COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin's idea to create a "Front Porch" on the grounds has drawn the ire of Senator Katrina Shealy. Shealy has drafted an on-line petition that is attempting to thwart Mayor Benjamin's plan to sue the State House ground to plant things like beach chairs, ping-pong, a putting green and more.
Benjamin has even secured a $195,000 grant to pay for all of this.
Shealy calls Benjamin's suggestion "a really bad idea." One petitioner said, "this is not a vacation resort, it's a historic government building, not a playground."
"It doesn't belong to the city of Columbia, "Shealy said. "Are we going to let them do that?"
Benjamin has said that he will do what it takes to make this happen, but has not responded to the petition as of yet.
Some other senators like Harvey Peeler of Cherokee County have weighed in against the idea saying that the mayor listed the state as a partner in the project without their knowledge.
The WIS Editorial Board believes that this idea to create a playground on the State House grounds is a bad idea, particularly, when the city's crown jewel of parks, Finlay Park, sits in a major deteriorating state.
We feel that the wise choice is use these funds or others to beautify and restore this city of Columbia landmark that remains a huge eyesore in city center. It appears that from the looks of thousands of petitioners, that many Columbians feel the same way.
That's my take, what's yours?