Second Ward candidate pushes second police station, public transit

Thursday, March 12, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:38 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 2, 2009

COLUMBIA — Second Ward City Council candidate Allan Sharrock said Wednesday that, if elected, he would explore building a second police station in Columbia and creating a committee to address public transportation needs.

The John B. Lange Middle School teacher and Missouri Army National Guard Captain kicked off his preparations for the April 7 election in front of about 60 friends, co-workers and residents at Columbia's Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Sharrock, an Iraq War veteran, and Columbia realtor Jason Thornhill are running for the northwest Columbia council seat being vacated by 18-year incumbent Chris Janku.

While the decision would ultimately be up to new Police Chief Kenneth Burton, Sharrock said, he thought a second police station would provide more room for the Columbia Police Department while making officers more accessible to citizens and exposing them to a greater cross-section of the city.

"All cities, when they hit a certain number, have to have a second police station," he said.

Sharrock, a sixth-grade industrial technology teacher, also introduced a plan to create a public transportation committee that would "look at current ridership and see if they can find ways to insure ridership and accessibility for residents."

"At a minimum, we do need to explore a system where parents that don't have public transportation can make it to parent-teacher conferences," Sharrock said. According to Sharrock, the parents who can't afford transportation are often those whose children need them to be there the most.

In addition to his newer proposals, Sharrock re-emphasized the plans that he had put forth at last week's Columbia Chamber of Commerce candidate forum for working with the Chamber of Commerce and Regional Economic Development Inc. to create jobs.

"The passion he has for this position is astounding," said Sean Huggans, treasurer for Sharrock's camapaign.

Science teacher Bob Bruns, who videotaped Sharrock's speech for, said the candidate would provide the council with an insider's view of Columbia schools.

"Education obviously is a big issue," Bruns said. "It would be nice to have a teacher in the City Council."

Bruns said Sharrock's students found his teaching style engaging. "You definitely see that military background sometimes" in the classroom, Bruns said.

Bruns' wife, social studies teacher Heather Bruns, said that as a soldier and educator, Sharrock has "different resources available to him that would really benefit most people."

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Ayn Rand March 12, 2009 | 6:27 a.m.

"insure ridership"? Even if he meant ensure, it's still meaningless.

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