I had a breakfast meeting this morning and didn’t get around to reading The State, but Cameron Runyan has sent out a release making sure that I didn’t miss the paper’s endorsement of him for the open at-large seat on Columbia City Council.
Cameron quoted this part in the release:
Mr. Runyan has a firm grasp of how city government works. He talks with specificity and clarity about how to make a good capital city great. He displays energy and passion as he speaks of needing to plan for Columbia’s future not just two or 20 years down the road but 100. He asks questions such as: What is the city going to be like three generations from now?
He speaks in like manner about city-county cooperation, noting that the governments should consolidate every service possible: “For the next 50 years, collaboration will be one of the most important words stated in this city,” he said.,,
There was a caveat in the endorsement, however, which was not quoted in the release:
But while Mr. Runyan’s penchant for staking out strident, uncompromising positions can at times be an asset, it also could prove problematic if that prevents him from listening to sound reasoning and legitimate concerns. Compromise is key to governing, and he must be open to changing his mind when it’s in the best interest of the city. We are particularly concerned about his dogged support of using tax increment financing districts, which siphon new tax dollars away from basic services, to help fund the Bull Street project and other developments, and his assertion that adding yet another penny to the already-too-high sales tax is the only way to fund the bus system.
Mr. Bolchoz likely would bring a conservative perspective that would provide some balance on the council. He understands that finite finances require governments to prioritize and says there may be times when projects must be delayed and that the city might have to stop doing some things. His would be a practical approach, he said, adding the city “can’t give everybody everything.” He rightly questions whether the city should now — or ever — use tax increment financing.
Nevertheless, it’s not surprising that the paper went with Cameron. As I recall, we supported him last time around, when he went up against incumbent Daniel Rickenmann. And he’s learned a lot since then.
And endorsement or no, he got out so early and so strong that he’s been the guy to beat from the start of this election. Even his detractors (one of whom I was speaking to just a little while ago) acknowledge that, however reluctantly. Having started late, Robert Bolchoz needs to do more than we’ve seen so far to catch up. And Joe Azar will probably end up where he usually does.