COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia's Fourth Ward city councilman said Friday he will not run for reelection after nearly nine years in office.
Ian Thomas told constituents in his newsletter but did not provide a reason. Thomas was first elected in 2013 and reelected in 2016 and 2019. The councilman established a reputation of pushing for development that encouraged less automobile traffic and for affordable housing, among other causes.
Thomas has been absent from multiple recent city council meetings.
Thomas in his message to constituents said he hopes the next city council will work on providing services for the homeless, mental health treatment and preventing crime, expanding affordable housing, using more renewable energy and other issues.
In an email to ABC 17 News, Thomas wrote "I decided not to run again because I feel there are other Fourth Ward residents who will be more effective, going forward, in advancing the progressive change that is so important."
Thomas faced a misdemeanor charge in 2019 for requesting a neighborhood developer contribute money to the Columbia Community Land Trust in exchange for his support of the development. A special prosecutor dropped the case in exchange for Thomas's completion of 75 hours of community service.
Filing for April's city council election opens this month. Candidates must pick up packets and submit signatures of ward residents in order to file. Seats in wards 3 and 4 are up for election along with the mayor's office. Mayor Brian Treece has said he will not seek reelection.