What Columbia's next mayor should accomplish

Thursday, September 3, 2009 | 9:03 a.m. CDT; updated 9:39 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 22, 2009

Welcome to the paddocks of the Columbia Raceway. News that the six-time champion, The Peddling Mayor, will not be returning to the great race has set in to motion the speculators asking who will stand in the starting gate next April. P.M. will not be a contender on April 6, 2010.

This is not another accolade for Darwin Hindman, The Peddling Mayor. Names have surfaced as possible candidates with more to come, each having a vision of Columbia’s future meeting their own personal and political agendas.


Related Media

Related Articles

There are problems and directions that the next winner of the coveted “Councilman at Large” seat cannot avoid. The new mayor will be able to see Columbia and Boone County not only through the next decade, but for the 2020s and beyond.

Jobs — Columbia is a town of four industries: education, medicine, insurance and retail. Three of the four are professional and the last offers minimal salaries. Columbia has lost its manufacturing base, the blue-collar jobs offering salaries greater than 150 percent of the official poverty rate. He or she must focus on rekindling the American dream.

The First Ward — Here is a true example that separate is not equal. Poverty, blight, gangs, drugs and violence seem to prevail over jobs, affordable housing, public service, honor and commitment to educate our future leaders. This is not a race issue but an economic issue that can be solved in the foreseeable future. This does not mean adding more police patrols. This means encouraging our kids to seek a future that includes mentors, social services and incentives to succeed and improving the lives of their children’s children in Columbia.

Public Transportation — Our bus system, routes and timetables do little to promote alternative, or for some, primary transportation. Our new mayor needs to champion a maximum 20-minute wait between buses during the workday, to run from six in the morning to 11 at night and create a grid system to eliminate extended traveling time and waiting at the Wabash Terminal. Champion a regional transportation district with Boone County, Jefferson City, Boonville, Fulton and Moberly.

The transition from U.S. 63 to Interstate 70, from Walmart to Home Depot, must be redesigned to allow a seamless transition from south to north without our version of a traffic jam and from highway to highway without traffic lights interfering with commerce.

Crime – More specifically gang violence. Our children enter the world of street gangs, drugs and violence because they do not see any other future when they are at their most impressionable age. Single parent families, matriarchs or patriarchs, are holding multiple jobs to make ends meet and rarely home.

Even more specific, creating a mentor program to bring our children together with leaders of the community who are not only successful, but, without trying to be disrespectful, from the same race and culture. The city’s lower social-economic residents, unfortunately, also represent our city’s minorities. Though our president is the first to hold the office who is of mixed-race, our children only see his image. There needs to be more.

City Council – Two things need to be completed in the next four years. As a city of more then 100,000, not including a large percentage of more than 35,000 students at our colleges, we will need to add one or two members of council to represent all of Columbia’s citizens and businesses.

The second is to provide compensation for the offices now staffed by volunteers, which would allow more people to consider leadership in the future. Don’t be fooled, mayor and city council positions are full-time jobs. Unless one has the financial means, well-qualified middle and lower income citizens are not entering leadership races.

Of course, there is making sure that the lights stay on, the water stays clean, the garbage is collected, the snow is removed from the streets and the city’s budget is kept on track and balanced.

This is more than a run for the most important volunteer city job. Hindman set the bar high, leading Columbia to be one of the best cities to live and work in. You will not be Hindman’s replacement. You will be the next step in building our fair town.

David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. He welcomes your comments at


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Glenn Rice September 3, 2009 | 10:52 a.m.

Don't you mean "Pedaling"? Are there copy editors at the Missourian these days?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 11:15 a.m.

He's been peddling pedaling.
Make's sense to me...

(Report Comment)
David Rosman September 3, 2009 | 11:24 a.m.

You are both right, depending on your point of view. Not only does the mayor peddle pedaling, but he is the voice, sales voice, for the city. He is the peddling the vertues of living and working in Columbia.

And, yes Glenn, there are editors at the Missourian. The kids are working hard to edit stories and commentaries. But this was partially my fault because I was a bit late in my submission. It happens.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 11:41 a.m.

Dear Mr. Rosman:
Typos aside, yours and mine, you have done this community a great service by providing a basic outline for any candidate's platform.
I will be referring to it as "hats are tossed into the arena" and the rhetoric begins.
(What's your hat size?)
Thanks for a great article.

(Report Comment)
Phillip Berrong September 3, 2009 | 5:23 p.m.

"This does not mean adding more police patrols. This means encouraging our kids to seek a future that includes mentors, social services and incentives to succeed and improving the lives of their children’s children in Columbia."

I thought we had to choose from increased patrols and surveillance cameras.
Thank you for a fresh perspective!

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin September 3, 2009 | 6:13 p.m.

So which candidate might get the job done according to Rosman?

We've added some more choices in our "Who Do You Like for Columbia Mayor" poll.

Every person who's even breathed an interest in running is on our poll.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr September 3, 2009 | 6:43 p.m.

Columbia Heartbeat by your poll it looks like "None of the above" is winning at this point so what does that tell you?

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.