Sadly, Bob Sheckler – who served as a member of the Des Moines City Council for 20 years and Mayor for eight years – passed away on Sunday, July 24, 2022 in Sequim, Washington. He was 74-years-old.
“He always did what he felt was best for the community, not for himself or his political campaign,” his wife Vicki told The Waterland Blog.
Sheckler began his political career in Des Moines when he spearheaded the successful efforts to annex the North Hill III area into Des Moines in the early 1990s.
In the fall of 1995, he ran for City Council and was elected to the first of his five terms as a Councilmember.
In 2004, Sheckler was selected by the City Council to be Mayor, a position he held for eight years until 2012. He was the longest-serving Mayor in Des Moines history.
One of his first challenges as a member of the City Council was to lead the fight against the 3rd runway at Sea-Tac International Airport. Although the fight against the runway was not successful, Sheckler’s efforts – through the Airport Communities Coalition (ACC) – made sure that the Port of Seattle followed every single environmental law and regulation in the design and construction of the runway. After the fight was over, he rebuilt the City’s relationship with the Port Commission that ultimately resulted in the development of the Des Moines Creek Business Park, the location of the FAA’s regional facility and numerous businesses.
During his time as Mayor, the City improved a two mile section of Highway 99, installed a new bulkhead in the central part of the Marina, remodeled the Auditorium at Beach Park, finished the Des Moines Creek Trail, and opened the Senior Center at its current location after flooding in 2001 damaged the one located in Beach Park.
Sheckler led the City through the great recession of 2008, brought the Sheraton Four Points Hotel to the Pacific Ridge area, and during his tenure, the Mt. Rainier pool was saved.
During his first term as Mayor, he created the Des Moines Leadership Summit, a group of community and business leaders, to brainstorm ways of improving Des Moines. Two of this group’s ideas became reality – the Farmers Market and Destination Des Moines.
Sheckler served on the City Council from Jan. 1, 1996 to Dec. 31, 2015. During that time he served as Mayor from Jan. 1, 2004 to Dec. 31, 2011. He served 20 years on Council, which currently is the longest-termed Councilmember.
He also was a member of the Rotary Club of Des Moines & Normandy Park, and also served in these positions:
- Member of Standing Council Committees: Economic Development & Budget, Municipal Facilities, Public Safety, and Transportation
- Former Chair, Council Environmental Committee Council
- Representative and Past Member of Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
- Council Representative, Des Moines Senior Advisory Committee
- President of the Board, Des Moines Area Food Bank
- Former Board Member, Greater Des Moines Rotary Club
Sheckler is survived by his wife Vicki.
Information about a memorial will be provided at a future date.