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Columbia Missourian

Voters pass Columbia City Council stipends

By Alex Kluesner
April 5, 2011 | 10:56 p.m. CDT

What happened?

Proposition 1, which gives an annual stipend to City Council members, was passed by a significant margin Tuesday night. The voter turnout was 17.15 percent of 91,464 total registered voters.

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Results

What does it mean?

The passage of Proposition 1 will pay a stipend of $6,000 to council members and $9,000 to the mayor beginning in 2014.

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All major proponents of the proposition were wearing out the “refresh button” on an unfortunate laptop’s web-browser to update election results as soon as they were reported.

Proponents discussed what the passage would mean to Columbia as the evening progressed and the polls became more steadily slanted in their favor.

“Since the city’s original charter was written in 1949, the city has become more complex and pay for service has become a standard, “ said former Mayor Darwin Hindman. “People have just come around to accept it.”

Co-chair of the “Yes on Proposition 1 Committee,” Bob Roper, said one reason that it took the propositions five times to pass was that voters are now more informed than before.

“Columbia voters are good about supporting issues with good information and a good campaign behind it,” Roper said.

Mayor Bob McDavid agreed with the passage of the proposition. “While Columbia is partly based on volunteer work, this will help those who volunteer to run for council with all the costs associated with being a council member,” he said.