Police association endorses strong mayor

TweetI’m not entirely sure what I make of this release from Adam Fogle: Police Officers endorse Strong Mayor COLUMBIA, SC – Police officers from the local Columbia Chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolence Association (PBA) on Monday joined Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin to announce their support for the Strong Mayor form of government and […]

Steve Benjamin on ecodevo, strong mayor, tax base, etc.

Tweet I thought about calling this “Ivy Day in the Committee Room Redux,” but I’d used that gimmick before. You can see how I’m tempted when I attend a small political gathering in the back room of an Irish-themed pub. Anyway, I went to another of Jack Van Loan’s Kaffeeklatsches with Mayor Steve Benjamin, and […]

Howard, I don’t think YOU need more time on strong mayor

TweetWhile I was giving blood yesterday, I saw a TV news report about the strong mayor issue, and there on the tube was Howard Duvall, former head of the state municipal association, standing in front of a group of people who are against the reform. What struck me as weird was that Howard was asking […]

NOW strong mayor may be on the Nov. 5 ballot (yeah, I’m confused, too)

TweetThis just in, from thestate.com: COLUMBIA, SC — Backers of a referendum to change Columbia’s form of government on Tuesday afternoon will submit petitions with what they assert are sufficient signatures to force City Council to put a strong-mayor option to voters on Nov. 5. The petition still must be certified by the Richland County […]

The Shandonistas strike back: Strong-mayor was stopped by insiders. Again.

TweetDuring a lively discussion on a previous post, Phillip Bush wrote: You should be happy, Brad. The State’s article today alluded to the “unusual bedfellows” who were joined in opposition to this measure, it crossed all sorts of party/ideology lines. (For that matter, so did the Yes side)…. In reply to that, and in response […]

Firefighters join cops in backing strong-mayor reform

TweetThis just in from Adam Fogle with the strong-mayor campaign: Columbia Firefighter’s Association backs Yes Vote on Strong Mayor COLUMBIA, SC — The Columbia Firefighter’s Association announced on Tuesday that they are urging Columbia residents to vote yes for modern strong mayor form of government that will give the Mayor Columbia the authority needed to […]

Rep. James Smith on why he’s for strong-mayor

TweetHere’s a release I received today from Rep. James Smith: There are many good people who care about the future of the City of Columbia on both sides of the debate about our city’s form of government.  Please allow me to tell you why I’m VOTING YES for a Strong Mayor tomorrowand I hope you will […]

Haley’s backing of strong-mayor shows laudable consistency

TweetStill catching up with news from over the long weekend. I was fighting a cold, and did not leave the house from Wednesday afternoon until this morning. Nor did I blog (did ya notice?) or even read news, which might have tempted me to blog, which I did not feel up to (or, as the […]

TV ad probably not best medium for strong-mayor pitch

Tweet Not that there’s anything in particular wrong with it. It’s just that the medium forces oversimplification. It does hit the accountability issue, which is key. But helping people understand how a strong mayor is more accountable takes explanation. Absurdly, opponents of reform have tried to claim that a city manager is more accountable. Their […]

Demolishing the ‘professional manager’ argument against strong-mayor

TweetThe State is pulling out all the stops on strong-mayor to the point that Cindi is joining Warren in writing about it. Of course, it’s not much of a stretch, since Cindi’s been writing about similar issues on the state level for decades now. In fact, while a lot of people remember that the “Power […]

Hey, I’m with you on the strong-mayor thing, Cameron

TweetI received this release this morning: Statement by Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cameron Runyan…   Most people don’t realize the Mayor of Columbia has no real executive authority. Under our current weak mayor system, city government is managed by committee, with no single elected official to hold accountable when things go wrong. […]

Mayor Benjamin on Columbia’s new ‘bump stock’ ordinance

TweetAs you may or may not know by now, yesterday Columbia became one of the first, if not the first, city in the country to ban the use of “bump stocks.” Yes, city council went ahead with it, blithely risking the wrath of Catherine Templeton, who had threatened… well, it’s a little unclear, but she seems […]

Re-elected Mayor Benjamin pumped up, feeling his oats

Tweet Last night at the annual meeting of the City Center Partnership in the Tapp’s Arts Center, Columbia’s just-re-elected mayor got up to speak, and urged those present to address him henceforth as Steve “Landslide” Benjamin. Yes, it was a joke. Everybody laughed. (Although when it was mentioned at another meeting I attended today over […]

SC mayors for Sheheen, 1st installment

TweetI thought this was kind of interesting, partly because it seems sort of early for making such endorsement announcements as this: SC Mayors Endorse Vincent Sheheen for Governor   Local leaders cite Sheheen’s economic vision, bipartisan approach & record of results for why he’s the right leader to fix broken state government Camden, SC – […]

Image vs. reality: The utter powerlessness of the mayor of Columbia

Tweet I thought this was an interesting contrast. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin’s re-election campaign sent out the above video, showing the mayor standing before a group of cops — the city’s anti-gang unit — and talking tough about how gangs won’t be tolerated (when he’s not talking about reaching out to troubled youth who are […]

Of course, Mayor Benjamin is running for re-election

TweetThis passage, in The State‘s advance story about Steve Benjamin’s expected announcement that he will seek re-election as mayor of Columbia, struck me: Benjamin will be a latecomer to the race. Already, city council member Moe Baddourah, a restaurateur, and Larry Sypolt, a former FBI analyst, have announced for mayor… Latecomer? Yeah, technically, others had […]