Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Loveless has decided he will run for re-election in April, but Mayor Darwin Hindman and Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton, whose terms also expire next year, have yet to decide whether to run again.
Loveless, who filed the paperwork for his candidacy Nov. 3, said the city’s continuing traffic problems prompted him to run again.
“Traffic is so difficult around town,” he said. “There are unfinished things I would like to see completed before I leave the council.”
Loveless wants the city and the Missouri Department of Transportation to relieve traffic congestion on Stadium Boulevard between Route WW and Interstate 70 and along U.S. 63 at the interstate and Clark Lane. He’s also worried that continuing development on Scott Boulevard in western Columbia will cause more traffic problems.
Loveless, who has served the Fourth Ward for the past three years, served as Second Ward representative more than 10 years ago.
During his current term, Loveless has shown he’s not reluctant to go against the grain. Most recently, he has cast the lone votes against the rezoning of land for a Wal-Mart Supercenter along Grindstone Parkway and a city strategy of selling excess pollution credits to pay for repairs at the Municipal Power Plant.
Loveless said he’d be “honored” to continue serving his ward, but it won’t be so bad if he’s not re-elected because he’ll be able to spend more time with his family.
“It’s a win-win situation,” he said, adding that his wife, Connie, supports his decision to run again.
“My wife seems to enjoy having me gone on Monday nights,” he joked.
Columbia’s council members serve unpaid, staggered, three-year terms. Two of the city’s six ward representatives are up for election each year. The mayor also serves a three-year unpaid term.
Candidates were allowed to file with the city starting Oct. 24. In order to appear on the ballot, would-be candidates must collect signatures from 50 registered voters in their ward, while candidates for mayor must gather 100 signatures from the community at large. They then file these signatures with the city clerk. The Boone County clerk certifies the petitions.
Hindman said that he doesn’t know whether he will run but that his health will play a part in his decision.
“I’ve been sick, and I’m recovering very well, but it makes one stop and think about what one’s lifestyle should be,” he said.
Hindman added he’s been honored to serve as Columbia’s mayor for the past nine years.
Hutton, of the Third Ward, said earlier this week that he probably will decide whether to run within the next couple days. He said his ability to balance council duties with other commitments will be a factor.
“I want to be able to take the time to serve,” he said.
Candidates will be allowed to file until Jan. 22. The election is April 6.