Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of stories leading up to the April 12 election. Follow the “Municipal Election 2022” tag to find out more.

Simplified: Mayoral candidates Paul TenHaken, Taneeza Islam and David Zokaites discuss how they would approach issues related to growth, labor and housing.

Sioux Falls Simplified asked all three candidates the same questions in these areas. Here are their answers. (The candidates are listed in the order of the ballot.)

Let’s talk growth

Question: It’s no secret that Sioux Falls is growing; as this growth continues, what are your priorities and how do you want to see the city balance outward growth and upward growth?

Paul TenHaken

TenHaken noted the historic growth and also the historic investments that his first term brought in terms of wastewater and roads to help keep up with that growth.

“Right now, it’s very important to have what I call manageable growth strategies that address this record growth, but also to make sure that we don’t sacrifice quality of life,” he said. he declares.

TenHaken also said the city should ask if it could do more to encourage denser development and encourage housing projects in the heart of the city.

Taneza Islam

Islam said that several municipal ordinances and licenses procedures need to be reviewed to help the city to build and densify.

As it grows, she added, the city needs to be staffed to ensure that the people who live there can get the services they expect of their city, from human relations to licensing, code enforcement, public transit and tackling food deserts.

“The city must be involved in these essential services,” she said. “Growth is not just about building.”

David Zokaites

Zokaites said the planning department has done a good job of keeping up with growth, but he wants to see the city do more gentrification and promotion of affordable housing.

“Sprawl is not really a good thing, but it’s kind of the default development of the city,” he said.

He also noted a “gap” in the planning of new large regional parksas well as cycle path overpasses and underpasses where people can ride without hitting stop signs.

Let’s talk labor

Question: What role should the city play in meeting labor needs in Sioux Falls? And what about the city itself?

Paul TenHaken

TenHaken emphasized the importance of quality of life and creating a well-rounded community.

“One of the most important roles we play as a city is to create a city where people want to live and work,” he said.

He also noted the city’s continued investments with community partners like the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and Southeast Technical College.

Taneza Islam

Islam noted the importance of smart, managed growth. She said the city should think about what the city can handle when recruiting large corporations to come and really understand the current shortages and who is being impacted.

“One voice that’s completely left out of this conversation is the nonprofits that basically provide all the essential services in our community right now,” Islam said.

She also noted the workforce in the municipal administration itself is stabilized by several long-time department heads who run the ship.

David Zokaites

Zokaites said he was unaware that the city government had a labor shortage, although he noted his disapproval of a recent measure of giving city workers one-time raises, calling it an effort by TenHaken and incumbent councilors to “buy votes.”

“I think we should also try to shift growth from lower-income industries to higher-income industries,” he said.

And he added that more diversified growth would lead to fewer problems with the growth of the workforce.

Let’s talk housing

Question: Sioux Falls needs more housing at all income levels, but the problem is especially evident for the lowest earners in our community ($15/hour or less). As mayor, what steps would you take to ensure that the housing crisis does not continue to worsen?

Paul TenHaken

TenHaken noted that many market factors are “above a mayor’s pay grade,” but he shared examples of some. innovative solutions such as the Veterans Community Project and a city effort to relocate homes near 14th Street and Sneve Avenue.

He also noted the housing fund established during his first term, which will be used to help developers acquire land or offset costs.

Taneza Islam

The first thing Islam said she would do was get clear definitions of the different levels of housing and what the city invests at each level.

“At the end of the day, we need more money to build,” Islam said, adding that the city should ask big companies that come here to invest in Sioux Falls and their future construction workforce. of accommodation.

She also wants to see the city develop sustainable development housing assistance fund it does not depend on state or federal money.

David Zokaites

Zokaites noted the broader societal issues of income inequality. He also noted that the houses got bigger over time. He would like to see some kind of Quota system which requires builders to make a number of smaller houses for the larger houses they build.

He also wants to watch any zoning regulations that could prohibit the construction of affordable housing.

“You can group together a bunch of small houses with very little space between them and have a common backyard,” he said, as an example.