The November election options extra candidates operating for Columbia City Council than there has ever been lately.
Three out of the 5 council races characteristic a number of candidates, with 4 of them eyeing to win the seat in Ward 5. Current Ward 5 councilman Ernie Allen has acknowledged he won’t be operating for re-election.
Here is a glimpse into the place every Ward 5 candidate stands on the city’s largest issues, together with reasonably priced housing, assist for small companies and navigating Columbia’s continued progress over the subsequent 4 years.
The Daily Herald plans to report on the opposite two contested metropolis council races in Wards 1 and 4 over the subsequent coming days.
Local entrepreneur and small enterprise advisor Danny Coleman presently serves a lot of capacities throughout the metropolis.
For one, he’s an elected member of the Columbia Arts Council, a member of the Maury Chamber and has served as an impartial advisor with a number of native companies.
Coleman’s marketing campaign has targeted on three major areas relating to metropolis issues – higher assist for small companies, authorities transparency and livability for residents.
One of his targets for small companies is to create a Small Business Council, which might serve to help the mayor, metropolis supervisor and the Maury Alliance to offer alternatives to enterprise house owners, akin to entry to grant funding, creating insurance policies and different methods to make sure Columbia is a spot small companies can thrive.
“The support of small businesses has been good, but I can see areas of improvement as far as government communication and government efficiency,” Coleman mentioned. “This would essentially be a sub-committee of the full city council, and its job is to perpetuate and improve the way the city promotes small business owners. It allows them to have a say and an input.”
In addition, Coleman hopes to additionally create the same cooperative council for the Columbia nonprofits. There can also be a have to create extra reasonably priced housing for individuals residing on fastened incomes or that fall underneath the poverty line.
“Part of livability is knowing that you can actually afford to live here, which is not a problem that’s solved by government, but a problem that’s supported by government,” Coleman mentioned. “It’s getting the stakeholders to come together to discuss and create a solution that works, and takes root here where we live. There are nonprofits that can help address this (local, state and federal), as well as private and public stakeholders that can help us do this.”
Accessibility and transparency in authorities is one other of his high priorities, and never simply in reaching metropolis officers over the cellphone or e mail, however by means of different digital assets.
“Local government only works when its citizenry are informed. I will work with our staff, IT departments, and engaged citizens to improve and simplify city websites and workflows so that citizens of any technical ability can navigate, search, and act on information that is relevant to their needs,” he says.
For extra data on Coleman and his marketing campaign, go to www.dannycoleman.me.
With a profession specializing in undertaking administration and consumer relationship administration, Adam Runyan additionally believes Columbia’s finest days are forward of it.
Having the best individuals main the ship, nonetheless, is what is going to decide good progress for the town, in addition to its capacity to take care of its small city character. As Director of AlphaGraphics, his firm has helped small, mid-size and Fortune 500 firms develop with elevated nationwide advertising by means of signage and print initiatives.
Runyon has additionally served as a previous chairman of the Maury County Republican Party and is a 2017-2018 graduate of Leadership Maury.
Runyon’s platform can also be based mostly on elevated alternatives for enterprise house owners, present residents and the long run inhabitants of residents anticipated to maneuver to the realm over the subsequent few years and past. With greater than 5,000 developments presently within the works all through Columbia, the necessity for robust management is as necessary now because it’s ever been, he mentioned.
On his marketing campaign web site, www.arunyon.com, he lists 9 predominant issues, which vary from develop new neighborhoods to the city’s finances, public security and sustaining a pro-business atmosphere for everybody. His web site additionally plans to put up suggestions he has been getting from residents lately relating to what they hope to see out of their subsequent Ward 5 councilman.
“I want to make sure nobody gets left behind, that we grow well and that there are basically more opportunities for everyone,” Runyon mentioned.
“At the same time, we don’t need to lose the character that’s made Columbia so attractive in the first place. I want to stay growing as a small town, rather than becoming just another suburb, maintain that town core, identity and community that we’ve done really well with. These next four years are going to be remarkable as far as how much growth is happening.”
With new developments, Runyon believes one option to keep Columbia’s small city character is to incorporate issues like a lot of open and inexperienced areas, in addition to buffering.
“We need to try and make these new developments feel like communities and not just builder spec homes. Not that that’s bad, but it’s all about character and livability, and that’s what people are talking about,” Runyon mentioned.
Tourism can also be an enormous matter Runyon hopes to address if elected, particularly in supporting native companies and the downtown Columbia sq.. He can also be not in assist of accelerating taxes.
“I would much rather support more places like Bleu 32, Buck & Board or Marcy Jo’s than try to get a Chili’s to come to town,” he mentioned. “That also helps foster community … and it’s more of a local expression, because you get to know the brand, get to know the people and the restaurant. I would love to see even more local businesses show up.”
Tim Thomas is a 20-year veteran of the utility business at Atmos Energy, as properly serving the final 10 years as an insurance coverage entrepreneur.
Thomas additionally has a part-time renovation enterprise. His management roles have included being an eight-year member of the Maury Chamber and has served on a number of boards throughout the county, together with the Maury County Planning Commission, United Way of Maury County and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maury County. He can also be an assistant pastor at Christian Faith Church.
“It’s been a blessing being able to serve, and now that our kids are grown and out of school I’m trying to see the progress in education opportunities for our grandkids,” Thomas mentioned.
He believes his expertise in serving so many boards, in addition to being a small enterprise proprietor has taught him concerning the major issues and what selections the residents hope to see made on the council stage.
To him, the major issues he plans to method are sustaining progress throughout the metropolis, establishing long-term targets and do it in a method that is finest for everybody. Part of how that’s achieved is thru good management, one thing he sees is already one of many council’s strongest belongings.
“Through that process you begin to learn about things you hope to see accomplished, things you hope to see within the city and county. That’s what drove me to run,” Thomas mentioned. “It’s not that we’re in a bad place, but we can always bring in those forward thinking candidates that help continue the process of seeing the growth take place, positive growth, as well as education and opportunities to work. That’s what’s driving me.”
Affordable housing and assist for small companies, very similar to the opposite candidates, are different high issues that he sees alternatives for enchancment.
“People are waiting in line to get housing because they want to be in this area, want this to be a go-to area for shopping, a go-to area for recreation for their kids, as well as opportunities to have a safe community. All of those things are important to me,” Thomas mentioned. “That’s what’s key in continuing to drive what’s important for the community, and of course making the best decisions for all. If I can be a part of that, I’d feel like I’m doing my due diligence as far as this community.”
Bringing the neighborhood collectively for the straightforward trigger of creating life in Columbia higher for everybody is on the coronary heart of Jeremiah Wright’s platform.
Readers would possibly bear in mind Wright, who earlier this yr spearheaded the Columbia Unity Rally again in June, which introduced a whole bunch of individuals to the downtown sq., together with residents, metropolis and county leaders, in addition to first responders and law enforcement officials.
His management roles embody working as a mentor for in danger teenagers and nonprofits just like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maury County. He sees his function as a metropolis councilman as a chance to increase that function and be a voice of change he and his constituents want to see.
This all begins with bettering the city’s reasonably priced housing, since property values proceed to rise with elevated inhabitants and demand for brand spanking new developments. This has left many individuals with no selection however to promote their houses or transfer out of the town solely.
“You can’t get two employees, regular hourly employees with A1 credit that can buy a $250,000 home and expect to be able to function normally. They need affordable housing, and we need to address the issue,” Wright mentioned. “We don’t mind building these lavish homes for people moving from California, or moving up from Florida … but what about the local Columbian who has lived here all of their life, made great decisions on building up their credit and resources, but they just don’t make that much money to where they can afford a $300,000 home.”
He additionally sees the place as a chance to construct a greater neighborhood for youngsters and future generations, and that it doesn’t matter what the outcomes are come election night time, “Columbia is the real winner.”
“You have a seasoned board of councilmen, mayor and the vice mayor,” Wright mentioned. “Getting to know their spirits, these are some great people I have an opportunity to work with. I want to be a part of it, because the group is going to make Columbia an awesome place even more than it is now. It’s going to be beautiful, and the population has already said ‘We like unity and we like coming together.'”