- Written by Mike Martin
Emphasizing the transparent and responsible
COLUMBIA, Mo 1/13/16 (Beat Byte) -- On the heels of an endorsement from Columbia’s public works, service and maintenance employees, Brian Treece filed Tuesday as a candidate for Mayor of Columbia.
Earlier endorsed by Columbia police officers, Treece declared for the office last month.
To file, Mayoral candidates must submit a signed petition with between 100-150 registered voter signatures.
“I am ready to roll up my sleeves to build a stronger future for Columbia,” he said. “I believe in order to attract and retain residents and businesses, Columbia must first strengthen and protect our neighborhoods, improve our city's infrastructure and public safety services, and ensure the transparent and responsible use of precious taxpayer dollars.”
Treece's focus on infrastructure was a strong factor in the city employee endorsement. "It is clear Brian Treece is committed to addressing our long-neglected infrastructure needs," said Regina Guevara, an employee union field representative. "He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and tackle tough issues."
As chairman of both the Downtown Leadership Council (DLC) and Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), Treece has helped guide the Columbia City Council toward policies to reduce infrastructure costs and increase infrastructure quality.
With guided tours, a ramped-up public relations strategy, and a Council-approved demolition waiting-period on historic buildings, HPC became newly relevant under Treece's leadership.
Likewise, the DLC has played a major role addressing Columbia's longstanding infrastructure neglect, prompting Mayor Bob McDavid to appoint an infrastructure task force and urging city manager Mike Matthes to publicly apologize for telling the public a whopper: that Columbia was "out of infrastructure," halting further development.
“As one of the fastest growing cities in the region, Columbia needs a blueprint that enables us to responsibly plan for that growth," Treece explained.
Treece submitted 125 signatures to city clerk Sheela Amin, from a broad bench of supporters: advocates, educators, physicians, attorneys, small business owners, neighborhood association presidents, former Columbia Planning & Zoning Commission members, former Columbia City Council members, and nearly a dozen Columbia Board and Commission members.
Even though the Mayor's race is non-partisan, Treece has a show of bipartisan support, with signatures from Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia) and former State Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia).
The city employees who have endorsed him -- sanitation workers, street crews, police officers, sewer technicians, bus drivers, park and facility maintenance workers, and so forth -- "understand firsthand the challenges we face," Treece said. "I am proud to have their support."
He will face local attorney Skip Walther in the April election.
Treece on Facebook
[Ed. Note: In the spirit of transparency, though I did not sign his petition, I too support Mr. Treece, a longtime friend I've had the pleasure to witness at work, in meetings, etc. I have donated and will be donating to his campaign, the first time I've done so in nearly a decade. His record speaks for itself.
Something else that's refreshing: Mr. Treece sends us his press releases, with everything spelled and punctuated correctly. I have long urged candidates to reach out to the media -- radio, newspaper, TV, Internet -- but most don't, instead relying on forums and what I call "accidental" or incidental coverage to get their messages out.]