LETTER: Current Des Moines Councilmember endorses candidate

[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:]

As I was driving into work this morning, I heard on the radio that the King County Elections staff is preparing to send out ballots and voters’ pamphlets for the November 5th election. I am taking a moment in light of this event to email you because there is a race that is very important to the families of North Hill. It is the race for Des Moines City Council Position Number 4. I am writing to ask that you please vote for Jeremy Nutting to retain his position on the council.

As the only other councilmember with kids currently attending Highline Schools, Jeremy is a much needed addition to the council.

  • Jeremy Nutting is an active member of the North Hill PTSA and currently serves as the Top Dog for North Hill Elementary Watch DOGS.
  • Jeremy Nutting has two kids who currently attend North Hill Elementary.
  • Jeremy Nutting understands that to have successful schools, the city must partner with the district in an effort to support quality education.
  • Jeremy Nutting recognizes that quality schools will mean higher real estate resale values for our homes.
  • Jeremy Nutting supports safe routes to schools and complete streets including walkable sidewalks for our kids.
  • Jeremy Nutting supports school zone safety measures to help keep our neighborhood kids safe.
  • Whether it’s helping in the drive through, volunteering at countless school events or overseeing open gym for dads and kids, Jeremy participates and cares about the North Hill Community.

Having served with Jeremy over the past four months, I know firsthand that he brings the same thoughtful, passionate and level headed service to his city; to YOUR city.

His opponent would tell you that North Hill has turned into a crime addled barrio of homelessness and crack houses. On his web site, Jeremy’s opponent erroneously creates hysteria among our neighbors and even describes the street where he lives (just blocks from North Hill Elementary) as, “…abandoned homes, crack-houses and illegal homeless encampments. Prostitutes and pimps roamed the streets and Methamphetamine addicts broke into vacant houses, gutting the interiors and squatting; some houses even burning down. The neighborhood had decayed, and drug-addled people with nothing to lose were raiding the good local residents for drug money.” NORTH HILL IS MY NEIGHBORHOOD AND IT IS JEREMY NUTTING’S NEIGHBORHOOD. Would you cast your vote for a man with so little understanding of his neighborhood that he mongers fear for the sake of votes? Or would you rather cast your vote for Jeremy Nutting who takes pride in North Hill?

Jeremy takes the time to get to know his neighbors. Jeremy has a vision and an understanding that our schools are the heart of our community. I am asking you, as like-minded community members who want to see the North Hill of Des Moines represented by a POSITIVE community member who will ensure that the positive relationship currently shared between our schools and our city is not only maintained but grows; on November 5, 2013, please cast your vote for Jeremy Nutting for Des Moines City Council.

Thank you for your time.

– Melissa Musser
Former North Hill PTSA Unit President 2002-2006
North Hill PTSA Golden Acorn Award Winner & Lifetime Member North Hill PTSA

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14 Responses to “LETTER: Current Des Moines Councilmember endorses candidate”
  1. Pat Nardo says:

    This was a sad commentary on James Payne from someone whom we have come to respect. We witnessed both Mr. Payne and Mr. Nutting having a sociable conversation at a recent forum conclusion, and promising to share a beer when the election is over regardless of who wins the seat in contention. It is very doubtful that either Mr.Payne or Mr. Nutting would have been so harsh in describing one another. But, in the end, Melissa Musser, you will have our vote and support for we do believe you are one council member in the right position. Politics does change people and how they interact. In the end, we are all Des Moines Citizens with one goal; how to make Des Moines better! While we agree that both men are good and worthy of holding this council seat, our candidate of choice remains James Payne. Our votes: Matt Pina, Dave Kaplan, Melissa Musser, Vic Pennington, James Payne, and for Judge, Veronica Galvan. Also do not forget ,dear reader, our old friend Jim Langston must be a “write in” and we will do that as well.

  2. Bob Sheckler says:

    I have live on North hill for almost 25 years and take offense to Mr. Payne’s portrayal of this area of our city. What Mr. Payne is doing is an old political trick that goes like this.
    1. Create a crisis when one does not exist.
    2. Convince people that the crisis can be averted if they vote for him.

    He then claims that he will accomplish this by hiring more police officers. What he doesn’t offer is a way to pay for them. He is hoping that voters won’t see this because they will be too concerned about the imaginary crime wave he predicts is about to hit our city.

    The voters of Des Moines are not stupid Mr. Payne nor are the councilmembers you claim you can work with.

  3. Wanker says:

    No crisis exists? Have you seen the vacant storefronts in DT Des Moines? How about our grocery store that left after 50 years? Businesses are leaving while you’re putting all the attention into a hotel that no one wants and only makes progress when politically convinient.

    And an imaginary crime wave? Have you driven down 216th? As a lead footed resident I have taken comfort in the fact that the DMPD is too short staffed to do speed traps.

  4. Pat Nardo says:

    Yes, Mr. Wanker. Living in Huntington Park for over thirty years and virtually crime free until a year r so ago we became complacent . Suddenly we have been overwhelmed with break ins, personal property thefts, and even one elderly woman attacked in her own home in broad daylight. As we see it here, the need for a Block Watch became a dire necessity because we do understand understaffing of our police force as it exists in Des Moines, so we feel mostly on our own now when it comes to crime prevention. James Payne is an ex police officer and understand what is needed here. He would bring unprecedented knowledge of of what needs to be done to help alleviate our security requirements. It is time for some new blood, new ideas leadership skills honed in the military environment. Mr. Payne brings a great deal of experience in leadership and crime prevention but he is financially strapped for his campaign. As a result, he is outflanked, outnumbered and out spent by,not only his opponent, an honorable man himself, but with the aid of our council members, the mayor himself stating that he, James Payne will lose this battle. Notice this valiant warrior stand and deliver to the last once of votes! He has ours! This is not Korea or Afghanistan but the requirement for due diligence exists. A barrage of votes is needed to be called in, ready on the left, ready on the right….commence! God Bless this country we have served in different conflicts and thank you, James Payne, for honoring us with your offer of service.

  5. Jeanette Burrage says:

    I am a city council member who is supporting James Payne for joining me. Both candidates have good qualities, but Mr. Payne has more leadership background and grit for doing the tough things that need to be done in our city.
    There is more crime. Our own police chief says it has risen 14% since ten years ago. The city has lost an enormous amount of revenue on initiatives and a bad economy, but police protection should not only be our highest priority in words. It needs to be our highest priority in budgeting.

  6. Pat Nardo says:

    Without wishing to make anyone feel offended here; as a soldier on occupation duty ;WWII,I felt much safer on the streets of Munich in the dark of night than I do here in Des Moines today. We are now fully depenldant on Block Watch and feel extremely vulnerable. Just ask our neighbor who is still fearful, having been awakened by an intruder, hands on her neck and robbing her of a necklace in her home! Only a fool can believe we do not have an increase in crime. James Payne is fully aware of this as a soldier and former police officer better than most. As I venture out at night, it is now, never without the presence of my side arm; why should this be? Not to take away from Mr. Nutting, we place more trust in James Payne.

    • Dan Kennedy says:

      While I have not met Mr. Payne, he seems to be new to the community. I wonder if he has a sense for where his support is coming from. It seems that his three biggest supporters are a disgraced former mayor (http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Ex-Des-Moines-mayor-fined-2-500-1110595.php), a disgraced former judge, (http://www.seattleweekly.com/2002-08-28/news/judging-jeanette/) and Pat Nardo. I realize that “politics makes strange bedfellows”, but geez…

    • Vietnam Vet says:

      Now you’re a WW2 vet. You always brag about being a Korean vet. Would love to se your DD214 Mr. Nardo. I am going to check into this, You can bet on that.

      • Pat Nardo says:

        I do have my WWII DD214s and would be proud to show it.If you would like, at Prima Margherita, at your convenience . Also I have copies of my orders and a commendation from the Korean President. I am proud of my service.

      • Pat Nardo says:

        My two brothers have Purple Hearts from Vietnam andI am,a life member of the VFW, so you may find me in their records but I do enjoy sharing a beer with a fellow vet. I have even saved my Expert Rifleman orders before we changed from Army Air Corps to US Air Force.

        Until now, no one has shown the interest you have..let,s meet and bring some of your mementos. Also, thank you for your service as well.

  7. Pat Nardo says:

    Mud slinging is not really expected and kicking a dead horse is not good politics. Mr. Payne has earned his right as an American Citizen to vie for any post that he feels competent to hold. HIs supporters are not running for election and should not be under attack for so doing. It takes great leadership skills to earn captain’s status in our US Army and using those skills in combat, under great stress, and returning alive should be worth at least, giving this good man some latitude. Instead of harassing supporters, look for any blemish on Captain James Payne’s resume. It is HIS credential that James Payne is running on. along with experience few of us have shared. We serve so you may support or criticize and you are to be commended for your views.

  8. Pat Nardo says:

    Why is it that political contests bring out the latent “meanness” in a few, otherwise kind individuals?

  9. Cindy says:

    The DM city council hand picked a council member that ‘fit’ into their plans and means.

    The choice should have been Dave Markwell since it was he who ran against Dan Caldwell. Dave garnered 47% of the vote. Mr Markwell went through the ‘hoops’ to run as a candidate for the seat. By all rights, he should have been seated.

    The city council may have the ‘right’ to pick who they choose… but they STILL have the obligation to the residents a d voters in the city to use due diligence in their actions.

    I find it a conflict of interest for any city council member to be actively endorsing a candidate. It speaks of cronyism. IT is not and should not be a board decision. Mr. Sheckler’s nasty attitude towards anyone who has the audacity to criticize this city’s leadership speaks loudly to a lack of accountability to listen to the concerns and suggestions of residents. James Payne may be running for office, he is STILL a resident and entitled to HIS opinion of this citys neighborhoods and leadership.

    Education and experience matter. James Payne has the background and education to make a GREAT leader in this community. Crime IS an issue in this city. Redondo spoke CLEARLY of the lack of police service. This city is MORE than the Northhill neighborhood and downtown. This city DOES have a vacancy problem. This city does have a crime problem. This city does have a budget CRISIS.

    The city proclaims the number of arrests per month but does not provide the number of convictions for those arrested. How many arrested are repeat offenders? How many crimes reported go unsolved? What are the dollar amounts of losses reported? How many crimes go unreported due to apathy in our police and justice system? Those are stats that affect the overall numbers as well but are not included in the monthly city managers report.

    The city council positions were never designed nor intended as a career.

    IT is time for change. Time for fresh ideas, fresh starts and fresh directions for this city. What was once a small tourist town has grown by annexation into a small city that has greater obligations and requirements than a marina and tourist interest. We need people on ‘board’ who are able AND willing to make the change in focus to include the residents needs foremost.

    Residents NEED roads, police, fire. . IF this city cannot provide the basic infrastructure it will be required to be unincorporated

    WE do NOT need a strip mall on the marina. We need a functional marina. The lift was removed due to the cost being more than it brought in. The lack of traffic was due directly to the cost. People stopped using it because they raised to price so high. Instead of lowering the cost which would have brought in MORE business they removed it, eliminating a whole sector of customers and traffic into the marina and city.

    The concept of a smaller priced revenue with higher volume = more profit seems lost on this city’s leadership. The recent attempts to raise the B.O taxes and utility taxes increase proposals are evidence of it. WE don’t need MORE taxes we need MORE incentives to attract business. How many residents WOULD do more shopping in the city if the prices were competitive with surrounding areas? I shop Federal Way. Kent. Larger stores because I can’t afford the inflated prices of a tourist town.

    The MORE people we attract to our city the more revenue potential we have. Our biggest revenue potential is our own citizens. WHAT businesses are there in Des Moines to attract locals to shop there? Unless we lower the overhead costs to compete with surrounding areas locals will continue to shop outside our city.

    This city’s leaderships answer to increasing revenue has been to consistently raise the COST of doing business here.. in fees, taxes and overbearing requirements. They have chased businesses away.

    The city council has focused on big ticket items .. 5 star hotels and business parks instead of building up a small business base that we already had. How much of the city’s revenue has been spent building the business park on 216th? Who is paying for the construction? How many locals will utilize the hotel and business park? .

    Small businesses attract and bring in MORE customers into the city =more tax revenue.

    Unless this city’s leadership wakes up and changes course the city of Des Moines will continue on it’s present course towards the shoals.. we need to set a new course that includes incentives for small businesses instead of overpriced hotels and malls

    We need a functional marina. Instead of lowering the cost of the marina lift, which would have been an incentive to bring in more traffic they removed it. Instead of lowering the cost to do business in the city they look to raise the BO taxes, utility taxes. Our citys tax revenue is the retail tax base… they need to be bringing business IN not driving it out.

  10. Pat Nardo says:

    Here we do really agree! Dave Markwell was the best choice for council and we wondered when he did not get seated. We did not totally agree with Dave but found him to be very knowledgeable and worth of the position as Council Member. There seems to be an unbreakable bond on our council with only one or two exceptions. It is, we hope, time for Dave Markwell to stand in again for the “next round”. He would find strong support from us when he does. Dave has had the bad experiences of doing business in Des Moines along with others and would work hard and in chorus with current Council to turn things around, along with our Mayor, Dave Kaplan and “Gentleman” Pina.

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