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Columbia city manager candidates gather for meet-and-greet

Friday, March 18, 2011 | 9:16 p.m. CDT; updated 9:24 p.m. CDT, Friday, March 18, 2011
City manager candidate Mike Matthes speaks with his wife, Bobbie, left, and Karl Skala, right, at the open forum in City Hall on Friday.

COLUMBIA — The final four candidates for the city manager position held an informal meet-and-greet with the public at City Hall on Friday evening.

Twenty former and current city officials, along with several local media outlets, filled conference room 1A as they visited with the candidates. There were no other residents of Columbia present at the meeting.

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One of the issues raised by Bonnie Maiers, a member on the city’s Comprehensive Plan Task Force, pertained to how the new city manager would have a strategic planning function.

“Currently, the state of Missouri does not give any guidance to the city on how to approach certain matters,” Maiers said. “Starting a strategic planning function, headed by the city manager, would help identify emerging trends, best practices and lessons learned by other cities."

Former Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala mentioned to the candidates that a city manager should be an advocate to city council members and the mayor, providing them with helpful facts and advice for any given subject.

Candidates will be meeting with the city council and members of the media in rotating, one-hour sessions from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at City Hall.


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