Usually I love living in the First Ward, but today I wish I lived in the Sixth Ward so I could vote for Barbara Hoppe.
I can’t remember when I first met Barbara. It may have been at a Neighborhood Alliance meeting almost 15 years ago when I first got involved in my neighborhood association. Since that time I have met Barbara at many meetings and have seen her address the City Council on a number of issues.
Every time I visit Stephens Lake Park I think of how it is largely because of Barbara Hoppe’s efforts that there is a beautiful park that is so easy to get to by bus or walking from the First Ward.
It has always been clear to me that Barbara didn’t run for City Council because she was backed by special interests, because she was building a resume or for any frivolous reason. She ran for office for the only reason a true statesperson ever runs, because it is a natural evolution of a dedicated citizen.
I have repeatedly seen evidence of Barbara’s commitment to the community while she has been on City Council. Several years ago she came to my house to meet with neighbors and Councilwoman Almeta Crayton to discuss a controversial issue.
Last fall I saw her at the bus station riding the buses and talking to bus riders in response to proposed budget cuts for the city transit system. She told me she had just driven some people to work when there was a problem with their bus. It seems like Barbara is always there when she is needed.
Barbara Hoppe is a thoughtful, accessible, devoted public servant. She is the "Solon" of Columbia.
Pat Kelley is a Columbia resident.