Mayoral candidates discuss disability, budget deficit

1 year 2 months 2 hours ago Monday, March 25 2019 Mar 25, 2019 Monday, March 25, 2019 4:22:00 PM CDT March 25, 2019 in News
By: Nnamdi Egwuonwu, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Election candidates met Monday for another round of public talks, this time focusing on policies, accessibility and accommodations for those with disabilities.

Mayoral candidates Brian Treece and Chris Kelly participated in the forum, alongside unopposed councilmen Ian Thomas and Karl Skala.

The forum was organized by Boone County's Family Resources department and emceed by Max Lewis, a quadriplegic attorney based in Columbia.

"One of the facts that came out of this [forum] is that one in five people have disabilities" Lewis said. "There are varying degrees of disabilities, especially with individuals with more significant disabilities -- they need extra measures for living."

Attendees saw a more united front by candidates. A majority of the attorney's questions centered around accessibility for those who are disabled.

"The questions revolved around affordable housing, the sidewalks -- and the Birds [scooters] on the sidewalks and also about transportation concerning paratransit."

Lewis said he was happy with the turnout but does wish more people with disabilities were able to attend.

"I wish there was an avenue where more individuals in the community could have heard the questions and the responses." Lewis said.

Mayoral candidate Chris Kelly held a small press conference following the disability forum where he highlighted a half-million dollar shortage in the city's budget.

"According to the numbers provided by the city finance staff and the city manager, the city budget is $538,000 under budget - in deficit - as of the 16th of March," Kelly said.

He attributed the deficit to current city officials, including the mayor.

"The first obligation of a mayor is to be financially responsible with the tax payers money," Kelly said. "An unbalanced budget and a falling credit rating are strong indicators of irresponsible budget management on the part of the mayor."

Kelly was referring to an updated Standard and Poor credit rating that dropped Columbia from a "AA+" score to a "AA" score.

Incumbent Mayor Brian Treece rejected Kelly's assessment, attributing the shortfall to normal budget fluctuations.

"We have a half a billion dollar budget. We're only five and half months into the fiscal year," Treece said. "Our revenue estimates are based on widely held consensus with Missouri department of Revenue -- there may be a little lag right now but that's up to the city manager to manage effectively."

The municipal elections are April 2nd.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Clothing donations to the Salvation Army are increasing during the pandemic. During the past few months, many... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 4:17:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - There have been zero traffic or water crashes this weekend for the 13 counties in Central Missouri, according... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic didn't stop people from packing the central Missouri vacation hot spot of the... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:58:59 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
PETTIS COUNTY — A Sedalia man is dead following a single-vehicle rollover accident. Richard Talbert, 26, was driving north... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 10:08:51 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
AP —Are some workouts, like yoga or spinning classes, less safe than others? Should I wear a mask? Do I... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:54:12 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:35:55 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY — A man has been charged in an April 2019 shooting death in Kansas City based on DNA... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 7:23:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
LEE'S SUMMIT — About 1,000 contract employees of a federal agency have received notice that their jobs face elimination in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 6:47:47 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield hairstylist served 84 clients over eight days while experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, and now a coworker... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:41:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Three cars were involved in a crash on I-70 eastbound Saturday afternoon. The crash around 3:30 p.m.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One local teenager with a disability is out of work after learning his employment training program for the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 4:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ST LOUIS - The University of Missouri- St. Louis will waive all online course fees through the fall semester, according... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:26:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ROCKAWAY BEACH - Deputies confirmed a man is dead after a drowning incident on Friday night, according to a Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:55:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the biggest travel weekends of the year looks a little different in times of COVID-19. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:39:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s unemployment rate more than doubled last month due to the shutdown caused by the coronavirus, state... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 Friday, May 22, 2020 10:48:00 PM CDT May 22, 2020 in News
FULTON – Jess Carneal works about 40 hours a week at Brooklyn Pizza in Fulton. But when he’s not working,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 Friday, May 22, 2020 6:36:00 PM CDT May 22, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
10pm 71°
11pm 70°
12am 68°
1am 68°