Brooks, who according to county records was born in February 1952, ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Columbia Board of Education last year and is running for both mayor and school board on the April 6 ballot. Brooks’ written platform cites inequity among wards in the city government’s distribution of social services. He believes more affluent wards have an advantage in receiving services. Brooks’ Web site includes biographical information, a description of his platform and public forums in which city residents can discuss issues related to the city as a whole or to their individual wards.Editor’s note: Brooks declined to respond directly to the inquiry from the Missourian and instead sent an e-mail asking that his campaign be covered by a minority reporter. Because the Missourian does not allow sources to dictate how stories are covered, his request was respectfully declined. Here is an excerpt from Brooks’ message:
“... Don’t take it personal, but tell your editor I am interested in being interviewed by a minority reporter from the Missourian. If there are no minority reporters there will be no further interviews at this time. Preferably a Asian, Hispanic or African-American reporter would work just fine. Then I would be able to give the minority reporter all the copy the Missourian can print.”
Clark, 61, has lived in Columbia since 1968. He is president of the North Central Neighborhood Association and has served as an officer of the group for the past nine years. Clark’s written platform focuses on five key issues, among them finding a qualified city manager so that the city is prepared to move forward when City Manager Ray Beck retires, and exploring whether the city ought to have more wards.“The City Council must take an equal leadership role with the city manager in developing and making policy for the city government. The issue is how to get the council to be a policy-developing and policy-making body, not just a micro-managing and reactive body, and how to make it more representative and more responsive to voters. A key decision that the council will make in the next few years will be selecting the next city manager when Mr. Beck retires. Decisions on these issues will substantially determine whether Columbia has a great, or just a mediocre, future.”
Hindman, 70, is running for what would be a record-setting fourth term as mayor. No other Columbia mayor has sought a fourth term. Hindman was first elected in 1995 and ran unopposed in the past two elections, in 1998 and 2001. Hindman works as an attorney for Hindman and Goldstein, L.L.C. He is a longtime advocate of trails and has spent much of his energy as mayor trying to make the city more amenable to bicyclists and pedestrians.“I believe Columbia is going to grow, but that we can grow and maintain, even improve, our quality of life. We need to plan for growth and provide the infrastructure, including streets (which include bike lanes, sidewalks and landscaping), utilities, parks, trails, schools and public transportation to allow us to continue the quality of life we enjoy and to be sure that we finance the infrastructure in an equitable and community acceptable way.”
City Council Candidates
Hutton, 55, has served on the City Council for a combined three terms, though they haven’t been consecutive. He served as Third Ward representative from 1989 to 1995 but did not seek re-election in 1995. Hutton ran again and won the Third Ward seat in 2001, and he is unopposed in this year’s election. Hutton serves as the director of plant and facility operations at Columbia College. While an advocate of growth, Hutton believes the council should make it a priority to ensure the infrastructure keeps pace with development.“Let me begin by saying that there are many pressing needs in Columbia. But in my opinion, the one area that stands out is the need for infrastructure improvements in the transportation system, primarily with regard to major unimproved, or in some cases, yet to be built, roads.
While it was extremely important, and also gratifying, for the voters of Columbia to recently approve the bond issues for water and sewer improvements, it is at least equally important that we look at other infrastructure needs, primarily major roadways. There are many areas of Columbia that are developing ahead of the collector and arterial streets that service these areas. We must immediately plan for these projects, secure funding, and then get some projects under way.”
Loveless, 54, is running unopposed for another term in his Fourth Ward seat. Originally elected as a Second Ward councilman in 1989, Loveless was forced to step down from his post a little more than a year after the election when he moved out of the Second Ward. Loveless then ran unopposed for the Fourth Ward seat in 2001. He works as a wildlife management biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation and manages Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. Loveless has long emphasized that he tries to keep an open mind on city government issues and to not go into meetings with preconceived notions about how he will vote.“If ‘location, location, location’ is the operable phrase in real estate, then ‘finances, finances, finances’ might be analogous regarding our city. Maintaining our vibrant city and the quality of life which our citizens enjoy depends upon adequate funding to support infrastructure, facilities and services. This is the most challenging (and daunting) issue which we face.”