Sid Sullivan announces his intention to run for Columbia mayor

Thursday, October 22, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:31 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sid Sullivan has announced plans to run for mayor of Columbia. In 2008, he was a candidate for Boone County Southern District Commissioner.

COLUMBIA – Sid Sullivan, who most recently ran for the Boone County Commission in 2008, announced Wednesday that he would be joining the race for mayor.

Sullivan is the third person to announce his intention to run. He joins Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade and Eastside Tavern owner Sal Nuccio.


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Sullivan said one of his goals is to address the issues surrounding city development. He said one of the reasons he decided to run was because he had concerns about the way the city is growing and developing, both physically and economically.

“I see some real problems,” Sullivan said. “We need to keep the community vital. We need to attract other industries.”

He also wants to examine the stipulations in the city charter that govern participation in City Council.

“We need to take a strong look at the city charter,” Sullivan said. “The charter really limits who can be on council.”

Sullivan also expressed a need for greater financial support for Columbia's Police and Fire departments. He said that adequate salaries are necessary in order to keep officials in their positions.

Sullivan also said he has concerns about the Columbia Police Department’s use of Tasers.

“We need to restrict the use of them,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, who is now retired, made unsuccessful bids for the the 24th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives in 2006 and for the Boone County Commission in 2008.

Sullivan worked for former Sen. Jacob Javitz, R-N.Y., while studying for his master’s degree in sociology. He was then employed as a caseworker in Chicago. The position required him to work with the courts and also with the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. He also worked closely with probation officers and state attorneys.

After working as a caseworker, Sullivan took an administrative job with the corrections department. During his time there, Sullivan drew up plans to bring 60 prisons and jails up to standards.

“I know the criminal justice system,” Sullivan said. “And I come from a planning family, so we talk a lot about how Columbia is growing and how it should be growing.”

From the corrections department, Sullivan returned to the social services arena, again taking an administrative position. At the time he took the job, Chicago was increasing its social services to aid the entire county, going from serving one area to serving six. Sullivan assisted with the budget for the department and kept watch over the legislation surrounding the expansion.

In the late '80s, Sullivan was recruited away from social service. He left the department and took a job in the drug testing division of the pharmaceutical company Roche Diagnostics in 1988. He retired in 2000, and Sullivan and his wife Joan moved to Columbia after spending 28 years in Oak Park, Ill., near Chicago.

Once in Columbia, Sullivan became involved with the Downtown Optimist Club and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition.

In order to be placed on the ballot for mayor, candidates must collect between 100 and 150 signatures from registered Columbia voters, as outlined in the city charter. Filing for council candidates begins Oct. 23 and will end in late January.

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