Two file for council seats

Friday, January 6, 2012 | 9:28 p.m. CST; updated 10:45 a.m. CST, Monday, January 9, 2012

*CORRECTION: Bill Pauls is running for the Second Ward council seat. Bill Tillotson is running for the Sixth Ward council seat. An earlier version of this article misstated the wards.

COLUMBIA — There are two candidates for April's City Council election.

*Bill Tillotson and Bill Pauls both announced their candidacy for the Sixth Ward and Second Ward council seats, respectively. The deadline for candidates to submit a petition to be on the ballot is Tuesday.

Bill Tillotson

Bill Tillotson, a member on the Planning and Zoning Commission, has lived at 720 S. Rustic Road in the Sixth Ward for the past 24 years.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe is running for re-election.

Tillotson is a board member for the city's New Century Fund and is on the board of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, according to a news release. He was also a member of the city's Comprehensive Plan Task Force and has volunteered at the Boone County Clerk's office.

He has been married to his wife, Pamela, for 29 years and they have three children and three grandchildren. He has lived in Columbia for 41 years.  

Bill Pauls

Bill Pauls, 62, of 306 Whitetail Drive, has been a Columbia resident for 25 years and lived in the Second Ward for 11 years.

Pauls is the first candidate, as of Friday afternoon, to file for the Second Ward Council seat, which is being vacated by Jason Thornhill. Pauls retired in 2007 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he worked as an assistant state soil scientist.

He has served three terms on the Parks and Recreation Commission and volunteers for the City Convention and Visitors Bureau, according to a news release. He was a member of Citizens on Patrol with the Columbia Police Department and is a graduate of the Columbia Citizens Police Academy.  He also served as a Park Patrol member for many years. 

Thornhill said he hadn't met Pauls until he filed for city council Friday. Thornhill said some people wait to see if anyone will file because people want to know who their competition will be.

"Pauls said he had been thinking about this for a while so it wasn't a last minute decision," Thornhill said after talking to Pauls on Friday morning. "He just wanted to make sure it was something he had the time to dedicate to."

Robert Williams, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, has lived in the Second Ward for 17 years. He said he signed Pauls' petition because he knows Pauls would be a great councilman.

Pauls is the president of the Hunters Gate Neighborhood Association and has done an excellent job, Williams said. He also cited his career in government and with the park patrol. 

"Bill is very active in civic operations in Columbia," Williams said. "He is very impressive and will do an excellent job as a councilman."

Williams said he knows Pauls will help build progress for the community with his experiences.

Pauls has been married to his wife Kris for 40 years. The couple has two children and four grandchildren.

Petitions are due by 5 p.m. Tuesday to the city clerk's office located at 701 E. Broadway.

The election will be April 3.

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Delcia Crockett January 7, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.

Either candidate appears to be a great fit for the Council. However the one, already in the neighborhood concerns and the connection to the police department, could be just what the proverbial "doctor ordered" to help remedy the needs for safety in our neighborhoods in this town.

Wasn't there a request, not too far back, for 42 more officers in Columbia, some satellite stations out in our neihgborhoods, and for two officers to drive in every car?

What happened to that request? Why was it tabled (or tossed) so easily?

When that is stated as needed for this town, why have we not followed through on it?

Would not the candidate with that link into neighborhood safety concerns, be exactly what our town would need as we are growing and more concerns arise from that growth?

Just this morning, I was in a discussion about City Council with someone, and the thought came up that maybe we just need a whole new Council (with the exception of Mr. Dudley, who weathered partisan politics, remained a gentleman, and served us all well in his high standard of conduct of backing a plan he felt was the right one, even against pressure and odds stacked tall).

We need to get the request back on the table, or we need to lose some more of the current Council.

Should the Mayor stay? Depends. Is he willing to "wake up and smell the coffee," too?

Columbia is very deserving of the best.

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