The council approved the acquisition of land for the new parking garage on Short Street, adjacent to a redeveloped Regency Hotel.
First Ward candidates focused on issues related to affirmative action, while Fifth Ward candidates discussed erosion, energy-efficient homes and the Office of Neighborhood Services.
City Council members voted unanimously for Mike Matthes, former assistant city manager and chief information officer in Des Moines, Iowa, to replace Bill Watkins as Columbia's city manager.
Some say the council's unanimous decision will increase the cost of business.
The new city manager was chosen from four candidates and will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Increase your knowledge of Columbia by looking at city data that includes demographics, climate patterns and more.
Nine city council and school board candidates are expected to attend for a question and answer session.
Twenty former and current city officials congregated at City Hall on Friday to meet the final four candidates for the city manager position.
Les Proctor, who was mayor of Columbia from 1977 to 1979, died Tuesday. His friend Jerry Mathis said Proctor "never forgot his friends" despite his prominence.
The four candidates for Columbia's city manager position will begin the interview process Friday. The public will have an opportunity to meet the candidates from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at City Hall.
McDavid was critical of a quick deadline given to the city by the redevelopers of the Regency Hotel. He said building the garage would guarantee an increase in parking rates downtown.
The candidates come from Wisconsin, Washington, Texas and Iowa.
Mayor Bob McDavid said although the four candidates are from other states, they know what to expect as Columbia's city manager.
Council members didn't want to vote on purchasing the land until financial details for the garage were clearer.
City Council candidates discussed a variety of issues during a forum Tuesday night at the Columbia Public Library. The forum was sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
However, the financing for the proposed garage hasn't been explained to council members.
Candidates for the Columbia City Council, Columbia School Board and Boone Hospital Board of Trustees will answer questions about issues on the April ballot.
The public can weigh in Monday on new sidewalks and landscaping proposed for the Avenue of the Columns near Broadway.
City Manager Bill Watkins' retirement reception at Stephens Lake Park is set for March 10.
Assistant City Manager Paula Hertwig Hopkins will work with City Manager Bill Watkins until his March 11 retirement and will have decision-making authority in his absence.