By Mellow DeTray
Here’s a recap of the Des Moines City Council meeting held on Thursday night, Feb. 23, 2023:
Redondo Safety Concerns
Multiple residents of Redondo shared thoughts during Public Comments on how to make their community safer. One idea included strategic placement of large planters and boulders to deter parking or driving over the curb along certain spots of Redondo Beach Drive, where illegal activity often takes place.
The Redondo Community Association President told Council that Redondo has a higher rate of per-capita shootings and gun discharges than the rest of Des Moines. With gun violence disproportionately affecting Redondo, he feels the community needs more of a police presence, even during the relatively lower-crime winter months.
On February 16th the City held a public meeting in Redondo to discuss community needs. The meeting space allowed only a small capacity, so another meeting is planned for March 29th, to accommodate those who couldn’t make the first one.
Public Communications & Transparency
Other commenters during the Public Comments section reiterated the desire for better communication regarding the Master Plan for the City, and asked for a Public Planning Committee to be reinstated.
The City will be contracting with Consor as a Communications Consultant. This was passed by Council with the amendment that the “Public” be listed specifically as a “Stakeholder”, in order to guarantee that the consultant prioritizes communication with the public.
According to City Manager Michael Matthias, Consor will meet individually with each member of Council and come back with a recommended Communications Plan that Council can then vote on. Councilmember Harry Steinmetz suggested that the city website be used as a forum for getting feedback and ideas from the Public, on the kind of communications needed.
$1000 From Hearts & Minds Fund in Honor of Local Officer
Council voted unanimously to contribute $1000 from the Hearts & Minds Fund in remembrance of a local police officer who was killed, Stephen J. Underwood. March 7th is the anniversary of his 2001 death while on duty, and each year the City Council contributes towards the Stephen J. Underwood Memorial Scholarship.
Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. She has volunteered at many local establishments over the years, including the Burien Library, Burien Actors Theatre, and Hot Feet Fitness. After working for ten years at Burien Community Center, she moved on to teaching fitness classes and to work the front desk of a Burien yoga studio. For many years Mellow kept a moderately popular cooking & lifestyle blog, and she had a brief stint in political journalism during a local election. Clear and informative writing has always been a side hobby of Mellow’s and she looks forward to bringing you unbiased coverage of City Council meetings.