Columbia, SC — I support development of the Bull Street property, and Hughes Development seems well-suited for the job, all the more so since it is recommended by my friends Mayor Steve Benjamin and former Mayor Bob Coble.
However, we have only a concept, not a plan, and the city’s proposal to support the concept needs further work to safeguard the taxpayers who will be called upon to contribute to the development costs.
As a fiscal conservative, I believe the circumstances that should be present before such government action is taken include demonstrating the likelihood of success, coming up with a concrete funding plan and allowing for public input. There apparently has been no market study to demonstrate demand, citizens have not been told of any proposal to fund the city’s nearly $70 million donation, and citizens have had a scant two weeks for input.
I call on the city’s leaders to give citizens more time to study the proposal, Hughes Development to show us a plan, including the disposition of historic buildings, and City Council to settle on a funding plan.