According to the latest article in the March issue of BIZNOW and the recent article in the ARGUS LEADER, we should be thankful that the current mayor got elected to save the city administration from their lack of business acumen all these years.
"I want my office to encourage conversations and produce results," he says, "I want people to get excited about Sioux Falls, to dream big for this city and its future." That's wonderful, I just wish he didn't portray the organization before he came to the office of mayor, as mediocre, moved too slow, didn't think creatively, didn't think outside the box, and had no business acumen.
"I come from corporate America. We always valued opinions, valued dissent. But ultimately to stay alive you had to get stuff done, make tough decisions. If you did that, you moved forward. Otherwise, you were out of business ..." Hearing him say over and over again that he is from Corporate America is like fingernails on the blackboard.
Value dissent? I think not. From what I hear, dissent is the last thing he wants to hear. He views dissent as a negative player on his team. Here is what he says about negative players: "..if you're a coach, and you've got negative players on your team, get rid of them or they can take the whole team down. I'd rather have someone who is willing to work their tail off in a positive way in the spirit of the team but maybe isn't as talented. I'll take them any day over the big stud who is difficult to deal with, whose got nothing better to do than complain all day." Big stud? Someone not so talented, but at least doesn't dissent? You have got to be kidding me. So a yes person, with average or mediocre talent is better than someone who speaks up and challenges him. That is an interesting way to be a leader and manager of employees. Great leaders listen to all sides of the issues to come to the best result. Great leaders are not afraid of dissent. Great leaders welcome differing views and opinions. Great leaders don't tear down, they build up.
"In the events center discussion, sincerely we are going way above and beyond in terms of communicating with the public about this unbelievably convoluted project. But because it is so convoluted, every time we talk it creates more rumor, speculation, innuendo, posturing and politics. That's when you go, 'Gosh, how are we ever going to get this thing done?' " I guess I didn't realize that when you talk about something, communicate with the good folks of Sioux Falls, it creates all that terrible stuff. Maybe just once, he should look within the "I" of himself and see if maybe, just maybe, as the CEO (his description of himself even though his actual title is Mayor) of the city, his leadership on this project is making it convoluted.
"I really do believe I am trying to be the most transparent, available and open mayor the city has had, and the people love it. Honestly, other government officials have started following my lead." Rumor has it that those ordinary good folks of Sioux Falls aren't hearing back from the mayor when they contact his office. There really is no end to an ego the size of Mount Rushmore. And, who are these government officials who have started to follow his lead anyway?
I have tried to believe this mayor was going to be good for Sioux Falls. I really have. But his constant rhetoric about how fortunate we are to have his business acumen, his corporate background knowledge, his communication skills in dealing with people is wearing me down.
News flash, Mr. Mayor. The city of Sioux Falls did not get where it was before you arrived on the scene without it's own business acumen capabilities. Goals and objectives, results oriented, fiscal responsibility were all there before you were elected. The one thing you haven't learned yet is, that as a new employee, you had a lot to learn about the operation of local government. Listening and learning about your new organization, the Charter, Ordinances, civil service rules, understanding it's culture and the employees wasn't something on your agenda as demonstrated by your actions to date. .
What a new culture you are creating by tearing down everything that has come before you because, after all, you are the only one who has all the right answers and the only one who seems to know how to get something done right. WRONG!
"My mind is always racing. During my campaign, I had some of my most creative ideas at 1 or 2 in the morning and guess what Sioux Falls…I’m still waking up at 1 or 2 in the morning today! Only this time it’s not about my campaign, it’s about the city. I’m thinking how we can make things better, how we can do things differently, how we can capture opportunities? There are opportunities in city government everywhere I turn. This job is so much fun!" The ARGUS LEADER identified this week Sunshine Week. Guess what good folks of Sioux Falls. The mayor is waking up at 1 or 2 in the morning, but not in Sioux Falls this week. This hardworking mayor is in Arizona for the week enjoying the sun. He's been on vacation to Mexico, a couple trips out to the East Coast, went to the Super Bowl, and now gone to Arizona. And he's only been in office 10 months. City Charter 2.04 states in part: The mayor, but not the council members, shall participate in the city's employee benefits programs which are available to other management employees... That means health insurance, life insurance, vacation and sick leave accruals. Hmm. Working man!
It's a sad state of affairs at the City.