2017-11-10 / Front Page

Devine and Davis keep seats

By Josh Cruse

Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine defeated challenger Joe Azar for a fifth term as at-large representative for Columbia City Council Tuesday, November 7.

“I’m very excited and honored to continue my work as an at-large councilmember. I’m just grateful for the support of the citizens,” Devine said.

Devine, who has served on city council since 2002, defeated Azar with 69 percent of the vote.

“I am humbled,” Devine said. “I have constant communication with my constituents. It’s affirmation we are going in the right direction, and people do appreciate the work I’m doing.”

Tuesday was the fifth election Devine has won. She believes her ability to consistently come up with new ideas has helped her from becoming complacent.

An important issue Devine is concerned with is the homeless situation in Columbia. She believes more affordable housing is one of the possible solutions.

Infrastructure is another issue. While the city is moving forward with a capital improvement plan, Devine wants to be on the forefront of other ways to address it.

Columbia City Councilman Sam Davis defeated challenger Chris Sullivan for a sixth term as the District One representative Tuesday, November 7.

“I think it’s an opportunity to continue the work we’ve been doing,” Davis said. “We are making great strides in the northern part of the city. I’m an advocate of a seamless city approach, that is to make sure our city has a reputation for investing in every part of the city.”

Davis, who has served on city council since 1998, won by 67 percent of the vote to Sullivan’s 33 percent.

Over his nearly two decades on council, Davis is most proud of addressing the quality of life of the residents of North Columbia, the investments to the area, and the overall appearance, including addressing derelict housing.

One of the bigger concerns is completing drainage projects, including water problems in Booker Washington Heights, Earlewood, and Harlem Heights.

Davis also wants improvements to Hyatt Park, similar to Greenview and Earlewood Parks.

Quality low to moderate housing, along with attractive housing for millennials, is another issue, as is working with small businesses.

“I believe the fact you had two incumbents who were reelected said, for the most part, the people we represent think we are doing a pretty good job, but don’t expect us to become comfortable,” Davis said. “Every re- election I view as a mandate the voters have expectations and will judge you and evaluate you over the next term. I heard my constituents loud and clear in terms of their expectations.”

With the re-election of Devine and Sam Davis, along with Mayor Steve Benjamin and councilman Daniel Rickenmann running unopposed, it means city council will stay intact for a few more years.

“It means we are able to work together to get some things done,” Devine said. “ We have gotten to the point where we have a good working relationship. Although we disagree sometimes, we are able to work through the disagreements to figure out what we believe is in the best interest of the city.”

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