COLUMBIA, MO (KMIZ) –
Barbara Buffaloe is just beginning to fill the shelves of the second-floor office at Columbia City Hall.
She is slowly transitioning ahead of Monday night’s city council meeting, where the city clerk will swear her in as Columbia’s new mayor. Buffaloe says she has already met with outgoing Mayor Brian Treece and will meet with City Manager De’Carlon Seewood to learn more about the various issues facing the city.
Buffaloe hopes to further open communication between the board members themselves. She said she watched council members question each other’s decisions amid meetings and hoped to build trust among members for the future.
“I don’t need 7-0 votes,” Buffaloe said. “But I need everyone to feel comfortable understanding why someone might vote one way or another. I know what your priorities are and I know what you hear from your constituents. and why it matters.”
Buffaloe won this year’s municipal election with 43% of the vote. She said her accessibility and listening will help her serve the entire city. She wants people who voted for someone else to continue to get involved in city projects and share ideas on how to solve problems.
Buffaloe said she looks forward to seeing the results of an ongoing public contribution project on how the city should spend its $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. She said the money could be used for projects like violence-stopping programs. What these programs look like in Columbia, the city council could ask the community for ideas.
“The city government is great as a unifier,” Buffaloe said. “It’s both for public safety, or if we’re talking about the homelessness discussion, we’re the organizer of these groups that work in this space. We’re sort of making the call. We’re making the call. the call for people to walk in this regard. What do you have, what proposals do you have?”
This open communication will also help City Council understand the needs of City departments.