Scott Christianson was born in Columbia but grew up in a Wisconsin town with a population of 1,000. Scott returned to Columbia and graduated from Rock Bridge High School in the mid-80s. His college years sparked an interest in biology. He can still spout of the names of house plants and several species of spiders that often lurk around the house.
After receiving a master's degree, his interest changed from biology to technology. He found a niche in education and managed to start his own company, Kaleidoscope Videoconferencing, that provides videoconferencing products and support to businesses and schools.
PERSONAL: Age 42. Married to Ava Fajen.
PARTY AFFILIATION: Democrat
OCCUPATION: Owner of Kaleidoscope Videoconferencing since 1998. Adjunct instructor for the Trulaske College of Business at MU.
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree from MU in biological sciences, 1992; master's degree in education and human development, George Washington University, 1999.
BACKGROUND: Former chairman (2008-2009) and vice chairman (2004-2008) of the Boone County Democratic Central Committee; columnist for the Columbia Daily Tribune, 2006-2010; president of the Boone County Industrial Development Authority, 2005-present; secretary and member of the board of directors for the Missouri Distance Learning Association, 2005-2008.
- Home rule: Open to discussion but, given other priorities, he believes a compelling case must be made before the county spends time and resources on the effort.
- County budget: Believes Boone County has weathered the economic storm well by using a conservative approach to avoid cuts to county services.
- Tax incentives for economic development: Supports the use of Chapter 100 bonds for targeted projects. Wants to see county government take the lead in growing and attracting jobs in the area.
"This is really useful to rural school districts," he said.
Christianson recognized the needs of school districts to bring in skilled teachers who live outside the district. His childhood also shaped his views on county government and what it can provide to its residents.
Boone County might be as diverse as they come, with populated cities and scattered rural areas alike.
"I think my leadership skills are ideal for this position," he said.
Christianson said the presiding commissioner position is an especially critical one for Boone County.
"The presiding commissioner is essentially the county mayor," he said. "This is an integral part of our local government."
The main issues Christianson is focusing on include proactive planning and response to city needs, economic development, a balanced budget and development of county infrastructure.