Columbia Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton has taken the first step toward putting his name up for re-election on the April ballot.
Hutton filed a petition Monday with the city clerk to run again for City Council. The petition, which must contain at least 50 signatures from registered voters in his ward, will be forwarded to the Boone County clerk and should be verified in the next couple of days.
The director of plant and facility operations at Columbia College, Hutton said he decided to run for re-election because there are several important issues facing the council, including the continuing growth of the city.
“(Growth) is a tough issue to deal with,” he said. “It’s something that needs to continue for the economic well-being of the community, but it should be well planned and well thought out.”
If re-elected, Hutton said he would also like to play a role in projects at city-owned buildings, including City Hall, the renovation of which is one of the “next big things” the council plans to do.
Hutton spent the past three years representing the Third Ward after defeating Steve Tubbesing in 2001. He also spent two terms representing the Third Ward from 1989 to 1995, but he didn’t seek re-election in 1995.
Hutton said he wants to continue to be a strong voice for the Third Ward.
“In the last two elections I’ve said Columbia is a very busy place and there’s lots going on,” he said. “It’s key that the council consist of people that have the experience and dedication to deal with the issues that come up every week.”
He had hesitated to run again because being a councilman is time-consuming, but he decided the sacrifice was worth it.
“Some parts are not very enjoyable — truth be told — but there are also parts that are very rewarding,” he said.
City Council members serve unpaid, three-year terms. The terms are staggered so two of the city’s six wards elect representatives every year.
Hutton’s filing follows that of Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Loveless, who announced his candidacy early this month. Mayor Darwin Hindman, whose term also expires next year, hasn’t decided if he will run again.
So far, both Hutton and Loveless are running unopposed. Candidates have until Jan. 22 to file with the city. The election is April 6.