Steven K. Gaer, Mayor
163 59th ST, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Term Expires 12/31/17
Steven K. Gaer is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for R&R Realty Group.
After ten years with Marsh & McLennan Companies, most recently as Managing Director responsible for the Affinity Group Insurance Program Division (formerly Kirke Van Orsdel, Incorporated), Steven joined R&R Realty Group in April of 2004. Prior to joining Marsh & McLennan, Steven was with the Des Moines law firm of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. where he practiced as a shareholder and associate for nine years.
Steven is currently serving his third as Mayor of West Des Moines, after serving eight years as a West Des Moines City Council Member.
Steven received his BBA from the University of Kentucky in 1983, graduating with high distinction and received his JD in 1986 from the Drake University Law School, graduating with honors (Order of the Coif). Steven is also active in the Iowa State Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Iowa, U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Also, Steven is currently serving on the following boards: Greater Des Moines Partnership, which also includes the board of the Regional Economic Development Committee and co-chair of its Development Council, Metropolitan Planning Organization (Board and Executive Committee), West Bancorporation and West Bank, and County Assessor Conference (Polk, Dallas, Madison and Warren).
Mayor's Vitae Information
Kevin Trevillyan, Councilmember First Ward
Address: 324 34th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Term Expires 12/31/17
Kevin is an Engineering Technician with West Des Moines Water Works, where he has been employed since 1988.
Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Valley High School. He received a degree in Computer Aided Drafting and Design from Hamilton Business College.
Kevin is a member of Gnemeth Masonic Lodge in West Des Moines and Za-Ga-Zig Shrine in Altoona.
Kevin served six years with the United States Marine Corps Reserves and also 10 years with West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services.
Kevin is married to Cindi, and has two sons Justin and Jack.
John Mickelson, Councilmember Second Ward
Mayor Pro Tem
6836 Reed Lane, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Term Expires 12/31/15
West Des Moines native John Mickelson is the founder and Managing Partner of a small business located in West Des Moines.
John is a Valley High School graduate and he received his BBA, JD, and MBA from the University of Iowa where he was also a letter-winner on the football team.
John serves as Vice-Chair for the State Historical Society of Iowa and a Board Member for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. Previously he was on the West Des Moines Public Art Commission. John is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, is a Des Moines Business Record 40 under 40 award winner, and was a selection in the inaugural class of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Community Connect program.
John enjoys reading and cycling. John and his wife Brooke have four sons (6, 4, 2 and infant) and are members of St. Francis.
Russ Trimble, Councilmember - Third Ward
1600 S. 43rd Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Term Expires 12/31/17
Russ Trimble, raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, moved to Des Moines in 1990 to attend Drake University. In 1994, Russ graduated from Drake with a major in International Relations and a minor in Spanish. Shortly thereafter, he received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a focus on state and local government administration.
In 2006, Russ moved into his current position as a Legislative Analyst for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus. Prior to his election to the City Council, Russ served the West Des Moines Human Services Advisory Board in many capacities, including chair. Russ is a Patron level donor to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, is involved with the YMCAs Partnership with Youth, and is a member of West Des Moines Kiwanis. Russ and his wife Alana have four children.
James Sandager, Councilmember At-Large
5759 Coachlight Court, West Des Moines, IA
Term Expires 12/31/15
Jim Sandager is Senior Vice President and Financial Advisor with Wealth Enhancement Group. He is also a shareholder of Wealth Enhancement Group. Jim specializes in investment and retirement advising and hosts a call-in show from 8:30 to 9:30 am Sunday mornings on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa as part of the popular "Your Money" program with Bruce Helmer. Jim is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner who holds a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in financial planning and investments, and co-authored a published research paper with Dr. Sung Bae, “What Consumers Look for in Financial Planners” (Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education). Jim earned recognition as one of the Top 100 Financial Planners in the country (Mutual Funds magazine, September 2001 & 2002). Jim has appeared on CNBC's Closing Bell where he provided insight about what clients should look for in hiring a Financial Planner.
Jim has served as treasurer of the Midwest Board of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Iowa and is actively involved in the Greater Des Moines community. He is Vice President of Metro Advisory Council (MAC) board of directors. He serves on the Bravo Board of Directors and Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is past president of the Des Moines Symphony Foundation Board and board member of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Jim earned his MBA at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Louisa, have two children Philip and Molly.
Rick Messerschmidt, Councilmember At-Large
905 52nd Court, West Des Moines, IA 50265
Term Expires 12/31/17
Rick Messerschmidt is a 1970 graduate of Valley High School. He attended University of South Dakota where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Rick is married to Anita Messerschmidt and together they have 2 boys and 6 grandchildren. Both of his sons are married and live with their families in the Des Moines Area.
Rick recently retired from banking working with First Bank since 1980. During his career he served in several capacities including President & CEO and Executive Vice President in the final years preceding retirement.
Rick is serving his first term as Councilmember-At-Large. Rick has previously served the City as an Interim Mayor in 2007, various City and School Committees, and most recently, he served on the Park Board from January 2008 to December 2013.
Richard Scieszinski, City Attorney
Hired for the position September 2000
Duties and Responsibilities: Responsible for achieving maximum compliance with federal, state and municipal law by City elected and appointed officers, staff and employees; maintains communication with all levels of City government about day-to-day operations and provides both written and oral opinions on legal issues as they emerge; provides legal advice to City Officers and employees, including all boards and commissions as applicable, on proposed contracts, documents, resolutions and other documents for review and action by the Mayor and Council; draft other legal documents for City staff; participates in ad hoc management teams to assist in the development of solutions to mixed questions of law and policy including but not limited to employee standards and discipline, City department interactions and intergovernmental agreements, actions and programs; reviews actions filed against or involving the City; represents the City in judicial and administrative proceedings; and, coordinates contracts for other legal matters such as: assessment, bond, condemnation, insurance claims, labor relations, prosecution and other specialist legal counsel.
- University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa: Bachelor of Business Administration, Industrial Relations, Business
- Hamline University, School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota: Juris Doctorate
- Licensed to practice in Iowa and Minnesota
- President, Iowa Municipal Attorney's Association, 2000
- Member, Volunteer Lawyers Project, 1987 - present
- Judge, Drake Mock Trial Competition Coach, Student Mock Trial Competition
- Member, Iowa State Bar Association
Telephone: (515) 222-3600
Fax: (515) 273-0601