DES MOINES, Iowa — The race for Ward I’s representative on the Des Moines City Council has a growing candidate list, in an area where voters don’t feel represented.
“There was no responses, there was no interaction with people getting back to us or anything,” said Janelle Davis, a senior living care staff worker in Ward I.
“I was very upset about it,” said DeAnne Eshelman, a resident of Ward I.
Both Davis and Eshelman contacted the city council within the last calendar year about a city park right next to the senior living facility that was not maintained throughout the winter and summer. Despite their repeated attempts to contact the council, they never received a response.
Residents in the senior living facility have to cross through the public park to go get their meals in another building.
There have been three candidates looking to fill that void, who have publicly announced their run for office in Ward I: Kimberley Strope-Boggus, Rob Barron and Chris Coleman.
WHO 13 News talked with two candidates on Wednesday, about what issues they are going to make a priority on the campaign trail.
“My north star is families, I want this community to be the best place in the world to raise a family and we’ve got a long ways to go, you know, we have to make improvements in our housing stock, transportation services, child care is a big problem here in Des Moines,” said Rob Barron, a former DMPS school board member. “We’ve lost so many at-home child care providers in the last couple of years and it’s getting harder and harder for families to find a good place. “
Barron lives in Beaverdale with his wife and their two kids. He also works as the Executive Director of Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact. Barron is Latino and said it would mean a lot to him and the community to be the first Latino council member, while acknowledging he would represent everyone in the district.
Kimberley Strope-Boggus has a history of working in the background of political campaigns, but this election season it’ll be her name on the ballot. She served as the campaign chair for former Ward I City Council member Bill Gray. She lives in Beaverdale with her wife and four children.
“But one of the things I think the city council has really failed at is working with the legislature and sister cities to get these low bid contracts out,” said Strope-Boggus. “There is no reason why we should be having work that’s taking almost two years, people aren’t communicating, people are getting mixed messages of when roads are open, when roads are closed. You can’t navigate this city without coming to a turnaround sign in a city as large as Des Moines. That’s not effect and we need effective leadership.”
On Tuesday Chris Coleman announced he was running for the vacant seat. WHO 13 News spoke with him last night, you can watch that interview below:
The City of Des Moines told WHO 13 News that none of the three candidates have officially filed yet, as they need to gather 75 signatures before the September 21 deadline.
The city also said that there were five other people that stopped by the city clerk’s office to pick up information on how to officially file for the position.