Eighth member added to ward reapportionment committee

Monday, June 20, 2011 | 10:01 p.m. CDT; updated 8:27 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 12, 2011
In February 2010, Wiley Miller, Boone County Muleskinner president, speaks before the meeting with the Fourth Ward City Council candidates at Stamper Commons on the Stephens College campus.

COLUMBIA — Wiley Miller was chosen to serve as the eighth member on the Ward Reapportionment Committee in response to a complaint that the committee lacked diversity.

Miller was appointed to the position with a committee consensus immediately after the City Council passed a resolution to add the extra member Monday.

Miller is a practicing psychologist in Columbia and a former professor at MU. He is on the board of directors for the Family Counseling Center of Missouri and the Missouri Symphony Society. He is also the chair of the Unitarian Universalist Church social action committee, and is a past president of the Muleskinners Democratic Club of Boone County.

Before the vote, Mary Ratliff, president of the local and state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said she was pleased the Council was considering another member. She had sent Mayor Bob McDavid a letter expressing disappointment in having no minority representation on the committee.

"Hats off to the mayor for not being defensive about bringing this to his attention. ... That's how you get things resolved," Ratliff said.

Other nominees included Susan Smith of the Fourth Ward and Tyson Smith, Steve Galloway and Mike Middleton of the Sixth Ward.

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Bill Fisher June 21, 2011 | 5:03 a.m.

Nice to see racism alive and well in Columbia. MLK would be so proud that we appointed someone based solely on skin color.

(Report Comment)
Nathan Stephens June 21, 2011 | 7:33 a.m.

It's nice to see that a diverse community such as Columbia realizes that its representation should also be diverse. Dr. King indeed would be proud of Columbia for that, especially since we have an annual event and a city memorial named in his honor.

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