New campaign style used

Sunday, February 1, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:38 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

At least one candidate for Columbia’s upcoming mayoral election is ready to voice his stance on the issues. But Arch Brooks’ campaign style might not be what voters are used to seeing.

Brooks, CEO of Brooks Computing Systems Inc., recently announced the creation of seven public discussion forums made available via the Internet. Columbia residents are able to go online and voice concerns or pose questions to Brooks, who is able to respond to posts as he receives them.

Seven message boards are available for users to choose from. On the “Open Forum” board, users can discuss general problems with city services and receive responses from Brooks about his views. An additional forum has been created for discussing problems or issues in each of Columbia’s six wards.

Brooks informed the Missourian of the boards via e-mail and has refused in-person or phone interviews, opting to relate to the Missourian only through e-mail.

Brooks described the innovative form of discussion the boards create between him and Columbians in an e-mail announcement.

“A new level of collaboration has just arrived,” Brooks said.

In another e-mail, Brooks said the creation of message boards shows his capability to come up with new ideas to solve various problems in the city.

“This ability to solve problems in a highly organized manner speaks volumes to the innovative ideas I have for improving office efficiency, service improvements and revenue generation for our city,” Brooks said.

To access the message boards, users can go to Brooks’ campaign Web site. As of Saturday afternoon, only one post had appeared on the “Open Forum.”

According to the city clerk’s office, both Brooks and John Clark’s petitions to run for mayor have been certified.

Brooks’ platform, posted on his Web site, is based on racial and gender equality, reducing the roles of special interests in government and evenly spreading social services throughout the city.

“Special interest groups, lawyers and realtors do not constitute a true representation of the people of the city of Columbia,” Brooks said.

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