COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As the new mayor of Columbia, Steve Benjamin continued the tradition of laying out the mayor's agenda for the coming year in his State of the City address. Although he must address some ongoing city issues, he also plans to make good on some new initiatives offered up during his campaign.
Benjamin is committed to saving Columbia's bus system and will work with city council to find the funding. The idea of combining several city and county services is not a new one, but Benjamin says he will continue to push for more cooperation between the two governments. Now that a developer has stepped up to revitalize the historic Department of Mental Health Bull Street property, the mayor will engage with the appointed advisory committee to help guide that development.
As for making good on campaign promises, Benjamin pledges to reduce violent crime in Columbia and establish an ethics commission. The gutsy twist on the ethics policy is that he wants to appoint a commission of seven residents to serve on an ethics policy commission, which would be groundbreaking for a local city government in this state.
The beginning of any new administration brings great promise for a fresh start, and it sounds like our new mayor has a busy year ahead of him. But if anyone is up to the task, I believe, Steve Benjamin is.
That's my perspective. What's yours?