The Watchword seeks your input

Tell us what the most important issues are for you
Friday, February 5, 2010 | 3:44 p.m. CST; updated 8:54 p.m. CST, Friday, February 5, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Watchword, the Missourian’s local government blog, is conducting a survey to find out which issues Columbia voters believe are most important for candidates to address in their campaigns for mayor as well as the Third and Fourth Ward seats on the Columbia City Council.

Please go to to share your thoughts.


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Ray Shapiro February 5, 2010 | 5:51 p.m.

I'm clicking on the link but can't get to the site.
Have I been pre-banned? Is it the snow? What gives?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 5, 2010 | 8:17 p.m.

Ray, try this link, looks like some extra stuff got appended or was inserted by the site:

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 5, 2010 | 8:51 p.m.

As I had difficulty clicking on to the site I've decided to "go public" with the 13 questions I had proposed for the first mayoral candidate forum:
1.Where have you demonstrated your leadership and management skills?
What kind of changes did your involvement bring forth?
2.What improvements would you like to see between the workings of our council-manager style of governing? Would you be willing to explore a strong-Mayor/Council approach and impact the city manager's position of power?
3.Recently, the chief of police divided Columbia up into four quadrants, instead of precincts.
Would there be any value to having a Ward liaison officer for each Councilperson and the mayor could liaison with the Chief of Police?
4.What would your role be in expediting a teenage curfew for this town?
5.How do you balance the results of a consultant's study with the will of the people?
6.Is "the District" more important then the Mall? More important than businesses on the North Side or South Side of town?
7.Should business owners be responsible for expenses related to security cameras or is it the government's job to provide and monitor surveillance cameras in the District and eventually throughout town? Is technology better than a police workforce and neighborhood residential patrols?
8.Would you be willing to expand Animal Control so that the city of Columbia performs euthanasia as opposed to brokering out to a humane society?
9.How would you encourage PedNet and GetAbout to include the interests of motorists in their decision making?
10.What's your take on building more Parks and Trails?
11.What would you like to see happen for Columbia during the next 5 years? In 10?
12.If elected Mayor, what would you like to be doing when and if you're ever voted out?
13.How would a modification of planning and zoning help in the slow-down of duplex rentals, springing up all over town, encourage more owner-occupied homes?

-Of course now I'd also like to add, "Considering that my ward councilman voted against the coop ordinance, what can I do to keep stinky, noisy, dirty chickens out of my neighbors' yards?"

(Can't call it a baker's dozen anymore.)

(Report Comment)
Jake Sherlock February 5, 2010 | 8:56 p.m.

Sorry about that busted link there, Ray. It's fixed now.

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 5, 2010 | 8:59 p.m.

Your link works.
I was busy typing my post.
At least now it's accessible.
(I like my post better, anyway. It kind of allows me to explain my position on the issues.)
Does "ward reapportionment" also have to do with adding more council seats as well as boundary changes?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 5, 2010 | 9:01 p.m.

It's all Jake.

(Report Comment)

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