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Columbia Missourian

Candidates for City Council

By JENN HERSEIM and SEAN MADDEN
January 24, 2008 | 10:14 p.m. CST

John G. Clark, a certified public accountant, attorney and candidate for the mayoral election last year, is running for First Ward City Council. According to his Web site, he is concerned with connecting citizens to civic life. He has participated in city government for more than 15 years with several neighborhood organizations.

First Ward councilwoman Almeta Crayton is seeking her fourth term on the council.

First elected to the position in 1999, Crayton has held the office for nine years.

Crayton said she has been a proponent of charity and worked to help needy families.

“I’ve been (in the First Ward) for almost 10 years trying to fix it, one piece at a time,” Crayton said.

Karen Baxter, a registered nurse, plans to spend the months before the April city council election knocking on more than a few doors in the First Ward. She said her main challenge is that she is not as well known as the other candidates running for a council seat, but she wants to change that.

“One priority to me is to be the voice of the First Ward residents,” Baxter said. “I am going to listen to them and see what I can do to assist them.”

Paul Sturtz is the organizer of the True/False Film Festival and co-founder of the Ragtag Cinemacafe. As First Ward City Councilman he would focus on educating residents about the programs the city offers.

“There are impressive organizations that have sprung up around Columbia,” Sturtz said. “It’s the main priority of the city to now link them together and make residents aware that they exist.”

Sturtz said that with three other candidates, including an incumbent, vying for the council seat it is an exciting time in city politics..

The incumbent of the Fifth Ward, Laura Nauser, doesn’t have to worry about defending her position this election because no one else is running against her.

“It means that I am doing what people have asked me to do,” Nauser said.

Nauser said it is a relief to not have to campaign this year. In her next term she plans on pushing the council to adopt long-term or short-term goals that it wants to accomplish. She plans on focusing on more aggressive economic development and looking into all aspects of crime, especially juvenile crime.