The count is in: Fred Schmidt won the First Ward race with 60.06 percent of the vote. Mitch Richards finished with 23.52 percent, Darrell Foster had 4.9 percent and Pam Forbes carried 11.51 percent of the final vote.
Helen Anthony won the Fifth Ward race with 53.41 percent of the vote. Glen Ehrhardt finished with 46.59 percent.
Proposition 1, which awards an annual $6,000 stipend to city council members at the beginning of their term and an annual $9,000 stipend to the mayor beginning in April of 2014 passed with 68.60 percent of the vote.
Proposition 2 also passed with 86.01 percent of voters supporting the initiative. Under Prop 2, Columbia will issue $49.5 million in its Water and Electric System Revenue Bonds. The money would be used to expand, repair and improve the city’s waterworks and electric system as well as to purchase the outstanding shares of the Columbia Energy Center.
Schmidt is an accountant with a B.A. in economics from Vasser and an M.A. in economics from The University of California at Berkley. He has worked on Wall Street, and says his experience as an accountant is important to Columbia at a time when one of the biggest issues in the city is the budget.
When asked why he was running for the First Ward seat, Fred Schmidt said he had a specific vision for what Columbia could be.
“Right now, the burning issues are the economy, the budget and jobs,” Schmidt told The Maneater in a previous interview. “We’ve made a lot of progress in recent years in making Columbia a wonderful place to live and work. You can conceive the challenge, so how do we continue to maintain our quality of life and maintain a vibrant community in this environment?
Anthony is a lawyer who was elected to the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission in 2007. She said her main concerns regarding the Fifth Ward are in its infrastructure and zoning regulations. She said her experience as a lawyer shaped her people skills especially when trying to come a decision when parties disagree.
“I think in order to be successful in any kind of organization you have to have the ability to respect different opinions and try to come to some sort of an agreement knowing that not everyone is going to get what they want,” Anthony told The Maneater in a previous interview. “Those are the kinds of skills that you can use dealing with any issue that comes before city council.