Des Moines City Manager’s Weekly Report
February 2, 2024

Staff Achievements and Recognition

I am very proud to announce two significant staff achievements that have occurred recently.

Our Program Support Specialist in the Parks & Recreation Department, Savannah Mattson, has passed the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) exam. This certification is the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals who want to be at the forefront of their profession and requires a passing score of 85% on the national CPRP examination.

Additionally, the City’s Assistant Harbormaster Katy Bevegni received her Certified Marina Operator certification from the Association of Marina Industries. This national certification is specifically designed for those who manage the daily operations of a marina. Only about 150 people in the country have this certification and only roughly 50 of them are women.

Congratulations to both of you on your achievements and thank you for your service to this community!

Beach Park Bridge Reopened

If you weren’t aware, the pedestrian bridge in the Des Moines Beach Park has been closed for about a month due to damage suffered when an individual who was eluding the police attempted to cross the bridge in his vehicle (news story). Fortunately, no one was injured and as of yesterday, the bridge has been reopened to pedestrian traffic. The repairs are a temporary fix and a permanent repair will happen later this year.

Senior Activity Center Update

As a result of the freezing temperatures and a pipe burst at the Senior Activity Center, the facility remains closed. Multiple ceiling panels have been removed and the side office and adjacent bathroom have been gutted. Humidifiers, heaters and fans are working 24-7 to dry the building and as of today, all affected sheetrock has been removed.

All previously scheduled trips and outings will still be held. A number of classes including Enhanced Fitness, Tai Chi and Basket Weaving have been moved to the Field House.

Meals on Wheels is able to operate out of the Activity Center while construction occurs, with Wednesday food delivery and Thursday packaging and delivery to seniors. The Center will also continue to provide to-go lunches (sandwiches, packaged items) for pickup during weekday lunch hours.

Coffee with a Cop

This Saturday, (Feb 3) please join members of Des Moines Finest at Marina Mercantile (22341 Marine View Drive) from 11:00-12:30 for a cup of coffee or tea.

Meetings of Interest

In addition to day-to-day administrative duties, this week I met with Mayor Buxton to discuss upcoming City issues and Council items. I met with Mayor Buxton and Deputy Mayor Steinmetz to prepare for the City Council meeting. I also met with Councilmember Harris to discuss topics of interest to him. I attended the Administrative Board meeting for the SCORE Jail Facility as the City’s representative. I met with Des Moines Police Guild representatives. I attended the Zenith Draft Environmental Impact Statement public meeting on Wednesday night. I met with the City’s project team for the Marina Steps in preparation for our public forum on February 13. I also attended the Finance Committee meeting, the Public Safety/Emergency Management Committee Meeting and the City Council Study Session.

City Council Meeting Summary

The City Council held a Study Session on February 1. The full agenda and supporting materials from the 15: can be found here. The newly created Finance Committee held their first meeting this week, the agenda and materials can be found here. The Public Safety/Emergency Management Committee also met this week, agenda and matenals here.

The next City Council meeting will be a Regular Meeting on February 8 at 6pm. The agenda and materials for that meeting can be found here. The Transportation Committee will meet at 4pm on the 8th and the Environment Committee will meet at 5pm. (Agendas and Materials in the links).

Sports Update

Did anyone outside of Baltimore really think the Ravens had a chance against Taylor Swift’s billion dollar business empire (and the Chiefs football team)? Nothing could stop her from going to the Superbowl this year; not the league MVP in Lamar Jackson and certainly not the heat she’s taking for her 13 hour private jet ride immediately after her upcoming Superbowl eve concert in Japan. She played hard for most of the season, she eamed this. But of course we will all have to wait another weekend to see her take on the San Francisco 49ers in the big game as the NFL takes a week off between the Conference Championship games and the Superbowl. In-season hockey and basketball continue this weekend. 22 days until the first Mariner Spring Training game.

Have a great weekend!
Tim George
Interim City Manager