WAUKEE – Citing the community’s efforts to attract more retailers and employers to broaden its commercial tax base and meet residents’ needs, City Council candidate Dan Dutcher said Wednesday night that his experience would fill a much-needed role.
“I think the current council certainly has done a commendable job building the infrastructure to attract more businesses,” Dutcher said during a forum with four of the five other candidates seek three seats up for election on Nov. 3. “I know how developers think. I know how developers put a master plan together. That’s an aspect maybe the current council doesn’t have. I have the experience and I think it would be a real benefit to the council.”
Dutcher, a long-time Waukee resident, has an extensive business background that includes managing the construction of the 801 Grand Building in Des Moines and working with city officials in the communities that surround Waukee. He said he’d make the most of those working relationships to help expand recreational opportunities and advance economic development initiatives.
“My number-one priority project is getting the Alice’s Road interchange in because the number-one criterion for businesses I’ve worked with in the past is access. If their employees can’t get in and out of Waukee (via access to Interstate 80, business expansion) just need going to happen,” said Dutcher, who has served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission for four years.
He added, “I’m really in favor of expanding our recreational facilities – baseball and softball fields, soccer fields, recreational trails. I favor a joint agreement with other communities for an aquatic center. Aquatic centers are expensive to build and expensive to maintain for a short season.”
Dutcher also said he is committed to continuing the city’s investment is public safety and needed infrastructure while extending its 10-year string of no property tax increases.
Dutcher, who has earned designation as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accredited professional, has been a driving force behind the city’s Green Initiatives Committee promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable buildings, services and practices. He said his expertise would be especially helpful on the council as the city moves forward with projects such as a proposed renovation of the old elementary school into city offices. “I’m so passionate (about sustainability) because the life of a city building could be 40 or 50 years and if we put the money into it upfront we could save money over the life of the building,” he said.
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