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Jefferson City Council Fourth Ward: Randall Wright


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?

Randall Wright: Yes, I'm running, actually, for reelection, I was elected by the council in ... May of 2023, to fill the vacant seat for Ron Fitzwater. And I have been serving the public since then. I want to continue to serve the public. Jefferson City is a great place to live and work and I want to continue to work toward those goals of growing Jefferson City.

ABC 17 News: Does the city's parks commission need more city council oversight?

Wright: I don't think so. I think that the voters would have to come forward with a proposal to bring that forward and say we want to change. I don't really see that there's a need for a change. I think the city charter, it was almost 40 years ago, and if the voters want a change, I think the voters need to be forthright and tell us that they want to want that change.

ABC 17 News: How can Jefferson City best address its affordable housing shortage?

Wright: Well, I think that that's a tough nut to crack, No. 1, okay? It's a multifaceted problem without a single answer. But I'm committed to working with all parties and all stakeholders in Jefferson City to continue to move Jefferson City forward for solving the problem of the shortage and housing that we do have.

And that's across all spectrums of housing -- that's low-income housing, that's medium-income housing and even high-income housing. We have a need for all of those things in Jefferson City. And I'm very active with the Jefferson City area Board of Realtors, I'm a broker myself, have my own brokerage. So I'm a stakeholder in the housing industry as well. I'm going to bring those skills to, and I have brought those skills, to the city council and continue to work on that problem as we move forward.

ABC 17 News: Should the city bring back yard waste dropoff?

Wright: Well, the citizens, No. 1, let us know that they want the yard waste, that's a topic that's very important to them. I have always been a supporter of a yard waste and a legal site for the residents to be able to drop off their yard waste. I've always been a supporter of that. I think that we listened to them.

Back last fall, when we voted on a proposal they did not like, we turned that down, we listened to the voters. But the issue was, we didn't have a plan B to go to, that was really a viable option that was affordable. And so we went out to bid again. And you know, we didn't get much response, we only got one bidder. And that one was too expensive as well. So there was really no other choice other than say, "Hey, we got to stop right here and figure out where we're gonna go from here." And that's what we did. We came up with a city-run site that we're going to be moving forward with April 1, we're going to have it open seven days a week, from dusk to dawn.

ABC 17 News: Does the city have a transparency problem?

Wright: I don't think there's a transparency issue. I think there's absolutely legal and proper things that need to be in a closed session, when you're negotiating a contract or you're negotiating on a personnel issue. Those things do properly need to be in a closed session, and a lot of the criticism has come from those closed sessions. But I think there is a time and a place it is appropriate for you to have a closed session.

But I am all about being transparent. And with the yard waste, going back to the yard waste. You know, we voted on that on that meeting that was closed, we voted to open everything up and be completely transparent after we took that vote because we knew that was going to be an issue and we knew that the voters were going to want to know exactly what happens. So we voted to make it 100% open, what we did in that meeting.

So, you know, I think the voters need to get engaged. More voters need to get engaged with the City Council. Many times the audience is very few people that are actually coming and engaging. So I think you know, I would encourage every citizen to come and participate in a city council meeting because we have everything out there open. With council meetings, with committee meetings, are all open to the public to see exactly what we're doing, you know, unless it's an appropriate time for a closed session.

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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