Tag Archives: Mayor Bob McDavid

Call For Council Recall

Due to the overwhelming public outcry resulting from the City Council’s plan to declare large areas of Columbia “blighted” and create an Enhanced Enterprise Zone, Keep Columbia Free is asking for volunteers to step forward and take action to recall any and all current City Council representatives who choose to ignore the wishes of their engaged constituents and vote in favor of establishing an EEZ board.

Blight-based eminent domain abuse is common in Missouri, as Missouri law provides little to no protection for property owners. Blight designations and the resulting condemnation proceedings have repeatedly been used to take property from low-income and minority populations across Missouri. This outrageous abuse of government power ignores the most fundamental property right protections enumerated in our beloved Bill of Rights and threatens the very Liberty around which our great country was founded.

As an organization dedicated to protecting and upholding the free market, Keep Columbia Free opposes tax abatement schemes, corporate welfare, TIFs, EEZs and public/private partnerships that use government regulation to distort the market and limit competition. As proponents of limited government, we call upon fiscal conservatives to stand against these perverse ploys and demand real economic freedom for all citizens.

Considering that Columbia has the lowest unemployment rate in Missouri, was recently voted the hardest working town in America, and is likely the best place to live in Missouri – if not the entire Midwest – declaring large portions of our city blighted is nothing short of fraud.

Anyone interested in volunteering to collect the small number of signatures required to force a recall vote or interested in running to replace a recalled council member should send contact information to kcf@keepcolumbiafree.com or call 573.808.4770.

For more information please visit www.KeepColumbiaFree.com, email kcf@KeepColumbiaFree.com, or call Mark Flakne at 573.808.4770, Abhi Sivasailam at 636.675.2917, or Mitch Richards at 573.777.2306.

For background info, please read the recent story by Columbia Missourian reporters Hannah Cushman and Madeline O’Leary.


Police Labor Unions Beset Burton

Today, Ashley Cuttle, the paid director of the local police labor union, the CPOA, renewed and doubled down on her attack on Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton. Burton has done his best to reform a troubled department despite the foot-dragging of veteran officers. Change never comes easy, especially in government, but when the pant-suited pit bull Cuttle is leading the charge against that change, there is a recipe for trouble.

To assist her in her character and career assassination of Burton, Cuttle has enlisted the help of labor leader Kevin Albrand, President of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. The two appeared on the Gary Nolan Show following their meeting with Mayor Bob McDavid and City Manager Mike Mathes where they lobbied for Burton’s termination.

Mitch Richards of Keep Columbia Free called the show and artfully challenged the legitimacy of the CPOA argument during the second half of the radio segment. You can stream to the radio interview HERE or go directly to the mp3 download by clicking HERE.

While the CPOA has fought Burton at every turn, the real attack started after Burton fired Rob Sanders. Sanders was fired following his brutal assault of an unarmed and detained suspect after which he laughed about the incident as the suspect writhed on the floor in agony stemming from a broken neck.

Read all about the incident HERE

Please show your support of Chief Burton by signing our online petition. Click HERE to go to the petition.

Here is the video of the brutal attack at the hands of Rob Sanders. 



It looks like Keep Columbia Free has worked its way under the skin of the police brutality apologists. This is a screen-shot from a Facebook page run by disgruntled ex-CPD officers. It’s a little flattering to have made their hit list alongside the Chief of Police, the City Manager, and the Editor of the Tribune.


Another Update:

Keep Columbia VP, Abhi Sivasailam, is featured in this ABC 17 news story talking about why we support Chief Burton.


Here’s another video of former officer Rob Sanders in action. This time he’s not violently assaulting an unarmed, detained citizen, but he is harassing local police watchdogs, Citizens for Justice instead of serving and protecting the public…



Why I’m Starting to Warm Up to Mayor McDavid

During the campaign that both authorized downtown “safety” cameras and elected the three Chamber of Commerce amigos, Kespohl, Dudley and McDavid, I will admit that Bob McDavid was not my pick for mayor. The main reason for my dislike of McDavid was the fact that he supported Karen Taylor’s campaign to place the so-called “safety” cameras downtown. While McDavid only said there was a “perceived” crime problem and never claimed that Columbia was as crime ridden as the other two amigos and Ms. Taylor would have had us believe (in spite of an overwhelming pile of evidence to the contrary), he never missed the opportunity to place himself next to Taylor and her Keep Columbia Safe group. His support of our local scapegrace of surveillance now appears to have been more of a shrewd political maneuver than a heartfelt belief that Big Brother style surveillance was needed in Downtown Columbia.

But lately, McDavid has come down on the side of common sense in regard to local issues. While it really doesn’t make up for the $50,000 spent on a year of cameras, his turn to common sense leadership is nonetheless refreshing.

His open criticism of the behemoth 5th and Walnut garage is one step in the right direction for McDavid. In a KOMU 8 story on the subject McDavid said.

I personally think the 5th and Walnut parking garage was overbuilt… I believe that the process was flawed. We committed $16 million to a garage that is going to lose money for some time.

Bob has even taken a sensible stance on the public art displayed on the garage and elsewhere around town. Columbia sets aside 1% from each new construction project to pay for art associated with the project. In each case, for some unknown reason, instead of relying on a local artist, Columbia has looked elsewhere for the talent to design these large projects and has ended up with some real eyesores. Chief among these eyesores, in my opinion, is the $200,000 “Keys to the City” sculpture which adorns the entrance to city hall and looks more like a cheap shop class project or giant version of a child’s night light than a $200,000 work of art.

Now the sophomoric $140,000 so-called “art” on the 5th and Walnut garage entitled “Sky Algorithm” has been installed incorrectly and is inaccessible to the disabled community. Mayor McDavid said he is “embarrassed” by the project. Surely these public art funds could be kept in the community by using a local artist. Here is what Bob had to say:

We make a mistake when we don’t use local artists… We will never see this artist again… For $140,000, I expect it to be accurate.

With the 5th and Walnut debacle in mind, McDavid had some rather sensible things to say about the upcoming Short Street garage project. In response to some locals who would like to see ground-floor retail space in the new garage in order to avoid dead space for pedestrians, McDavid said:

I believe the philosophy that government has no business running retail or commercial development… I understand that a lot of people would like to have commercial. I would also argue that empty commercial is dead space, too.

Hey, Bob, I agree!

And speaking of garages, when Daryl Dudley decided to one-up his first patriotic suggestion to require the council to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every meeting by suggesting that an American flag on a 60-foot flagpole be installed atop the already embarrassing 5th and Walnut garage, McDavid said “no.” McDavid rightly stated:

I consider myself patriotic. I really don’t want to spend the money for this.

McDavid made what is, in my opinion, another correct vote when he voted against allowing Tom Rippeto, owner of Red and Moe Pizzaria, to sell beer on the street inside the boundaries of Summerfest which is funded privately by Blue Note owner Richard King. Requiring King to jump through all of the city hoops and red tape to bring national acts to Downtown Columbia and then allowing another business to piggyback on King’s significant investment without sharing the risk is certainly wrongheaded. Unfortunately the rest of the council did not agree with McDavid and the only other dissenting vote, Kespohl, so King moved his festival to a private venue.

Here is what McDavid had to say:

You’re letting someone put capital at risk, and then you’re letting someone with no risk come in and take his profit margin

Although I haven’t agreed with everything Bob McDavid has done as mayor, these things stand out as good work by a local elected official. Let’s hope for more of the same.

Mark Flakne