COLUMBIA – Fourth Ward Columbia City Council candidate Tracy Greever-Rice addressed just over a dozen Fourth Ward residents in a supporter's art-filled home, separated from the Katy Trail by a corridor of bare trees.
The event, which is the beginning of a series of open houses to promote Greever-Rice, gave guests an opportunity to meet the candidate and get to know her views.
During an informal address, Greever-Rice told folks that she believes "the city needs to focus on economic development and workplace development."
She said she understands that economic development is a buzzword, but she wants the city to work on growing sustainable jobs, supporting businesses that are committed to Columbia and supporting businesses that increase residents' welfare.
Greever-Rice was asked about the possibility of giving the council a voice in the city manager's decision to hire or fire department heads.
She said the idea of firing made her nervous because of legal issues, but she was supportive of a council role in hiring. She said that the city already allows residents to impact hirings by using committees to help narrow down candidates, citing the hiring of Police Chief Ken Burton.
"The only people that didn't have a voice in the selection of the police chief were the people we elected to represent us," Greever-Rice said.
Greever-Rice wasn't convinced of their utility and wants to examine alternative ways for their payment. She thinks that if a downtown Community Improvement District is established, the tax revenue created by it should fund the cameras.
Jan Godfrey, mother of host Chips Godfrey, said she was impressed with the candidate. "She's very informed on the issues."
Maureen Dickmann, a resident of the Fourth Ward, is happy with what Greever-Rice wants to bring to the table.
"I was looking for someone to be enthusiastic about," Dickmann said. "I feel like she is someone I can really get behind."
Greever-Rice has scheduled several more open houses at various locations throughout the fourth ward. Go to her Web site for details.