Is there a new Mayor in town?  [See important UPDATE below]

COLUMBIA, Mo 5/23/14 (Beat Byte) -- Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid yesterday took the unusual step of announcing a press conference, not for himself but for another Council member. 

"Council member Ginny Chadwick will issue a statement addressing the newest referendum, and resulting loss of nearly half-million dollars in infrastructure funding," McDavid wrote on his Facebook page.   
The newly-elected First Ward Councilwoman will ostensibly address the latest Repeal 6214 citizen petition, launched Monday after Council members voted 5-1 for a slightly-modified six-story student apartment building downtown.   Chadwick has publicly opposed the effort in Council hearings and elsewhere.    

"Signing a new petition will simply divide us when we are ready to work together to change C-2 zoning and developer fees," she explained on her Facebook page. 

McDavid may have announced her conference on his Facebook page to assure Repeal 6214 members heard about it.  The Councilwoman blocked many of them from her Facebook page -- where she also announced the press conference -- after they disagreed with her assessment of the apartment project.    She also blocked this publication and scrubbed the debate from her page.    
Minneapolis-based Opus Development will build the apartments, which prompted a first petition effort in March.  Validating signatures for weeks, Columbia city clerk Sheela Amin predicted Monday Repeal 6214 would deliver enough valid signatures to force either a new Council vote or public ballot on the Opus project in November. 

Councilwoman Chadwick led the charge to approve the new agreement with Opus, which effectively short-circuits the original petition.   Her press conference is at 3:30 p.m. today, Friday, May 23, in Conference Room 1A, City Hall, 701 E. Broadway.  

UPDATE:   Repeal 6214 to hold press conference at 3 PM today, same location.

WHERE: Outside of City Hall, 701 E. Broadway

WHAT: Repeal spokesperson Jeremy Root will issue a statement addressing Bill 130-14 and efforts to interfere with citizens' exercise of rights. Supporters will be available to answer questions from the media.

Friday, May 23, 2014

COLUMBIA -- More than 4,100 citizens of Columbia signed a petition to repeal Ordinance 62-14, authorizing the City Manager to approve the Opus student housing development at 8th and Locust in the heart of Columbia's downtown. 

On Monday, May 19, City Clerk Sheela Amin announced that the preliminary returns show that the citizens have submitted sufficient signatures to repeal this ordinance.

Rather than permitting the referendum process to continue for Bill 62-14, the City Council has taken action to thwart the exercise of these rights, which are guaranteed under the Columbia Charter and the U.S. Constitution. In the middle of the repeal process, the Council introduced and passed Bill 130-14 authorizing the identical development agreement.

At 3:00 PM today, Repeal 62-14 will have a press conference outside of Columbia City Hall to announce the effort to repeal the identical ordinance, Bill 130-14. The citizens of Columbia who have already objected to this development agreement through the petition process are left with no choice but to undertake the effort again.

"Certain members of the City Council and the Mayor are trying to intimidate citizens of Columbia into abandoning their rights," said Jeremy Root, repeal spokesperson. "The brave citizens of this community will not abandon their principles in the face of these threats and unlawful actions by our city leaders."