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Columbia Missourian

VOTER REACTION: Residents discuss school board choices

By Annie Hildebrandt
April 7, 2009 | 9:40 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Polling places Tuesday morning saw only a trickle of voters casting ballots in the Columbia School Board race and in two races for seats on the Columbia City Council.

School board voters are choosing from among nine candidates to fill two three-year terms, while Second Ward voters are deciding whether to place Allan Sharrock or Jason Thornhill on the City Council for three years. In the Sixth Ward, council incumbent Barbara Hoppe faces a challenge from Rod Robison.


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Here's what some of the voters at Columbia Public Library had to say Tuesday morning:

“I think it’s a sacrament and it’s your duty to vote if you want good government. ... I voted for (Michelle) Pruitt and (Marc) Bledsoe, but it’s interesting to have so many good candidates.” — Dennis Murphy, 60, illustrator at MU

“I think a university town ought to spend more money on public education. We need to get rid of the trailers. It’s an obscenity not to do better. … I voted for (Christine) King and (Michelle) Pruitt.” — John Galliher, 71, professor of Sociology and Peace Studies at MU

“I’m here to make sure my vote counts. … I voted for two candidates who I think will honor me as a professional and will honor children’s education.” — Gail Underwood, curriculum coach with Columbia Public Schools

“I always vote. It’s a civic duty. … I am voting for (Sam) Phillips and (Christine) King.” — Steve Scott, 62, lawyer and school board member from 1985 to 1994

“I’m here for my friend and candidate Sam Phillips. I’ve known him for three years, and I met him through the grade school where his kids are.” — Anne Fitzsimmons, 50, physician

“I came out today because I want things to get better. … I’m voting for (Sam) Phillips and (Christine) King.” — Clay Anderson, 44, physician

“The school board is important. I admire those who serve and give their time. There are lots of issues at stake.” — Anne Hessler, 66, teaches history at Columbia College

“I’m voting for someone I know: (Sam) Phillips. And I’m also voting for (Michelle) Pruitt.” — Ali Price, 50, psychologist

“I’m interested in the public schools. … I’m here on behalf of Sam Phillips primarily.” — Tim Harlan, 60, lawyer

“The school board is important. ... I’m voting for (Dan) Holt and deciding on a second.” — Jim Schoelz, 50, MU professor of plant sciences

“I always vote.  It’s our civic duty. … It was a good field (of school board candidates), and though I won’t say who I voted for, every candidate had something to offer.” — Cande Iveson, 51, consultant