Columbia, SC — I am strongly opposed to the proposal calling for a change in Columbia’s form of government.
Having served several terms as a member of Richland County Council, I can tell you with absolute authority that giving too much control of any local government to just one person will be a dangerous step backward.
A professional manager, trained to carry out the policies of council, must answer to both the voters and the council members every day. A mayor motivated by political power does not have to serve every voter; he merely has to serve the wishes of the majority that supports him. Such a strong mayor will become a tyrant if human nature is any indicator of how he will perform.
No amount of council pressure will sway him when such a strong tyrant seizes power. The public will gain nothing and instead lose virtually all influence with such a system.