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Columbia Missourian

City Council candidates debate development, economy issues

By Patrick Sweet
March 22, 2010 | 11:32 p.m. CDT
Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala passes the microphone to Gary Kespohl, who is running against Skala for the council position, after answering a question on tax-increment financing during the debate hosted by the Columbia Missourian on Monday evening.

COLUMBIA – Columbia City Council candidates took only a handful of opportunities to challenge each other's views at Monday night's candidate debate, hosted by the Missourian.

The Missourian accepted question submissions before the debate. Candidates for mayor, the Fourth Ward seat and the Third Ward seat responded to a slate of questions including ones on economic growth and development, budget and tax revenue issues.

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Here are some of the highlights:

MAYOR

The mayoral candidates — Sid Sullivan, Jerry Wade, Paul Love, Bob McDavid and Sean O'Day — were the first to address questions. Candidate Sal Nuccio declined an invitation to attend.

The candidates separated themselves from one another in response to whether Columbia should increase or decrease funding of social services and in what areas or programs the candidates would want budget changes.

FOURTH WARD

Fourth Ward candidates Tracy Greever-Rice, Sarah Read, Rick Buford and Daryl Dudley took on the second round of questions.

The candidates addressed a contentious issue in the widening of West Broadway from two to four lanes and went into varying degrees of depth on the topic. West Broadway is close to a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

THIRD WARD

Third Ward candidates Karl Skala and Gary Kespohl took advantage of the debate to take a few jabs at one another.

The two were asked how they plan to impact economic development to assist families living at or near the poverty line or facing an increasing gap in wages.