Columbia City Council Third Ward; Lovelady defeats Skala after April draw

Roy Lovelady made changes to the third quarter.

After tying Columbia City Council incumbent Karl Skala in the Third Ward race on April 5, Lovelady defeated Skala in a special election on Tuesday, knocking him out after four terms.

Lovelady received 1,419 votes on Tuesday to Skala’s 1,269 in the unofficial results, with all nine constituencies reporting.

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The excitement at Lovelady’s salon, 360 Star Styling Studio, was palpable for Lovelady and her followers who were on hand to cheer her on when the final result arrived.

“I’m ecstatic. I’m a mix of emotions, but they’re all grateful,” he said.

While Lovelady, a community activist and business owner, is in no rush to place agenda items before council, he wants to address crime issues in the Third Ward, he said. before Tuesday.

He wants to take the time to learn and understand his new role, he said.

Columbia City Council Third Ward candidate Roy Lovelady speaks to members of the media shortly after news broke that Lovelady defeated incumbent Karl Skala in a special election on Tuesday.  Lovelady received 1,419 votes to Skala's 1,269.

Tackling crime rates in the neighborhood could include developing a strategic plan, Lovelady said, adding that other priorities will focus on affordable housing.

“I’m not saying that I alone will be the answer,” he said Tuesday.

Lovelady likes the idea of ​​bringing back neighborhood-focused community policing, but wants to find a new way to reinstate such a program, he said.

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“It worked. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but I really want the wheel to roll without a puncture,” Lovelady said.

He wants community policing to be a civilian teamwork with officers. That could include neighborhood watch programs, he said.

Skala and Lovelady both expressed surprise at April’s tie, in which they each received 1,102 votes. This spring’s standoff — the first of its kind in Colombia — signaled that people wanted to see change and a new voice on the council, Lovelady said.

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Skala campaigned on his long experience in council and his previous service on city councils and commissions. He encouraged voters to trust his consistency.

Lovelady did not want to be counted for his inexperience in municipal politics and said ahead of the election he was ready to learn so he could “have long, real and positive effects” on the council.

“I think what made me successful were the things I did before I even entered the race,” he said, referring to his business and the creation of the company. people’s defense organization. “It laid the groundwork and the foundation to be integral, honest, trustworthy and a leader.”

The equality and special election have been a wake-up call for the Third Ward to become more involved in city government, Lovelady said last month. There is a push to get more votes not just on councils and commissions, but at council meetings, he said.

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The message Lovelady shared with voters has remained the same since the April tie: ‘Together, let’s be the difference’.

Lovelady will have a steep learning curve, Skala said after her loss on Tuesday.

Mahree Skala smiles at her husband, Karl Skala, after reading the early election results for Skala's Columbia City Council Third Precinct race on Tuesday night.  Roy Lovelady was declared the winner with 1,419 votes to Skala's 1,269 to win the seat that Skala held for four terms.

“It will take her some time to get up to speed,” Skala said, adding that Lovelady will need to be prepared to offer solutions to issues raised at board meetings. “…We have a new city council with relatively new members.

“(They) always find their way as to how we cooperate to build consensus and do things in the best interests of most people in this community.”

Had Skala won a fifth term, he would have focused on affordable housing, public transit and American Rescue Plan Act funding stipends, he said.

Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general topics for the Tribune. You can reach him at [email protected] or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.

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