COLUMBIA — Rob Rasmussen has joined the swelling number of people seeking the First Ward seat on the Columbia City Council.
Rasmussen told the Missourian on Wednesday night that he plans to submit his nominating petition to City Clerk Sheela Amin after he double-checks his petition for enough valid signatures.
Rasmussen, 31, is a home coordinator for Woodhaven, an organization that provides homes and skill-building opportunities for people with disabilities. He said his patience and ability to solve problems make him a good choice for the seat.
The council's handling of the Opus Group's District Flats apartment project downtown doesn't reflect the values of the majority of the First Ward residents, Rasmussen said. He said that although he doesn't oppose economic growth, he thinks it needs to be done in an eco-friendly and "socially responsible way."
He said he supports downtown infill — "centrally located and affordable housing for young professionals, couples, families," and that he's open to designs that more closely mirror the aesthetic and "spirit of Columbia."
"I think this sort of investment in the core population would foster meaningful growth," Rasmussen said. "Not measured solely in dollars but culture as well."
As of Thursday afternoon, the First Ward ballot included three candidates — the Rev. Rob Stewart, attorney John Clark and the Rev. Clyde Ruffin. Rasmussen joins several others, including Eastside Tavern owner Sal Nuccio and MU student Jake Loft, who have announced intention to run but haven't filed petitions.
The deadline to file for First Ward seat candidacy is 5 p.m. Feb. 10. Those who want to run must collect at least 50 and not more than 75 signatures from registered First Ward voters. Elections for First Ward, Second Ward and Sixth Ward council seats take place April 7.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.