COLUMBIA — Pam Forbes brought a pink stool with her Thursday when she announced her intention to run for the First Ward City Council seat.
She carried the wooden stool around City Hall as a symbol of her "willingness to listen to constituents and represent the First Ward," she said.
Incumbent Paul Sturtz said in November that he would not seek re-election.
Forbes, 56, has lived in Boone County since 1976 and is a toolmaker at Schneider Electrics Square D. She has been a member of the Community Development Commission for 18 months. She is also a member of Grass Roots Organizing and has most recently been involved in People for a Taser-Free Columbia.
"As a five-year resident (of the First Ward) ... I have a clear and detailed view of the ward," she said.
Forbes said housing repair, city infrastructure, supporting local business and expanding cultural opportunities are among issues that need to be addressed.
Forbes said the First Ward is a low-income community that needs assistance with basic housing fixes.
She wants to bundle repairs needed in the First Ward through neighborhood associations so that homeowners can get repairs at lower costs.
"We're looking at a lot of dilapidated housing," Forbes said.
Forbes passed out fliers listing the following issues she would like to tackle:
- Open and responsive local government with strict adherence to the Sunshine Law
- Law enforcement and police action that are based on the model of public service
- Dealing with the sewer, street, sidewalks, and other infrastructure problems
- A strong economy based more on nurturing independent local businesses and fairness to employees
- Increased access to musical programs, art and cultural activities, and recreational facilities supported or sponsored by funds from the city of Columbia
- A program to assist homeowners with the cost of needed repairs
- Eliminating the city sales tax on food
"The city shouldn't be dependent on sales tax," Forbes said. "There's taxes on everything else that isn't food."
She also said she wants to improve the "access to positive role models" in the community. Forbes said Big Brothers Big Sisters and Sol House are good institutions, but "it would never hurt to have more positive roles models."
Forbes will be placed on the April 5 ballot after verification by the city clerk.