Focus On Small Business
For the past decade most of the development in town has been on large buildings: warehouses, apartments and storage facilities. Despite what you may think, these do not bring in massive amounts of tax revenue! The lifeblood of our business community should come from small business–especially our downtown! Small business generates a virtuous circle providing shops and services that attract visitors, tourists and new residents with money to spend. And that brings in the kinds of sustainable revenues that will allow us to finally address all the infra-structure and human services improvements we’ve needed for so long.
Many people in Des Moines no longer feel safe in their neighborhood, while shopping or even using our parks. We must take immediate steps to address their concerns.
Fight any expansion of Sea-Tac Airport
We must actively pursue means to reduce the number of flights, noise and pollution. There is no more important issue.
Reduce dependence on regressive funds like utility taxes, CAR TABS, PERMIT FEES and paid parking.
These taxes now make up about half of our city’s revenues! They place an undue burden on the portion of the population least able to afford them and fees like paid parking discourage people from enjoying our Marina which has a detrimental effect on small business–which drives more taxes! This is the un-virtuous circle! And worst of all, you never got to vote on them!
Upgrade Parks and Recreation
Make Des Moines the best place in the area to raise kids. Many people don’t realize that most programs get no funding from the city, despite the fact that these programs improve our kids’ health and school performance and also help to reduce crime! Parks and Rec provide some of the best value for money of any city services. We can do a lot better.
Bring Back Senior Programs
Outsourcing programs for Seniors to a private corporation was a mistake that we need to correct.
Improve Code Enforcement
Keep our neighborhoods clean, safe and attractive. Des Moines has some of the weakest city code in the region when it comes to the maintenance of homes and property. This is the cause of so many properties that attract crime. Clean neighborhoods are safe neighborhoods. And well-kept properties are more attractive, both for you and for potential new residents.
Make local government easier to work with!
Both for business and individuals. From permitting to reporting problems, to accessing services, we can make Des Moines much more user-friendly.
Too often, residents only get the bare minimum of input on important decisions. And many times we don’t even find out about critical decisions until after they are made. Far too much of the City’s business is currently hidden from public view in private ‘Executive Sessions’. And even the City’s web site often lacks the most basic information about public meetings. Transparency requires a cultural change and I will work to help make that change happen.
Increasing Citizen Engagement
Community participation is essential to our success so we need to find ways to get more people involved! Des Moines has over 31,000 residents but in a typical election only 5,000 people vote. And very few residents currently volunteer or even learn about all our great events, programs and planning. We need to make sure that more people are registered to vote. We must find ways to encourage residents to volunteer. We need to do a better job of informing residents about all our great programs. In short, we must do a much better job of communicating.
Get Weekly Updates on important news, events and where to find me.