We write to urge Sixth Ward residents to vote for Barbara Hoppe for Columbia City Council on April 3.
Barbara’s decades-long service to the Columbia community as a citizen and a member of council has been driven by a vision for a healthy, sustainable and economically vibrant community. As the longest-serving sitting council member, she has emphasized fiscal responsibility and spearheaded the effort to guide the city successfully through difficult economic times. Through her support for managed growth and well-designed public open space (including her leadership as a citizen advocate to create Stephens Lake Park — the jewel of our park system), she has helped ensure Columbia is a desirable place to live and own a business.
Editor's note: The Missourian strives to publish differing views and welcomes letters to the editor. Read Executive Editor Tom Warhover's column on the Missourian's approach to election letters.
Letters should be about 400 words and must be signed. The deadline for submitting letters related to the April 3 election is March 29 to be published in the April 1 edition. Letters should be submitted to opinion editor Elizabeth Conner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail at 221 S. Eighth St. Columbia, MO 65211 or by fax at 882-5702.
No one works harder than Barbara to represent her constituents. She attends or hosts community meetings seven days a week and takes every possible opportunity to engage the public in neighborhood, Sixth Ward and citywide issues. She also proactively engages the city manager in key issues to communicate public opinion and concerns so that potential problems can be resolved before city staff spend a lot of time drafting ordinances and other proposals.
Barbara has been a champion for a modern, efficient transit system in Columbia. It is increasingly clear that a frequent and extensive transit service is an essential component of sustainable transportation policy in the economically successful communities Columbia aspires to emulate. She had the foresight to establish the Public Transportation Advisory Commission in 2009, invested hundreds of hours of hard work into averting a cut in services in 2011, and is now collaborating closely with students, university leaders and community members to develop and implement a popular vision for a great Columbia Transit system of the future.
Finally, Barbara is a highly compassionate person. When she spent an entire afternoon last fall riding buses so she could talk directly to transit users, and one of the buses broke down, stranding passengers, it was Barbara who stepped up and drove her car full of late-shift workers to their jobs so they would not get fired.
Vote Hoppe for council!
Ian and Ellen Thomas are Columbia residents. Ian is executive director of the PedNet Coalition.