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Mayoral candidates discuss housing and downtown cameras at student forum

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 10:39 p.m. CST; updated 9:52 a.m. CDT, Sunday, March 14, 2010
Columbia mayor candidates Jerry Wade, Paul Love, Sid Sullivan, Bob McDavid and Sean O'Day answer questions at a forum Wednesday sponsored by the Missouri Students Association and the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

COLUMBIA — Candidates vying to be Columbia's next mayor participated in a sparsely attended forum on the MU campus Wednesday night.

About 25 students attended the event at Waters Auditorium at MU. Candidates fielded questions from students and the forum's hosts — the Missouri Students Association and the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

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Brittany Berosky is campus director of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, which lobbies legislators on behalf of students. Before the forum, Berosky said she hoped to hear candidates views on landlord-tenant legislation and downtown cameras.

The state legislature is currently debating a bill that would require landlords to account for how security deposits are spent and another that would require them to disclose utility costs before tenants sign their lease.

All of the candidates said they would favor similar ordinances in Columbia.

Candidates were split, however, on a ballot initiative that would lead to the installation of surveillance cameras downtown.

Jerry Wade said he has opposed to the measure from the beginning. "Making policy based on the emotional appeal of one person is not a responsible way to make public policy," he said. The issue arose after an assault in a downtown parking garage was caught on camera in June. The victim's mother petitioned the City Council to install cameras. The council decided to put it to the voters.

Candidate Bob McDavid said he strongly supported the proposition and thought the council had handled the issue poorly by putting it on the ballot.

Sullivan said he thought it should be up to business owners rather than the city to install cameras. He also lamented the absence of Eastside Tavern owner Sal Nuccio — the only mayoral candidate absent from the forum.

"Too bad Sal isn't here," Sullivan said. "He had his window broken out and unfortunately for him it was below his $750 deductible."

Candidates Sean O'Day and Paul Love said they opposed the measure, though Love said he thought there had been a rise in violent crime in the city.

Zach Rubin was one of roughly 25 students to attend the forum. Rubin said he came with an open mind.

"I don't know anything about any of the candidates so I'm hoping to learn," Rubin said.

Jeff McMullan was in attendance as a board member for a graduate student organization. He thought the poor attendance reflected the nature of the student body.

"It's harder to get people riled up for a city election, especially when you consider the transient nature of students," McMullen said.


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Comments

Dale Jones March 11, 2010 | 3:32 p.m.

For your information, the Council was forced to put in on the ballot. The Council didn't think it was a important issue, therefore, 7000 people thought it was a "big deal" which was necessary to put the issue on the ballot. The downtown association wants the camera's and was willing to put up $25,000 to help pay for the Camera's.

Mr. Wade is part of the Council that needs to be replaced. He is on the City Council that made Columbia a "Chicken City". We need some common sense people for Mayor and Mr Wade is NOT the person. He needs to be replaced. We need CHANGE on the City Council!!

I just saw on a program on TV from LA. The police on the program said that LA had camera's everywhere and it was a big help in helping preventing and stopping crime. I saw a vehicle involved in a crime on the show and the police caught the person who was involved because of the camera's.

Hmmmmmmm....I think I heard the new city hall had camera's. What twisted thinking from this City Council! We NEED CHANGE NOW with NEW Council Members.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 11, 2010 | 4:23 p.m.

Funny how Chief Burton was hired by the city-manager, took a loft in "The District," was immediately courted by a special-interest downtown group, first action in the city was supposedly "cleaning up" the riff-raff downtown with special patrols via every known mode of patrol known to man and now a mom who had a son attacked in an enclosed city parking lot goes for the sympathy/fear tactic vote for city-paid cameras which CPD will be restricted from using in any real hot-spots that may
pop-up beyond "the District's" perimeter.
What's even worse, is that the Vote Yes on Prop 1 signs are even bigger than McDavid's and they falsely imply that Prop 1 will keep/make Columbia safe.
Talk about false advertising. On a grand scale.
Just doesn't seem right.
Pay for your own cameras. I'll be voting no and wait for a better ordinance.
Also, Chief Burton has conveyed that he is pro-curfews for teenagers. Curfews would give CPD more leeway to break up gangs and escort minors home. Maybe even get parents involved with intervention and accountability.
If "The District" wants to market itself as being "safe" they can set-up their own neighborhood/business watch and give out shrill whistles to all their customers.
I can do without the shrillness of distraught mommies, thank you very much.
(We need some really big giant signs telling this town to Vote No on proposition 1. Just to be fair.)

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance March 11, 2010 | 5:20 p.m.

Dale,

Please stop with the pathetic hyperbole. We are not Chicken city and downtown businesses can pay for their own security cameras. I thought you wingnuts didn't like giving people handouts.

We have replaced people on the council in the last 4 years. Long time councilpeople like Ash, Hutton, Loveless, and Crayton are all gone. Hoppe, Skala, Sturtz, Wade and Thornhill are the relatively new members.

Dale, you Chamber hacks want a council that will rubber stamp developments and keep the subsidies flowing at the expense of the rest of Columbia. WE NEED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE CHAMBER THAT YOU WILL NOT GET ANYMORE HANDOUTS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MORE ESTABLISHED NEIGHBORHOOD. Sorry the gravy train has stopped for you all

You are using the cameras as a wedge issue, it is not going to work.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin March 13, 2010 | 4:02 p.m.

Rob Weir:

If the rest of us have to post under real names, why allow people like "Dale Jones" to post under an assumed name?

This has been going on a lot with posts regarding the council races. "Jim Eldridge" also comes to mind.

There's no reason to have a policy that forces people to use a name if they just use an assumed name.

(Report Comment)

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