[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Waterland Blog, nor its staff:]

Dear Waterland Blog:

I am writing this letter to express my dismay with the antics and behind-the-scene attempts to discredit current candidates running for City Council.

As a former councilmember in Des Moines for eight years, and although things then were somewhat contentious, it’s nothing like what I see and know now.

I remember the days when our current mayor, Matt Pina, was on the Highline School Board. I served with his father, Ed Pina, on the City Council. I initially thought Matt coming on the Council would be a good thing. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve seen the bullying and threats that come from Matt Pina trying to hand-pick a City Council that suits him.

While on the dais, Mayor Pina continually abuses his responsibility to exercise Rule 18 of the City Council’s Rules of Procedure. Rule 18 prohibits the making of derogatory remarks or insinuations about other Councilmembers.

Mayor Pina and Deputy Mayor Matt Mahoney often and enthusiastically engage in such derogatory remarks themselves.

Several councilmembers are frequently denied access to information. They are entitled to such information as elected Councilmembers and are often berated for daring to seek it.

Now in their zeal to protect their majority, Mayor Pina and Deputy Mayor Mahoney are extending their abuse to the current City Council campaigns.

Candidate Gene Achziger is now a target of useless public records requests for Lord-knows-what, initiated by Mayor Pina and Deputy Mayor Mahoney. These requests don’t come from candidate Achziger’s opponent; instead, they come from members of the current council majority determined to hold on to power.

While I am relieved that Mayor Pina is stepping down, his interference in the current Council elections is unacceptable. And Deputy Mayor Mahoney’s participation is an attempt to bully his way to a Council subservient to him.

I have tried to contain my frustrations over watching little change in Des Moines over the years, in fact getting worse. But I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines and not saying anything.

We need a change in Des Moines. The citizens of Des Moines deserve better. The incumbents must go!

– Susan White

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to [email protected] and, pending review and verification that you’re a real human being, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names and cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).