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Columbia City Council Second Ward candidates: Robert Schreiber III


ABC 17 News is interviewing candidates for key races in the April election.

The interviews will air on ABC 17 News leading up to the April 2 election and will be posted online as they air.

ABC 17 News: Why are you running and what are your qualifications?

Robert Schreiber III: I'm running for city council Second Ward because I think I can make a difference in the Second Ward. And I think I can represent the working people and working families of the Second Ward.

I am myself a worker at the University of Missouri. And it is now I'm at a time in my life now that I have that I have time to, to take on this task.

As far as qualifications go, I was on the Democratic Central Committee here in Columbia for seven years, which gave me some insight into procedural runnings of government. And I would like to work on issues at the city level.

I've been a construction worker, a restaurant worker, and now I'm a maintenance man. I think that gives me the hard work ethic that is required for being on City Council.

ABC 17 News: What is the biggest issue in the Second Ward?

Schreiber: I think the biggest issue for the Second Ward is one of the biggest issues in America in general, which is affordable housing. And I'd like to look at ways that we can build more affordable housing and just more housing in general, that will lower the price for working families and first-time homebuyers across across the city.

That's what that looks like, is working with the Columbia Land Trust to secure land that developers can then develop at an affordable price looking into government funding, such as HUD, and there are some other funding programs that the government can issue that will help with affordable housing, and it's also building sustainable housing. Okay, that's, that's energy efficient housing. That's gonna lower the cost of utilities for the renters and last over time.

ABC 17 News: Do you have a plan to get the police force fully staffed?

Schreiber: I think the new police chief is doing a good job on this, I think they're headed in the right direction.

So one of the ideas was that we have to start increasing pay for incoming officers, but we also have to pay our existing officers more, we have to work, we have to think about wage compression, which is a big issue. And we have to start to fund the pension more. I think right now it's funded at 50%. Most cities like to see that up around 80%.

ABC 17 News: Why is affordable housing in such short supply in Columbia and what can be done about it?

Schreiber: Well, ever since the pandemic and before, the building of new housing has kind of stagnated. Right? There just hasn't been a whole bunch of units going on to the market, which has led to people staying in their houses for longer, and those houses that people would, first-time homebuyers would move out of and then your next first-time homebuyers who would move into those are becoming less and less.

We're seeing the median price of a new home in Colombia go for around $3,000, where the median income in Colombia is around $59,000. So this is just not sustainable and we're pricing people out of becoming a first-time homebuyer.

ABC 17 News: How do you evaluate the city's recycling program?

Schreiber: I think the city is doing better. We're finally bringing back curbside recycling. That is a step in the right direction. I would like to see us implement a roll cart recycling to go along with our trash. As far as the recycling processing plant, I think it needs to be updated. From what I understand it's about 20 years old and yeah, I think it needs to be updated to better serve the the growing recycling that we're seeing throughout the city.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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