When I decided to run for mayor, I knew it was important to ask community members about the issues that are important to them, their neighbors and co-workers. I didn’t want to announce the initiatives I would focus on as mayor until I had these listening sessions. Because otherwise I would be stepping into the race assuming I knew it all. 

Here is what I heard:

It’s important to Columbia that we invest in our infrastructure – those items that help us get from place to place and deliver energy and clean water to our homes and businesses.

It’s important that we invest in the city’s professionals that deliver those services, and work with community members and elected officials to plan where we need to go. 

And it is most important that we are thoughtful in planning for our future and the growth of our incredible community.

I’ve heard from community members about  inefficiencies that keep us from getting things done. I’ve heard worries of not properly planning for a future that takes care of all of our community members, as well as future generations. And I’ve heard frustration with a lack of civility between council, community members, and city staff. 

I call these our opportunities for improvement. I believe it is the role of the mayor to set the tone for  city council. The community expects their city council to be sincere and honest.

I also know from listening to community members that we don’t all agree on where our city should go and how we should get there. But what I hear is that people have so many reasons to love this community and want to contribute in their own way. The mayor has to be able to bring those different voices to the table, because the only way to move forward is together.

If elected mayor, I’ll use my talents to set the tone and model the behavior our community expects. I am passionate about this community and know from speaking with people that my love for Columbia is clear and consistent and they trust me to do this job.