The question of whether Columbia should have a strong mayor form of government versus our current system has long been debated, but never put to public vote.
A strong mayor system requires a full time mayor, kind of like a chief operating officer, who oversees the operations, personnel and budgetary functions of the city.
Our system as it exists today, with seven council members, a city manager who answers only to them, and a powerless mayor makes for cumbersome decision-making and very little accountability.
Since it appears that the current city council would not vote to support the change to a strong mayor form of government, a referendum for change would have to appear on the November ballot.
Several years ago when this topic came up, public information sessions were conducted throughout the city to explain the pros and cons of this form of city government.
Many in the community still believe this change has great merit for Columbia, and it's time that we put it before the voters and see what they think.
That's my perspective.