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Columbia's Fourth Ward councilman faces possible recall over reapportionment map

Friday, October 7, 2011 | 9:10 p.m. CDT; updated 11:12 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 10, 2011

COLUMBIA — Outrage filled the Friends Room at the Columbia Public Library on Friday afternoon, culminating in an initiative to recall Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley.

Angry residents alternately talked over one another, cheered each other on, snickered and shouted down Dudley. He had assembled them for a public meeting to discuss his latest proposal for how to redraw the city's ward boundaries.

He did little talking.

Amidst accusations of gerrymandering, some of the roughly 40 people in attendance started plotting ways to recall him from office. Dudley was elected to the seat in April 2010.

Going into the meeting, concern focused mostly on the political impact of Dudley's proposal. As previously reported in the Missourian, some of Dudley's critics charge that the precincts he would move into the First Ward are those where he fared worst in the election that he won by a narrow margin in 2010. It's an accusation Dudley denied.

"I don't care about anybody's voting, their affiliations," Dudley said in explanation of his proposed amendments to Trial D, one of the four ward reapportionment options that the Columbia City Council is currently considering. "It has nothing to do with if I can get re-elected if I decide to run again."

A woman who said she lived in the Fourth Ward spoke up. "You say you don't care what the voting patterns are. … But you're familiar with them, right? And what the impact (of your new plan) would be?"

Dudley answered that yes, he was familiar with the demographics and voting patterns of his ward.

"So isn't it your obligation to care?" she asked. "I'm asking you to take accountability for the impact. You can't just say you don’t care."

Coming out of the meeting, the sense pervaded among residents that they were not being listened to and not receiving adequate representation.

Intention and impact

Dudley maintained that the motive behind his map is strictly geographic.

He repeatedly referred to the infrastructure needs of central city neighborhoods. He asserted that consolidating the shared interests of those property owners into one ward would give them a stronger voice.

"I want better attention for the First Ward," Dudley said.

"And every neighborhood association in the First Ward wants Plan E," someone called out.

As with many other times the crowd felt they had undermined one of Dudley's assertions, chortling could be heard throughout the room.

"I was elected by the Fourth Ward," Dudley said. "I am here for the entire city."

"You said you represent the city not the ward, but that's not true," Elizabeth Hornbeck said. "We live in Ward Four and we got to vote for one person. … So that means you represent us, not the people in other wards. I'm sorry I have to explain that to you."

Dudley said that the amount of support he's received for his plans roughly equals the amount of opposition he's faced. But, when repeatedly asked for evidence of support for his plans, Dudley could not specify any names.

He also said that about 99.7 percent of the people in his ward really don't care one way or another about the reapportionment.

One member of the public confirmed he had heard Dudley correctly. "Then I think the rest who do care are in this room," he said.

Recall

A flier made its way around the meeting room before the session began that asked "Is It Time To Recall Ward 4 Councilman Daryl Dudley?" Several in attendance, including those onboard to help with the recall, claimed they did not know who had put it out.

Jeannette Jackson is vice president of the Park Hill Neighborhood Association.

"In the face of all the opposition and all the good arguments that have been made in front of you, it is not understandable how you could (choose to) not represent a significant part of your constituency," she said, adding that she was speaking on behalf of the entire association, which represents about 115 homes. 

Speaking as a citizen, she added, "This sucks. It really sucks." 

Jackson said she could come to no other conclusion than to assume that Dudley was working on behalf of a hidden agenda. "He is not representing his constituents," she said. 

Hank Ottinger, chair of the Historic Old Southwest Neighborhood Association, has an idea of who could be pulling Dudley's strings. "I think it's the development community, the Chamber of Commerce, the Republican establishment," he said.

Dudley looked exhausted as he tried to fend off such claims after the meeting.


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Comments

Kip Kendrick October 7, 2011 | 10:33 p.m.

Let's not forget that Plan D also moves Benton-Stephens to Ward 1. Gary Kespohl lost 3D (Benton-Stephens) by almost 2:1.

When asked what Council Members supported the plan, Dudley answered, "Gary Kespohl." (Ward 3 Council Member)

Of course. That is part of the plan. Draw ward boundaries to benefit a few at the expense of many.

Washington style politics at its worst... Stop jamming an unpopular plan down our throat! Keep partisan politics out of Columbia.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance October 7, 2011 | 10:40 p.m.

Recall Kespohl and Dudley!

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 5:26 a.m.

Stand tall, Mr. Dudley. You got the people involved in political discussion, which is what Columbia needs - more citizens speaking up. Forty do not a consensus make, and - yes - every council person does not only represent his/her constituents, but serves the whole of the City of Columbia with each chair filled in every meeting - and every vote counts. If something is to be disagreed with toward an elected servant of the people, the point could be made with civility and common courtesy. These are some rude comments said toward you - but get some rest, and walk tall. May your tribe increase. The thousands you represent applaud your effort, no doubt.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin October 8, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.

Mr. Dudley did in fact name some names -- Trial D backers Scott Atkins and Larry Grossman -- prompting calls after the meeting for a boycott of the Atkins Corporation and now Hyvee, where Mr. Dudley works, complete with old fashioned picket line. I've included more details here:

http://www.columbiaheartbeat.com/2011/10...

@Delcia: You must not have been at the meeting. I'm sorry to report that Mr. Dudley was doing anything BUT standing tall. My wife and I actually felt sorry for him at the conclusion -- she called it "heartbreaking," I called it "shameful" -- not on his part, but on the part of his backers who preferred -- as always -- to remain in the shadows.

For his part, Daryl is tone deaf -- his affect was flat, his ears and mind were closed. That's not a good way to be as a representative, and I'm sorry to see his shadow backers exploit that part of him for their own gain.

I think they finally stepped over the line this time, for pushing such a bad plan, but also for creating a situation of such striking pathos with one of the folks -- just a regular guy who wanted to rep the people but who has become the face of everything the people don't want. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights, especially toward the end.

I respected Scott Atkins and Larry Grossman before I walked into that meeting yesterday afternoon, for their business savvy and success.

After I left, I could actually feel that respect draining out of me.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 11:28 a.m.

@"You must not have been at the meeting. I'm sorry to report that Mr. Dudley was doing anything BUT standing tall. My wife and I actually felt sorry for him at the conclusion -- she called it "heartbreaking," I called it "shameful" -- not on his part, but on the part of his backers who preferred -- as always -- to remain in the shadows."

We all pay the price for what we hold dear in what we stand for. As the old saying goes, "We have to stand for something, or we will end up standing for nothing at all."

I agree with Mrs. Martin then, more so than you, Mr. Martin. The "heart breakers" do not have my sympathy or empathy. And, for that very reason people who speak up even though it is not the popular voice in the room at the moment are held in the utmost highest of respect and, indeed, stand 10 feet tall. "The meek shall inherit the earth." If you think "shouting down" anyone ever won a vote or caused a course to change in any event, then you do not know what some folks read into such behavior: it is a big turn-off. Maybe some folks just need to read "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Again, Mr. Dudley is to be commended for his response - and he does respond and listen to people in his ward, as well. Just because you (or a vocal group of under 50 gather in one place in a City of thousands he is concerned with) do not agree with him, does not make your view right or what he states any less valuable in the discussion. That is what makes America great - the loud and the harsh never win at anything. Nice people do finish first, because they have ridden out the mean and hateful. I do not see myself taking part in what happened here, at all, though I would most readily listen to an open discussion without the meanness involved. I will walk out on you any time the hateful stuff starts against anyone. I have completely shut off someone who demanded (and still thinks I should) walk out in the street and holler back at her mean old self, just because she acts like that and wants everyone else in on it, and labels people "crazy" who do not act as she demands. Labels. That is a ridiculous concept and has no part in civil community agreements/disagreements. No, if you are going to act like that, and then find power in it, then no wonder so many people stay silent until you see them in voting booth. Do not write Mr. Dudley, or anyone like him, off. He listens, and votes count.

If you want to hear the "quiet side," then you will have to find a way with manners or wait until Mr. Dudley steps into the election area again.

"Might does not make right." Pushy-pushy. Cool on the argumentative negativity.

(Report Comment)
Daniel Jordan Jordan October 8, 2011 | 11:40 a.m.

Put a giant flagpole on it! Recite the Pledge of Allegiance some more! These symbols substitute for sound policy--no--they're BETTER than sound policy! More flagpoles! More recitations!

(Report Comment)
Jeremy Calton October 8, 2011 | 11:42 a.m.

"He also said that about 99.7 percent of the people in his ward really don't care one way or another about the reapportionment."

If 99.7% don't care, then who are you representing when you don't simply do what the 0.3% WHO DO CARE want...?

I guess the two people who are paying you to do what THEY want.

@Delcia: "If you think "shouting down" anyone ever won a vote or caused a course to change in any event..."

Can you remember as far back as the year 2011? Arab Spring?

I suppose our form of government was obtained with "civility and common courtesy" over tea and crumpets with the British, as well?

If civility for you is when our overlords tell us what to think, and we smile and nod, then keep on smiling and nodding.

(Report Comment)
Hilary Niles October 8, 2011 | 12:46 p.m.

For the record, Mr. Dudley did mention Scott Atkins and Larry Grossman during the meeting — but in reference to who had advised him to appoint Rob Monsees to the Ward Reapportionment Committee. When Mr. Dudley was asked about the constituents he had heard from who support his plan, he could not provide specific names. He did eventually state that Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl supports it. — Hilary Niles, The Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 2:02 p.m.

@"I suppose our form of government was obtained with 'civility and common courtesy'..."

I am of Cherokee descent. Enough said? That is only more reason to believe in a Council form of government, and not get all entangled in some sort of trying to "shame" someone else - simply because he is at a meeting where all sides should be heard. The ones who behaved in this way in a public meeting have only shown exactly what we do not need in any open discussion - what they think they can do in trying to make people think they think for thousands in this matter. They don't. They would have to poll every citizen in Columbia to get that message out - and not just "random selection" of respondents. Why would anyone want to go through this, if he/she did not have to. Again, I admire the Councilman's strength of gentleman stature in this sort of commotion. Can you have a civil meeting in which all is heard fairly? Then you will never know anything but your own narrow views. Name calling and aggressive behavior in a bullying fashion only makes it impossible for all to communicate. And, is worth nothing in persuading intelligent and quiet people about anything.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 2:16 p.m.

@"When Mr. Dudley was asked about the constituents he had heard from who support his plan, he could not provide specific names."

That is only common decency in a situation like this. That question should never have been asked - as it served not to add to the constructive discussion of a community matter - but served to only involve more into the fiasco already in motion. I would have politely declined to answer, at all. If someone tries to go after me in a negative sense, I never add in other names. I stand on what I say. Direct. Yes, I said it, now get over it. Because I meant it and every word of it is the truth and worth believing in, if one is going to be nice and have a great life without the meanness in it. Listing all that agree with you is asinine and pointless when you make a stand for something. As the behavior shows in this meeting, people can be wrong in multiples. Birds of a feather flock together, just as out of kilter in actions. So wrong. Who is for what Mr. Dudley has spoken on? Anyone can research or ask for themselves, but they do not need to involve others needlessly. Or blame Mr. Dudley for not bringing anyone else in. Look what some managed to do with the two names that were provided. Had Mr. Dudley given you a long, long list of names, would you have been any happier or listened to another view more readily? No, you would have just involved more people in your negative rant. Instead, he took the heat for them. There are people's names you will never see in print who support Mr. Dudley fully, and some of them (most likely, a lot of them) he may not even know about yet. Will I put them on here? Nope. I think it is a shame that people cannot communicate in less than an aggressive, mean way. I do hope civility trumps rudeness as our 21st Century advances. I do not let as much meanness in my life as I can help to keep out. Mean people are just not all there in the head, in my world. We are deserving of refinement and graciousness, at long last.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 8, 2011 | 2:25 p.m.

Well, if Mr. Dudley "opens that door" by saying: "Dudley said that the amount of support he's received for his plans roughly equals the amount of opposition he's faced". Then anyone who cares to should feel free to "walk through that door" by asking him who is supporting his plans......

Me thinks that a Politician should be very careful about what he or she says to the public....

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 2:37 p.m.

@"a Politician should be very careful about what he or she says to the public...."

He is Councilman and he would get the people involved if they wanted to be involved. If they came forward and volunteered to support him publicly or if he discussed this in a civil meeting and - though some disagreed with him - it would be an entirely different matter than turning the heat from himself to others. Some would have found fault with that, too. And, Rick, I have read enough of your posts for several years now, to know that you do not expect anyone else to take the heat for you. Mr. Dudley has a commendable quality there. Wish more of the elected had the intestinal fortitude to resist the temptation to not be completely honest about the real truth in what they stand for. Some people might not agree with Mr. Dudley, and some people might not like what Mr. Dudley says, but people will always know what Mr. Dudley said, and he stood for what he said. I have friends like that. I know I can trust them beyond anything and everything. If you want to trust someone, then you have to know what they honestly stand for. He lets you know. Direct. Upfront. No stupid little games or backstabbing. We need more elected who will do that - whether we agree with them or not.

:)

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 8, 2011 | 2:50 p.m.

If Mr. Dudley is going to say that he has as many people supporting his plans as he does that don't support them, then he needs to provide the public evidence of such support; or simply not make such statements. The alternative thought for not providing proof of such support is that he has outright lied to the citizens of Columbia by saying that he has as much support for his plans as he does non-support for his plans and then not being able to back that statement up with evidence and facts.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 8, 2011 | 3:00 p.m.

Delcia: "Rick, I have read enough of your posts for several years now, to know that you do not expect anyone else to take the heat for you".

Me: Delcia; "I simply refuse to accept responsibility for something that is entirely my fault"! LMAO

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 3:08 p.m.

@"If Mr. Dudley is going to say that he has as many people supporting his plans as he does that don't support them, then he needs to provide the public evidence..."

No, he doesn't. That might take all the meeting time up, and also involve people who might not want their views made known - just yet - or, at least, until there is a more civil way in which to debate. He isn't a liar; he is just someone who can take the heat and stand up for the count. The intent may have been to shout him down and try to establish the consensus that - by golly - this is what everyone believes in Columbia. But, no - he is saying as many people have let him know this particular issue is something they believe either one way or the other on. That's all, Rick. No big mystery here to solve.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.

@"Me: Delcia; "I simply refuse to accept responsibility for something that is entirely my fault"! LMAO"

You not only enjoy taking the responsibility of what you say, but you enjoy the responses others give to what you say. That is so funny sometimes.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 8, 2011 | 3:13 p.m.

I won't mind being in the First Ward. Adopt us from this Ward into First Ward, and Mr. Dudley knows which Ward my house is in. Got several friends in First Ward, and would love to be in same Ward they are in without moving my house. Yes!

:)

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 8, 2011 | 3:31 p.m.

Actually Delcia, when I post something on a forum (provided I am not trying to be comical), there are good reasons for why I post it. I don't post "non-comical" content without having some facts to support what I am posting..

Now there are some exceptions as to why I may not be able to elaborate about some things... But I am not so sure that Mr. Dudley has the same exceptions here? Perhaps he does..?

If I comment on something on a forum, there are times when I may not be able to give specifics..

(1) Can't give details because EVEN WITH THE CLIENT'S "BLESSING" (express consent) there is an active investigation in place that my company is conducting AND it involves a case that is actually in court. Nothing wrong with making a non-specific statement about a case that is in court, but certain details shouldn't be mentioned for the sake of case integrity. IF I do comment on a case in that way, in ALL cases I have sought the express consent of my client. I have had client's that WANTED me to publicise certain details about a court case that they were involved in to try to influence the public or get some media attention. I WILL NOT do that.

(2) The case is over but I am in contract with my client, the contract has not expired, and the client will not give consent to publish any of the details of the case.

In these cases I just simply make no statements at all. I am paid by my client to respect their wishes according to the contractual agreement between the client and I, and I am contractually bound to "keep my mouth shut" in this circumstance

It is the difference between one that plays "amateur detective" on a blog and a REAL, Professional Private Investigator.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 8, 2011 | 3:47 p.m.

It's clear, from the changing colors of the trees, that we've had a change of seasons. Not much else has changed.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire October 9, 2011 | 3:54 p.m.

Ah, I'm glad that this article changed from having vanished to existing once again. Thanks, whoever.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 9, 2011 | 4:11 p.m.

Rick, I am saying no one has to answer a question just because someone thought it up one to ask. The answer would be obvious in real research, such as your real research turns up the real answers in the field of work you are in. I know there is a big difference in what you do and what a lot of people do. But some things are better left unsaid, when one considers others. I think people who are pushy until no one else is heard might not really be wanting answers as much as they want to keep pushing so no one else can be heard. I cite sources from journalism training and experience, but I have never revealed a confidentiality of any kind - though I have worked in suicide watch, etc. and heard a lot of things that the juicy gossips would love to hurl through the streets. One must consider the levity and seriousness of how one involves others, or one is just an aimless talebearer and troublemaker. By the way, I think you are too professional to confuse the two, and would not even consider it, in the first place.

:)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 9, 2011 | 4:13 p.m.

Ellis: Bet there are a lot of nice tree colors around this town.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 9, 2011 | 5:46 p.m.

Delcia,

If Mr. Dudley did not wish to have to produce proof that a statement he made is true, then he should not have made the statement. It is as simple as that. ESPECIALLY considering the fact that he is a representative of the people, so his statements are being made to the citizens of Columbia, MO. who have an absolute right to know if one of their reps is telling them the truth when he makes a statement to them through the media.

The people of Columbia expect Mr. Dudley to be truthful to them. That also means that if he makes a statement to them, he should be prepared to "back it up" and show them that his statements to them are truthful.

Otherwise, we have a group of people that don't support one of his proposals, and now they are being lead to believe that their is a group of people as large as they are that DO support his proposal. Now if this is not true, then we can reasonably assess that Mr. Dudley's proposal is not the will of the people. If it is true, then we have a situation where Mr. Dudley may be right in what he is doing based on support he has received from a cross-section of the people. So, now we can begin to see that there is a motivation for Mr. Dudley not being truthful and trying to illustrate that he has people supporting his proposal so he can push his own or someone else's own agenda...

That is why questioning this statement: "the amount of support he's received for his plans roughly equals the amount of opposition he's faced", is in fact important in this case.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett October 9, 2011 | 7:44 p.m.

@"That is why questioning this statement: "the amount of support he's received for his plans roughly equals the amount of opposition he's faced", is in fact important in this case."

Rick, if asking that question is so important, then write him a proper letter and ask him. When he responds, then place the answer here or over on Chuck's forum, or on the Trib's.

The point is, he does not have to involve himself or others in a rude shouting match. He not only acted appropriately under the circumstances, but he acted in a way that is admirable to those who have read of it, and support civility in public disclosures/discussions.

I think it is more prudent to research the accurate answer, and then publish it, and not just take a statement of his and demand a response where he is not even present.

He was there, and he was pounced. I don't blame him for having manners. But he does answer questions, and he responds to his voters and citizens in a decent way.

I think you are over the edge here.

:)

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 9, 2011 | 10:37 p.m.

Actually Delcia, it is what it is. The facts are:

Columbia Missourian Reporter Hilary Niles writes: "Dudley said that the amount of support he's received for his plans roughly equals the amount of opposition he's faced. But, when repeatedly asked for evidence of support for his plans, Dudley could not specify any names" in the 18th paragraph of the article. Do you dispute that, Delcia?

Okay, if there is no dispute about that being in print, are you saying that Hilary Niles misquoted Mr. Dudley or that she outright lied about what Mr. Dudley said?

Okay, if the statement mentioned above is in print, and it is accurate; then the only person to blame for opening this "can of worms" is Mr. Dudley, himself. If all of this is true, then all that is left is for you to admit that Mr. Dudley made the statement. He is a public speaker. He knew he could be called on any statement he made to the public at any time.. He put humself in this postition.

Again, "it is what it is"..

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams October 9, 2011 | 11:07 p.m.

Hilliary writes twice: "...Dudley could not specify any names."
______________________

Could not?

Or would not?

Big difference.

I wasn't there, so I don't know which it is.

Please clarify, Hilliary....What is the basis for your use of the word "could"?

Thanx.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley October 10, 2011 | 12:44 a.m.

Doesn't really matter, the onus is on Mr. Dudley, he is the one that made the statement that prompted the question....

(Report Comment)
Clara Allen October 10, 2011 | 8:31 a.m.

@Ellis Smith - have ya seen this morning's paper? Fall is not the only thing that's new. The invasion has started. There's a rooster (!) in Peace (McCallister) Park. The chickens are here, and mark my word, they're gonna rule the roost before it's all said and done.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 10, 2011 | 9:30 a.m.

That chicken has been there all summer, at least. Beautiful bird. Effective bug control. Too bad they can't just leave it alone.

As for Dudley's plan supporters, all I've heard about so far is rooms full of angry people. If there's as much support for this plan as opposition, where are they? Oh yeah, they lurk in the shadows, their influence is weighted by money, not population, and they are perfectly willing to burn Dudley in a trial balloon for their power grab.

ProTip, Dud: You don't need friends like that.

(Report Comment)
Hilary Niles October 10, 2011 | 12:43 p.m.

I'm happy to respond to the question of whether Mr. Dudley said he "could not" or "would not" specify any names of people in support of his plan for ward reapportionment.

He stated very clearly at the meeting that he could not. He implied that this was due to not being good with names: the only names of people for OR against his plan that he could remember off the top of his head, he pointed out, were Hank Ottinger and Mike Martin (two people at the meeting very much opposed to Dudley's plan). The attendees asked him again to give the names of his plan's supporters. "Do I have names? No," he said.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 10, 2011 | 3:51 p.m.

@ Clara Allen:

I saw that article. However there is obviously only one person who rules the roost around here (or thinks they do), and it isn't us chickens. :)

Went by your house this afternoon on the way from Fulton to Columbia.

(Report Comment)

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