Mayor lashes out at new SeaTac Councilmembers for lecturing city


by Jack Mayne

Two still unseated SeaTac City Council members went before the Des Moines City Council on Thursday night to tell its members to not believe its staff on advice about a proposed 16 percent utility tax to balance its budget for the next two years.

Mayor Dave Kaplan lashed at the two, saying they had no business coming to his city to tell them how to run his city, adding that one of the SeaTac people had “another agenda” and that he would not go to their city and give unsolicited advice.

Retiring Councilmember Bob Sheckler, also a former Des Moines mayor, said in his 20 years on the Council, that he’s “seen a lot of political tricks and a lot of politicians that think they are really hot and really aren’t.

Observers said the actions of the two from SeaTac were surprising. City councilmembers virtually never go to another city and publicly lecture its governing body on how to raise budget money or telling the other city’s leaders not to believe their own staff advice.

‘Please don’t believe them’
Rick Forschler, former and soon to be again a SeaTac Councilmember, told the Des Moines Council he respected them but he might say things they might not like to hear.

“The city staff here will likely tell you that the utility taxes are necessary in order to make the budget meet – please don’t believe them.” He added “sorry Tony” to City Manager Tony Piasecki.

“I know these special purpose districts very well,” Forschler said. “They operate efficiently, they live within their means. There is very little, if any, waste…

“Long before we consider raising taxes, we should exhaust all other options,” Forschler said, “including competitive contracting services … if used wisely would save from 10 to 30 percent of those costs.” Then he listed other cities that had reduced costs by better managing the services of city contractors.

“I have these same sort of comments last year to the SeaTac City Council,” he said. “They ignored them.”

Forschler said “a major reason” four SeaTac Council lost the election was the 6 percent utility taxes they had approved.

Then he turned to the citizens in the Des Moines audience and addressed them.

“Will the voters among you raise your hands, please. Write down the name Rick Forschler and if these folks,” gesturing to the Council members, “impose that utility tax contact Rick in SeaTac and I’ll help you do the same thing we did in SeaTac.

“I’m sorry, but we need to protect these small districts, they do well, they work efficiently and you are doing a disservice to your citizens if you don’t consider these alternatives for saving money first.”

He got long and loud applause from the Des Moines citizens in the Council chambers.

Soon to be SeaTac Councilmember Peter Kwon, recently elected, and former and soon to be again City Councilmember Rich Forschler told the Des Moines Council of the utility tax increase approved in SeaTac last year that he said resulted in four Council members being voted off that city’s Council.

“Please listen to your citizens and at least put it to a vote,” he said. Kwon takes his SeaTac Council seat in January.

Kaplan blasts ‘ludicrous’ duo
At the later Councilmember comment period, Kaplan addressed the appearance of Forschler and Kwon, “people form a city that don’t even live here.”

Referring to Forschler, Kaplan said, “I have a great deal of respect for you but Des Moines is not SeaTac. We don’t have a bunch of hotels, we don’t have a parking tax, we don’t have a $30 million a year budget like you do. We don’t have the same economic base.

“For you to come in and tell us what we need to do for our city and our citizens and the services we provide is ludicrous,” a visibly angry mayor said.

“It was our city that took the steps forward to get the SCORE (South Correctional Entity) jail built. Why? Because it saves us $350,000 a year in our jail costs.

“I get really frustrated with people who really don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to the finances of the city coming in and telling us – we’ve had these conversations publically in public forums year after year after year about our financial condition.

“I don’t appreciate you coming into our city and telling us how we should be conducting our business,” Kaplan said. “I wouldn’t presume to do the same thing in yours and hope that you and Mr. Kwan would keep that in mind when you take office in January.

Councilmember Bob Sheckler, said “the most disgusting thing I’ve seen any politician do was what Mr. Forschler did this evening.

“Imagine if we were to go over to SeaTac and do that, how would they think of us as a neighbor? Now, I think there is going to be quite a problem between Des Moines and the city of SeaTac. ”

A woman from the audience shouted out, “They are here to help us.”

“They are not here to help you, that is a political stunt,” Sheckler snapped back.

“You ask yourself what is Mr. Forschler really doing? He’s got some other ambitions; he’s got some other agenda.

“You never come into another’s city and do what he did, that’s disgusting,” Sheckler said, jabbing a pen in the direction of the woman in the audience.

Here’s video of Forschler and Kwon, along with responses from Mayor Dave Kaplan and Councilmember Bob Sheckler:

Utilities protest
Ken Case, manager of the Midway Sewer District, regarding the proposed 16 percent gross tax on utility districts, said he is not confident that all Council members are seeing the comments of the district sent to the city. While a Councilmember said they were interested in proposed solutions to alleviate the tax, Case said his district has offered the solution of a franchise agreement that would pay to the city up to 6 percent of the district’s revenue, but the city has not responded and has rejected the suggested agreement.

Case said the city at a meeting suggested the sewer district could be taken over by the city if there was no agreement on the city tax. Such assumption of special purpose district is legal under state law with caveats including paying the district for certain property.

The city has acted in a punitive fashion, Case told the Council, noting that the city says that all money paid to the district for its services or service expansion would be taxed at 16 percent.

If the city and district can’t come to an agreement, Case said the sewer utility would consider suing the city but suggested negotiate a franchise or some other form of “win-win” agreement with the district.

Matt Everett, manager of the Highline Water District, said the district ratepayers are having a hard time getting by without additional taxes.

“Going from zero to 16 percent “seems amazingly high … especially in a year when people on Social Security are receiving zero percent raise,” Everett told the Council. The best agreement from his utility would be to work on a franchise tax agreement.

Several other residents objected to the proposed 16 percent utility district taxes and taxes in general, with some suggesting the city does not listen to their comments and complaints.

Partially true
Suzy Gonzale a commissioner of the Southwest Suburban Sewer District said the district got a letter from City Manager Piasecki on Nov. 9 that said there was no progress on a franchise agreement, “but this is only partially true.” She said the district’s manager “did not respond on a couple of occasions but his requested modifications to the proposed agreement “were not considered by city staff.”

She said the city’s argument that utility taxes were not subject to negotiation “is not true” and that SeaTac and Normandy Park are negotiating a utility tax cap of 6 percent.

“I don’t understand how you can make this statement when other cities are doing so,” Gonzale said. “Why are you the only city within Puget Sound region unwilling to negotiate a utility tax within a franchise agreement? Why are you the only city dictating a 16 percent tax, 10 percent higher than anyone else?”

Gonzale also said the city has told them they have “unrestricted cash to we can afford to pay your imposed 16 percent utility tax. Do you have any idea what that money is earmarked for?”

The money is for designated capital improvements to the district’s system, she said.

Gonzale said the city told them it has “neither the time, nor patience to stretch out the negotiations,” which she calls the “most troubling” part of the city’s letter.

“You made absolutely no effort to reach out and discuss this with any of the utility districts or even the residents that will be financially affected by this new tax.”

The various districts involved have told the city they will explore a lawsuit if the tax is imposed.

Negotiate tax down
Councilmember Victor Pennington said he hoped the 16 percent could be negotiated down.

“We have to find a balance between all of us in the community because we are all invested in the community,” Pennington said.

Councilmember Sheckler said he expected the complaints from the special purpose districts but was concerned about comments that the city does not listen to people or “spending money on ludicrous things.”

Prior to putting the utility tax before the Council, Sheckler said “the same number of people that are here tonight were here and out the door that were very, very concerned that the Council was about to do something that they didn’t want to have happen …”

Those people spoke against cuts in the Parks and Recreation, especially senior programs and those for youth, and road repairs and “the thing we have been hearing a lot, the need for more police officers, he said, “people on the opposite side of the equation coming before us and demanding these things, too.”

Those requests were worthy, but he said he hoped citizens didn’t think they just making budget change “willy-nilly for more cash.”

“How do you keep everybody happy in politics? You definitely don’t,” Sheckler said. “Hopefully this evening maybe we can come to some sort of compromise.”

The Council had to weigh both sides, he said.

Hard to do things right
Mayor Pro-Tem Matt Pina agreed, and that many things have happened to change the way Des Moines is financed. Where once it was possible to exist as a bedroom community, now the “law has slowly changed.”

“We are a bedroom community that no longer can be that because you can’t generate enough revenue through property tax or any other means to really sustain yourself and sustain the essential services.”

Pina said the city is working hard to get “things right” like the business park and other moves to improve the financial situation for Des Moines.

Councilmember Luisa Bangs said her six months on the Council have been tough one coming up with a budget and getting to “a better state of affairs in this city.”

“It is our job to listen to you in terms of where you want it to come from. Sometimes we don’t have a choice, it is not easy. As a new Councilperson, we are going to do our best and if ‘best’ isn’t enough, my God, we’ve got to do something,” Bang said. “It’s taxes and it’s cuts.

“I don’t think its we don’t hear you,” she said. “There is nothing easy about what we hear today but hopefully in the future it will be a lot better.

Councilmember Melissa Musser said she was offended at someone saying all of the “people up here” are the same, they don’t care.

When no one comes to meeting, Musser said, “it is quiet happiness, there is nothing to complain about.

“But, man, you want to get to come to a meeting, levy a special assessment, raise their taxes, do something controversial and people come out and then you learn who your community is …”

She said that “you citizens should be ashamed of yourselves” because two Council seats on the latest election were uncontested.

“I hope to see all of you on the ballot in two years, because that means you care, that you are engaged,” returning to the audience comments that many commenters have made during Council session of late, adding that many committees go begging for volunteers.

“Please, stay engaged,” Musser told the audience. “Just because the controversy goes away doesn’t mean there is not still stuff happening in our city. I hope you people stay engaged.”

‘We care’
Mayor Kaplan said, “The Council does care.”

In 1999, Initiative 695 passed “it eliminated the welfare check our city was getting in the form of sales tax equalization to the tune of somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million a year.”

Since then the city had been trying to do what it could to “sustain the services that you told us you want.” The voters pass an initiative “that caps the amount of property taxes we collect on an annual basis.”

“So if you collect $2.5 million worth of property tax one year, you can collect a whopping $25,000 the next,” Kaplan said. “That doesn’t pass our utility bill increase the following year, let along (cost of living) increases or other things for operating the city.”

“Since 1999 we have reduced staff in the city by 30 percent. Name another city that can say that. In the last eight years, we have reduced by 20 percent, a number of those were police positions.

“Do our communications need to import? Yes,” said Kaplan. “We have had talks about the utility tax going back to Aug. 8. Should there have been more direct communication with the utility districts prior to October, yeah, we own that.


53 Responses to “Mayor lashes out at new SeaTac Councilmembers for lecturing city”
  1. RedondoRick says:

    Well the council wouldn’t listen to the Washington State Audit’s recommendations, they certainly won’t listen to another council member from a different city! Council member Musser, Why do you think there’s a packed chambers lately? People are upset, the way this city is being run. If there was no people attending meetings, that would be a sign that everybody’s happy! You’ve had our attention sense the WRC fiasco. Stop the bleeding, make cuts, do the job you were sworn in when taking your responsibility as a council member. Taxing water is not the answer. The community needs backing of this council. We need leadership of this council, not everyone will be happy. But having the citizens of Des Moines bailing you out with more taxes isn’t the answer…Rr

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    • DM Resident says:


      Since you seem to be so up to date on the economics and finances of this city, I’d be curious what you think should be cut?

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      • RedondoRick says:

        Well Mr. Czechier said it all. Those of you that are still blinded by this council over their overspending, living pay check to pay check. I guess you’ll never get it. Taxing water? Not even have the decency to contact Highline Water District. Just doing what ever they want. The WRC fiasco, keeping information from council and the citizens of this city! This city has been in a downward spiral for 8-10 years. The City Manager, has run this city into the ground. And I’m sure that you believe he deserves a 6% raise? Along with raise’s for most employee’s that are very well paid. Stop the bleeding, using monies in a more responsible matter. Cuts across the board. And work for a better city revitalization, in the down town core…Rr

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        • DM Resident says:

          As I suspected Rick, you are unwilling or unknowledgeable enough to make any constructive recommendations or list cuts you think would be appropriate. Cuts across the board is the chicken way out. So by your definition, do cuts across the board mean cut 5 officers? Don’t worry Rick, I don’t really expect you to respond with anything intelligent. You did your typical thing in your response and that is just because I don’t agree with your vague and uneducated way of thinking I must have been brainwashed by “them”.

          As for WRC, I don’t believe the City did anything wrong. They did what they were legally required to do, they posted the SEPA notice at the property, they posted hearing dates, they notified neighbors within the required notification area by mail. Maybe you should pay more attention when you see those big white signs with blue letters posted at a vacant chunk of property. By the way, I don’t want it here either but I don’t blame the city staff for doing what’s required by state law.

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          • RedondoRick says:

            Classy DM, Your only rebuttal is name calling. At least I don’t lower my standards to your level. And I don’t hide myself behind anonymous lettering. No, I admit, I’m not a writer. I just try to be involved in what I believe in. And I believe this City is slowly dying. I’ve never wrote as much as I have, in the past 4 months. You may not agree with all I say, but it comes from the heart. The funny thing is that people who pat our government on the back, don’t have any answers either. As far as the Police Department goes, I’ve NEVER suggested cuts in anyway with them. I stand behind our Police Department who’s hands are tied by our City government. Besides, wages for the DMPD, comes from property taxes not other funding’s. And it’s not my fault, 50% of people living in Des Moines, DO NOT pay property taxes…Rr

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          • DM Resident says:

            I fail to see any name calling, just stating facts as I see them (just like you do). Your statement was “cuts across the board”? Wouldn’t that also include the police department? That’s why I’m asking for specifics from you. It’s so easy to complain about what council is doing but when you offer no valid or truly workable solutions it isn’t constructive. I see a lot of that at the council meetings and on this blog.

            I see a lot of people standing up and offering invalid or unworkable solutions like, cuts across the board, do more with less, pay cuts for all city employees, no new police cars, dissolve as a city and join Normandy Park (really, have you seen that mess), and I could go on and on.

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  2. Rhymes with Tanker says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. Bzob Czechler says:

    Mayor Kaplan is hilarious when he gets angry and impertinent toward his subjects. Best laugh I’ve had in a week! Oh, and that 30 minute rant from Councilman Musser, so uppity and indignant; worthy of an Oscar for best supporting actress.

    But the Oscar for the BEST actor, was ‘Ol Boss Sheckler. The former doyen of the city until his unethical behavior forced his retirement. The crocodile tears and faux outrage he displayed Thursday reminded me of evil Smeagel in the last Lord of the Rings movie. What a performance! I suppose 20 years of pontificating-away on the Council with nothing but an over-rated Motel-6 up in the DM ghetto to show for it would make me bitter too.

    Since everyone on the Dias is “reviewing history,” so shall I…
    Des Moines has findings from the State Auditor over their financial condition. The City Council (including City Manager Piasecki) is in trouble because they have spent stupidly on their parks department lately and they are now in the hole some $1.7 MILLION dollars this year. Profoundly unwise decisions over the years is now giving them the vapors. Pffft. Unfortunately, their vapors are catchy for the rest of us.

    They will NEVER be able to tax their way to financial stability. It is impossible. No amount of tax is EVER enough if the government leaders won’t first exercise restraint. It is totally unsustainable to try expanding revenue, before learning to live within their means. They must FIRST become more efficient, then expand revenue. Their talk of cutting staff always fails to deal with the most clever of all politicians in the city, Parks Director Patrice Thorell, who has beguiled them into making tremendously foolish decisions for many years now. Not to mention the abhorrent prosecutorial discretion of Tony Piasecki.

    Mr. Forschler (just a citizen for the time-being) is a great American, even though he lives in a neighboring city. Though audacious, he respectfully gave the City Council several common-sense options for how to fix the problem. Despite Boss Sheckler’s spasmodic response to the contrary, Messrs’ Kwon and Forschler were clearly trying to HELP their fellow neighbors with options that have not been heard in Council since all the wailing and gnashing of teeth began. But they didn’t want to hear the message, nor look at the proposed market-based options. Instead they are deflecting by using a false indignation over “foreigners” from another city criticizing their actions. Talk about xenophobic!

    The fact that they were from SeaTac was incidental to their message. The message was that citizens are universally angered over taxes. In SeaTac it resulted in changing the makeup of the City Council last election. Let’s hope the same happens now in Des Moines. Maybe this will be the spark to bring citizens out of their shell and make Des Moines financially stable again.

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    • Groen says:

      Give me a break! Forschler and Kwon are tea party politicians who, with the help of a few wealthy donors on Angle Lake – Steve Beck and Doug/Jo Hill, and the Mercer Island parking lot owner/ multi-millionaire Cassan family, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an independent campaign, and managed to high-jack the City of SeaTac neighborhood Next Door blog sites. They used these Next Door sites as an organizing tool to turn out all their vicious tea-party supporters. Beware Des Moines. These people hate government so much that they expertly use their minions to spread vicious, obscene lies about their opponents on the Next Door sites all campaign season long. To make things worse, new politician Steven Kwon was the the guy who oversaw the Next Door site in his SeaTac neighborhood, and he allowed this to go on and on for personal gain. This, and the money that was spent by their supporters (see names above) on negative hit ads on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news (can you believe it? In SeaTac!) won them a majority in on the SeaTac council. Their methods worked. I’m sure this will become a state wide model. Don’t talk to me about Forschler being a great American.

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      • Mulisha Mushterd says:

        Nothing you just said has ANYTHING to do with whether Kwon’s ideas to save DM have merit. Using the term “Tea Party” as a pejorative in this case is just (D)og whistle stuff from the left. And look what that has got us in the past 20 years.

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      • Janice Taylor says:

        Tea Party? Really? Why is it any person who does not lock-step behind the typical “progressive” Puget Sound rhetoric get called Tea Party? I live in SeaTac and voted for both Mr. Forschler and Mr. Kwon. I am a life-long Democrat. However, I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe in a city government that explores options to high-priced consultants and the status -quo of purchasing. Our city manager is highly-paid, PLUS given a stipend because he does not live in SeaTac. Is that responsible? Our parks department just installed a pricey new monument sign at N. SeaTac Park (Sunset Park), yet couldn’t come up with a similar amount of money to clean up a homeless encampment. Is that responsible?

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  4. DM Resident says:

    Kudos to Mayor Kaplan and Councilmember Sheckler for their response to these irresponsible councilmembers elect from SeaTac. This was completely inappropriate and should have never happened!!!

    Also, as explained during this council meeting, what do DM citizens want to happen. When the council talks about cutting services people fill the chambers demanding no services be cut and to raise revenues. When they talk about raising revenues then others fill the chambers telling them to tighten their belts and reduce expenses. I’ve followed all this for several years now and I can tell you there is no more room for belt tightening and expenditure reduction. It’s time this City raise taxes to be comparable with other cities.

    Lastly, Pina please quite saying to sharpen the pencil. The pencil has been sharpened and dulled trying to figure this out so many times there isn’t enough pencil to go in the pencil sharpener anymore.

    Seriously, all you councilmembers need to vote these tax increases and if you get voted out of office, SO WHAT. At least you will have done what you thought was appropriate and necessary for our city to stay in existence at this time. I’m not willing to have my service reduced further with the exception to say the Parks Dept should be pushed over to a parks district and then people can vote on what type of parks dept they are willing to support.

    Councilmembers, thank you for doing such a thankless job.

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    • Tirina Deignan says:

      You stated….” I’ve followed all this for several years now and I can tell you there is no more room for belt tightening and expenditure reduction.” Really? The council members just voted themselves a raise. Not giving themselves a raise would have reduced expenditures and saved the city money. Those on Social Security and many in private industry don’t get a raise this year, but the city wants want to raise our taxes by a ridiculous amount. Nice that they can afford it as they gave themselves nice raises….most of us don’t have that ability.
      Also, their job wouldn’t be thankless if they were managing the city better and not being rude to their own citizens. SMH

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      • DM Resident says:


        I believe you may have made a misstatement or accusation. I don’t believe the sitting council is allowed to vote themselves a raise. Maybe someone more knowledgeable in this area can reply and inform us. Or maybe you know for certain this did happen? Just asking.

        As for being rude, I have to honestly admit with all the accusations launched against them over the last month or so about back room deals, kick backs, only care about their own pocket books, etc. I probably would have been much worse than any of them have been. If the accusations were fact and not fiction I think it would be ok. But MOST of the time someone gets a tidbit of information and they run with it spreading what they’ve heard without verifying any of the facts. Maybe like the accusation they voted themselves a raise.

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      • Tirina Deignan says:

        First of all the council did vote for raises for the city employees and they got them. One person is making $5,000 more per year. Wish I could get that kind of raise. I went through the budget to figure this out. It’s hard to do as they don’t list them individually for most of the positions each year….I’m sure it is harder to follow the money this way which is exactly why they do it. It’s ridiculous that someone should get that much of a raise when our city is bankrupt. Secondly, the city council can and do vote for their own raises….it just won’t take effect until the next term as they can’t vote their own individual raises, but can vote for others and not themselves….at least from what I gleaned from the WAC. As for the council members being angry and acting like jerks….don’t go into politics if you can’t take the heat. Nothing we say or do should cause any of them to be as rude to the community as Dave Kaplan and Bob Sheckler have been. They need to zip it when it comes to the rude comments because they come off looking like angry babies. If what we are saying is not true, then they need to prove it. The only councilmember that engages and tries to share what is and is not true is Melissa Musser. The rest say nothing. Silence speaks volumes in my opinion.

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        • Dave Kaplan says:

          Tirina, the Des Moines City Council hasn’t voted to raise its compensation, and won’t be getting a raise. You’re wrong. Where you got that information, I have no idea. Just more rumor for the grist mill no doubt.

          Second, any COLA increases for City employees were passed as part of the last collective bargaining agreements we had with them, passed two or three years ago. Any step increases are entirely at the discretion of management and the individual employee’s eligibility for it.

          Lastly, as for getting angry, I admit I’ve done that a few more times than I care to. But my ire was aimed at people who don’t live in the City of Des Moines (Forschler and Kwon) coming to town, weighing in on our budget related issues without knowing any of the history of how we got where we are, or the steps we’ve taken to address our financial issues, then having them turn around and threaten the Councilmembers with helping to replace them at the next election! Seatac Councilmembers should butt out of Des Moines City business and look to their own issues. Regarding my unintended for broadcast comments toward Rick Johnson (NOT aimed at the community at all), I’ve since apologized to him … and him to me.

          Despite the abuse, I have the greatest respect for the opinions of our constituents. What I won’t put up with though are the outright lies, the exaggerations, and personal attacks on myself or my fellow councilmembers. If you think I’m just going to sit there and just be a punching bag for every stupid comment or accusation, you’re sorely mistaken. People are entitled to their own opinion; they aren’t entitled to their own facts. And if people wish to be treated with respect, it goes a long way to treat those you’re trying to communicate your concerns to with the same level of respect you expect in return.

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    • Bzob Czechler says:

      You just thanked them Rez, so its not a “thankless job.”

      Indeed, the Kooky Kaplan Klan derives great pleasure and personal status for imparting their “wisdom” upon us peons. They are just itchy and complaining because FINALLY their subjects are holding them accountable for their past poor decisions. It has gotten so bad, even OTHER city’s citizens are participating in the fun of dressing down the DM City Council. Absolutely delicious (smack)!

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  5. desmoines says:

    Dave Kaplan walked into an empty seat in 2013,
    Yet collected $5434.34 and spent it on an election party anyway.

    How can we trust Kaplan to save the taxpayer’s money?

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    • DM Resident says:

      It’s Kaplan’s fault that people wanted to donate to his campaign?

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      • Mulisha Mushterd says:


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      • Charles Wilkes says:

        Term limits is the answer. Just like in D.C. these career politicians don’t care about the people. They only care about their careers and getting re-elected……

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        • Mysty beal says:

          Rather pointless if no one challenges for the seat. Last election, two council members coasted in unopposed…

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          • Charles Wilkes says:

            Term limit should still apply…No one else in Des moines cares enough to take the position? We would be better off with an empty seat…..than an empty suit…

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  6. desmoines says:

    Bob Sheckler is a corrupt career politician, how did he manage to stay on for 20 years?

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  7. SaveDesMoines says:

    DM Resident, am I understanding that you think that none of the fiscal problems our city have anything thing at all to do with our city manager, who has been there for years, or now mayor Dave Kaplan? You seem to strongly support them both even though our city has been on a downward trend for years. Please give me some reasons why we should support their non producing efforts. Show me the light and something positive….

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    • Mysty beal says:

      While I’m no fan of this council, it’s ridiculous to lay the decline entirely at their feet while completely overlooking the damage that Eyman’s initiatives have caused. And how many of those government-starving initiatives did you vote for?

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      • SaveDesMoines says:

        Mysty beal, first of all I never said anything about placing the blame entirely at their feet. I asked a question asking if they bore no responsibility for it. Let’s talk sports for a second, let’s say you had the same coach for the last 10 years and every year you’re team had a worse and worse record. Even if you couldn’t place all of the reasons for the downward decline on your head coach I promise you that he would have been fired long ago. If our city is to have a winning record again we need to fire our coaches….

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        • DM Resident says:

          In fact, this council has done more to encourage growth and revenue in this City than any before them for decades. If you look at the past records, this council has amended height ordinances, directed change in the permitting process, worked with Port of Seattle, and hired an economic development director. I would hate to think where we’d be if the Wasson gang were still in office.

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          • SaveDesMoines says:

            All that and we are just a step above bankruptcy, hardly begs for a pat on the shoulder and an “attaboy” now does it?

            Well-liked. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 10

          • Mulisha Mushterd says:

            Think of how much better the city was back then though. Didn’t have NEAR the problems it does today under Mayor Kaplan’s leadership. Crime is sky high, City broke and the place is falling apart.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 16

        • Rhymes with Tanker says:

          SaveDesMoines, I guess you could also argue, ” all that has saved us from bankruptcy”.

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          • SaveDesMoines says:

            Ryhmes with Tanker, and it’s an argument that I would love to hear. So tell me, in your opinion what exactly have they done to stave off our cities bankruptcy? I don’t think increasing our utility taxes to make up for it should count though. Please proceed……..

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 9

          • SaveDesMoines says:

            So weird to me that I can get so many, “thumbs downs”, for simply asking a question. Kind of says a lot a lot about the people that troll this blog. Of course none of these people will answer a simple question, or even attempt to explain their ideas, so this is obviously a waste of my time. So, all you hate mongers without a single answer, enjoy for now, but progress and time is catching up to you… See you on the other side!!!

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  8. John Castronover says:

    Wonder if we could get Don Wasson to come out of retirement and run for office again, he would sure clean this mess up and get our city back on track.

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  9. Groen says:

    Des Moines – beware! Forschler and Kwon are tea party politicians who, with the help of a few wealthy donors on Angle Lake – Steve Beck and Doug/Jo Hill, and the Mercer Island parking lot owner/ multi-millionaire Cassan family, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an independent campaign, and managed to high-jack the City of SeaTac neighborhood Next Door blog sites. They used these Next Door sites as an organizing tool to turn out all their tea-party supporters. Beware Des Moines. They hate government so much that they expertly use their minions to spread vicious, obscene lies about their opponents on the Next Door sites all campaign season long. To make things worse, new politician Steven Kwon was the the guy who oversaw the Next Door site in his neighborhood, and he allowed this to go on and on for personal gain. This, and the money that was spent by their supporters (see names above) on negative hit ads on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox news won them a majority in SeaTac. Their methods worked. I’m sure this will become a state wide model.

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    • Mulisha Mushterd says:

      Oh yeah, and the Left would NEVER do such a thing, right Groan? (snort) It looks like they just got out-smarted this time.

      As I remember, it was a MASSIVE quantity of union dough that bought the last election for the Dumocrats in SeaTac (along with the $15/hr Minimum Wage fiasco) so what goes around, comes around.

      Anyway, lets get back to bashing OUR feckless and unwise members of the City Council…

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      • Groen says:

        Follow the money. How many Mercer Island Multi-millionaire parking lot owners live in SeaTac and Des Moines? How many tea-party Angle Lakers live in those cities?
        Now, ask. How many citizens in SeaTac and Des Moines are members of unions? I think we’d have an easy time figuring out which of these interest groups more accurately represent the people who live in those cities.

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        • Mulisha Mushterd says:

          (roll-eyes) How many Clyde Hill-living billionaires with guilty conscious’ footed the bill on outrageous lefty-initiatives in the past two years?

          I can name two, but I ain’t conflating that with a couple average citizens just speaking in front of the po’dunk Des Moines city council, trying to offer better ways of doing business. You are stretching credulity Groan…

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    • Janice Taylor says:

      Troll: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.
      Please, Groen, creep back under your bridge so people can continue meaningful discussion on this, and all the related blog sites. Sorry Mia and company got spanked by the voters, but that’s life.

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  10. Jo Ann Hill says:

    Well Groen – if that’s your real name – I’m not sure where to begin on this piece of fiction you’ve posted.

    Get your facts straight as it is public record. We raised $13,000. In a few short months my husband put together a grass roots, citizen based effort so that the decent candidates who won felt like someone cared. It was ‘David against Goliath’ as the outside sources backing Mia, Sally, etc. poured over $100,000. Into their campaigns. We were outspent 8 to 1 but the TRUTH prevailed.

    Now as far as wealthy? That’s a joke! What I’m wealthy in though is a wonderful family. My single mother raised us 10 kids To value honesty and integrity. We didn’t always have food but we had her love.
    I work full time and we care for my mother in law who lives with us, is bed-ridden, and 97. I drive a 10 yr old used car I got on Craig’s list. I and my brother Steve, have worked very hard all our lives for what we do have. Far from ‘wealthy.
    I’m really not sure where you get your nutty Tea Party stuff as I don’t have time for any ‘groups’. Until I first went on Nextdoor this past August, I’d never heard of or met any of its members. Also, Mr Kwon excused himself from monitoring the site as he felt it the decent thing to do.

    So it is you, Groen- whoever you are – that is the great purveyor of lies.

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  11. Groen says:

    I stand corrected on one point. The right-wing PAC supporting Mr. Kwan and Mr. Forschler raised around $13,000.00.
    Mr. Kwan and Mr. Forschler – you alienated SeaTac from it’s neighboring city, embarrassed the people of SeaTac, and showed a shocking lack of diplomatic skills. If put to a public vote, your constituents would tell you to go back to Des Moines and apologize for your lack of self-awareness, and arrogance.

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  12. Mulisha Mushterd says:

    Groan, go back to SeatacBlog and apologize to us for sullying this fine Blog with your presence.

    None of your inane bloviating matters over here in broke, crime-ridden DM, (the 20+ year home of unethical and villainous Councilman Bob Sheckler). January can’t come soon enough !

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 7

  13. Mulisha Mushterd says:

    To wit, did you hear Councilman bob sheckler say at last Saturday’s council retreat that he wants citizens to certify they have completed “Civics 101” prior to addressing the august City Council? This guy…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  14. DMC says:

    Downtown Des Moines has so much potential.

    A city right on the water with half of the stores empty?

    This place could look like Edmonds, if the city council were more business friendly.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

    • BirchCreek says:

      DMC, good thought. But for those of us who live in the Downtown area, development needs to Not come on the demands of developers. Someone posted in the past that a Columbia tower should be built downtown! Foolishness – the development at all costs mentality. Traffic flow is a big factor in increasing population density. There is just not the infrastructure to support ingress and egress of large amounts a vehicles. People often post the phrase “business friendly” – what exactly does that mean to you?

      Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      • DM Resident says:


        The problem with you and others like you is that you want NO development in the downtown area. You would be happy if the empty retail spaces filled with mom and pop business so it wouldn’t disrupt your quiet life style. This mentality simply doesn’t work anymore and our downtown should be much more like a Kirkland or Edmonds. I was the one who made the comment about a Columbia Tower and of course I was being sarcastic but I would support some 10 story condos, office and retail space in the downtown area. I also support commercial development in the Marina such as retail and hotels. Build, build, build.

        Rate: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

        • BirchCreek says:

          DM Resident, do you live in the Marina District? Do you have a “dog in the fight”? I in no way said “no development”, that is your knee-jerk assumption. Just intelligently thought and planned out development is what I support. Not like the Woodmont fiasco we all just went through.
          If the business there are to thrive, how about people shop down there? Do you?
          Red Robin, Anthonys Home Port, Scotch and Vine, Sports Bar, Wallys, Dentists, Physical Therapy clinics, Doctors offices, cleaners, Des Moines Creek Restruant, Sushi, Chinese, Pho and Thai restaurants, B&E, 76 Station, Barbers, Markets, Auntie Irenes, Coffee shops… and now a “Dollar Store”. So which one of these business is so “Mom and Pop” and failing?
          I would challenge you, and like minded people, to frequent the Marina District Business. Successful businesses will attract successful businesses!

          Rate: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

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