Columbia voters will elect a mayor and three council members Nov. 5, then consider a strong-mayor referendum Dec. 3. We asked residents what they see as the key issues in the city.
Nick Papadea, 70, a financial adviser and Heathwood resident, says he prefers a mayor who knows how to handle the economy. “I’m looking for a mayor who will show fiscal responsibility and put the city ahead of politics.” Papadea said he thinks the city should spend its dollars on the city as a whole and move away from the current Tax Increment Financing system that taxes the entire population for specific areas. He said he’d also like to see the council become more focused. “They have no agenda. If a project comes up, they’ll go for it regardless of whether the budget is balanced or not.” He noted the Bull Street project as an example. “It’s a large piece of land and they weren’t sure what to do with it.”
Madison Raynor, USC School of Journalism