City Council to vote on interim Second Ward seat
The Columbia City Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to select an interim Second Ward councilperson.
Eight applicants submitted their names to replace Second Ward Councilperson Andrea Waner, who has moved out of the ward. The individual selected will serve through the April city elections.
Waner’s final council meeting was last Monday. The meeting agenda included the formal applications submitted by the applicants.
Each of the applicants has been verified as an eligible voter in the Second Ward. The applications included information about the council’s duties as well as compensation.
Here’s a look at the candidates based on interviews and their responses to the city application form:
Lucio Martino Bitoy IV
Bitoy said he plans to run for the Second Ward seat in April.
He works as a benefit program technician at the state Family Support Division.
In his application, Bitoy said he is “an expert in state and local government, federal regulations, culturally competent community engagement, organizing and mobilizing, constitutional law, legislation, policy analysis and public administration.”
He added: “I personally synthesize what can sometimes be complicated political concepts and processes for those I engage with in the community.”
Bitoy’s topics for the council to address in the next six months, according to his response in the application:
- Rent control
- Ecological restoration of low-income areas
- Raising the minimum wage within the city
“I am truly passionate about the political process and about serving those most vulnerable among us, and to that end, I will work tirelessly for the residents of the Second Ward,” Bitoy said.
Susan Renee Carter
Carter is a Columbia resident of 29 years who engages with the City Council and attends meetings of the Citizens Police Review Board and the Boone County Commission. She has also helped residents register to vote.
As a program manager, Carter listed communication and collaboration as important skills she has, in addition to organizational and creative problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to tolerate change. She attended the city’s Civic Academy this year.
“Areas of experience that could benefit the City Council are diversion solutions for the school to prison pipeline, transition from high school to adulthood, employment services and work skills development,” she said.
Carter has worked with Boone County Results-Based Accountability Learning Lab, STAARR, Local Motion, Jobs for Justice, Race Matters Friends, Como for Progress and Hold COMO Accountable to “help improve outcomes in my community related to community violence, racism, transportation, working conditions and pay, civil rights, government accountability and policing.
- Final approval for ARPA contracts
- Community violence
- Climate action plan review
- CPRB citizen representation
- Staffing shortages and short-term rentals
- Implementation of roll carts
- Work with the new police chief to address any changes
- Benefit and wage schedules for various departments
Carter listed Third Ward Councilperson Roy Lovelady as a friend able to comment on her abilities. Lovelady voiced support for her at Monday’s regular council meeting.
Lisa Evelyn Anne Meyer
Meyer is running for the Second Ward seat and submitted her election petition the first day the city accepted them.
She said she helped with For Columbia as the “main contact and leader for my place of faith.” She also has served as president of Columbia Northwest Rotary and co-chair of the Heart of Missouri United Way Campaign, rang bells for the Salvation Army and attended various symposiums for affordable housing.
Topics for the council to address in the next six months, according to Meyer’s application:
- “I attended the police chief forum. It’s important that the new chief has the support and resources to become accredited.”
- Short-term rentals
- Cottage houses
- Affordable housing
“I will set an open coffee/tea time to meet, greet and listen to concerns,” Meyer said.
William E. Moyes
Moyes has been a Columbia resident for more than 50 years and has volunteer experience at the Voluntary Action Center, American Red Cross and Room at the Inn.
He served on the Parking Advisory Commission, Airport Advisory Board and Columbia Public Library Board.
“The Council is the legislative body of the city. Neither the Council nor any of its members should interfere in the business of operating the city,” Moyes said. “Through ordinances, the City Council represents the needs and the desires of the residents.”
He emphasized he is applying for the interim role.
“Don’t assume that my mind set for this appointment to an interim position translates into me taking a passive, uninformed response. I am anything but passive. I’ll jump in to educate myself as quickly as possible and be as involved as any other Council Member. I don’t do anything halfway.”
His topics for the council to address in the next six months:
- Monitoring outcomes from the new Office of Violence Prevention and taking appropriate action
- Establishing a relationship with the new police chief
- Participating in the ongoing discussion regarding the Opportunity Campus
- Monitoring the use of the Ashley Street Center
- Making sure Loaves and Fishes has an adequate new location
- Reviewing compensation for city staff
- Moving forward with automated trash collection
- Discussing the city’s recycling operation and how or if curbside recycling can coexist with automated collections
- Reviewing short-term rental regulation
Proffitt has served on elected boards, assemblies and councils .
She served as the treasurer for the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, where she successfully petitioned to have new “kid-friendly” speed limit signs installed at the entrances to the neighborhood.
Proffitt said she “spearheaded” the roll-cart ban removal initiative.
“This 18-month-long process involved coordinating volunteers, ensuring the petition language was appropriate, overseeing training of petitioners and managing an online social media presence to boost efforts. ... Since the removal of the ban and adoption of roll carts, I have continued to educate and advocate to ensure success,” she said.
She hopes the council will address these topics:
- Affordable housing
- Homelessness and the city’s responsibility to provide humane and forward-thinking solutions
- Violence: Issues that the Office of Violence Prevention may bring to the council
- Solid waste/recycling: Decisions loom regarding the Materials Recovery Facility and improving recycling
- Utilities: Concerns about water quality and sewer connections in the expanding southwest area
- Paid family leave for city employees
Proffitt listed Waner as a friend who can comment on her abilities. Waner said Monday that her preference is for Proffitt to get the interim appointment.
Saffold has lived in Columbia for 15 years.
“I feel I can relate to the average city resident because I have worked most levels in Columbia from a janitor at Ellis Fischel to book mobile driver for the Daniel Boone Library,” Saffold said. “More emphasis needs to be put on family and community trust and growth.”
Topics for the council to address in the next six months, he said:
- Assisting the homeless community
- Increase in domestic violence
- Community hunger
- Gun violence
- More health-focused training
- Budgeting to help local food assistance programs
He added that “communication is the key” to a lot of the issues in Columbia.
After noticing a problem with domestic violence, Saffold said he acquired certification to facilitate domestic violence classes and also training in early childhood development.
“I can have a better idea of what today’s kids need and their day-to-day issues,” Saffold said.
Robert Schreiber III
Schreiber said he is running for the Second Ward seat.
“I have been a blue-collar worker for my entire career. This gives me a unique understanding and viewpoint to represent the Second Ward,” he said.
Schreiber said he has worked and volunteered with many community organizations — including KOPN community radio, Roots N Blues festival, True/False Film Festival and Clean Up Columbia.
- Implementation of roll carts
- Resolving the recycling program
- The request that Columbia become a sanctuary city for LGBTQ+ individuals
- Providing more mental health services
- Getting unhoused populations into sustainable and stable homes
- Building affordable housing for citizens
”When I lived on Stone Street, there were multiple camps of unhoused people,” Schreiber said. “This led to an increase in vandalism and small thefts around the neighborhood. I watched people dealing with their mental illness as well as their addiction to drugs and alcohol on a daily basis, wondering why nothing could be done to help the least well off of our city’s population.”
“I want to help and see this as an opportunity to do so,” he said.
Williams was “born and raised” in Columbia, has served as the vice president of the Citizens Police Review Board and received a Mayor’s Proclamation in recognition of 10 years involved with creating and running the Back‐to‐School Program.
Topics for the council to address in the next six months, she said:
- Ransomware and malware attacks
- Aging infrastructure
- Loss of trust in government institutions
- Low recruitment and employee retention
- Increasing prominence of natural disasters
- Economic declines
- Water utility challenges
- City budget
- Mental health issues
- Housing needs
- City growth
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
“Working at Phoenix Programs Inc. provided me with insights into the harm caused by drug addiction,” Williams said. “Working at the Missouri Job Center has also helped me understand the need for jobs and how it affects our community.”
She has 15 years of experience working with the disabled population.
Williams listed Third Ward Councilperson Roy Lovelady as a friend able to comment on her abilities.