COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Three people returned petitions to run for Columbia City Council on the first day allowed.
City clerk Sheela Amin said all three petitions are for candidates in Second Ward. Andrea Waner, Bill Weitkemper and Jim Meyer all returned petitions with 50 signatures by Wednesday morning. Amin said she still must verify the people are qualified voters in the ward for them to make it on the April 2021 ballot.
The Second Ward is made up of Columbia's north side, west of Oakland Gravel Road. It also includes two neighborhoods off of Strawn Road in west Columbia. Current council member Michael Trapp said he will not seek a fourth term on the council.
Candidate filing closes on Jan. 21, 2021.
ABC 17 News previously reported on Waner's candidacy. The former Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services employee and current city Commission on Human Rights member touted her work on city rules that helped Columbia get a 100 rating from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index.
"Now is the time to lay the foundation for a Columbia where everyone has
the opportunity to prosper," Waner said in a news release. "That means neighborhoods with well-maintained streets, support for children and families, and policy focused on creating quality jobs. Every Columbia citizen deserves the opportunity to live in a healthy neighborhood and prosper."
Weitkemper is a longtime Columbia Public Works employee, who worked as superintendent of the city's sanitary sewer system. Weitkemper retired in 2012, and ran for city council shortly thereafter, losing a bid for the Fourth Ward seat in 2013.
Weitkemper said he opposes any new taxes or utility rate increases until the city undergoes a performance audit by the Missouri State Auditor. He also said he wanted to make "the elimination of violent behavior" a top priority for the police department and create a Safety and Training Department to help keep city workers safe.
Meyer is owner of MeyerWorks, a real estate company he operates with his wife. Meyer is a former president of the Columbia Board of REALTORS and a former Boone County Fire Protection District worker.
A news release sent out by the Board of REALTORS for Meyer's campaign said his priorities included "Liberty, Limited Government and the Rule of Law."
Columbia's Sixth Ward is also up for grabs in the April election. Councilwoman Betsy Peters told ABC 17 News she plans on running for a third term. Business owner Philip Merriman has filed paperwork with the Missouri Ethics Commission to challenge Peters.