Mcdavid elected mayor

n Kespohl and dudley win City Council seats
Mayor: In easy victory, McDavid wins six-person mayoral race
By kAthleen Pointer Physician Bob McDavid will be the next mayor of Columbia after cruising to a relatively easy victory in a sixway race to replace five-term incumbent Darwin Hindman, who did not seek re-election. McDavid — who enjoyed the endorsement of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the support of Columbia firefighters and police officers and an unprecedented campaign treasury that he reported last week was around $56,000 — got 54.2 percent of the vote. Tuesday night, McDavid was surrounded by exuberant supporters at Shiloh Bar and Grill when the results came in. The campaign tallied the results of the mayor’s race and Proposition 1 on a large tablet. “I felt kind of peaceful going into tonight,” McDavid said. “We worked hard, ran a good campaign and a positive campaign. I was at peace knowing we did everything we could do.” McDavid won the six-person mayoral election with 9,935 votes, or 54 percent. He was followed by Jerry Wade with 5,187 votes, Sid Sullivan with 2,222 votes, Paul Love with 454 votes, Sal Nuccio with 360 votes and Sean O’Day with

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 n serv Ing the communIty sI nce 1908 n Join the conversation at n 50 cents

n $120 million bond issue approved for schools

n downtown cameras approved, see page 6a



mayor-elect Bob mcdavid celebrates his win with his daughter Kim schmidt, son scott mcdavid, wife suzanne and members of the columbia Fire department on stage at shiloh Bar and grill on tuesday evening. mcdavid won the mayor’s seat with 54 percent of the vote.

Please see MAyor, page 6A

Wards: Chamber of Commerce favorites win council seats
By Anne ChristnoviCh and PAtriCk sweet The two ward candidates backed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce won their bids for seats on the Columbia City Council. Gary Kespohl knocked incumbent Karl Skala out of the Third Ward seat while Daryl Dudley emerged from a field of four to win the Fourth Ward seat vacated by mayoral candidate Jerry Wade.

P Bob McDavid Jerry Wade Sid Sullivan Paul Love Sal Nuccio Sean O’Day 54% 28% 12% 2% 2% 1% 51% 49% 9,935 5,187 2,222 454 360 173 1,259 1,205 1,831 1,772 1,326 138

BoNd: $120 million OK’d to add high school, renovate schools
By kourtney Geers Voters overwhelmingly responded to Columbia Public Schools’ call for improved facilities and two new schools, approving a $120 million bond issue by 77 percent. “I feel elated and supported by the community,” said Superintendent Chris Belcher, who was at Columbia School Board President Jan Mees’ victory party at Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant. “I feel a good deal of responsibility to deliver our product in an efficient manner, and I think our Board of Education will do that.” Celebrating his election to his first three-year term, James Whitt said he thinks that in the past year, the board has improved communications with the public.

more online
Columbia voters explain why they went to the polls and what issues they care about the most. Go to
“I think the public has more confidence in us, and that’s why the bond issue is passing by such a high percentage,” said Whitt, who has served as a one-year appointee. The vote was 17,252 to 5,086 in favor of the bond issue, which will be used to finance construction, renovations and technology improvements. A 57 percent, or four-sevenths, majority was needed to pass. This new bond issue combines two that had been conceived for 2011 and 2013 as part of a three-phase plan

THIrd Ward
P Gary Kespohl Karl Skala

FoUrTH Ward

Forest “red” Leighton, right, congratulates gary Kespohl after his victory in the third Ward city council race.
1,259 votes to Skala’s 1,205. Like the last time the two faced off for the ward seat, the race was decided by fewer than 100 votes. Kespohl lost that round by 63 votes in 2007.

36% P Daryl Dudley Tracy Greever-Rice 35% Sarah Read 26% Rick Buford 3% P Yes No

third ward
Kespohl, who gathered with about 30 supporters at Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant on Tuesday night, won the 2010 version of a squeaker between him and Skala. Kespohl won

more online
To see a precinct-by-precinct voting breakdown and an election day photo slideshow, go to

sCHooL BoNd IssUE
77% 17,252 23% 5,086


Please see wArds, page 6A

Please see Bond, page 6A

Theater group assesses loss, future Craigslist founder:
By ChelseA MCGArtlAnd As they planned how to move forward, the devotees of Maplewood Barn Community Theatre seemed as resilient Tuesday as their recently built stage. Apart from a large black soot stain and a few holes, the Mark Durrant Memorial Stage was structurally sound and all that remained after the fire. “It’s being considered a total loss,” Capt. Eric Hartman of the Columbia Fire Department said. He said it could be several days before

investigators would be able to determine a cause. Board members met Tuesday evening to discuss the future of the program and said they were determined to continue the program with as much normalcy as possible. Tuesday morning, the fire scene smelled like a soggy campfire and was a tangled mess of fallen roof, burned stage sets, props and power tools. A few scraps of colorful costumes poked through the ashes of the barn, which was built in 1877 and was on the National Registry of His-

share your memories
To share your memories of the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, go to
toric Places. A few blackened timbers remained defiantly upright as passers-by slowed in their cars to get a look at what remained of the theater in Nifong Park. Board member Charlie Wilkerson was in Lee Hills Hall at MU on Monday night rehearsing for the season’s first show, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” when director Jim Yelton said the barn was burning. He and the rest of the actors rushed to the scene. He returned to the site early Tuesday while firefighters were still putting out the last embers of the fire. “It’s a double loss,” Wilkerson said. “It’s a historical loss Please see theAter, page 8A

serve the community
By BryAn riChArdson Craigslist founder Craig Newmark had an overall message on Tuesday for Columbia’s journalists and businesspeople: serve your community. “We (Craigslist) think of ourselves as something that helps a lot of people,” Newmark said at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Business Showcase on Tuesday.

Silverware clicked constantly against hundreds of plates during the luncheon at the Holiday Inn Select-Executive Center, creating steady background noise for the keynote speaker. He spoke for about 20 minutes on the history and business approach of Craigslist, a Web site for free, local classified advertisements. Since its founding in 1995, it has grown to more than 700 local sites in Please see CrAiG, page 8A

Former Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Robert Shaw has six grandchildren: Roman and Nyro, both of Nashville, Tenn.; Jordan and Riley, both of Overland Park, Kan.; and Jack and Caroline, both of Kansas City. A life story on page 3A Tuesday left out two of the names. Go to to read Mr. Shaw’s life story.

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today: Chance of Showers. Temp: 64° tonight: Mostly cloudy. Temp: 39° Page 2a

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Page 6A — WEDNESDAY, April 7, 2010

Columbia missourian


Sessions, Mees, Whitt will take Downtown seats on Columbia School Board cameras OK’d
By Alix Wiggins and Kelly BrdicKA Jonathan Sessions, a newcomer to the Columbia School Board, secured a one-year term, after he started lastminute campaigning at 5 a.m. Tuesday. By the time he was declared a winner to about 35 people at his watch party at Uprise Bakery, he said he was exhausted. Sessions got 11,597 votes, versus 7,570 cast for MU Law School professor Phil Peters. Sessions, a Columbia native and Hickman High School graduate, owns a technology consulting company in town. He plans to incorporate more technology education in the classroom and improve student achievement. After the results were announced, including voter approval of a $120 million bond issue, he said his first priority was to help develop a new high school. “I’m ready to jump right in,” Sessions said. Incumbent board members Jan Mees and James Whitt won the two three-year term seats with 15,719 and 9,976 votes, respectively, over Dan Holt, who received 7,297 votes. Mees, current board president and a media specialist retired from the district, has served since 2007. Whitt, a former General Electric executive who runs cPhase Sports Association, was appointed after Rosie Tippin resigned in May 2009. “I’m so grateful to the voters for the confidence in me to continue working with our community and their kids,” Mees said. Eliot Battle, the first black teacher to work at an integrated Columbia school, was among the several dozen people at Mees’ watch party at Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant and congratulated her on her reelection. She said her primary goal now is to close academic achievement gaps among students of different races and household income levels. Battle also visited Whitt’s party at Boone Tavern. Whitt shares Mees’ goal and also wants to ensure students and teachers have adequate buildings and facilities. At his watch party of about 20 people, he thanked everyone for coming and support-

School Board member-elect Jonathan Sessions, right, speaks with Lynn Parshal, left, and his mother, Sharon Sessions, at a victory celebration at Uprise Bakery.
JOEL KOWSKY Missourian

By Ashley reinsch and VictoriA guidA

P Jonathan Sessions 61% 11,597 Phil Peters 39% 7,570

P Jan Mees P James Whitt Dan Holt 48% 15,719 30% 9,976 22% 7,297


Jan Mees, the top vote-getter for School Board, listens to Eliot Battle at Jack’s Gourmet Restaurant. James Whitt celebrates his victory with his wife, Annelle, at Boone Tavern.

Wards: Dudley’s win stuns rival Mayor: Wade says he’ll remain active
Missourian reporters April Choi, Doug Davis and Jonathan Hinderliter contributed to this article.

ing him, then said, joking, “And tomorrow, I’m going to Disneyland.” After two back-to-back School Board races, Dan Holt, a former educational finance

consultant, said he is going to take his time thinking over his plans. He will observe the current board’s responses to upcoming issues before he considers running again.

“I’ll still be active on the sidelines,” Holt said. “You don’t have to be in the big seat to influence the game.” Peters, who was also running for the one-year seat, complimented Sessions on his campaign but said he is disappointed he doesn’t get to be part of the board’s future work. “I’m optimistic the board is aware that they need to roll up their sleeves,” he said. Now, the advocate for better early childhood education said he plans to “continue working hard to help at-risk kids.” “I want to help, but I’ll have to do it through ways outside the system instead of inside the system,” Peters said. “That’s the fork in the road for me.” Ten months after he was assaulted in a downtown Columbia parking garage, Adam Taylor repeated final election numbers into the microphone as the crowd around him cheered. Proposition 1, which authorizes placement of four security cameras downtown, passed with 59 percent of the vote Tuesday. Camera proponents packed Shiloh Bar & Grill along with Bob McDavid, the only mayoral candidate who supported the proposition. The audience celebrated as the results showed McDavid, Gary Kespohl and Daryl Dudley won their respective races; all three were in favor of Proposition 1. “This is so exciting,” said Karen Taylor, Adam Taylor’s mother. Her petition put the proposition on the ballot. “The public was allowed to have a choice and speak on this issue.” Karen Taylor founded the organization Keep Columbia Safe after seven people attacked her son in June. A security camera caught the crime on tape, leading to the arrests of five of the people responsible. “We still have another trial left,” Karen Taylor said. “It’s much more fun doing this than going to trial.” Members of Columbia Professional Firefighters, who stood out in their yellow “Fire

P Yes No 59% 11,093 41% 7,745

P All these passed. Read more about them at

Fighters for McDavid” T-shirts, were pleased at the news. The organization endorsed Proposition 1 earlier this year. “We’re all for anything that puts more tools in the hands of public safety,” said Brad Fraizer, president of the group. Tin Can Tavern and Grille fell silent as the organization Keep Columbia Free and others opposing the proposition saw the results. “I don’t feel good about it, but it was close enough,” said Mark Flakne, secretary for Keep Columbia Free. “Keep Columbia Free is not going to go away, and we’re going to continue to fight.” The proposition will now go before the City Council, which will decide how much money to allot, if any, to the cameras. Flakne said the next step for Keep Columbia Free will be to lobby to the council to not fund the cameras. He said there were still a lot of people who voted against it. Adam Taylor said Keep Columbia Safe will regroup and fight for other public safety issues it deems important.

Fourth Ward winner Daryl Dudley talks with Pat Wilson at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant.

continued from page 1A 173 votes. During the campaign, McDavid emphasized his 12 years on the Boone Hospital Center board of trustees. He has chaired the board since 2007 but said he would step down if elected mayor. Across town at the House of Chow, the mood at Wade’s watch party changed dramatically as the final results came in. After all precincts reported, what had been an upbeat crowd fell to murmurs about the new make-up of the council. “The votes are in pretty direct proportion to the amount of money spent. That, to me, says something,” said Wade, who served 12 years on the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission. Wade gave up his Fourth Ward seat on the City Council to run for mayor. Given his loss and the victors in the Third

and Fourth ward races, he said, “we have a different set of dynamics on the council.” “We have a community that is highly divided and fragmented, and I do not see anything in this election which carries much hope of beginning to bring the community together,” he said. “That, to me, may be the saddest outcome of the election.” Wade’s platform centered on creating jobs and implementing more technical training. The Columbia Black Roundtable, the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition and the Osage Group of the Sierra Club endorsed him. Wade said he plans to remain active as a private citizen. Sullivan is no stranger to elections. Before running for mayor, he sought the 24th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives and the southern Boone County

commissioner seat. In the campaign for mayor, he focused on strengthening neighborhoods and bringing retirees to town to bolster economic activity. “We were up against a lot of money,” said Arthur Nunn, Sullivan’s campaign manager. “I think we did a pretty good job based on that.” The Boone County Smart Growth Coalition also endorsed Sullivan, who said he is unsure whether he’ll run for office again. “Other candidates raised the fear issue of crime, and people vote fear,” Sullivan said. “They were successful with that. They spent a lot of money on that.” Candidate Sean O’Day was among the Sullivan supporters gathered at Broadway Brewery on Tuesday night. On March 30, O’Day endorsed Sullivan. Paul Love was at McNally’s, his normal Tuesday night

hangout, as the results came in. Sal Nuccio was working at his bar, Eastside Tavern, on Tuesday night. He attended no campaign forums. McDavid will accept the mayor’s gavel from Hindman after being sworn in Monday night. His platform focused on public safety, increasing economic activity and preserving neighborhoods. McDavid was the only mayoral candidate to strongly endorse downtown cameras. At candidate debates and forums, McDavid repeatedly said Columbia’s mayor must be a salesperson for the city. “I feel a sense of obligation and responsibility going out to represent Columbia,” McDavid said Tuesday night. “Columbia’s a great town, and it’s going to become a greater town.”
Missourian reporters Chris Canipe and Ryan Martin contributed to this report.

Bond: Money to fund new schools, upgrades
continued from page 1A recommended several years ago to ease crowding, make needed repairs and cut down on the use of trailers. Part one, for $60 million, was approved in 2007. Last year, interim Superintendent Jim Ritter recommended the single $120 million bond issue, in part to get the new high school fully open earlier. The $120 million will be combined with $18 million remaining from the 2007 bond issue to create a $138 million plan. The money is broken down in this way: n Construction: $97.5 million to build a high school, elementary school and additional gyms/physical education space at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools. n Building improvements: $10 million for roofing, window replacement, mortar repairs and interior renovations (ceilings, flooring, electrical, plumbing and heating) at 17 schools. n Air conditioning: $14.8 million to air-condition schools still without air conditioning and replace boilers at 10 buildings. n Technology: $7.5 million for computers for classrooms and labs and network infrastructure improvements at 21 schools. n Interest and fees: $8.2 million for costs associated with bond funding. Belcher said earlier that construction on the high school, which will be located in the northeast part of the district off St. Charles Road, is scheduled to begin June 1, and other projects such as air conditioning, roofing and technology will begin on a varied basis per building need. “I am encouraged and relieved that the community still wants to support our great public school system,” Kim Weber, president of Columbia Council PTA, said Tuesday evening. “We are in tough times, but we have to support the school district by making tough choices.” Current enrollment in the district is 17,419 students, and another 1,000 are projected to enroll over the next five years. “Don’t you think we need (the bond issue)? Columbia is growing, and we’re crowded as it is,” retired teacher Don Sewell said early Tuesday after voting at Free Will Baptist Church. “Kids are controlling the classrooms.” The bond issue passed amid concerns from voters such as Gene Kingery, who is also retired. “I don’t want it,” Kingery said after voting. “They’re spending too much money that they don’t have. When you spend money you don’t have, taxes are going to go up. I was brought up that if you don’t have it, you don’t spend it.” Belcher has said that the money to operate the new buildings for at least a couple of years would come from the district’s reserves, which have been deliberately grown in anticipation of new facilities. Belcher’s schedule since January has included more than 80 appearances on behalf of the bond issue. “It’s good for the economy and it’s a strong economic driver, which I think is needed,” he said a few weeks ago. “But more importantly, it is good for the students and the educational program.”

continued from page 1A This year, Kespohl attacked Skala, saying his votes had cost the city jobs, that his travel expenses were exorbitant and that his vote in favor of urban hens was misguided. Kespohl, though visibly surprised, was obviously pleased with the outcome. “I can’t even talk,” Kespohl said as longtime friend Red Leighton ran to embrace him. “I couldn’t believe I came back and won it,” he said later. And during his victory speech, he told those gathered, “I pledge to do my best to bring common-sense representation to the Third Ward.” About 40 people gathered at the Pasta Factory to support Skala. A shocked hush fell over friends and family as the last precinct’s results were posted. “What are you acting so sad about?” Skala said as his wife, Mahree Skala, hugged him. “I’m going fishing.” Skala didn’t stray during this campaign from positions he pushed as a council member. He believes that developers should contribute more to the cost of new infrastructure and that the city should ensure infrastructure remains ahead of development. Kespohl, meanwhile, focused his campaign on creating jobs and quickly promoting growth and development to spur economic activity and, in turn, city revenue. He told the Missourian that fast development is more important than planned development.

Fourth Ward
Dudley held his watch party at Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant but was next door at fellow candidate Sarah Read’s party at Shakespeare’s West when the final votes came in. Dudley, looking over Read campaign manager Dave Overfelt’s shoulder, wore a blank, serious expression when the news struck. The

manager of a Hy-Vee gas station garnered 1,831 votes to slip by Tracy Greever-Rice with 1,772 votes, Read with 1,326 votes and Rick Buford with 138 votes. Dudley, who has no experience in city government, decided to run after customers at his work complained about road conditions. He campaigned on a platform of public safety and job growth. His bid got a big boost when the chamber endorsed him. “Police, fire and streets are the first on my agenda,” Dudley said. “We need more police officers. The police chief needs all the help he can get.” Greever-Rice, vice chairwoman on the Columbia Visioning Commission, campaigned on a platform that called for creating jobs, developing the city’s work force, and improving infrastructure, public safety and government transparency. Greever-Rice, who held a lead as the results came in most of the night, was shocked by the final tally. So were her friends and supporters at Teller’s Gallery and Bar. “Now we know how much it costs to buy an election in Columbia,” Greever-Rice said. Guests at her party expressed dismay that all the candidates endorsed by the chamber won their respective races. Read, an attorney and coowner of The Communications Center who specializes in mediation, called for a broad spectrum of public input as the city moves ahead with growth management planning. And Buford, a data analyst for CarFax, ran on a platform of fiscal scrutiny focusing on essential services such as police and fire protection. The new council members, as well as Mayor-elect Bob McDavid, will be sworn in on Monday night.
Missourian reporters Alison Gammon and Kerri Reynolds contributed to this report.

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