I think there is a lot of rhetoric and hoopla about this supposedly "new" emphasis on economic development in the mayor's administration. Why the mayor would put a novice in charge of the city's drive for economic development and take it away from experienced Planning Director Mike Cooper is a head scratcher.
In my 25 years at the city, economic development was always a priority and was spearheaded out of the planning department. The now retired Planning Director Steve Metli and his staff worked diligently with the Chamber, SF Development Foundation and Downtown Sioux Falls and the evidence of all their success is the economic growth of this city in the past two decades. The mayor acts like nothing has been done and he has come in to save the day by transferring such duties to an individual who has no planning background and no real or proven economic development experience, in spite of what he says.
The mayor says he transferred the economic development responsibilities to allow Director Cooper to focus on the bigger picture of what the city will look like. Sounds like doublespeak to me to justify transferring the duties.
I guess knowing the mayor casually for a decade means more than proven experience.