Supporters: Strong mayor petition has 12,000+ signatures - - Columbia, South Carolina

Supporters: Strong mayor petition has 12,000+ signatures


Supporters of a proposal that would turn Columbia's form of government from a city manager-strong council to a strong mayor say they have more than enough petition signatures to force a referendum on the issue.

Those supporters needed a little more than 11,000 people to sign on, and they say they have 12,533 signatures.

The signatures were brought to City Hall on Tuesday afternoon to begin the certification process.

Supporters says if the city decides to host a special election, it will cost an additional $150,000, so they say it should go on the Nov. 5 ballot.

"For this action taken by the citizens today, it shows the people of this city are interested in the future of Columbia, they see a very bright future coming for the city of Columbia. They want to get involved. This is unprecedented, I think, to have so many -- over 15 percent of the city's residents -- have been verified as signing this petition," said supporter and former state Attorney General Henry McMaster.  

The city now has between 30 and 90 days to get the vote on to a ballot.

In the mean time, City Council has set a special session on Sept. 11 to have a first reading on the proposal.

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