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A look at former Columbia Mayor Tom Anderson's years in office

Monday, November 23, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST

Tom Anderson served as the mayor of Columbia from 1973 through 1975 and was a psychiatrist. He died Friday from injuries sustained during a tractor accident at his farm in Howard County, south of Higbee and just west of the Rudolf Bennitt Conservation Area.

Here are some Missourian stories about the former mayor:

Tom Anderson

April 1, 1973

By Deedee Pendleton

COLUMBIA — Tom Anderson is a busy man. He spends his free time on the baseball diamond or working with his church's young people, and at his office, he counsels on a professional level, psychiatry.

Anderson is running for mayor in the April 3 election, and ranks establishment of a positive attitude by the people of Columbia toward the City Council and city government "top priority."

He feels "the mayor has the additional responsibility of coordinating the seven people present and coming up with some clearcut decisions on what the people want and need."

He is particularly concerned about Columbia's present power problems, and he believes that the community knows little about the current power plant and its inability to produce sufficient electricity. Anderson says, "We have enough power right now, but we're growing every year."

Mayor Given Poor Rating As Landlord

April 13, 1973

By Ray Hartmann

COLUMBIA — Mayor Tom Anderson, who says he never really wanted to be a landlord, Wednesday found his rooming house at 106 Hitt St. to be a thorn in his side as he received a form-letter warning that the structure failed to meet city standards.

City Building Inspector Paul DeHaven sent Anderson the letter along with a copy of an April 2 survey of the structure. In the survey, DeHaven pointed out 19 areas in which he found the city housing code was violated by substandard lighting, ventilation, safety or sanitary conditions. Anderson has until Sept. 1 to make necessary improvements or tear down the house.

However, DeHaven said the conditions were not of an unusually bad nature and that they posed no present danger to residents. "This is just a standard procedure," he said. "We do it every day."

Mayor Leaves Group Therapy

June 19, 1973

By William Hargrove

SAN FRANCISCO — Columbia City Council members say they found most of the workshops they have attended here interesting and useful, but Mayor Tom Anderson attended one Sunday where he already knew all the answers.

Anderson said he had looked forward to attending a seminar billed as "The Mayor, at Work — At Home," a session for husbands and wives to examine how problems at work are felt at home and vice versa.

The problem was, he discovered upon arrival, that the workshop was set up as an exercise in transactional analysis, a psychological technique employing analysis of conversations, something Anderson, a psychiatrist, says he does everyday.

Anderson Learning Mayor's Job

July 4, 1973

Learning is part of a new mayor's job, and Columbia's mayor says he is learning.

At Monday's Council meeting a letter from the Cosmopolitan Club requesting exclusive concession rights for July 4 at Cosmo Park was read.

The club in past years has provided fireworks and games to the public on the Fourth and the city customarily grants concession rights to the club to help them break even in the venture.

When a vote was taken on granting concession at Monday's meeting, Mayor Tom Anderson cast the sole no vote, but didn't give any reason for doing so.

Anderson said Tuesday, "The Council didn't have full information when we discussed it at the dinner meeting." The mayor said he learned at the dinner meeting that the club made a profit from the concession and said he was "a real stickler" about monopolies at a city park.

Allard Says Time Not Wasted By Daily Press Conferences

Oct. 2, 1973

By John Banaszewski

City Manager Don Allard said Monday he disagrees with Mayor Tom Anderson's view that the city manager has "better things to do" than holding daily press conferences.

"Obviously I disagree, or I wouldn't be doing what I am," he said. For more than a year, Allard has been meeting every morning with members of the local media in a press conference.

Not naming specifically Allard, Anderson has said he "doubts" any city manager should meet with the press every day for "30 to 45 minutes."

However, Allard said Anderson's newly instituted policy of holding weekly press conferences will not create a "personality contest" between the city's two top administrators.

Energy Crisis

Oct. 23, 1973

Letter to the Editor by Tom R. Anderson, Mayor

With the current national shortages of energy getting more serious, I would like for the citizens of Columbia to help set an example in the conservation of our vital resources. If everyone will work together we can have a more significant impact in averting a more serious crisis situation from arising which will directly and indirectly affect everyone in the country.

You have heard of many things that can be done, such as lowering the temperature in your home by three or four degrees during the winter, driving 60 m.p.h. instead of 70 m.p.h. on the highways and turning down the thermostat on your water heater by a few degrees.  If you have ideas you think others might benefit by, why not write a letter to the editor outlining any suggestions you might have.

If we can all work together, each doing his share, we will all benefit by having the energy we need and by saving ourselves money while we doing it.

Mayor 'thinking' of new garage

Feb. 14, 1974

Mayor Tom Anderson indicated Wednesday he is "thinking, not talking," about a bond issue to finance a second highrise parking garage which would probably be located near the City-County Building.

At a morning press conference, Anderson said that he agreed with the transportation committee's recommendation to the City Council that parking on Broadway be converted from angle to parallel parking but added that extra parking would probably be needed as more city offices are moved to the City-Council Building.

Health board may investigate spa

July 4, 1974

By Ed Presberg

Mayor Tom Anderson said Wednesday that the Vita Life Health Spa's massage service is "para-prostitution" and that he would ask the city Board of Health to investigate the spa.

Anderson said the Vita Life situation raised two questions: First, should the spa be tolerated? Anderson said that this is a "public policy" issue to be considered by the community and the City Council. Second, is the spa a health hazard? The mayor said he would ask the five-member health board Wednesday to investigate the spa and make recommendations to the Council.


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