The City of Des Moines on Monday afternoon (Feb. 3, 2020) released the list of candidates being considered to be appointed to Des Moines City Council Pos. #3, which is being vacated by Vic Pennington.

Eight residents have thrown their hat into the ring for consideration (download a PDF of the list here), and lawmakers will interview them at their council meeting this Thursday night, Feb. 6, starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

As we previously reported, each candidate will be given three minutes for an opening statement/comment. Councilmembers will then be able to ask each one question, and candidates will be given two minutes to answer. Councilmembers do not have to ask each candidate the same question, however it is recommended. The Councilmember asking the first question of each candidate will rotate.

Councilmembers may take an Executive Session after the interview process to select the replacement at the meeting.

Here are the contenders, in the order released by the city, along with their current job titles and answer to “What is your vision for Des Moines?” question as listed on the application:

Luisa Bangs, Senior Maintenance Manager, Port of Seattle (and former Councilmember)
“Synergy of development in our downtown. Movement and completion of development in our Marina. Mitigation of environmental impacts of aircraft flights. And the many many exciting projects happening from Pacific Ridge to Redondo, North Hill and our core areas! Quite an exciting time to be on and back on council.””

Harry S. Steinmetz, Attorney, Newton & Hall
“I envision Des Moines as being a great, family friendly, small town. One where our children can find their first job and grow up to be fine young women and men. To do that we need a thriving downtown and marina district. Just as importantly, underserved neighborhoods need to be safe and good environments in which to grow up. Currently we have a downtown core that has never recovered from the 1980’s. The economic development of the city should be the highest priority of the council.

“The city always needs to keep in mind the five and ten year timeframes when making decisions. I strongly believe that we need to consider and incorporate the desires and attitudes of the millennials and Generation Z into our vision of how the city grows.

“Additionally, investments in capital intensive projects should adopt a 25 year viewpoint. This means that the we need to incorporate more supportive services into the city and alternative modes of transportation as well as multicultural inclusivity into our long range planning for the future of our city. I believe Des Moines has a very bright future for all its residents.”

Tad Doviak, IT Manager, KNKX-KPLU Radio
“I see a Des Moines in five years that people are bragging about instead of complaining about. I see a Des Moines that people come to for the brewery and restaurants downtown. I see a Des Moines that is a great hidden getaway in South King County. When people from Spokane, Kentucky, Germany and beyond want to come to visit Seattle, they talk about this gem of a place called Des Moines (with an S) that was their favorite place to stay and visit. It’s a Des Moines that is safe, is secure, and a place that is talked about around the world. “

Penny Bohm, Lead Analyst, Centurylink
“I would listen to the community and strive to continuously identify improvements and execute change initiatives for the good of the city. “

Semeré Melake, Management System Analyst Supervisor, Seattle Parks & Recreation
“As a City Council member, I envision a diverse community that continually engages to create a safe, healthy, and economically dynamic environment for years to come. As the City continues to increase in size, smart growth and sustainable practices become critical to our economic, environmental, and social well-being. It is the City’s responsibility to lead by example! By working together, citizens, businesses, and City government can develop our community into a richly diverse and sustainably viable.”

David Lee Black, Construction Project Management, Orion Industries
“My vision is the vision of our founding fathers of true representive Government that focuses on the fundementals. We need high quality education, robust infrastructure, And well equiped first responders. “

Dan Harrington, Head Golf Operations, Glen Acres Golf & Coutrny Club
“I have lived in this city longer than anywhere else in my life, 21 years. City leadership has made strong, smart decisions over the years related to business and financial planning, delivery of community assets and programs, and cohesion between residents and leadership. My vision for Des Moines in the next 21 years is to dedicate more resources to crime prevention and child/family services. We can never do enough to direct our resources in quelling the criminal elements that are invading our community daily. Additionally, we need to further look at the assistance we are providing single-parent households and discuss how we can provide more and ask for more via grants and subsidies from outside our city boundaries.”

Meiling Sara Sproger, Campaign Manager
I envision a community where people decide they want to live in Des Moines because it provides safety and opportunities for growth. I imagine a balanced city in which its people do not feel worried about their government decisions and feel that their concerns are being addressed. This means being able to receive information about local issues through accessible means of communication to all citizens.

“Policy wise I hope for a Des Moines that:

      • Encourages large and small business development and sustainable economic growth throughout the years
      • Builds infrastructure, main roads and within neighborhoods, that encourages travel and sustainable living practices throughout Des Moines
      • Supports policy that protects business and land-owners from crime
      • Has an efficient permitting process that encourages innovation and development
      • Supports programs that effectively transition individuals out of hardship through education and providing of basic needs, in effect creating a more prosperous and welcoming community
      • Attracts new visitors and residents by providing enticing resources and experiences
      • Fortifies the value and potential of the Marina as the jewel of Des Moines through environmental efforts and promotion of safety along the trails
      • Interacts with residents and businesses so that its government decisions represent the needs of our community”