Local Government

Bill Watkins to retire after five years as city manager

City Manager Bill Watkins, with a total of 26 years of service to the city working in various positions, gave the Columbia City Council five months' notice of his retirement.

Boone Hospital expansion aids ER staff, patients

New emergency rooms and an expanded nurses station and waiting room are just a few of the improvements that came with the $1.8 million renovation.

Police chief against putting SWAT changes in ordinance

Making changes in SWAT raid policy a matter of city code would put an undue burden on his officers, Police Chief Ken Burton said.

Presiding commissioner candidates spar over budget philosophy

Candidates Ed Robb and Scott Christianson ended the night civilly, but not before hashing out significant differences of opinion regarding how to address Boone County's budget issues.

UPDATE: Watkins to retire; colleagues, acquaintances react

Folks who have worked with City Manager Bill Watkins say he will be missed when he retires next year.

Bill Watkins' resume details work in Columbia, elsewhere

Bill Watkins' had held posts in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

A "Journey to Excellence"; Columbia's plans for city improvement and national recognition

Columbia will be pursuing two awards for excellence in business quality and leadership, including the Missouri Quality Award and the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

Opposed neighbors win council's support on Great Hang-ups rezoning

The lack of a detailed site plan played a part in the council's decision.

City communication snafus keep proposed pedestrian improvements in limbo

For the second time, the proposed pedestrian improvements at Providence and Business Loop 70 were tabled because property owners were not notified.

Council to commission study of airport terminal

On Monday, the Columbia City Council will vote to allocate funds for a study to recommend improvements for the Columbia Regional Airport’s terminal.

Proposition B TV advertising backed by out-of-state money

The campaign in support of Proposition B, Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, has raised $2.38 million this year. Only about 3 percent of the contributions came from Missouri residents and groups.

City Council to review proposed SWAT ordinance

The proposed ordinance would limit who controls SWAT raids and how operations should be conducted by police.

Public defenders prepare to turn away cases, citing work overload

State public defenders' budget is causing problems as caseloads increase and staff levels remain the same.

Columbia solid waste manager turns trash into treasure

Richard Wieman recently received national recognition for his accomplishments in the Public Works Department. He and his wife Sheila make sculptures out of trash in their spare time.

Columbia Housing Authority recognized as 'high performer'

The authority restructured its public housing system in 2008 to allow properties more independence from the authority.

Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission endorses East Area Plan

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to accept a plan that creates a road map for the expansion of east Columbia, whose population has grown in recent years.

Mayor voices worries about parks sales tax proposition

Mayor Bob McDavid said unclear language could affect voters' opinions of a proposal to continue the city parks sales tax. The proposal will be on the ballot Nov. 2.

Panel discusses property seizure laws

About 30 people gathered at The Blue Note on Wednesday night to listen to a panel discussion about civil forfeiture laws. The gathering was sponsored by the Americans for Forfeiture Reform.

Columbia's city manager defends officers in February SWAT team raids

City Manager Bill Watkins informed Green Aid in a letter that he supports Columbia's police officers' actions during a SWAT team raid in  February. Green Aid said it was disappointed in the city's actions and the message it sends.

Judge Gene Hamilton concludes career spanning 28 years, 500 cases

Hamilton said he does not know who Gov. Jay Nixon will choose to replace him. In 1989, Hamilton presided over the state’s first case to accept DNA evidence. After retiring, he will begin conducting arbitration mediation for Fulton law firm Riley and Dunlap.