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Politics

Former sustainability manager Buffaloe announces run for Columbia mayor

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KBIA
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Columbia mayoral candidate Barbara Buffaloe speaks with Paul Pepper on Radio Friends with Paul Pepper.

Former city Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe announced she’s running for mayor of Columbia Monday. She is the first person to announce her candidacy after incumbent Brian Treece said he would not seek re-election last month.

Buffaloe served as the city’s first Sustainability Manager from 2010 until stepping down in May to focus on her family.

“I miss being involved with local government,” Buffaloe said. “I miss helping out community members with projects and plans for the future.”

During her decade-long tenure, she designed the city’s first Climate Action & Adaptation Plan. The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the community and prepare the city’s infrastructure and natural resources for the effects of climate change.

Buffaloe said she is still building her platform.

“It's more than just like a checklist of things that we should just check off to better prepare for to make our community more resilient,” Buffaloe explained. “It's also about how do we do better, efficient local government?”

Buffaloe said she foresees her platform will be focused in large part on investing in local infrastructure.

She said she’s also interested in making neighborhoods safer by connecting Columbia neighbors with one another so that they can better help one another when they need it.

“'I’m a huge fan of all the local things that make Columbia special,” Buffaloe said. “I think some of our cultural events or our parks and natural resources that we have. The stuff that make people or businesses or whoever want to move here and stay.”

Buffaloe is currently gathering the 100 signatures needed to formalize her bid herself in an effort to have conversations with the public.

“Right now, what I'm really doing is just talking with different people throughout the community to see, what are the issues that affect you? Because I only know what I know, right?”

She will be hosting a meet-and-greet at Logboat Brewing on Thursday at 6 p.m.