Dear Applicant: There may be a quiz

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Dear Applicant,

Thank you for stepping up to serve the City Of Des Moines.

Since you have applied for the open City Council position, you will be interviewed at the Thursday February 6 Study Session. According to the Agenda, I will have an opportunity to ask you one question.

I can’t tell you what question I will ask (I honestly don’t know yet.) But I can tell you that it may well involve the January 23rd City Council Meeting which was the last meeting of Vic Pennington (the position you will be filling.)

So, if you did not attend that meeting, I strongly urge you to watch that video because, as they say in school… “there may be a quiz.” 😀


Hi there…

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My duties include working on legislation and by providing oversight of our City government. But my job is also to listen to you, the people, businesses and organizations of Des Moines. City Council positions are at large, which means that I represent all of Des Moines. No matter where you live, I’m here to serve you.

If you have questions, concerns or suggestions about how we can make Des Moines better place for you, your family, your business or your organization, I urge you to contact me.

Some quick notes:

Tough Noogies

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Every frickin’ time I write anything I get at least one person who insists I either: a) didn’t include enough information b) over-simplified or c) just plain exaggerated. To which I reply, in my best Bill Murray voice: *tough noogies.

It is simply impossible to write anything for ‘beginners’ describing municipal government without a) leaving out information b) over-simplifying or c) just plain exaggerating. Not if you’re going to make a piece under 5,000 words.

Because, just between you and me and the wall, most registered voters have a really, Really, REALLY poor understanding how all this junk works. Heck, I don’t claim to understand how all this junk works. Doing something about that was one of the main reasons I wanted to serve on the Council.

The purpose of most of my writing here is to introduce these topics without assuming that the reader has any background. And to do that, keep things interesting, and above all keep things short, you have to cut corners.

As I get a sense that more people are engaged in the basics, I’ll try to add back in all the corners I’ve savagely chopped away at.

For now, all I can do is beg your pardon if you’re one of the few who is clued in enough to know which corners I’m cutting. I always try to emphasize: I’m learning a lot of this just like you are. Mistakes will be made. And crow will be eaten–with a smile. I hope you’ll come to understand and trust that it’s for a good purpose and that it all worked out well in the end.

And if not? Well…. 😀

No seriously… comments and critiques are always welcome.

*I am told that the expression ‘tough noogies’ is pretty old. I first heard it on an old Saturday Night Live skit where Bill Murray tortures Gilda Radner. It was funnier than that sounds.