Betts’ Memorial Boardwalk new name for Redondo Boardwalk; police get raise


By Jack Mayne

The Des Moines City Council unanimously approved renaming the Redondo Beach Seawall and Boardwalk Trail to Betts Memorial Boardwalk, along with approving a new police contract for the first time in a while without negative connotations.

Mayor Matt Pina noted the Betts family has owned the Redondo Beach Park since the late 1800s, and Charles E. Betts named the area Redondo, according to a 1970s-era Seattle Times story:

“Betts also owned the Redondo Skating Arena until it was destroyed by fire in 1951 and also operated the Woodland Park Kiddyland several years. In 1961 he built and operated the first dry storage boat marina on Puget Sound.”

Pina said a plaque will be placed on the Boardwalk that states “The Redondo Beach Seawall in recognition of the early influences and development of the Redondo area by the Betts family who lived and worked in Redondo between 1898 and 2015, the Redondo Boardwalk shall hereby be commiseratively be known as the Betts’ Memorial Boardwalk.”

Redondo resident and frequent commenter at Council meetings, Rick Johnson (pictured, right), was the instigator of the plaque and he introduced members of the Betts’ family and noted they are still operating skating rinks in the state.

“I think this is a good thing to see for Redondo, I think it’s due,” he said.

Police officer raises
The Council also unanimously voted to approve a collective bargaining agreement between the city and the Des Moines Police Guild and to authorize City Manager Michael Matthias to sign it. Police officers will get a 3.5 percent cost of living increase and 3 percent increases in 2020 and 2021, higher than what had been budgeted, which “will be consistent with maintaining a sustainable and solvent budget.”

Justin Cripe, president of the Des Moines Police Guild said the entire process to get a new labor agreement “has been a pleasure and it is not always a pleasure.” He said there were many reasons why and it “starts with the leadership your city manager has put into place,” includes the support of the City Council and the new management of the department, led by new Chief Ken Thomas.

“I look forward to working with you in the future,” Cripe said, a fact not always true in past years.

Normandy trail to beach
Normandy Park resident Georgia Davenport wondered about the trail leading from her city to the farmer’s market and other Des Moines activities. She said many people who live in the “tail of Normandy Park” use the trail regularly but they have been told by the city that it will not be opened again “until winter” because a “pipe needs to be fixed.” Davenport suggested the possibility of a temporary fix until the final repairs can be finished.

Catherine Colby (pictured left), another close by Normandy Park user of the trail, suggested Des Moines could work with Normandy Park city government “to get the work done quicker.”

City Manager Michael Matthias said the problem that the two cities have to overcome it that the trail is “literally part of an HOA, a home owners association… and our status is literally pard of the HOW so we are working with Normandy Park right now to try to find a solution” The trail was given to … and it is a question of the HOA going forward with the financing and we are looking at ways, can we help Normandy Park … so that is on going.”

Complicated trail ownership
Mayor Matt Pina said Des Moines “is of only eight owners in the HOA so that is why it is not exactly easy… we would love to have that trail open, as well. It is just not as easy as one might think.”

Colby said it “could be done quick with a shovel” to which Pina said “there is a little bit of a discussion going on amongst the members of the HOA and I am not sure they are all in agreement who is responsible for what” and asked if Matthias had anything to add.

“I think that is a very generous statement,” he said to general loud laughter.

Ann Kroeker gave the Council a copy of the the joint letter of commitment to support climate change activities in King County. She said several other area cities are signing on to support of the actions, but they are not very far along so Des Moines could catch up quickly.


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