COUNCIL RACE: Des Moines At Large Preview
The Des Moines City Council candidates stayed busy on their final weekend of campaigning.
One race brought unexpected controversy.
At-large candidate Chris Diebel sent out mailers accusing incumbent Skip Moore of failing to fix the city’s illegal franchise fees.
The mailers caused the Des Moines Register to take the unprecedented step of taking back its endorsement of Diebel because the editorial board felt Diebel’s claims that Moore was responsible for the problem were inaccurate.
Moore wasn’t on the council when franchise fees began in 2004.
One day after losing the Des Moines Register’s endorsement, Diebel remains committed to the campaign.
An army of supporters put together yard signs and worked the phones hoping to spread the message of youth and fresh ideas.
It helped Diebel earn the paper’s seal of approval in the first place.
“I want to take the experience I have with non-profits, neighborhood organizations, and local businesses to the next level,” Diebel told Channel 13 News.
Diebel says the register’s change of heart is a shame, but he isn’t backing away from the content of his mailers that criticized his opponent for a lack of action relating to franchise fees.
“We expect our leaders to address problems, even those they inherit. When a leader doesn’t address those problems, I think it’s valid to speak up and say there is something else that could have been done here,” Diebel told Channel 13 News.
Speaking of action, incumbent Skip Moore is promoting a life-time of service to the city of Des Moines as he goes door to door in the neighborhoods he knows so well.
“The mayor says regularly I know more about the city than the council members put together,” said Moore.
Moore has spent 38 years with the city.
35 of those years were spent working with the forestry division and the last three on the council.
The incumbent wasn’t around when the city council originally voted on franchise fees. While he works to give each neighborhood in the city a voice, he says he’s also part of the solution.
“I’ve inherited the problem and I’m okay with that. I’m a problem solver. Myself, and the rest of the council are working diligently to come up with how we will pay this back,” Moore told Channel 13 News.