Just read this in Steve Benjamin’s monthly newsletter:
Mondays with the Mayor
Ensuring the City of Columbia is open and accountable to all of the people has been a priority of mine from day one because, for me, government transparency is about living up to that most fundamental commitment: the people deserve the truth.
From moving council to evening meetings, working to limit executive session, and streaming every city council meeting live online; we are working live up to that responsibility and today I am pleased to announce a new initiative to further that cause: “Mondays with the Mayor.”
Kicking off on March 7th, “Mondays with the Mayor” is a monthly open session where citizens can schedule a 5 minute meeting here at City Hall to discuss the issues they care about with me personally.
WHAT: Mondays with the Mayor WHEN: Monday, March 7, 2011
5:00pm to 7:00pm
WHERE: City Hall
1737 Main Street
To schedule a meeting, please call 803.545.3073 or emailAppointments@columbiasc.net on Friday, March 4th between 9:00am and 11:00am. The message should include your name, address, phone number, and issue to be discussed.
I believe that, by working together as One Columbia, we can raise the standard for citizen driven good government not just in South Carolina, but across the nation.
I believe we can make a difference.
First, hats off to the mayor for his commitment to openness and transparency. He’s acted quickly on several front to demonstrated that commitment, and praise is due to the council for its part in implementing such steps.
As for this one-at-a-time levee he plans — I hope it is everything a true lower-case-d democrat could wish for. But I also cringe a bit.
Admittedly, this may be partly because I just watched “Taxi Driver” all the way through last night for the first time, and that scene in which Travis Bickle has presidential candidate Charles Palantine in his cab. The candidate oozes transparently bogus mutterings about how he loves to hear the wisdom of cabbies like Travis, to which Travis responds with a skin-crawling diatribe on how the city is nothing but filth, and the next president should “flush” it all away — making the candidate very eager to get the heck outta that cab.
I’m sure it won’t be like that. And I’m sure it will be far better managed than the time that Andy Jackson threw open the doors of the White House for an inaugural backwoods kegger.
But… if you’ve spent as many hundreds of ours of your life in public meetings as I have, you know that there are certain people, who are not representative of the people overall, who love to show up and monopolize such affairs. Perhaps the 5-minute limit will take care of that.
But still… Again, I’m proud of the mayor for this fine gesture of openness. Lord knows we need more of that in South Carolina. And at the same time, I’m glad it’s him and not me spending two hours a month in the political equivalent of speed-dating.