columbia city council

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

The three candidates vying for Columbia’s fourth ward seat have different priority issues and disagreements on governing and budget spending, but what incumbent Daryl Dudley and challengers Ian Thomas and Bill Weitkemper have in common is the desire to make Columbia better and serve its residents.

Vote Here sign
File Photo / KBIA

Karl Skala and Gary Kespohl are very familiar with each other.

Both are squaring off for the Third Ward Council seat of Columbia.

However, this will be the third time in the last three elections they have gone against each other.

City of Columbia finds $1.9 million budget surplus

Mar 19, 2013
columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

The new "incentive budgeting" technique has resulted in a $1.9 million surplus in the City of Columbia's budget. City council members discussed Monday ways the money could be spent, including street and sidewalk repairs, the J.W. "Blind" Boone Home renovation and adding more wheelchair accessible entrances.

The council did not vote on any measure, but said it agrees on rewarding the city for saving money.

Columbia city officials are considering upcoming improvements and funding for the Columbia Regional Airport.  The airport was a focal point for discussion at last night's (Monday) city council meeting in Columbia. Council members heard from Mayor Bob McDavid on proposed improvements to the airport and what those changes might mean for the city.  A possible new terminal and funding for the air traffic control tower are under consideration. 

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Changes to the Columbia Public School transportation schedules remain under debate. The Columbia Board of Education convened Monday to discuss, among other things, the new three-tier schedule designed to reduce the number of busses and improve the quality of service.

This schedule would push high school start times back back to 9 a.m. Middle schools and some elementary schools start between 7:20 and 7:30 a.m. The rest of elementary schools would begin at 8:20 a.m.

Columbia City Hall
KBIA file photo

Councilwoman Laura Nauser is very familiar with the Columbia City Council and the fifth ward seat she just won in a special election Tuesday.

Nauser previously served on the City Council for six years ending in 2011 until she narrowly won a bid for the fifth ward seat Tuesday night.  She says she ran in this special election because there were council votes she disagreed with while she was out of office.  Nauser emphasized her desire to establish a more uniform approach to government decision making.

Columbia City Hall
KBIA file photo

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid said the student tradition of driving to and from school campuses has to change; transportation was a key issue at Monday night's Columbia City Council meeting.

Council members discussed transportation options and solutions to increasing transportation problems created by Columbia's growing student population.

McDavid compared Columbia to other college towns in the Midwest like Ames, Iowa and the Champagne-Urbana area of Illinois, saying that those cities succeeded in creating mass transit instead of parking garages nearly 30 years ago.

A second person will be filing for the vacant Ward 5 position on the Columbia City Council.

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Solar panels could be coming to the city of Columbia’s residential neighborhoods in the next three years.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

The Columbia City Council approved the purchase of a plot of land, but council members haven’t agreed on what the city will use it for. The city of Columbia is purchasing a two-acre plot of land on Vandiver Drive at US 63. City Manager Mike Matthes says it will cost three hundred thousand dollars.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

The Executive Director of PedNet plans to run for City Council in April.

columbia city hall
File Photo / KBIA

In a unanimous decision Monday night, Columbia City Council voted to put a measure that changes how the city can exercise eminent domain on the April ballot.

With the City Council approval of a charter amendment to put the proposal on the ballot, voters will decide whether or not the city may transfer seized property to entities for private purposes. The amendment’s current wording prompted a discussion by city council pertaining to specifics of what does and does not qualify as a private entity.

Parking Meter
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia residents living around the North Village area have been facing parking issues for some time now, but tonight the City Council will hear out some proposed fixes.

Brookside resident Eleanor Clegg has to pay $80 every three months to park her car in a garage four blocks away from her apartment. She thinks there must be another option.

“I wish there was more free parking in general, like a parking lot that you can just parking for free,” she says. "But I think more meters will help."

Candidates can start filing Tuesday for Columbia City Council’s Fifth Ward seat. Council members approved a special election to replace Helen Anthony, who will resign at the end of the month.

Anthony said the election is important for Fifth Ward residents.

trashcan
Chelsea Stuart / KBIA

The Columbia City Council voted against the heavily debated roll cart trash pilot program last night. Third Ward Council Member Gary Kespohl said the pilot program failed to show financial benefit and improved customer service.

“There has to be more justification to me to go to this system, (for example) a bigger dollar savings," Kespohl said. "I can’t see where it’s at. Either that or the public has to be overwhelmingly in favor of it. Then I’d be in favor.”

Sen. McCaskill's mother dies at 84

Oct 29, 2012
I MAKE PIX / Flickr

According to a press release, Senator Claire McCaskill’s mother died of natural causes in St. Louis this afternoon. In a statement released, McCaskill stated that “people all over the state have asked about her mother, and their prayers and concern have been greatly appreciated.”

Helen Anthony to resign from Columbia City Council

Oct 16, 2012
File photo / KBIA

A member of Columbia’s City Council is resigning with two years left in her term.

led sign
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The Columbia City Council passed a six month ordinance making illuminated LED signs in store windows illegal.

The ordinance applies to signs installed after Oct. 1. Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp said the signs are distracting to drivers.

“Our human visual field is attracted to movement so I think there’s safety issues," Trapp said.

Curtis Bohl is the Chief Pixel Pusher for the display and scoreboard systems for Mizzou. He said he believes this is a step backwards for Columbia.

Columbia City Hall
KBIA file photo

The Columbia City Council was scheduled to vote Monday on a rezoning request that would allow a Break Time convenience store to be built at Rock Quarry Road and Grindstone Parkway, but MFA Oil withdrew the request.

MFA Oil withdrew its rezoning plan because neighbors in the area signed a petition against it. Phebe Lamar, an attorney for MFA Oil, said it soon became clear the City Council wouldn’t approve the plan.

Lamar said MFA Oil has done a lot to address the concerns of neighboring residents.

Columbia Council outlaws possession of fireworks

Oct 2, 2012
Fireworks
barron / Flickr

It’s now against the law to possess fireworks within the city of Columbia. City Council members voted Monday night to amend the city code, making it easier for police to enforce fireworks restrictions. Owner of Bob’s Fireworks, Bob Gereau says the change could hurt his business since many of his customers live in Columbia.

File / KBIA

It’s back to the drawing board for Columbia residents fighting a rezoning that would put a new Break Time in their neighborhood near Grindstone Parkway and Rock Quarry Road.

Columbia increases building permit fee

Oct 1, 2012
KBIA

Columbia has increased building permit fees for the first time since 1996. Last Monday, the Columbia City Council approved the fee along with several others.

Columbia has maintained the same fee for all building permits the last 16 years, but with an overworked inspection staff and need for additional revenue, the city decided to raise its permit fee.

Fireworks could soon be banned in Columbia

Sep 24, 2012
Fireworks
barron / Flickr

The Columbia City Council is considering a ban on possessing fireworks within the city limits.

The proposed law would make possession of fireworks a misdemeanor. The existing law prohibits the sale, manufacture and use of fireworks inside the city.

Columbia Police Sergeant Jill Schlude says existing laws restrict officers’ ability to respond to complaints. Shooting usually stops before they arrive.

“It just became a real issue – that enforcement was close to impossible based on the current language,” Schlude says.

Columbia Police Captains now "at will" employees

Sep 18, 2012
Police badge
7mary3 / Flickr

The Columbia City Council has approved an amendment that changes the status of Columbia's Police Captains from classified to unclassified employees. Under the new classification the police captains lose their right to due process and are now "at will" employees under Police Chief Kenneth Burton.

Columbia City Council passes 2013 budget

Sep 18, 2012
Janet Saidi / KBIA

The Columbia City Council passed its budget for the 2013 fiscal year Monday night. Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes says one of the main focuses this year was to try to relieve the general fund by closing the gap between revenues and expenses by a million dollars.

Columbia tenants could see rent increase

Sep 18, 2012

Columbia tenants may see a slight increase in rent in the coming years. City council members approved an amendment to the city code that raises the rates for rental inspections that landlords are required to schedule.  Stanley Diaz owns properties throughout the city and says he might have to raise rates because of the increased inspection costs.

KBIA file photo

Columbia City Council voted Monday night to hire an outside consulting service to help with the revision of the city’s zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations. Council members hope hiring an outside consultant to focus on city-specific zoning issues will help spur urban growth. Community Development Director Tim Teddy says the project would be a multiyear effort.

Columbia city council OKs Walnut Street rezoning

Jun 20, 2012

The Columbia City Council has agreed to rezone two lots on Walnut Street to make way for a new apartment building.  The decision came in a vote at Monday's city council meeting, where councilmembers voted 6-1 to rezone two lots on Walnut Street near College Avenue from residential to commercial, despite protests from neighbors. 

After an earlier rezoning request was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission, Jon and Nathan Odle, owners of the property, added two amendments to the request, including contributions to a new city bus system known as FastCAT Express. 

Columbia residents rally against EEZ plans

Jun 19, 2012
J. Evan Arnold / KBIA

In what continues to be one of the most divisive issues in Columbia, a proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone was the topic of more public discussion and a rally at last night’s Columbia City Council meeting. 

Columbia residents rallied last night to express frustrations over the Enhanced Enterprise Zone and what they believe to be a nonresponsive municipal government.

Columbia residents have publicly voiced their opposition to the measure that is designed to bring jobs to Columbia through a series of tax credits for businesses that set up within the zone’s boundaries.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Missouri fan on team plane in federal drug probe
  • Three accused of setting NE Mo. fires
  • Columbia City Council sets priorities for the future

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