COLUMBIA – Sarah Read’s neighbors were out in full force at Shakespeare’s Pizza on Thursday evening.
Roughly 20 people came out to Shakespeare’s West Broadway location to meet Read, a candidate for Columbia's Fourth Ward City Council seat, and to hear some of her ideas. Read said she is ready to be the ward’s “partner in government.”
“I believe in something called the new politics of partnership,” Read said.
Read said she wants to shift the council's focus beyond immediate issues and policy makers should view issues facing city government as interconnected. She also said she not only is good at reading statutes, ordinances and government reports but also enjoys it.
The urban chicken ordinance that allows city residents to keep up to six hens is an example of a missed opportunity, Read said, arguing that the city could have addressed poverty at the same time by requiring that people who raise hens donate eggs each year to the Central Missouri Food Bank.
Read also said energy is an overlooked issue. She cited assumptions in the city's Integrated Resource Plan – a comprehensive report on Columbia's existing power sources, future energy needs and methods of curbing demand — that no longer apply. Affordable energy, she said, is a quality of life indicator and an attractive lure for new businesses.
Because Read is an attorney and communications consultant, she has "a breadth of experience that I think is unmatched by any other candidate in the Fourth Ward,” she said.
That experience, Read said, not only gives her knowledge but teaches her that she doesn't know everything. She said she would adhere to the words of President Woodrow Wilson and “not only use all the brains that I have but all that I can borrow."
Read's experience caught the interest of Elaine Martin, a business analyst at Missouri Book Service.
“I’m very impressed with her expertise,” Martin said. “I think that her experience would be invaluable.”
Rebecca Dykhouse, one of Read’s neighbors and a part-time clinical social worker, shared Martin's appreciation of the candidate.
“She’s been active with politics for as long as I’ve known her,” Dykhouse said. “... I think that she will bring a balanced, reasonable approach to the City Council."
Read is seeking a three-year term on the council. The other candidates competing for the Fourth Ward seat are Daryl Dudley, Rick Buford and Tracy Greever-Rice.