Boone County Smart Growth Coalition to Discuss Council Size

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, led by chairman Karl Skala, met Wednesday night at 7:15 for its regular meeting. The coalition highlighted the growing debate over council size and/or at-large representation.

One of the debates centered around city council size. With a growing population in the area, there's been a call for the number of council members to mirror that growth. Coalition member Jo Sapp said it'll be tough to move forward with determining new numbers for the council though, since the Vision group has such differing opinions on the matter.

Another suggestion brought up at at the meeting involved appointing a commission to look into increasing the number of wards. This ties in with the second debate highlighted...

"The other debate is whether or not an increased council ought to have more at-large appointments... That debate really deals with the fact whether you have a well-financed campaign, which favors at-large candidacy, rather than ward candidacy, because you'd have to contact a lot more of the constituents city-wide," Skala said.

Sixth Ward Representative Barbara Hoppe voiced the same concern, stating at-large representation puts those with fewer financial resources at a disadvantage, because it's tougher to finace a city-wide campaign.

Sapp added, she thinks the public would be less open about coming forward with issues because at-large representation is "less personal."