In a speech that was part performance review and part cheerleading session, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether asserted the city is strong.
"In the last month, I've just been signing and signing and signing my name for plats. That's a great, great sign. We are growing again, developing again and building again," Huether told a Carnegie Town Hall crowd during the nearly hour-long State of the City speech.
He said Sioux Falls never stopped growing, but property and sales taxes are up along with general revenue. Huether said back-to-back sales tax surpluses have meant more than a hundred miles of smooth city streets, fatter city coffers, improved city parks and infrastructure, and downtown development.
Part of that comes from increased consumer spending; he says another part is due to increased job opportunities. Sioux Falls remains strong with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Huether pointed out that industry continues to add jobs.
"If you are unemployed, underemployed, and if you are looking to grow, or if you're just looking for a new challenge," Huether said, "now is the time to update the resume, shake hands and let people know you're hungry."
The mayor also touted the vote for the new events center as his biggest 2011 victory, pointing to high voter turnout and eventually approval after a contentious campaign.
"We're not always going to agree. We going to battle occasionally, and yes, there may be controversy or two along the journey," Huether said.
For this mayor, Thursday's speech begins the second half of his inaugural journey as a leader. He will present a plan for the city's future later this month.