Thirteen apply for slot on Columbia Planning & Zoning Commission

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — After pushing back the application deadline for a seat on Columbia’s influential Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council now has 13 applicants to choose from.

In mid-June, the City Council, for a second time, extended the deadline to submit an application for the spot left vacant by former commissioner Vicki Curby. The first extension occurred in late April, after the council decided the two applicants were not qualified.

The council again pushed back the deadline after only two new applications were received. Some council members said that was an unusually low number and that the deadline should be extended to solicit more applicants.

The second-round applicants, Don Stamper and Rusty Strodtman, both are closely connected to the development community, which raised concerns among the council that too many conflicts of interest might arise.

Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said that he was pleased with the higher number of applicants. He predicted the council would probably narrow them down to four or five for interviews.

“(Extending the deadline) did exactly what we had hoped,” Wade said. “It gave us a good list of applicants and choices.”

Strodtman said in an earlier interview that he thought it was strange that the council didn’t appoint either him or Stamper, and he said he had asked the Columbia Chamber of Commerce to look into the council’s commissioner selection process.

Chamber President Don Laird said the group thinks the council needs some sort of defined procedure or system to fill commission vacancies that takes into account the number of applicants as well as other pertinent criteria. The Chamber’s Community Involvement Committee might submit a recommendation to the council, depending on how the selection process concludes, he said.

“It’s going to make it very interesting to see how (the council) handles this,” Laird said.

The applicants who applied by the deadline, which was noon Monday, are:

  • Jack Clark: A housing consultant for DSC Advisory Services, he has a master’s degree in urban affairs and has worked on housing and development issues since 1969. He is also a member of the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition. DSC is a housing consultant to Community Housing Options, which leases land from the city.
  • James Downey: A self-employed book conservator, he is president of the Country Club Estates Neighborhood Association.
  • Lee Henson: MU’s coordinator for the Americans with Disabilities Act, he serves on the city’s Disabilities Commission and has a law degree.
  • Martha John: A self-employed architect, she serves on the city’s Board of Adjustment.
  • Mikel Lynch: He is the director of the Office of Corporate Compliance at University Health Care and chaired the science and technology group during the visioning process.
  • Richard Shanker: He serves on the Building Construction Codes Board, the Board of Electrical Examiners, the Board of Plumbing Examiners and the County Construction Board.
  • Sid Sullivan: He ran for Southern District Boone County commissioner in 2008 and participated in visioning. He also is a member of the Smart Growth Coalition.
  • Don Stamper: The former Boone County presiding commissioner for 12 years, he works for Con-Agg of Missouri and is executive director of the Central Missouri Development Council.
  • Rusty Strodtman: He is the senior leasing manager for Jose Lindner’s Forum Development Group.
  • L. Lee Terry: Terry is the Multiple Listing Service administrator for the Columbia Board of Realtors.
  • Matthew Vander Tuig: He is a senior project engineer for Trabue, Hansen & Hinshaw Inc.
  • Robert Wolverton: The president of R. Anthony Development Group, Wolverton also is a board member of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the Central Missouri Development Council.
  • Larry Wyatt: A former city firefighter, he has degrees in fire science and education.

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Tim Dance July 7, 2009 | 2:33 p.m.

<<<Strodtman said in an earlier interview that he thought it was strange that the council didn’t appoint either him or Stamper, and he said he had asked the Columbia Chamber of Commerce to look into the council’s commissioner selection process.<<<<

Boo hoo. The planning and zoning commission serves at the pleasure of the council and they can select people anyway they wish. If you were a hiring someone, wouldn't you want more than 2 applicants? These people would have huge conflict of Interest issues. BTW, don't confuse being a civic minded person with someone that would make a PROFIT from certain zoning issues.

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