LETTER: ‘It does not help us or our city to disparage the leaders we have in place’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

We have an election coming up in Des Moines. As citizens, it is our duty to be well informed so that we choose the best candidates possible.

I was lucky enough to attend the most recent South King County Economic Development meeting where Mayor Kaplan and others painted a picture of the current state of our city. The following is my interpretation of his message: Much new development is underway or very close (a good thing), but the present picture is not as pretty as any of us would like. The revenues are constrained and the expenses are high. Over the past few years, businesses have left and the state of the vacant buildings is not attractive to new businesses. The marina has been our cash cow but now it needs money, too, for repair and necessary updates. Yes, we really need a grocery store!

Though the meeting time and date were published in advance, I was one of only three non-members attending. Dan Sherman (former councilman) and James Payne (candidate for office) were the other two.

The city council has a tough job right now. Even if we could throw them all out and elect a forum of supermen (and women), the job would still be tough. Some citizens want to make it sound simple: our council should either invest for growth or save that money to pay for day-to-day realities. But it’s never really that black and white; we must do some of both and have a plan to get ourselves on better footing by some fixed date in the not-too-distant future.

It does not help us or our city to disparage the leaders we have in place. If you don’t like them, vote them out at the next opportunity. For now, let’s concentrate on educating ourselves, choosing the best candidates and encouraging all elected members to work together. Personally, I hope there are still multiple opportunities to meet the candidates and to learn more of the current council’s plans.

– Sandra E. Higgins
Des Moines resident

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


5 Responses to “LETTER: ‘It does not help us or our city to disparage the leaders we have in place’”
  1. Dave Kaplan says:

    Thank you, Sandra. Greatly appreciated. By the way, I think you meant former Councilmember Dan Caldwell, not Dan Sherman.

  2. Cindy says:

    Citizens have a RIGHT and an obligation to criticize and hold accountable a board that was elected to represent them.

    This board is DIRECTLY and FULLY accountable to the citizens, something I feel some on this board seem to have forgotten.

    This board is happy to accept the praise and attempts to berate any who attempt to criticize or attempt to hold them accountable.

    The failure of the past proposals have spoken loud and clear that residents are not happy with how the city is being ran and their voices are not being heard.

    The city has consistently over the years cut budgets that mattered to residents. Police, roads while continuing to fund pet projects. When they voted to lift the levy lid to MAINTAIN our police force and the city went ahead and cut 6-8 officers anyway ….people have finally ‘had it’.

    UNLESS this city’s leadership wakes up and starts to ACTIVELY listen and ACT on the things that matter most to the residents this city WILL go bankrupt.. and it WILL be unincorporated.

    IT may already be too late.. I know of no one who wants to pay more to support a city who attempts to micromanage their property rights and refuses to support the things that matter most to them.

  3. JoAlice says:

    Micromanage their property rights? Are you another one of the right wingers still trying to get a foothold in Des Moines?

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