COLUMBIA — I am writing in support of Dr. Ian Thomas' candidacy for Fourth Ward Columbia City Councilperson. As a disclaimer, I do not live in the Fourth Ward, and, in fact, I live in Boone County. However, I work and engage in numerous activities within the city limits of Columbia. I moved to Columbia in 1977 to obtain a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from MU, which I accomplished in 1983. I was involved in starting the Cardiovascular Rehab program at Boone Hospital Center in 1981 and managed it until January 2003. Since 2003, I have operated a personal health consulting business and was involved in starting and operating a health promotion and disease prevention center called Optimus: The Center for Health.
I call Columbia and Boone County home and find it to be a progressive community for the most part. I am interested in having open-minded, forward-thinking and community-minded persons involved in the management of the city of Columbia. Therefore I unequivocally support Dr. Ian Thomas's candidacy for the Fourth Ward council position.
I worked with Ian from approximately 2003-2005 as a member of the PedNet Coalition. Ian was executive director at the time. I was involved in writing grants, which we received from the Robert Wood Johnson Active Living program. We initiated the successful Walking School Bus program and initiated a physical fitness challenge program within the Columbia Public Schools' junior high schools. I was most impressed with Ian. He was thoughtful, very open to discussion and opinions from the PedNet team and passionate about health, fitness, and non-motorized transportation.
He is a very intelligent person whom I'm confident will represent the constituents of the Fourth Ward very effectively. I would encourage constituents in the Fourth Ward to cast their ballot on April 2 for Dr. Ian Thomas.
Tom LaFontaine is a Boone County resident.