Downtown Columbia board stands behind executive director

Friday, April 17, 2009 | 5:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Special Business District Board members are standing behind their district executive director, Carrie Gartner, despite letters of complaints issued by Cool Stuff owner and former board member Arnie Fagan.

In a statement issued by Special Business District Chairwoman Mary Wilkerson, she said the board has full faith in Gartner's "consummate professionalism, intelligence and dignity.

"She is admired by her peers, respected by her colleagues and, most importantly, does the job we ask her to do and does it very well," she said in the newsletter, which was sent to all business and property owners in The District.

The statement was the result of a closed-door executive session of the Special Business District Board on Tuesday afternoon. The board decided to hold the executive session after Fagan distributed a flier and e-mail that included photographs of Gartner parking on the street instead of in the garage in which she is designated to park. Wilkerson closed the meeting, citing an exception of the Missouri Sunshine Law that says meetings may be closed if the "hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees will be discussed."

Fagan said he spotted Gartner parking at street-side metered spots — where customers could park — after Gartner issued an e-mail to Special Business District members asking them to restrict their employees from parking in such spots.

Special Business District Vice Chairman Mike Vangel said he couldn't talk about the specifics of the meeting but that "several issues were discussed."

No votes took place during the meeting.

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Ray Shapiro April 17, 2009 | 5:56 p.m.

Arnie, you are just too cool...

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 17, 2009 | 7:44 p.m.

Eh the good ole downtown network will just sweep it all under the table as all of the good ole folk networks do in this community.

(Report Comment)
John M. Nowell, III April 18, 2009 | 10:37 a.m.

All the marketing in the world won't help downtown Columbia unless some of the basic principles of businesss are addressed first, namely customer parking. Drive down Broadway at 8:45 a.m., and Ninth Street. All the metered parking is usually full. I cann't count the number of times I've witnessed store owners and their employees running out to feed the meter during business hours.

Too much icing, and not enough cake in the "District".

(Report Comment)

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