By Mellow DeTray

Here’s our recap of the Des Moines City Council meeting held on Thursday night, June 1, 2023:

LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Mayor Matt Mahoney read a proclamation in support of Pride Month for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual communities. These populations have been the targets of violence, discrimination, and hate crimes throughout the country and much of the world. Washington State has been a leader in affirming the lives and values of these community members, and June is a time for celebration of diversity and inclusion. 

Council voted 6–1 to give $500 from the Hearts & Minds Fund to Waterland Pride. There will be a Rainbow Run starting at the marina on June 10th at 9am, in collaboration with Parkrun. The Waterland Pride Family Festival is June 11th from 10-3pm at United Methodist Church, and includes a festival and performances starting at 1 p.m.

Ferry to Arrive Soon

The passenger ferry to Seattle was scheduled to begin running in May, but has been delayed due to the boat being stuck in San Francisco. City Manager Michael Matthias explained that a trifecta of events caused the delay, including bad weather, extra parts that had to be ordered at the last minute, as well as a required inspection from the Coast Guard. However, all of these hurdles are now in the past, and the boat should be moving within a few days. 

One public commenter mentioned a specific way the city could have communicated better, regarding the passenger ferry that has been eagerly anticipated. She said that an explanatory sandwich board at the ferry landing would have been very helpful, since so many in the community were left wondering where the boat was and when it would actually start service.

Libraries to Expand Hours

Both the Des Moines and Woodmont libraries will have expanded hours starting June 18th. For the Des Moines branch, this will mean opening earlier on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They will be switching their closed day from Saturday to Sunday, so weekend hours will be very different. At Woodmont, they will be opening earlier on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, as well as having Sunday hours, providing service 7 days a week. Follow the links for each library’s new schedule.

Speed Zone Cameras Coming to Redondo

State legislation now allows municipalities to operate automatic traffic safety cameras near parks. Council voted to approve the installation of these cameras on two streets in Redondo, to help with their dangerous speeding issues along Redondo Beach Drive and Redondo Way. A speed study has been underway, and there were over 2,000 violations noted in a four day period. The speed study considered anyone traveling 31 miles per hour in the 25mph zone to be in violation, but Police Chief Ken Thomas said he wants to set the cameras to ticket anyone going 30mph in the zone, allowing for a 4mph buffer from the speed limit. 

Des Moines has found success using red light traffic cameras at major intersections, as well as speed cameras in school zones. Their goal is to reduce violations, but the new e-ticketing program is expected to more than pay for itself in fines. Each camera costs around $5 thousand per month to operate. After expenses, the proceeds will be split between the state and the city’s general fund.

Chief Thomas had hoped to have the cameras operating by June 1st, but there have been delays and they may not be in operation for two more months. During the first month, only warnings will be sent out, not actual tickets. In the meantime, he says, additional patrols will be in the area.

Other Business

The Housing Action Plan, Marina Redevelopment bond, and updates to the City Council Protocol Manual will all be finalized at the June 8th meeting.

Mellow DeTray is a Seattle native who has spent the last 16 years raising her family in Burien. 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.

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