“If you run for Mayor, don’t be surprised if you have me to contend with, right up there on the candidate dais with you.” — Mike Martin
In one of many heated exchanges with Councilman Karl Skala on the Keep Columbia Free Facebook group page, Columbia’s most read and most infamous independent journalist, Mike Martin, indicated that he is contemplating a possible run for Mayor.
Martin’s most recent Columbia Heart Beat installment in an ongoing expose of City financial malfeasance, which centers around piles of unrestricted funds that lie dormant or are used for frivolous projects while important central city infrastructure crumbles, drew a comment from the trollishly ubiquitous Skala when posted on the Keep Columbia Free page.
Martin accused the City Council of failing to read, study, and understand the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and Skala took issue.
Eventually Martin wrote:
I’m not “presuming” anything, Councilman. I’m speaking from the failed experiences of what has amounted to your big talk on digging into issues of finance and accountability.
Where’s that staff report you were going to demand on how the City Charter regulates the Water and Light Surplus?
Or that information from Mike Matthes you were planning to get about why there’s no record — for years and years — of any money going from the Water and Light Surplus into the General Fund, as mandated?
You’ve done NOTHING in this regard. NOTHING. Meanwhile, you vote for every tax hike, fee hike, fine hike, and revenue hike you can, while touting your “progressive, I’m for the little guy” credentials.
Your big talk goes all the way back to 2008, when you promised to confront County Assessor Tom Schauwecker over his assessment practices. Nothing ever happened with that because Schauwecker told you and the Council to — let me put this delicately — nah, I’ll use the polite term — back off.
Which, of course, you did.
If you run for Mayor, don’t be surprised if you have me to contend with, right up there on the candidate dais with you. I will hold your feet to the fire on absolutely every vote you’ve rendered, every promise you’ve made, every fee, fine, rate, and tax hike you’ve voted for.
I may not win — but you will sweat. And you will account for your record, in a way you never have.
In the May issue of his publication Inside Columbia (page 138), magazine mogul and notorious neocon Fred Parry wrote,
“Skala deserves to be Mayor because he has paid his ‘civic rent’ by serving multiple terms on Columbia’s City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition, but more importantly, the citizens of Columbia deserve a mayor like Karl Skala.”
Of course, Parry’s comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek, but they may well prove to be prophetic. Skala likely has his eye on the political center stage, figuratively and literally. If Skala runs, let’s hope that Martin runs against him. That race would be nothing short of epic.