Mike Cooper Announces Retirement

After an honorable 32-year career with the City of Sioux Falls, Director of Planning and Development Services Mike Cooper announced his plans to retire in April 2019.

“Over the past 32 plus years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented and dedicated people who have helped accomplish a lot for our community,” says Cooper. “Anyone who’s been involved with public service knows that sometimes it can be very challenging but also very rewarding. History has shown that Sioux Falls will continue to prosper if we maintain a positive attitude that encourages us to solve problems and get things done. Serving as a City director has been a great experience, but now I feel like it’s the right time for me to step away and let someone else lead the Planning and Development Services team. I look forward to continue providing the City my support through this transition period of selecting a new director.”

Cooper began his career with the City in 1986 as a senior planner. He moved through the ranks of the City becoming Assistant Director of Planning in 1990 before serving as Director of Parks and Recreation in 1999. In 2005, Cooper returned to Planning department with the appointment of Director of Planning and Building Services. In 2018, Planning and Building Services merged with the Community Development Department to create the Department of Planning and Development Services.

During his tenure, Cooper amassed a long list of accomplishments to benefit the people of Sioux Falls. Cooper was pivotal in the land donation and build-out of Arrowhead Park, Harmodon Park, and several miles of the recreation trail system He brokered a deal with Xcel Energy to move their remaining utility lines from Falls Park to the Stockyards land. Cooper also facilitated the public-private partnership that led to the demolition of the Zip Feed Mill and subsequent development of Downtown’s East Bank, which led to millions of dollars in private reinvestment into the city’s core. Under his leadership and tenure as Planning Director, the City has experienced consecutive years of record building permit growth. Cooper is also the 1996 recipient of the City’s prestigious employee V.L. Cruisenberry award to honor City employees who demonstrate excellent performance, judgment, productivity, loyalty, professional pride, and other noteworthy accomplishments in relation to City employment.

“Mike is the gold standard of a public servant,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken. “The people of Sioux Falls owe a debt of gratitude to Mike for his dedication to them and his efforts to make Sioux Falls an incredible community. I am thankful for Mike’s service to City and wish him and his family blessings as he transitions into retirement.”

The City will conduct a national talent search to fill the Director of Planning and Development Services role. The Director is appointed by the Mayor with advice and consent of the City Council.