Karl Skala and Ian Thomas re-elected to city council
Skala and Thomas won with 57 and 66 percent of the votes, respectively.
Apr. 05, 2016
When voting for Columbia’s Fourth Ward councilman Tuesday, classical studies professor Jim Crozier expressed concerns about housing development.
“I’m not against development per se, but the giant, high-rise student structures down there, I think we need to see something different for professional people (and) retired people,” Crozier said. “Something a little more variegated.”
Housing was one of the many issues addressed by all candidates throughout their campaigns, regardless of ward.
Crozier was one of many Columbians who headed to the polls Tuesday to place their votes for Mayor and members of City Council and the Board of Education. Columbia Third Ward incumbent Karl Skala ran against the Rev. Tom Leuther, and Fourth Ward incumbent Ian Thomas ran against Daryl Dudley.
Skala won his third term with 57 percent of the votes against Leuther, a local pastor.
With six years on City Council, Skala cited his experience and dedication as attributes that make him stand out from his opponent, according to the Columbia Tribune. According to his campaign website, Skala has worked in city government in some capacity since 1988, and he has lived in the Third Ward for 35 years.
Skala plans to continue accommodating the city’s growth in light of a slim budget. His campaign website emphasized public safety and job creation.
He believes emergency response times are rising due to an overworked and understaffed police force but that asking for funds from the public should be gradual.
Skala’s plan for job creation includes “expanding technical training, business retention/expansion, and homegrown startups,” weighing economic incentives in individual cases, according to his campaign website.
Thomas was re-elected Tuesday after receiving 66 percent of the votes against Dudley.
The race for the Fourth Ward seat attracted attention after Thomas’ campaign filed a complaint against Dudley, claiming that Dudley failed to report details about his campaign finances, according to the Columbia Missourian.
Later that week, Dudley reported that he would suspend his campaign operations in a news release published by KMIZ. Despite the controversy, Dudley did not withdraw from the race.
According to his campaign website, Thomas’ platform called for increased funding for Columbia’s police and fire departments and reforming the Columbia Police Department into a community policing model to reduce crime rates. His website also said he wants to increase Columbia’s economy by keeping money in Columbia and improve Columbia’s infrastructure while balancing new development with existing problems.
In an interview with the Columbia Tribune, Thomas expressed concern about recent housing developments.
“I am closely working with developers of two proposed projects in the Fourth Ward and with nearby residents to identify appropriate compromises,” Thomas said in the interview.
Edited by Hailey Stolze | firstname.lastname@example.org