Tag Archives: john clark

Who Will John Clark Attack Next?

John Clark

John G. Clark

A few weeks ago after the “Trash Talk” First Ward Check-In, candidate for the First Ward Council seat vacated by Ginny Chadwick John G. Clark aggressively cornered City Sustainability Manager Barbara Buffaloe, berating her so ferociously that the encounter left her frightened, shaken, and in tears. Witnesses and coworkers described Clark’s actions as “a verbal assault” and “threatening.”

Having spent some time around Mr. Clark and having been cornered by the man on more than one occasion, the story does not surprise me. Clark is a large and loud man who stands well over six feet tall. Next to Barbara Buffaloe, he looks like a giant.

John Clark -- left

John Clark — left

Those who know Buffaloe say she is a hard-working city employee who cares about her job. On the night of her run-in with Clark she was simply trying to do that job. Coworkers describe her as “sweet” and “kind.” One of her peers said this:

 

“Barb has kind of an impeccable personality – she is sweet and innocent, and I think it’s real and to the core.”

Barbara Buffaloe

Barbara Buffaloe

Although Buffaloe declined to comment on the situation, coworkers and witnesses say that Clark’s admonishment was frighteningly relentless. He told her that she was doing a terrible job as Sustainability Manager, but his scolding crossed the line of decency. She was in tears not only because she was offended, she was frightened by the ferocity with which Clark cornered her.

This type of behavior seems to be a pattern for Clark. In 2006 Columbia Police issued Clark a trespass warning after he showed up at Councilwoman Almeta Crayton’s home late at night and threatened her into changing her vote on a controversial First Ward development project. The encounter was traumatic enough that it left the tough councilwoman in tears, tears that re-emerged as she recounted the story at a Council meeting the following day.

Almeta Crayton

Almeta Crayton

“As a council person, you try to do the best you can,” Crayton said through tears, “but when there are people that threaten us, it’s a little hard.”

John G. Clark - right

John G. Clark – right

Clark also has a rather murky past with the North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association. In 2011, only seven months after being elected as President of the board, Clark was recalled by the group who cited a laundry list of grievances, chief among them that Clark had…

publicly chastised association members and presented unapproved positions to the media.

Strangely enough, Clark cites his work in the NCCNA as a reason to vote for him. It seems clear now that his relationship with NCCNA is a reason to NOT vote for him.

While the bureaucrats at the top of the City food chain, i.e. Matthes, St.Romaine, Glascock, and company deserve to be held accountable for their mismanagement, our hard-working city employees do not deserve to be treated like John Clark treated Barbara Buffaloe. Ginny Chadwick reportedly treated city staff as if they were her servants and Ian Thomas treats staff as if they are serfs serving on his royal estate.

Placing John Clark in a seat of power tasked with representing the First Ward and our City is a clear mistake.

Listen to John Clark’s interview on the Gary Nolan Show —- HERE

If you don’t know Barbara Buffaloe, this video will give you a hint at her demeanor…

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The Chadwick Majority

In response to the move to recall her as Columbia’s First Ward City Council Representative, Councilperson Ginny Chadwick posted the following on her official Facebook page

chadwickConsidering her focus on the notion that Council representatives are elected by a “majority of the people” and that statements regarding her recall are “clearly from the minority,” it seems appropriate to break down the numbers. Councilperson Chadwick has made it clear that her resounding First Ward election victory should be interpreted as a mandate from “the people” that we should all unquestioningly accept her policy proposals. After all, her campaign garnered 64% of the votes cast.

But how many votes were cast?

The First Ward has a population of 18,212. According to Director Art Auer at the Boone County Clerk’s Office, the First Ward had 9,803 registered voters on the books during the April election. Ginny Chadwick won the election with 525 votes. Votes for Chadwick represent 5.36% of registered voters in her ward. 525 votes is 2.88% of the population of the First Ward. 525 is 0.45% of Columbia’s 115,276 total population.

The reality is that 525 votes is not a meaningful number of votes. 525 votes does not a mandate make.

When confronted with these numbers, the first thing out of most people’s mouths is “voter apathy,” or “it’s their own fault.” While it might be the fault of the First Ward, the problem was not voter apathy. There was really no reason for anyone to turn out at the polls because there was simply no one to vote for.

The only First Ward failure was the failure to find a worthy candidate to run. Even the liberal political strategist Jeff Chinn of Progressive Political Partners, mastermind of many recent liberal council victories, reportedly opposed Chadwick’s candidacy, but failed to muster a suitable candidate for the position.

Bill Easley

Bill Easley

Chadwick’s only opposition was Tyree Byndom, a local community leader who was forbidden from campaigning by the tenants of his Baha’i faith, and Bill Easley, a cantankerous elderly gentleman with a penchant for unintelligible, boisterous rants.

Although Byndom would likely have served the ward well, his absence from the campaign trail and refusal to take a public position on any issue was a turn-off for voters. Also running was last-minute, write-in candidate John Clark, a local political gadfly. Considering the options, it is easy to see why most voters asked, “why bother?”

Another measure of the Chadwick “majority” and the recall “minority” can be found on Facebook. Chadwick’s Councilwoman Chadwick Facebook Page boasts 356 “likes” after more than six months in office. By comparison, the Recall First Ward Councilperson Ginny Chadwick Facebook page garnered more “likes” than Chadwick’s page in only a few days and today stands at 389.

There is little doubt that this recall will be successful. There are viable candidates in the pipeline, but recall supporters are playing their cards close to the chest.

 

 

 

 

 

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