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Policy Priorities (2016-2019)

June 19, 2016

Dear Constituent:

Between January and April, while campaigning for re-election to Columbia’s City Council, I spoke with hundreds of you on your doorsteps in the Fourth Ward and at public forums.

During those conversations, I asked you what you feel are the priorities for the City of Columbia, and I listened to what you had to say. I also shared my ideas for addressing the challenges of development, public safety, and the economy, and I took careful notes as you responsed to those ideas.

Out of all of that community engagement, I have developed fourteen policy priorities, which I am planning to advance during the next three years:

  1. Analyze the costs and benefits of growth
  2. Incrementally raise development fees
  3. Adopt a "smart growth" zoning code
  4. Create "Public Ombudsman" position
  5. Engage the community in a public safety planning process
  6. Propose a property tax for law enforcement
  7. Create an "Office of Equity"
  8. Host a social entrepreneurship recognition event
  9. Create a Community Land Trust
  10. Offer incentives for affordable and mixed-income housing construction
  11. Expand City funding for public transit operations
  12. Adopt a Vision Zero Policy
  13. Maintain ambitious renewable energy goals
  14. Adopt a resolution supporting carbon pricing

Please complete a constituent survey about these proposals. Which do you support and which do you oppose? Which should be implemented quickly and which do you not care about it?

Before filling out the survey, take a few minutes to read the background to these policy priorities, consisting of my vision for each of seven major areas of City government along with the challenges I identified in each. Those seven areas are infrastructure, growth and development, public safety, social equity, housing, transportation, and energy.

Proposed roundabout at Chapel Hill and Fairview

During tomorrow evening’s City Council meeting, there will be a public hearing on the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Chapel Hill and Fairview Roads.

In my opinion, well-designed roundabouts are safe, attractive and low-cost alternatives to signalized intersections when traffic congestion creates unacceptable delays. However, I am not convinced that delays caused by the current four-way stop warrant the investment of $600,000 of public funds, and the vast majority of community input I have received about this proposed project has been negative.

Let the City Council know whether you support or oppose the roundabout - either by attending tomorrow’s meeting (7:00 pm at City Hall) or by emailing us. For more information, read today’s Tribune article about the project.

Constituent Conversations

I will hold Constituent Conversations at Dunn Bros. Coffee from 2-4pm today, and then on Sundays, July 3rd and 17th. I look forward to seeing you there.

Cheers, Ian