Falls mayors had faced a pandemic. But none of them faced all three difficult situations at the same time in the same year. Under his watch, Mayor TenHaken navigated the city through the politics of the coronavirus, which also caused a bump in the city’s usually robust economy. And he had to quell a property damaging riot that sprang from a peaceful rally in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
First, I will state the obvious, you know I would not agree, but secondly, It kind of sounds like issues he should be dealing with as part of a job HE wanted. Notice they never mention the several times he said he was ‘sick of it’ and ‘didn’t sign up this’. Strangely they left that out of their nomination.
But let’s break down what they said;
â€¢ Economy. I may sound old fashioned but the mayor’s job, per the charter, is to be the City Manager. He basically runs the day to day operations of the city and manages the city employees. That’s all he does (or should I say his Chief of Staff). He has very little control over the overall private economy of the city. Mind you, he could have had a major impact, he could have found an early strategy to make sure places like the packing plant and nursing homes were operating safely. He did not, which brings us to the next item.
â€¢ Covid. Sure, Paul has taken some measures over the past couple of months with pressure from business owners, citizens, medical professionals and the city council but it was too late. For the first 6-7 months this was raging in Sioux Falls he hid under his desk and took the Noem/Trump view of the virus, if we just ignore it, it will go away. While he has lead better then Noem, that leadership surely wasn’t trophy worthy.
â€¢ Civil unrest. During the riot(?) at the mall (where some middle schoolers were throwing rocks) Paul was in a bunker somewhere in a city building watching it play out on a large screen TV. While I am glad that this incident did not result in massive property damage and injuries or death, I’m not sure having the National Guard on your speed dial makes you a champion of quelling civil unrest. I was in the march earlier in the day, and later watched livestreamed on FB. It was peaceful, all over town. The lights went down and some latch key kids got bored and made a rather peaceful protest look bad. If anyone should be commended it should be the people who stood in front of the officers to protect them from rocks.
Has Paul done some good things? Sure, his administration has pushed for treating the city employees better (part of his job) and he has been a big public advocate for mentorship and health and wellbeing. But I’m sure the above mentioned stuff was a bit of a stretch.
The thing that concerns me the most about Paul and his supposed leadership is his blatant disregard for open and transparent government and his efforts in the dark rooms at city hall to totally dismantle what little is left. Is it some kind of a sick joke that the media would pick someone for this honor that HATES open government? I’m not laughing anymore.