Columbias mayor and supporters of a strong-mayor government made a last-minute push Monday to persuade voters.
About 75 to 80 backers of a mayor as the citys chief executive gathered to proclaim that a strong-manager form has failed and its time for a change.
Mayor Steve Benjamin, the face of the vote yes campaign in Tuesdays referendum, called together leaders from Columbias political, business, neighborhood and religious communities. Several spoke to the media, saying its time to change the council-manager form under which the city has operated since 1949.
The proponents of change repeated the issues raised during the strident campaign that erupted in August after City Council rejected a referendum, again, by a one-vote margin.
Kit Smith, one of the leaders of the vote no group, stopped short of saying that Benjamins news conference at Cecil A. Tillis Center behind Drew Wellness Center indicated proponents are worried about Tuesdays outcome.
Theyre the ones with the (voter preference) polls, she said. Theyre trying to do some last-minute stuff reacting to something we dont know about.
Columbias 72 precincts will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.