Fifth Ward candidate Burns is offended by lack of invitation to development council event

Sunday, February 3, 2013 | 6:02 p.m. CST; updated 6:43 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 3, 2013

COLUMBIA — When Fifth Ward City Council candidates Mark Jones and Laura Nauser meet with members of the Central Missouri Development Council on Monday, fellow candidate Susan "Tootie" Burns won't be there.

That's because she wasn't invited.

"I received no emails and no phone calls," Burns said. "I think this is more of a reflection on the (development council) not being inclusive than a reflection on my campaign."

Nauser said she got a "last-minute" invitation to the event by email on Friday night. The event seemed impromptu, she said.

"It seems like all three of us should be there," Nauser said.

Late Saturday night, Burns sent an email to the development council's listserv explaining that she was not invited to the "forum."

"I am offended that I was not asked to participate. I am serious about this campaign and serving ALL of Columbia," Burns wrote. "... I wanted you to know that the reason I am not at the forum is because I was never asked to participate."

Don Stamper, executive director of the development council, said Burns wasn't asked to come to the reception because she has never reached out to the council.

"We don't have a relationship with Ms. Burns," Stamper said. "She hasn't communicated with us to try to learn the issues that we care about."

Stamper listed the city budget, the future of Columbia's infrastructure and job growth as relevant matters in the development council's eyes.

"It concerns us when candidates claim to represent 100 percent of the community but don't do all the research or seek out all the aspects of that community," Stamper said.

Jones said he has reached out to the development council throughout his campaign.

"Just like everyone else, (the development council) wants someone who is accessible and open to the issues that they are facing," Jones said.

Burns' use of the word "forum" in her email was incorrect, Stamper said. The event is not a question-and-answer session but an opportunity for development council members to get acquainted with Jones and Nauser, he said.

Burns, however, said she would have appreciated a chance to attend.

"It would have been a great opportunity to meet the membership and have that conversation about what the council finds important," Burns said.

The special election for the Fifth Ward seat is Tuesday.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Tracy Greever-Rice February 4, 2013 | 1:07 p.m.

Below is the text sent from the CMDC to a set of email addresses that include 1)Some, but not all, of its board of directors, 2) some, but not all, directors of Columbia human services organizations, 3) some, but not all, city, county, school district, state, and other local political subdivisions that can tax like the downtown CID and Boone County SB40 (BCFR) staff and elected officials, 4) high level administrators at MU, 5) many businesses related to real estate development including lawyers, bankers, brokers, and suppliers, 6) local media - including print, radio and TV, and 7) candidates for the April 2013 election as well as 'dark horse' candidates from past elections that some might find surprising to be 'card-carrying' members of the real estate development lobby.

The list of whom was invited is in many ways, more interesting and telling, than the extraordinary buffoonery and clumsy tackiness of excluding a candidate whom CMDC apparently fears might not serve as an elected lobbyist for their political agenda.

Tootie's interpretation of 'invited guest speakers' sounds a whole lot more like a forum to me than a 'reception'.

She is right to be offended, but more importantly and happily, CMDC and its members, have yet once again shown themselves to be unartful in their attempts at political shenanigans and ungracious in their tolerance for the property rights and quality of life of others. This wholly unchivalrous faux pas would be laughable if the stakes weren't so high to the quality of life for all Columbians.

The invite also included contact info for CMDC, which interestingly, doesn't have its own domain, instead it shares the 'Old Hawthorn' country club email address... seems like I heard something about several million in public dollars headed that way soon...



Moved from Tuesday, February 5th to

11:30 am – 1 pm

at Peachtree Catering & Banquet Center
120 E. Nifong, Suite D, Columbia, MO

Invited guest speakers will be Fifth Ward City Council Candidates:

Mark Jones & Laura Nauser'

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders February 4, 2013 | 1:47 p.m.

The Tootie... it burns!

(Report Comment)

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