Tag Archives: Columbia City Council

Mike Martin for Mayor?

“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

Mike Martin

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.

Karl Skala

Karl Skala

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. 

http://columbiaheartbeat.blogspot.com/…/developer-tax…

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.”

Fred Parry

Fred Parry

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.

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Keep Columbia Free Joins Coalition to Recall Chadwick — Richards Will Not Run

Ginny Chadwick

Ginny Chadwick

Two local groups, CoMo Council Watch and Keep Columbia Free, have joined forces with local cannabis law reformers to recall Councilperson Ginny Chadwick. More groups are likely to join the effort soon.

Columbia advocates for cannabis legalization, Aaron Malin, Eapen Thampy, and Duell Lauderdale, started the recall effort in response to Chadwick’s reversal of her public campaign promise to support Councilperson Barbara Hoppe’s proposed cannabis cultivation ordinance. Her vote was the last in a long string of outright betrayals since being sworn into office only six months ago. It was the straw, or perhaps the leaf, that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

Even Councilperson Barb Hoppe was confounded by Chadwick’s dishonesty.

“I think we felt misled… It’s hard to tell what she really thinks. She’ll say she’s for something and then vote against it.” — Councilperson Barb Hoppe on Chadwick’s cannabis vote

Aaron Malin

Aaron Malin

The recall announcement made by the pro-cannabis crowd was simply the first. A newly formed organization of First Ward voters calling themselves CoMo Council Watch had their own recall petition in the works which listed many of the same grievances, chief among them being Chadwick’s less-than-transparent slight of hand in her dealings with the Opus student housing project.

Barbara Hoppe

Barbara Hoppe

 

I was at the coalition meeting along with several of the Keep Columbia Free faithful. This writer has chronicled Councilwoman Chadwick’s flagrant misdeeds for several months and all in the room were in agreement that she had amassed a laundry list of recall-worthy actions. Besides her 180 on her cannabis reform campaign promise and her good ol’ boy relationship with Opus, Chadwick has also proposed an overtly racist plan to ban alcohol in Douglass Park and is now pushing to change the legal age for tobacco purchase to 21 and include e-cigs in Columbia’s smoking ban. And she doesn’t give a damn what anyone has to say about it, going so far as to scrub constituent comments from her official Facebook page, even blocking some users. 

Eapen Thampy

Eapen Thampy

The folks from the Bistate Regional Advocates for Vaping Education (BRAVE) have expressed great dismay over Chadwick targeting e-cigs and will hopefully officially endorse the recall effort soon.

There is little doubt that Chadwick has sided with the establishment “powers that be” in Columbia. Even the great establishment propagandist, Tribune Publisher Hank Waters, has jumped to her aid with his barrels of ink and an overtly erroneous editorial in which he attempts to pigeonhole the recall effort as a “small group of disappointed supporters of looser marijuana restrictions.” Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Even his own newspaper reported the facts. Apparently, Ol’ Hank doesn’t read his own publication.

The editorial prompted this apropos response from local liberty activist Spencer Pearson…

HA! This Op-Ed from Hank Waters about the ‪#‎RecallChadwick‬ movement is outrageously false. It must be nice to own a newspaper and tell voters in other wards what to do without any real knowledge of the movement you’re writing about.

The “small group” of people who are members of the Recall First Ward Councilperson Ginny Chadwick page already outnumber Chadwick’s public like page! And the grievances First Ward voters have go far beyond her broken campaign promise to support decriminalizing cannabis cultivation.

Waters concludes the piece with a Confucius quote: “The real fault is to have faults and not try to mend them.” When Chadwick publicly stated she didn’t have to make a case to a group of angry constituents, THAT was the deciding point of the recall. She has flat-out refused to address the people who elected her, as is her job. Perhaps Mr. Waters should show this Confucius quote to Ginny Chadwick instead of patronizing First Ward voters by telling so many of them their efforts are “without merit and should be ignored.” Or perhaps he is just projecting

But who will replace Chadwick?

mitch

Mitch Richards

There are a few names being tossed around, but those discussions have been kept secret so far. The First Ward wants to make sure that they don’t get fooled again, hoodwinked by more snake oil, ending up worse off than before. There is little doubt that the determined First Ward voters will produce a fully-vetted and qualified candidate. Enough is enough. After a decade of poor representation from the likes of Paul Sturtz, Fred Schmidt, and now Ginny Chadwick, the ward is ripe for real reform and meaningful action. But who will it be?

One name that has been mentioned is former First Ward candidate Mitch Richards who lost to Fred Schmidt in 2011. I asked Richards if he might run to replace Chadwick should the recall effort prove successful.

“Absolutely not! I have no intention to run for Council at this time nor in the near future.

That said, I do support the recall effort. Councilperson Chadwick has advocated an overtly paternalist set of policies since taking office. She arrogantly singled out Columbia’s African-American community as being unfit to consume alcohol in Douglass Park only to change course and try to ban alcohol everywhere in hopes of countering the justifiable cries of racial insensitivity the initial proposal faced. She wants to include e-cigs in Columbia’s smoking ban despite the fact that these devices provide a somewhat safer alternative than smoking for tobacco users and now she wants to tell young adults that while they can vote, pay taxes, and serve in war, they cannot be trusted to buy tobacco products. Her secretive work on the Opus project ran counter to the wishes of her constituency and now she’s made a 180 degree turn on the marijuana cultivation ordinance — an ordinance to which she pledged support during her campaign. Campaign promises should be sacred. The First Ward needs to send a strong message to current and future leadership that these types of fundamental betrayals will not be tolerated.”

These strong words from Richards echo the popular sentiment across the First Ward. There is little doubt that this recall effort will produce plenty of signatures in a very short time.

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Gary Nolan Calls Out Ginny Chadwick For Friendly Debate

When Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick appeared on The Gary Nolan Show to discuss her plan to move the legal age to buy tobacco and nicotine e-liquid from 18 to 21 and ban e-cigs from private businesses, she didn’t want to hear anything Gary had to say. Her arrogance was apparent on the air and was apparently much worse off the air.


During a subsequent broadcast, Gary described her hasty exit from the studio. He followed her and offered to share some of the information he had on the subject. She reportedly told him that she wasn’t interested in any of his information.

I spoke with Gary off the air and he expressed an interest in debating Ginny or any of her Tobacco21 cohorts. He said he will debate her “anytime, anywhere.”

Keep Columbia Free would love to host this debate. We’ll find a mutually acceptable, neutral moderator and have a Lincoln Douglas style debate. We can Livestream the debate online and perhaps broadcast it on the radio.

There is really no reason why a master’s student in Public Health and Strategic Communication like Ms. Chadwick should fear a debate with a radio talk show host, so we expect to hear from Ms. Chadwick soon. The people deserve to hear this discussion, don’t you think?

Ms. Chadwick, please contact us at kcf@keepcolumbiafree.com and let us know when you might be available for this debate.

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Ginny Chadwick Disrespects Military Veterans

Columbia City Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick’s official Facebook page has been scrubbed of all dissenting comments, most notably the comments from military combat veterans who served while under age 21. Ms. Chadwick’s latest nanny-state proposal, which seeks to change the legal age for tobacco and nicotine e-liquid purchase from 18 to 21 in Columbia, raised the ire of many citizens and signaled a firestorm of comments on her page. Obviously, Ms. Chadwick’s proposal would bar adults between the ages of 18 and 21 who served or are serving in the military from buying these products.

The comments, none of which were vulgar or threatening, were removed almost a quickly as they were posted. One commenter even posted a picture of himself at age 19, taken while serving in Iraq. Many of the comments were removed almost as quickly as they were posted. We were able to screen-shot a few of them before they were deleted. If you visit her page today, you’ll see that all of the dissenting comments have been removed, including comments on other topics.

It has become clear that Ginny Chadwick can’t be bothered with the opinions of we proles.
Chadwick screen shot2 web Chadwick screen shot2 web1 Chadwick screen shot3 web Chadwick screen web

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Chadwick’s Ninny Pulpit

“Ginny State + Nanny State = Ninny State,” wrote one Facebook user upon learning of Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick’s latest proposal. At the most recent council meeting, Ms. Chadwick started the ball rolling toward an ordinance that would change the legal age for the purchase of tobacco from 18 to 21 and also place tighter restrictions on e-cigarettes within the city limits of Columbia.

Ginny Chadwick

Ginny Chadwick

Her latest proposal comes fresh on the heels of her astoundingly racist and seemingly defunct push to ban alcohol consumption in Douglass Park, a popular gathering place for Columbia’s African-American community. Couple these two overtly overprotective prohibition propositions with her unwavering support of the Opus student housing development and her willingness to completely ignore her constituency on all issues and Ms. Chadwick is a contender for Columbia’s most hated councilperson. There have even been rumblings of recall on social media.

There is, however, one constituent to whom Ms. Chadwick will lend the royal ear. School Board Member Jonathan Sessions, the young entrepreneur and politician rumored to be a Democrat favorite for state office, has taken credit for proposing the new tobacco age restrictions and, according to city insiders, was the man behind the original plan to ban alcohol in Douglass Park when it was first proposed by Chadwick’s predecessor Fred Schmidt.

Jonathan Sessions

Jonathan Sessions

So, what’s so wrong with changing the legal age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21?

In a town the size of Columbia — i.e. not very big — this change would likely move tobacco sales to just outside the city limits. Unlike the few suburban cities that have made the change, Columbia’s outskirts are relatively under-developed and ripe for a burgeoning tobacco trade. In Columbia, migration of the 18 to 21 tobacco trade is inevitable.

Speaking of suburban cities that have made the change, Ms. Chadwick touted the successes seen in Needham, Massachusetts. The problem is, Needham is  the ONLY city where the change has been made and any success has been seen. The leading organization behind this push, Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, on their website Tobacco21.org, lists only Needham, MA while offering no other evidence regarding tobacco and age limitations. The rest of the evidence is loosely extrapolated from data based on alcohol, a completely different and unrelated drug. And let’s not forget, Columbia is not a densely populated suburb of Boston. Columbia is a small, unique, and independent Midwestern city with a large, transient student population between the ages of 18 and 21. Columbia is the apple to Needham’s orange.

And, there is really no reason to make the change since smoking is already trending down. Read the CDC report HERE. 

Statistics aside, the philosophical problems with the proposal are almost too many to list — but I’ll give it a shot…

Eighteen is the universally accepted, legal age of adulthood in the developed world. It’s the age at which we allow our men and women to join the military so we can send them across the globe to kill and die on our behalf. It is the age that we force all young men to register for the Selective Service so that our government can force them to join the military to kill and die on our behalf (or at least on behalf of the corporatists who run our government). We’ll ask and/or force these adults to kill and die, but Ginny Chadwick thinks that they can’t be trusted to buy cigarettes.

People between the ages of 18 and 21 can choose to have sex with another consenting adult of any age. People under age 21 can even have children and we allow them to be responsible for the health of these children, but Ginny Chadwick thinks these same people cannot be trusted to make their own health decisions regarding tobacco.

People under 21 are allowed to work in Columbia restaurants an be certified by the Health Department to handle food. Ginny Chadwick thinks that these people are a danger to themselves and must be stopped from buying cigarettes, yet they are trusted with the health of restaurant patrons.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates how many people between the ages of 18 and 21 are employed. Take a look at the healthcare and social services statistics for under 21 employees. Wow! We trust these young adults to work in these industries, but Ginny Chadwick doesn’t trust them to buy cigarettes. What’s next? Will she outlaw babysitting for anyone under 21?

And, let’s not forget that 18 is the voting age. We trust 18-year-olds to help choose our leaders, yet Ginny Chadwick doesn’t trust these same citizens to make their own decisions regarding tobacco.

What is Chadwick’s Game?

There has been a great deal of speculation, some rather well-educated speculation, regarding what might be driving Ms. Chadwick’s ninny-nanny behavior. Some have suggested that she merely enjoys all forms of attention, both good and bad. Some have suggested that her belief that she is more intelligent than everyone around her has morphed into some sort of frightening, yet common, elected narcissism. Some have suggested that she is using her elected position as a résumé builder for a future career in the public health field. What is clear is that in spite of her tortured campaign slogan, “The key to the city is the voice of the people,” Ms. Chadwick has completely ignored her constituency, the very citizens she was elected to represent.

Comments posted to her Facebook page, a page which she floods with anti-smoking propaganda, even posting updates during Council meetings, go unacknowledged.

vernon to chad

When she does take the time to answer a constituent, her answer is best described as a ‘non-answer.’ Ms. Chadwick is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health and Strategic Communication. Here is an example of a strategic non-answer that will curl the hair of staunch grammarians. Did I mention that she studies in the Missouri School of Journalism?

chad qStrategic communication indeed.

When listening to Ms. Chadwick discuss the Opus student housing agreement, it became clear that she was part of “The City” and not part of the First Ward. She often projected a tone of us (The City) vs. them (the people). During an interview on Steve Spellman’s Mid-Missouri Freedom Forum on KOPN she often referred to the City as “we” and called Mayor McDavid “Bob” and City Manager Matthes “Mike” as if they were old friends. She seemed to relish her insider roll, hobnobbing with Opus attorneys and high-ranking bureaucrats.

In the footnote on page 6 of the lawsuit filed by the anti-Opus petitioners, it is noted that Ms. Chadwick seemed to be working with Opus while ignoring her constituents by passing information from the City Manager to one but not the other.

chad law

Click HERE for a news report on her Opus press conference that further demonstrates the us vs. them mentality she holds. She literally thinks she needs to educate her ignorant constituents.

But really, for the narcissist in a seat of power, isn’t it all about “me” and the attention “me” gets? Take this Facebook exchange for instance. Note how Ms. Chadwick talks about her smoking age restriction and how it is an issue that is important to her, not to her constituency. The comment from her Facebook comrade is also quite telling as the friend and citizen pleads with her benevolent overlord to stop the unwashed poor from stinking up the town with their smoking. This is the very arrogance that has come to characterize Ginny Chadwick’s policy making. Birds of a feather flock together.

chad q1

Besides the ego-boosting attention she is receiving, what’s in it for Ms. Chadwick? For one, she’s seeking a degree, and one would assume a career, in the Public Health field. Is this all just a means for Ms. Chadwick to bolster her professional résumé? Why else would she undertake such unpopular crusades while ignoring more pressing issues important to her constituents like gun violence and crumbling infrastructure?

Perhaps she has her sites set on higher office. She does seem to be taking her marching orders from the local establishment Democrat up-and-comer Jonathan Sessions. Is G-Chad just trying to please J-Sesh? He does seem to be the anointed one among local, big-money Dems like Chris Kelly and John Wright. jsesh 1

Who knows what her angle is? Maybe it’s all of the above. What’s clear is that in less than six months from taking her oath of office, Ginny Chadwick has made three extremely unpopular and very public displays of poor political judgement. Sadly, this is par for the course with First Ward representation. It is high time that this community figure out how to get good, trustworthy candidates to run for local office. Many promising candidates cannot afford to donate the time (yes the Council receives a small salary that won’t even cover the gas it takes to drive to the top of a parking garage) required to serve adequately, leaving the job to those with residual or retirement incomes. It is likely time to pay our Council a meaningful salary like our county officials receive. Sadly, it also takes money to be elected. It is time for people to pool their resources and support good candidates. If a First Ward recall were to be undertaken, there is little doubt that the 200 or so signatures could be gathered in only a few days. The real question is — who will take Ms. Chadwick’s place?

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Picking Winners and Losers: Karl Skala and Downtown Development

Buried deep in the Columbia City Council agenda for the upcoming April 21st meeting is an interesting item added to the agenda at the request of 3rd Ward Councilman Karl Skala.

B116-14 Authorizing a right of use permit with BMT of Columbia, LLC for installation, construction, improvement, operation, use, keeping, maintenance, repair and replacement of approximately 350 lineal feet of two-inch PVC sewer force main to extend in portions of an alley right-of-way located north of Broadway, between Tenth Street and Short Street; authorizing a right of use permit with BMT of Columbia, LLC for construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of private storm sewers in portions of the Tenth Street and East Broadway (1007 E. Broadway) rights-of-way. [Intro & 1st Read/Skala Memo]

At first glance, it looks like basic infrastructure — the type of drudgery that is usually ignored by most of the public, especially late in what is sure to be another marathon council meeting. But further investigation — ahem — reading the supporting documentation — ahem — reveals that Mr. Skala is proactively pushing for a new downtown, 5-story, mixed-use building that will house 36 beds and no additional parking. Residents will use the city-built and city-funded Short Street Garage.

skala1

Karl Skala

Wait, our City Manager Mike Matthes told us that without a TIF for infrastructure, Downtown development would stop.

Without a TIF, downtown development stops. “Plan B is no development downtown,” he [Matthes] said.

As we all know, this was untrue because only days after the TIF plan was rejected, the City approved two student housing projects totalling over 600 beds and tabled another 700-bed project. This, of course, prompted an initiative petition to repeal the ordinance from the folks at Repeal 6214, but that’s another story that most readers are familiar with already.

Mike Matthes

Mike Matthes

The interesting piece here is that Skala voted against each of these proposed downtown developments, despite the fact that both of them met current zoning ordinance requirements. Skala seems to have since changed course and is now spearheading support for a separate 5-story development proposal which is apparently more to his tastes.

Mr. Skala, a self-described statist, is obviously throwing a proverbial bone to a “local” developer, but why? He’ll probably claim that he is merely supporting the “type” of development that citizens want. He’ll likely claim that existing infrastructure, infrastructure that we’ve been told is hopelessly maxed out, can handle a new 5-story building.

The reality is that this bone is likely a meaty bone of political expedience. Skala is giving a nod to a local developer, attempting to allow BMT to cut in line ahead of 2000 legal beds that came down the pipe of public permission first. Perhaps this move will help fund Skala’s reelection campaign. At least it will allow him to claim to be pro-development when he is labeled as the opposite due to his voting against other projects.

Keep Columbia Free believes that, in a perfect world, the government would not tinker with the free market. Unfortunately, the world we live in is not perfect and the market is not a free one. What is clear is that in the world we’ve inherited locally the best thing for the council to do is simply level the playing field and let the chips fall where they may. If we need infrastructure, build it instead of spending our money on projects like parking garages, historic homes of unknown musicians, and useless “safety” cameras. It is unacceptable for a councilman to handpick which private developer will profit and which will not, regardless of how that choice might affect his reelection chances.

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Civil Asset Forfeiture: Policing for Profit in Columbia, Mo Is Grinding To A Halt

In these tough economic times, how do law enforcement officers find the cash for nifty gadgets such as new militarized swat vehicles or fancy, little video cameras?

Why, they steal it.

Principally, civil asset forfeiture tactics have been abused by law enforcement agencies across the nation for decades – and it’s only getting worse.

A 2000 reform act passed by Congress seems to have had little effect, as recent stats by the Department of Justice show $4.22 billion was seized through federal forfeiture laws in 2012, up from $1.7 billion in 2011 – an increase of a whopping 248 percent.

While national nonprofits and law firms  dedicated to fending off such cash-seizing techniques continue to grow, and investigative news reports exposing the fraud pile up, the process continues unabated.

Here’s how the racket is unfolds.

Criminals are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but there’s a caveat. The feds can seize the assets of an individual for the mere suspicion of wrongdoing. Called “civil asset forfeitures,” they’re in stark contrast to criminal asset forfeitures, which allow police to seize cash and property from those convicted of a federal crime.

While criminal asset forfeiture cuts legal muster, civil federal forfeiture laws are heralded by many as entirely unconstitutional. Meanwhile, examples of wrongdoing on the part of law enforcement are easily found.

Typically after such seizures, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies split the loot, using legal loopholes that allow them to collude, although they call it “equitable sharing.”  Local agents are temporarily deputized as federal ones, which helps them get around civil asset forfeiture laws and procure the assets.

Take, for example, a case out of Nashville chronicled by NewsChannel5 in late April. An Indian-American New York businessman on his way to purchase a convenience store with a large sum of cash lost $160,000 after a routine traffic stop in December 2011.

Ultimately officers were forced to return the money – but more than a year later, and after the man proved it was for businesses purposes, not drug trafficking. In essence, he had to prove his money’s innocence. And the feds still kept $5,000 of it as part of a settlement.

Peter Strianse, a former federal prosecutor, told NewsChannel5 “he often hears from people who’ve had $10,000 or more seized through federal forfeiture laws — and he has to tell them to kiss their money goodbye.”

“It becomes just a real losing proposition,” Strianse said. “You are going to spend three times that amount of money to try to get the $10,000 back that was taken from you.”

In another example, as reported exhaustively by Keep Columbia Free (KCF) among others, the Columbia, Mo. Police Department was able to recently purchase a $200,000 armored police vehicle—a military style SUV—with the help of $36,505 in civil asset forfeiture funds.

Perhaps some of that $36,505 came from Kevin Bay, the owner of a Columbia apparel store called BoCoMo Bay. According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Bay was arrested on suspicion of carrying unlicensed firearms and selling synthetic marijuana, but the prosecutor in the case dropped all charges; it was, at the time, not illegal to hold and sell synthetic marijuana.

Unfortunately, however, the dropped charges came after Columbia police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property from his house. He asked for it back. Local authorities refused. Bay’s case remains entangled in federal courts.

What’s worse about the Columbia case is that, any asset forfeitures – whether civil or criminal – are required under the state constitution to be given to the state’s schools and public universities – not to police departments to purchase military-style tanks.

But the following may illustrate police motives, their zeal to seize such assets.

In November 2012, Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton’s told the Columbia Police Review Board that civil asset forfeiture is “kind of like pennies from heaven — it gets you a toy or something that you need is the way that we typically look at it to be perfectly honest.”

KCF and civil asset forfeiture reform advocates Americans for Forfeiture Reform (AFR) want to keep the Columbia Police Department from getting its pennies from heaven.

As many readers of this blog know, KCF has kept vigil over the issue of civil asset forfeiture, both in Columbia, Mo and around the country since its inception in 2010.

Progress on civil asset forfeiture reform has been long and grinding, but it looks like the tide starting to pick up speed, building into a crescendo.

As I write this blog, AFR is preparing an ordinance that would ban the practice of civil asset forfeiture in Columbia, Missouri. Furthermore, AFR maintains that if Columbia’ City Council is not receptive to the ordinance, then the group plans on taking the issue directly to Columbia’ citizenry via a ballot initiative. The initiative will, presumably, appear on next year’s ballot.

Here is the ordinance that will be presented to the Columbia City Council. Read over it.

 petition

Read this, this and this to find out more about civil asset forfeiture.

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