Filing period ends for mayoral race
Jan. 22, 2010
Potential mayoral candidates submitted a petition by Thursday, Jan. 21, to the Columbia City Clerk's office in order to run for mayor. Now that the filing period has ended, the following are the race's official candidates.
Columbia citizen Paul Love intends to focus on the issues most important to those around him. His top priority is crime, which comes up repeatedly in conversations with neighbors, Love said.
"We've been noticing an increase in crime in the last month or so," Love said. "You really don't realize how much stuff happens in your neighborhood until you've walked a dozen blocks and talked to people."
Love, who is a network administrator for the vehicle records Web site Carfax, said the city should reduce its reliance on matching funds received from the government for certain projects. Although Columbia's budget is nearly balanced, these matching funds come from other citizens' tax dollars. Love said.
"Our public debt nationwide is skyrocketing and I don't think that's something we want to pass on to future generations," he said. "I think that all Americans need to stand up and be responsible for it."
A former physician and a member of the Boone Hospital Center board of trustees, Bob McDavid has been in an influential position before.
Looking at the national economy, it could have repercussions for Columbia, McDavid said.
"The economic climate is affecting city revenues and the reality is if we don't do something about this, then we could see a deterioration in city services," McDavid said. "We must work hard to avoid this."
One of McDavid's other priorities is increasing public safety.
"I just want to quit reading stories in the paper about stabbings near MU's campus, as there was the other day, assaults in the downtown and random killings," McDavid said.
MU makes up 40 percent of Columbia's economy and it is important for students to care about the upcoming election. McDavid said.
"It's very important for MU students to be engaged in this election because it affects them," McDavid said.
Eastside Tavern Owner Sal Nuccio can be seen in the Ragtag cinema in downtown Columbia on most nights.
Quiet for most of the campaign, Nuccio has refused to give many interviews to members of the local media. The attention has been intense, Nuccio said.
In 2008, he was also a candidate for City Council on a platform of reducing crime downtown. He said downtown crime, especially vandalism, was hurting downtown business owners.
During his run for the First Ward seat, Nuccio hoped to place more police officers in downtown hot spots so cases would be able to have more credible witnesses.
Nuccio later withdrew from the race so he did not split the vote with fellow business owner and eventual winner, Paul Sturtz.
A New Jersey native, Nuccio has been a business owner for 12 years in Columbia. Before running Eastside Tavern, Nuccio operated the Penguin Dueling Piano Bar, but sold it when it began to deteriorate.
One of the last candidates to file, Sean O'Day is unknown to many Columbians. This anonymity is not going to stop him though, O'Day said.
"I'm doing this to win," he said. "This is a serious campaign with a serious message."
Moving to Columbia after he finished high school, O'Day attended MU for a short time and is now a grocery manager at Patricia's Foods.
He said his campaign is fiscal and environmental responsibility. This means spending money and developing in a way that is responsible and keeps the city solvent, O'Day said.
Another major point of his candidacy is increased government transparency. O'Day supported a measure voted down in the city council that would have given the council more say in decisions about the hiring and firing of city department heads.
"Just because department heads aren't chosen by the City Council doesn't mean the decision isn't a political one," O'Day said.
Because O'Day filed on the last day he was eligible, his petition for mayor has yet to be approved by the city clerk.
A former candidate for a seat on the Boone County Commission and a member of the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, Sid Sullivan is familiar with city and county politics.
After living near Chicago for more than 25 years, Sullivan moved to Columbia in 2000 after retiring.
Sullivan is running on a platform of smart city development, with an emphasis on building neighborhoods around schools. He said better communication during the planning process is needed for future development.
"The city needs to work more effectively with the county and the school boards," Sullivan said. "We can't afford to keep letting developers do all the planning while taxpayer and ratepayer foot the bill."
Addressing another policy point, Sullivan said the city manager, an unelected official, has too much authority and the council needs to take this power back.
Arguably the candidate with the most experience, Jerry Wade has represented the Fourth Ward in Columbia's City Council for the past three years and has served on the Planning and Zoning commission from 1995 to 2007.
To date, Wade has been reluctant to talk about his platform, but two important issues to him during his term as councilman include a focus on economic expansion and smart growth.
The mayoral race will be a competitive one, Wade said, and his experience on City Council is one reason why he believes voters should choose him.
"I think that we're at an important point in Columbia's history and I think there are a lot of important issues that are going to be dealt with over the next several years," Wade said. "I think I've got the experience and the knowledge and the skills to be a good mayor and to provide the town with good leadership."