Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Former RD Gets Involved in West Des Moines

Schneider joins zoning board
His goal: Make WDM 'the crown jewel of Iowa'
By TODD ERZEN
REGISTER STAFF WRITER
July 26, 2006

If West Des Moines isn't already the premier place to live in all of Iowa, Charles Schneider wants to play a role in making that happen.

The 33-year-old attorney was appointed by Mayor Gene Meyer to the West Des Moines planning and zoning commission this month. Schneider will have serve the more than 21/2 years remaining on a five-year term.

"I love West Des Moines, and I've always wanted to get involved and serve the public in some capacity," said Schneider, who worked on financial aspects of Sen. Charles Grassley's campaign and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Oman's primary run in 1998.

"One of the things I really want to do is help make West Des Moines the crown jewel of Iowa," he said. "I think by kind of using it and cities like it as a model for creating cities that young people don't want to leave and new people want to move to, we can hopefully help plug the state's brain drain.

"Schneider ... obtained a political science degree from Omaha's Creighton University in 1995, followed by a year of work in Richmond, Va., as regional director for Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and another year in Washington, D.C., working for the World Bank.

Near the end of the 1998 political season, Schneider began pursuing both a master's and a law degree at the University of Iowa. Four years later, he made his home in West Des Moines after he was hired by Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen in Des Moines. He has worked there ever since while specializing in business and banking law as well as the documentation of derivatives transactions.

He has no immediate plans for a political life beyond his term on the planning and zoning commission. It is just an honor to have his current opportunity, he said."It's hard to not want to be involved once you have been involved," Schneider said.

"Even though the planning and zoning commission is a limited role, it is an important role. It has the ability to make recommendations based on what it thinks are plans that are consistent with the goals and needs of the city."