During his time on the Sioux Falls Planning Commission, former South Dakota Legislator Denny Pierson got a taste of what governing is like at the city level. 

“I learned that the hard decisions are made by the City Council.  I hadn’t given (running) any serious thought until Jim Entenman did make his decision (not to run again).  It occurred to me that if you’re ever going to do something, maybe this is a good time to do it.”

The tasks involved with the Planning Commission fascinated Pierson.  “I had no idea of the process of how we approve or disapprove building projects, whether it’s residential, multi-family housing or commercial.  That was a totally new experience for me and there still is a lot to learn.”

Pierson admits that he is not the average person running for office when it comes to defining what he would do if elected.  “I might be a little different.  I don’t have any hard, burning issues that cause me to want to do this other than serving.  The biggest thing I could lend to the council is I think I have a good listening habit and I’m a fairly forward thinking guy.”  Since Sioux Falls continues a steady growth, Pierson can look ahead and prepare for what’s ahead for the city.  Pierson says one area where the city needs to improve is traffic flow and the constant need to fix streets.

Denny Pierson is opposed by Christine Erickson for the At-Large B Sioux Falls City Council seat.  For more of Pierson’s interview, three samples are below.

Segment 1: Introduction to Denny Pierson and his work on the Sioux Falls Planning Commission.

Segment 2: Pierson feels more of a pull to listen than legislate.

Segment 3: Drawing on his Planning Commission experience leads Pierson to tout the SHAPE Places Zoning Package.