VOTER VOICES: Columbians speak out

October 18, 2013 

Matthew Owens

Columbia voters will elect a mayor and three council members Nov. 5, and consider a strong mayor referendum Dec. 3. We asked voters what they see as the key issues in the city.

Hand Middle School history teacher Matthew Owens says he will be looking for a strong leader who is able to get things accomplished when he casts his vote in the upcoming elections. The 37-year-old Wales Garden resident is concerned for the safety of his children and students in surrounding areas and wants a leader who knows how to control the area and make it a safe environment. “The No. 1 issue that is attracting me to vote is instability with the Columbia police department and issues regarding recent violence around the downtown area.”

Isabel Posada, USC School of Journalism

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