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Public Forum with City Manager Finalists and RMF's Community Bail Fund

July 6, 2019

Dear Constituent:

You are invited to attend a public forum this Wednesday, July 10th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at City Hall, to meet the finalists for the permanent City Manager position.

Columbia's Interim City Manager John Glascock and Racine, Wisconsin City Administrator Jim Palenick (more information here) have been short-listed for the position. Starting at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers, the candidates will introduce themselves and respond to a number of questions facilitated by the City's hired search firm, CPS HR Consulting. This session will be broadcast live on as well as Mediacom 80, Charter Communications 992, and CenturyLink 96. The public will then be invited to Conference Rooms 1A/1B for a "meet and greet" with the candidates, which will continue until 8:00 pm.

The public forum and "meet and greet" are part of two days of tours, presentations, and interviews for the finalists, after which City Council will make a decision about the permanent City Manager position. Please let me know whether you prefer one candidate over the other, and any other thoughts you have about this process.

Race Matters, Friends' Community Bail Fund

The system of cash bail for those accused of breaking the law is unfair and works to exacerbate the intertwined social perils of poverty and criminal behavior.

For someone who is charged with a misdemeanor in Boone County, bail often amounts to several hundred dollars. For low-level felonies, the accused may have to find several thousand dollars in order to stay out of jail - an amount which is out of reach for the most vulnerable members of our community.

This creates enormous hardship for families who are already struggling - causing a loss of income, childcare challenges, absence from school, and the devastating psychological impacts of jail time. These individuals have not been convicted of crime, but they are being punished purely because they do not have the cash resources to pay bail. And there are negative societal consequences of this system, which wastes taxpayer funds on unnecessary jail services and intensifies the vicious cycle of inescapable poverty.

I applaud Columbia's social and racial justice group, Race Matters, Friends, for speaking up about this issue and for raising funds to enable those accused of crimes to stay out of jail while they await trial. Please review the following national and local articles about the injustice of cash bail and consider making a donation to Race Matters, Friends' Community Bail Fund:

Constituent Conversations

My next Constituent Conversations at Dunn Bros. Coffee will be on Sunday, July 14th, 2-4pm. Upcoming dates are always available at my web site

Cheers, Ian