Longtime Des Moines City Councilmember and former Mayor Dave Kaplan announced Tuesday, Jan. 31 that he won’t seek re-election this year.
He serves in Position #7, and his term expires Dec. 31, 2017.
Kaplan has served on the council for 16 years, and as Mayor for four.
“After sixteen years in local elective office, and twenty straight years of working on city-related issues, I’ve decided that this will be my last year to serve as a Councilmember here in Des Moines,” Kaplan said in a statement published on Facebook Tuesday.
Here’s Kaplan’s full statement:
Dear Friends, Family, Supporters, and Residents of Des Moines,
After sixteen years in local elective office, and twenty straight years of working on city-related issues, I’ve decided that this will be my last year to serve as a Councilmember here in Des Moines.
For twenty years, together with fellow city Councilmembers and dedicated citizens of Des Moines, we’ve made tremendous progress building and growing an economic/business base in Des Moines, assured that crucial City services could be sustained into the foreseeable future; adopted financially sustainable budgeting that didn’t rely on sales tax equalization money from the state; and maintained a safe, livable community for everyone to enjoy. If we continue to do the things we’ve been doing, Des Moines’ future is exceedingly bright.
I’m humbled by the support you’ve given me over the years, and the kind words shared with me both publicly and privately. My fellow Councilmembers continue to work diligently for what’s best for the city of Des Moines as a whole and share our love for our community. When you get the opportunity, please thank them for all they do on behalf of all Des Moines citizens.
Being a Councilmember requires many hours of reading, studying, learning, listening, meeting, negotiating, debating, and working with others to attain the goals we all set out to achieve. Often, we need to work alongside people who are passionate about the issues, but may not have a full picture or the full facts that lead to a decision … or the fact that the City is hamstrung legally to have to follow certain paths … or that some decisions are best for the City as a whole, even if it has impacts on particular neighborhoods. I’ve served with honesty, and have done my best to communicate and engage with all constituents … talking at public forums, and answering nearly every phone call, email or letter I’ve received.
To my fellow Councilmembers, Thank you for entrusting me as Mayor for four years. That opportunity allowed me to see a variety of things accomplished, most notably bringing the FAA to the Des Moines Creek Business Park, and the alignment of Sound Transit’s Link light rail following the path best suited for Des Moines. We’ve accomplished a great deal by working together as a team.
To friends and family, without your love and support I would never have had the opportunity to serve. I was meant to serve my community, and you helped make that come true. Thank you and I love you.
And to the citizens of Des Moines who voted for me, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. I’m honored to have had your trust.
City of Des Moines, Washington
P.S. – I’m going to be active in the 2017 campaign to ensure that Matt Mahoney, a North Hill resident, is elected to my seat … and that those who can’t seem to work cooperatively with others, those who use “alternative facts,” and the entirely philosophically driven (from either end of the political spectrum) are not elected to any seat on the Des Moines City Council. Ever.