COLUMBIA – Glenn Rice and Raman Puri will have to beat nine other candidates to retain their seats on the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission — and they've got some well-known people competing with them.
Columbia City Council members are narrowing the field of 11 applicants for the two seats on the commission to five. For now, each council member is evaluating the candidates on his or her own.
"The future of Columbia is what we're looking at," Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley said. "We're looking at how the applicants mesh with our visions for Columbia."
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said she is looking for professional backgrounds, for volunteer work and for a good mix of philosophies among commissioners.
Those interested in commission seats gave the city written rationale for why they'd like to be appointed. Here's who they are and what they said, in the order they filed their applications.
Rice, 44, seeks reappointment. He is an MU Internet administrator and wants to continue work on comprehensive planning. Rice lives in the Fourth Ward and is married to Tracy Greever-Rice, who lost a bid for that council seat this year.
Puri, 39, seeks reappointment. He is vice president of the Hilton Garden Inn and wants to balance the ideals of proper development and environmental preservation. Puri lives in the Fifth Ward.
Ames, 35, is a real estate agent with Remax Boone Realty. She said she understands how development defines the success of communities. Ames lives in the Fifth Ward.
Buford, 39, is a network administrator at Carfax and ran for the Fourth Ward council seat. He said he can be "a fair and moderate voice." Buford lives in the Fourth Ward.
Harris, 24, is a Colony Apartments leasing agent. He wants to "make sure there is sustainable development in Columbia and that there is smart growth in residential and commercial areas." Harris lives in the Sixth Ward.
Holman, 49, is the engineering manager for Coil Construction. He said the Planning and Zoning Commission fits his experience as city engineer and Planning and Zoning commissioner for the city of Sedalia. Holman lives in the Second Ward.
Oslica, 23, is a UM Web assistant and an MU graduate student in public affairs and nonprofit management. A former Missourian reporter, he believes his student perspective makes him a prime candidate with an objective opinion.
Downey, 51, owns Legacy Bookbindery. He is president of the Country Club Estates Neighborhood Association, has been involved in zoning issues and has attended all the city's infill workshops. Downey lives in the Third Ward.
Tillotson, 58, is a certified senior adviser for the Naught-Naught Agency, an insurance and financial services company. He says his experience as a business owner makes him "very adept at finding solutions to problems dealing with growth and finances." Tillotson lives in the Sixth Ward.
Love, 39, is a network administrator at Carfax and ran for mayor this year. He believes fixing problems in the planning phase "is significantly easier and cheaper (than) to correct the problems once they exist." Love lives in the Second Ward.
Skala, 63, just lost a bid for re-election to the council. He is a former vice chairman of Planning and Zoning and served on the Environment and Energy Commission. He helped found Citizens for Timely and Responsible Road Infrastructure Financing. Skala lives in the Third Ward.
Council members will submit rankings of the applicants Wednesday. The top five will be interviewed Monday.