Supporting the penny tax: It’s about ‘quality of life’

November 4, 2012 

Hayes Mizell said the sales tax issue gives the community a chance to answer the Biblical question, “And who is my neighbor?”

Mizell, 74, lives in Rockbridge and is a Methodist involved in a “church and society” team.

“I believe our neighbors in Richland County are people we do not know and people we will never meet, but who depend on an effective transit system and safe roads,” he said.

Neighbors get to know each other when they get out of the house, said Elaine Cooper, 59.

It’s the best thing about living in the South and one of the reasons why Cooper said she’s supporting the sales tax.

Her neighborhood, tucked off Forest Drive, doesn’t have sidewalks — and that’s dangerous for people who walk. But folks still get out and get to know one another. Cooper said “it really touched my heart” when one of her dogs passed away and so many neighbors recognized her loss.

“Sidewalks, green spaces, places where people can walk,” she said. “That is what is nationally referred to as ‘quality of life.’”

“I support it because people need bus service,” said Joan Mobley, 63, who also would like to see an expanded system convenient for people who live in the suburbs, like she does.

“When people move to Columbia from other places, where a car is more a handicap than a necessity, they say seeing a bus is a ‘sighting’ in Columbia,” Mobley said, laughing.

“I hope someday — and it’s probably light years away — Columbia will have a system similar to Charlotte. They have light rail. ... A big park and ride, that would be great.”

Dawn Hinshaw

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