Mayor Bob McDavid appoints park sales tax committee

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | 5:49 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia voters will decide in November whether or not to renew a one-eighth-cent park sales tax. The Friends of Columbia's Parks committee is working in support of that extension.

Mayor Bob McDavid announced the appointment of the committee at the Columbia City Council meeting Tuesday night, according to a city news release.

In 2000, voters approved a one-quarter-cent sales tax for Columbia parks, one-half of which is renewable every five years. Voters renewed it in 2005.

Former Mayor Mary Anne McCollum and Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Vicki Russell are the committee chairwomen. Boone County National Bank President Steve Erdel is the treasurer, according to the release.

Erdel said the parks system is one of Columbia's better assets.

"It's an extension of an existing tax," he said. "It's not an increase in any way, shape or form."

If passed on Nov. 2, the extension would raise about $12 million for local parks during the next five years, according to the release.

Other appointed committee members are Tom Atkins, Marin Blevins, Sue Davis, Dan Devine, Meridith Donaldson, Kee Groshong, former Mayor Darwin Hindman, Linda Hutton, Karl Kruse, Tom Mendenhall, Joe Moseley, Clyde Ruffin, and Mike Vangel.

More appointments may be made in the future, according to the release.

The committee is scheduled to hold an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Conference Room 1A at City Hall.

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LON September 8, 2010 | 6:36 p.m.

Stop the tax, The City can come up with money to buy land, make new project and fund there parks. But they can not come up with the money to give there employee's a raise, that have not had a raise in two years. They raised water, elec. rates. We the people are taxed to death and it is time to stand up and say NO MORE...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 8, 2010 | 9:30 p.m.

Seems to me that this committee will not rest until the city limits and the county limits are one and the same.

Problem is, there are locals who want to live in a rural setting, away from "city politics," and those who need to be close to city controlled services and infrastructure.

My concern is when I read about 12 million dollars being thrown out as monies for local parks and then read in another article that the monies are for purchasing surrounding properties.
Case in point, the Crane property and Phillips Lake property.
Acquiring these properties encroaches on the rural county.
Helps with annexation, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, trash cans spill over in Stephens Park as its lake is taken over by turtles and the city builds parks for subdivisions, (like out by the Cascades), where the developers can't even sell their newer, vacant homes.

I'd rather see the city concentrate and manage on what they own now, before adding more private county farms and properties to their city real estate portfolio.

In fact, if money's tight, sell off some land before raising taxes, create some real salaried jobs instead of keeping "Bob the Builder" in park renovations and build a good volunteer structure for parks and rec. maintenance.

This committee seems awfully large and I wonder what role Mike Hood, Bill Watkins and Ray Beck play in all this.

(Report Comment)
Laura Johnston September 9, 2010 | 7:02 a.m.

@LON: Thanks for starting a conversation on this story.
Please remember that we ask for a first and last name when posting. Here's a link to the comments policy:

Laura Johnston,

(Report Comment)
Carlos Sanchez September 9, 2010 | 8:44 a.m.

@Ray Shapiro As usual all points directly on target.

(Report Comment)

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