Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

City of Des Moines Council Position No. 5

The Council has the authority to introduce proclamations for a variety of City purposes.
  • Candidate picture

    Traci Buxton (NP) Contractor

  • Candidate picture

    Harry Steinmetz (NP) Attorney

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (206) 251-2719
Town where you live Des Moines, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have had a broad range of successful business experience including 35 years in property management and real estate investment, as well as office administration, the insurance industry, the fitness industry, mental health, on-line sales, hospitality, and contracting.
A recent meeting with our city’s Director of Public Works revealed that our utility infrastructure is healthy and will not limit our ability to move forward in development.

An issue that has been deferred for almost 10 years is the repair of our roads. However, we have secured revenue attached to car tab fees in the amount of $40 per renewal. These fees are earmarked for road repairs. In the event that the new Tim Eyman tax cutback is successful, we will need to look for another revenue source or defer other needs in order to repair our streets.

Another great infrastructure need in our City is the availability of commercial and mixed use venues. These venues are not “city infrastructure” per se, but it is infrastructure that affects the health of our City. Our small businesses need attractive, affordable and accessible venues with exposure to healthy commerce. Those who can partner with us to provide these venues need an inviting and streamlined process for doing so.
We need to continue to assist those who do not want to be homeless through engaging, and providing needs assessment and referral to services. There are several organizations in our City that have been targeted for support because of their success in helping those in challenged sectors of our community.

Because our City is financially fragile, I believe the most productive way to enhance help for the homeless, is to continue to engage with and network with the many non-profit organizations not only in our own City, but our sister cities. Non-profits are already comprised of people who are passionate and energetic about reaching into and bettering our world. If we are successful in our networking, we can reduce the futility of re-creating programs, and also help these organizations to find support right next door.
Because our City is very rich in senior citizens, we must be aware of their challenges and work to preserve their ability to enjoy the community that many of them have devoted their resource and heart in developing!

This includes; 1. Creating and preserving physical accessibility to essential services as well as recreation (sidewalks, crosswalks, business entries, transit availability) 2. Preserving their ability to access housing, services and recreation while on a fixed income (reasonable tax structures, affordable park and recreation venues and affordable/free access) 3. Working to create and preserve a vibrant community atmosphere they can enjoy with their families, such as shops, restaurants and parks.
I believe it is important to commit to the rescue, protection, and sustenance of all who live in our city and to make sure that all people who are living here know this!

However, most parameters with regard to legal/illegal immigration are handled at a State and Federal level and our community/City Council would have little, if any affect on status. In addition, because of the fragile state of our City’s economy, it would be unwise to engage in any activity that could lead us into litigation with either our State or Federal Government.
1. Our greatest challenge is with economic development both downtown and on our portion of Pacific Highway. 2. Safety; not only are we short-handed in our law-enforcement, but we need more transitional services and education available to those who are coming out of challenged neighborhoods and lifestyles – thus reducing crime from the backside. 3. Our Environment: Because our entire community lies beneath the fastest growing airport in the country, we are continually challenged with environmental issues such as air quality and noise pollution as well as secondary and tertiary effects of a growing airport such as forest removal and the reduction of wildlife habitat.
Safety is the key to peace and I believe that without safety, there is no community and this is the most urgent global issue.

However, for our particular community, if we do not successfully address our economic development issues, we will no longer survive as an independent city. So, for the extended life of our city, it is essential that we attend to our economic health.
Thus far, I have found our City Manager extremely accessible, knowledgeable, and transparent. He has a great working relationship with not only the administrative staff of the City, but the current council. He is well-connected, temperate and diplomatic and many in the community appreciate his ability to mediate and negotiate in difficult situations.

He is available one-on-one as well as in/for group settings both administratively and in the community.
Phone (206) 387-1333
Experience (300 characters max) 27 years as an attorney. Former prosecutor and Staff Counsel the the State Senate Judiciary committee. Former Govt. Relations Director for non-profit long term care association. Small business owner. Managing Partner, J&S Law Group, PLLC.
Developing the downtown area in conjunction with the marina. Such development will provide the city with a sustainable tax base and jobs. Development plans need to include transit and parking issue.
We need to make sure there is affordable housing in Des Moines. The homeless are particularly vulnerable and we need to make sure we have a strong public police presence to protect the most vulnerable. Lastly, we need to make sure the social supports are available to in our city.
I am strongly committed to protecting and preserving the way of life for our senior citizens. Des Moines has two large continuing care retirement communities with housing, assisted living and nursing care. Currently, there is large senior apartment building going up in downtown. Des Moines needs to continue to be a senior-friendly city.
Legal immigrants should be welcomed into the community. Ultimately all Americans are immigrants and we are a multicultural society. Illegal immigration is a national issue and should be addressed at the national level. We don't need to commit local resources to trying to fix a national issue, because all members of our community deserve to be treated the same.
1. Sustainable budgeting to assure public safety and public recreation for everyone. 2. Representation of the south end of the city on the Council. 3. Openness and transparency on Council business. 4. Organizing a regional response to the airport expansion. 5. Assuring the affordability of housing for everyone.
The city needs to budget according to rational income projections and not based on revenue we hope to get. For too long we have lived under the threat of a takeover from the State Auditor's office. It is through solid and sustainable revenues that we can build a city that everyone can enjoy.
The Council needs to set clear expectations with the city manager concerning communication and the flow of information. This needs to occur through formal and informal discussions as well as clear directions. I intend to be clear about my expectations and my door will always be open to clarify or answer any questions. I also want to make sure that when we are working on projects involving parties outside of the city that the Council and the City Manager are all on the same page. logo


All statements and videos are posted directly by the candidate, unedited by the League of Women Voters and do not express the views of the League. The League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.