Obviously, Paul has a pretty big agenda of his own that he needs to work on. But besides what he wants to accomplish (which we will include in the following list) what else should he focus on?
Transparency. This is a given that Paul promises to work on. It WAS the #1 issue in the last campaign. As I have mentioned besides more communication with the council and public, he must also focus on opening more contracts up to the public for review. This includes anyone applying for TIFs or other government grants and partnerships.
Crime/Meth epidemic. Paul will get a little help in this department from the counties with the triage center. But he will also have to look at how our police department is handling arrests. With an overcrowded jail and a new one a couple of years away, the SFPD needs to focus on handling situations in the field, like I said, the triage center will help with this. Paul also MUST have a better relationship with the police union.
Reducing Homelessness/Hunger. I was impressed with what TenHaken said in a Million Cups debate, he said in 8 years he wants to put the Banquet and Bishop Dudley house out of business. While he may not attain that goal, he should really focus on getting more people off of assistance and on their own feet, this starts with . . .
Workforce development. This is a sticky issue for city government. They can’t really force local businesses to pay living wages, BUT moving forward when attracting new business to Sioux Falls they can ask, very forcefully to provide good wages. The council can even go as far as to shape policy around it.
Public Ambulance Service. While Paul hasn’t really taken a stand on it, that may be a good thing. I think the council could move forward with exploring the possibility and the costs involved. I think it would pay off in the end and would make our community much safer.
Improving Public Transit. This was virtually ignored by the last administration. Not only do we need to make regular service better and more frequent, we need to get costs under control and look at privatizing Paratransit while keeping it affordable.
Revitalizing core neighborhoods. This can be done through revamping community development. One of those hurdles took care of itself yesterday when the director quit. Not only will this help to clean up our core neighborhoods it will help with the affordable housing issues we have.
Updating the city website. This could include a whole host of changes including being able to download city documents, improving transparency and having all the city board meetings available for review with at least audio recordings.
Public Art Funding. I really think the city is missing out on a huge opportunity by not tapping into the entertainment tax fund to use towards public art. Public art promotes tourism and really defines a city’s quality of life. It also promotes local business by using local artists, artisans and contractors to work on the projects. And if nothing else, it makes our city more beautiful and cultural.
Build a Skatepark with a public/private partnership!