Councilwoman Hoppe kicks off re-election bid at Perlow-Stevens Gallery

Sunday, February 15, 2009 | 9:02 p.m. CST; updated 6:08 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 25, 2009

COLUMBIA – The Perlow-Stevens Gallery is run by the maxim that "everybody gets their own distinct display" and on Sunday night, Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe was given hers.

The gallery, off of East Broadway between Eighth and Ninth streets, was nearly filled with supporters and interested constituents as Hoppe kicked off her attempt to hold onto her Sixth Ward Columbia City Council seat.

Rod Robison, a water systems manager at Riback Supply Co., is running against Hoppe in the April election.

With a number of art pieces hanging on the walls, residents of Columbia and Boone County gathered to hear Hoppe speak of her past projects and accomplishments on the council and introduce her new goals if she were to be re-elected.

Of the topics she discussed, Hoppe emphasized the need for the council to approach decisions with the visioning plan in mind. To her, refocusing on the comprehensive plan of how Columbia should be growing would bring about appropriate development and smarter planning.

"We need to create a community where businesses will want to come," Hoppe said.

Several others spoke in support of Hoppe's campaign, many referencing her openness and availability to speak with her constituents.

"I've never had a more responsive councilperson than Barbara Hoppe," former state Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson of Columbia said.

Kurt Albert, a life-long Boone County resident, also applauded the effort that Hoppe exerts to meet with citizens.

"Barbara Hoppe actually cares enough to meet with citizens on a regular basis and listen to their concerns," Albert said. "This is the dedication we need on our council."

Scott Hussey, president of Bearfield Meadows Homeowners Association, came to show his support because Hoppe helped the association put in a four-way stop at Bearfield Road and Nifong Boulevard.

"I want her to keep doing what she's doing," Hussey said.

During her speech, Hoppe described herself as a doer rather than a talker. She said she does not like to say much but when things don't look right she will usually say, "Well, excuse me..."

Ken Midkiff, conservation chair of the Sierra Club, said he likes that Hoppe is a doer.

"She has been described as an activist council member," Midkiff said. "I guess I like that."

For Judy Knudson, Hoppe's neighbor since 1976, the night was a success.

"I thought it was great," Knudson said. "She has done a lot for the community."

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