The Buzz

January 26, 2014

POLITICS: Does anyone know what Richland County's citizen watchdog committee is supposed to do?

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Doesn't sound good for the role of a citizen watchdog committee appointed to help pick Richland County road projects with a penny-sales tax increase, according this report The State's Dawn Hinshaw:

“I’ve been very clear ... they don’t,” Councilman Jim Manning said recently.

“I thought that’s what they would do,” countered Councilman Greg Pearce.

The role of the citizen committee became an issue earlier this month when some members objected to County Council’s decision to hire a Kentucky-based firm as the county’s program manager – a simple name with a big job when it comes to getting the new transportation program off the ground.

... Some watchdog committee members said the public expected the county to pick the team with the highest goals for hiring subcontractors with small, local and minority firms. Voters had been promised money from a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax for transportation improvements would benefit the local economy, they said.

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