Two apply for vacancy on Columbia's Planning and Zoning Commission

Sunday, June 14, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The two applicants for the vacancy on the city's Planning and Zoning Commission are closely connected with the city's development community.

Don Stamper and Rusty Strodtman are both applying for the position vacated by Vicki Curby.

Stamper, a former Boone County presiding commissioner for 12 years and a member of the County's Planning and Zoning Commission for six years, is also the executive director of the Central Missouri Development Council.

The group has been critical of the direction taken by city leaders in the past on land use and overall priorities. Before the council retreat last year, the group took out ads criticizing the City Council.

Rusty Strodtman is the senior leasing manager for Forum Development Group, owned by Jose Lindner. The company's vice president, Jay Lindner, used to be on the board of the Central Missouri Development Council.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala said there could be potential for conflicts of interest, and that is something the council will have to ask the applicants when they interview them.

Stamper said he thinks that balance on the commission is important and that conflicts of interest would only arise if a commissioner had a direct financial interest in a project under consideration.

Strodtman could not be reached for comment late Friday.

Two people had previously applied for Curby's former position, but after interviewing them, the council decided to solicit more applications, Skala said.

The council is not required to fill a vacancy after interviewing applicants. To Skala's knowledge, however, there has never been an instance where a position has been left vacant, especially on a higher-profile commission like Planning and Zoning.

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