Columbia Mayor Brian Treece speaks at a community briefing

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece speaks at a community briefing May 3. Treece announced Friday he would not seek another term as Columbia mayor.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece announced Friday that he will not be running for re-election in 2022. 

Treece called a press conference to announce his decision so other potential candidates would have enough time to consider their plans. He mentioned no future political aspirations, saying he plans to focus on his final six months in office.

"This has been a careful evaluation over the last several months. I think it is important to leave Columbia on good footing," Treece said.

The mayor said he thought it would be the most transparent option to inform the public and his colleagues now so they understand why he is working so hard to get decisions made.

"I want to give the next mayor the opportunity to organize their campaign and their vision," Treece said. 

The announcement leaves two key leadership positions facing transition in the coming year. Columbia is already looking for a new city manager. City Manager John Glascock retires in January .

Council Member Betsy Peters said she was sad to hear that Treece will not run again. She said he has done a great job as mayor and is respectful of all citizens.

Peters said Treece did a good job of leading Columbia through the pandemic and was very data-driven.

Council Member Andrea Waner was surprised to hear the news and also said she was sad to see Treece go. Although Waner has only worked with Treece as a City Council member for the last five months, she worked with him during the years she served as chair of the Columbia Human Rights Commission.

"We are lucky to have him steering the ship," Waner said.

Treece has been a compassionate mayor and worked hard to improve relationships within the government, Waner said. Waner also praised him as a professional and respectful leader who was as transparent as possible.

The mayor said he is confident in Columbia's financial position and that the city will be able to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbia is currently the most vaccinated city in the state and has the lowest hospitalizations, Treece said.

Treece has six months left in office and said he plans to continue working on several key projects before he steps down.

He said he will continue to push hard for a rapid access treatment center to aid in mental health initiatives, as well as a homeless shelter. The shelter could also be used to house those affected by potential natural disasters, Treece said.

Treece will also fight for an early college initiative that allows students to complete an associate's degree while still in high school.

Local adoption of the Wayfair Fix, an internet tax that Treece has said would generate millions in revenue to the city, is also an important priority. He also will continue working on community violence initiatives while still in office.

Treece said he sees his equality initiatives and the city's non-discrimination ordinance as his prime legacy as mayor. 

Treece stressed how time intensive the position of mayor is, especially during the pandemic. 

"Being a mayor during the pandemic should be measured in dog years. Because the last year has felt like seven," Treece said.

Even before the pandemic, Treece recalled, there were times when he was so busy that he did not go home for three days straight. 

When deciding to run in 2015, Treece said he told his wife that it was "really only a meeting every other Monday."

He noted that he never quit his job as a lobbyist, but the job as mayor requires more than 40 hours a week. He said there were over 1,100 community meetings and events, over 2,300 media interviews and over 36,000 emails that he tries to answer.  

Treece said he does not know how to do it any other way, it is just what the job demands. He said he has enjoyed every minute of it.

"Every day has been consumed with the honor and responsibility of being your mayor," Treece said.

  • City and county government reporter, spring 2022. Reach me at hope.davis@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5700

  • City and county reporter for fall 2021. Reach me at mebctg@umsystem.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

  • Fred Anklam manages city and county government reporters. He can be reached at anklamf@missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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