Tillotson appears on “Mid-Missouri Freedom Forum”

Sixth Ward candidate Bill Tillotson appeared on the “Mid-Missouri Freedom Forum” radio program Tuesday afternoon, continuing his criticism of opponent Barbara Hoppe and talking in specifics about his platform ahead of the municipal election April 3.

Tillotson accused Hoppe, an incumbent, of allowing her personal beliefs to impede her ability to serve on the City Council dispassionately.

“Her personal agenda is the agenda,” Tillotson said. “It’s always made her decisions for her and other people making those decisions.”

Tillotson went on to say he thought Hoppe’s questions on the council were prepared by others for her, and that those in the audience would text questions to the Sixth Ward councilwoman during meetings.

“When that happens, it’s personal agenda,” Tillotson said. He added that Hoppe had used time during the previous council meetings to campaign for re-election, rather than add to the substance of the discussion.

“If you’ve attended the last two City Council meetings, both have become political platforms for Barb,” Tillotson said. “She’s actually taken political platforms up on City Council, using taxpayer money, taxpayer’s time, citizen’s time to listen to her talk about me and talk about why I shouldn’t be voted for…” Tillotson said.

He said evidence of this is in the minutes of the meeting, available on the city’s website. Minutes for the meeting Feb. 20 will be posted after they are accepted by the council at the beginning of the meeting March 5.

Program host Steve Spellman asked Tillotson about other issues that have arisen in Columbia over the past several weeks, including the use of tax incentives (such as the proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zones) to bring in business.

Tillotson said the use of such incentives would be necessary for Columbia to compete with other industrial centers in Missouri, pointing out the city has lost 3,000 manufacturing jobs in the last six years. He cited Springfield as an example of where Enhanced Enterprise Zones have provided a benefit.

“Go to downtown Springfield five years ago, and it was just a wasteland,” Tillotson said. “They stepped in with their EEZ and their TIFs (tax increment financing) and everything and turned Springfield around.”

Tillotson was hesitant, however, to show full support for Tiger Town as a way to increase the visibility of downtown Columbia. He said the city should wait a year and see the tourism inflow brought by the SEC before committing to such a project.

“Are we really going to see the flux of people?” Tillotson asked rhetorically. He added, “A lot of these people just can’t travel that far. It’s hard to get to Columbia.”

He did, however, acknowledge community support for the planned Crosscreek development, and said greater communication between developers and residents would increase public support for projects involving economic growth.

Tillotson also said he saw downtown surveillance cameras as a useful tool for local police, despite the freedom forfeited by visitors. He admitted to being issued a ticket for running a red light and being caught on a stoplight camera.

“Do I like the fact that we have to have cameras in our world? No,” Tillotson said. He went on to say they were instrumental in certain situations for police officers to keep the peace.

Tillotson also said he supported the Citizens Police Review Board, because it increases government transparency.

“It’s like any board and any commission,” Tillotson said. “You’ve got to have people who do not have hidden agendas.”

The “Mid-Missouri Freedom Forum” airs Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KOPN, 89.5 FM.

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6 Responses

  1. While the council minutes will not be available until they are approved at the next meeting, video of past meetings is available on the city’s website in case Mr. Tillotson can point to any specific segments.

  2. That is correct, Mr. Schultz. The Feb. 20 video, however, was not loading for me earlier. I will of course take a closer look at the video when I can. From the context of the discussion during the radio program, it seemed to me as though Mr. Tillotson was referring to general council comments at the end of the meeting. Unfortunately, I was not present during that portion of the meeting.

    Thanks for reading!
    -Kip Hill
    Reporter, Columbia Missourian

  3. Bill had surprisingly pointed remarks about Barbara. I commented after his accusation about her being feed questions via text from the audience is new information to me.
    He is sure convinced on EEZ, though.
    And Mitch about growled during Bill’s camera comments.
    His questioning of the true number of SEC visitors is the first I’ve heard of that angle, which is a reasonable caution before the community gets to excited. I suggested to just rope off all of downtown and temporarily repeal the open container ordinance. I think Mitch Richards, my co-host, (or maybe it was Bill) that suggested that downtown restaurants should have first crack as beer tents, particularly outside their establishments.
    He seems like a good guy overall.
    We’ll have as much to argue about with Barbara in a few weeks…both have their own flavor of central economic planning.

    • Mr. Spellman,

      Thanks for reading! Is there any way readers can listen to the entirety of Tuesday’s broadcast? I see podcast links on the KOPN website, but they aren’t updated for the Mid-Missouri Freedom Forum. Thanks!
      -Kip Hill
      Reporter, Columbia Missourian

  4. Mr. Tillotson seems overly concerned that others have “agendas”.
    Doesn’t he have one? An agenda is a useful tool for those who are organized and consistent. What is the problem with someone texting
    a message to a Council member suggesting questions? Why is that
    a problem? Does he imagine that any one person knows enough about all issues to need no help from others? Barb Hoppe is among the smartest and hardest working of our Council members. Her opposition to government surrveillance cameras on public streets is based on science, data, reality. Mr. Tillotson is deluded if he believes such cameras do any good, and is ignoring the facts for political advantage.

  5. I agree with Dan Viets on an agenda being a useful tool and would like to know Mr. Tillotson’s agenda for positive results for Columbia.
    Also, does the below comment of his mean that he views the vibrant Columbia downtown is a wasteland that needs rescuing, “Go to downtown Springfield five years ago, and it was just a wasteland,” Tillotson said. “They stepped in with their EEZ and their TIFs (tax increment financing) and everything and turned Springfield around.”

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