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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Barbara Hoppe part of why Columbia is a great town

By Mike Seat
February 21, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

I love Columbia. I retired here three years ago, and I didn’t choose Columbia by accident.

Having the freedom to pick from the best places to retire in the country, I chose Columbia as the right place for me after many hours of researching possible retirement locations.

Convincing my family to move to Columbia from the East Coast was an easy sell. We were especially attracted by its friendly, easy-going lifestyle, its parks, its arts culture, its restaurants, and its low cost of living — not to mention having all its amenities so close by.

After living many years in a rapidly growing metropolitan area, I wanted to improve my quality of life and hoped to spend less time on the road and more time having fun. In the three years since I moved here, I've come to appreciate Columbia even more. Columbians are unusually intelligent, creative, caring people, and they continue to amaze me.

Forbes magazine agrees that Columbia is a great place and recently named Columbia one of the top 25 retirement locations in the United States. We have the opportunity to turn that good publicity to our favor. With careful planning, we can make Columbia an even better place for all of us to live while attracting other people who also appreciate the good life Columbia has to offer.

At first, you might not want Columbia to grow because growth means changes for our wonderful city. But stagnation is not a good alternative. Growth is inevitable if we want Columbia to continue to thrive, so why not further improve upon Columbia's quality of life by planning for growth and managing it? We need thoughtfully planned, sustainable growth in Columbia, not reckless, uncontrolled sprawl.

After moving to Columbia, I've come to know one of the people who has helped make it such a great town: Barbara Hoppe. For example, she was instrumental in acquiring Stephens Lake Park for us, having worked on that project and other park funding projects since 1999.

During her six years on the Columbia City Council, Barbara has worked to keep our future bright by promoting renewable energy and vibrant by encouraging cultural events. Of course, our community depends on positive economic development, fiscal responsibility, and keeping, expanding, and growing small businesses. Barbara has proven she can be trusted to guide our local economy the right way. I trust her knowledge and experience and am confident that the future of our fair city is in good hands with Barbara representing us on the council.

I consider all Columbians to be my friends, and I encourage my friends to vote for Barbara Hoppe.

Mike Seat is a Columbia resident.