Energizing an Election
As the city of Columbia grows, city officials will have to make some important decisions in the next few years. But not everyone agrees how the city should manage growth.
That's why the Columbia Board of Realtors and the Smart Growth Coalition, two groups that don't always agree, decided to co-sponsor an election forum.
Ben Londeree of the Smart Growth Coalition said "the board of Realtors and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition have interest in some common issues, we don't always agree about how they should be resolved, but the issues are important."
Londeree says his coalition holds a forum before every election. But this time decided a co-sponsor might satisfy a particular goal.
Carol Van Gorp of the Columbia Board of Realtors said they're "hoping that with two organizations that the candidates would be more truthful."
Both groups say the city must find a way to pay for roads, sewers, and other needs to accommodate growth. But they differ on who should pay.
"We feel that singling out new people or new homes to carry the brunt of infrastructure is ludicrous," said Van Gorp.
"New developments should pay a reasonable share of the cost of the infrastructure that's needed to meet their needs," said Londeree.
Both groups submitted questions for the candidates. And they're keeping them secret, hoping the candidates will give honest, unprepared answers.