(Editor’s note: While The State Opinion page will not make endorsements in the Nov. 5 Columbia City Council races, we have asked all of the candidates to provide replies to a candidate questionnaire.)
Name: Amadeo Geere (At-Large candidate).
1. Please provide some brief biographical information — including some detail on why you are running for this office.
I felt compelled to run for City Council after seeing the untapped potential that Columbia holds and noticing how City Council has been ignoring core government responsibilities like public safety and infrastructure repairs and upgrades.
The lack of business and leadership fundamentals applied to City Council’s decision-making on economic growth and development initiatives has also been sobering.
I’m a homeowner in the Rosewood neighborhood.
My family and I fled ethnic and religious persecution in Bhutan and resettled in the U.S.
I’m a former Victim Advocacy Coordinator at the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, championing victims’ rights across our state. Prior to that I worked with refugees on employment, cultural assimilation and self-sufficiency at Lutheran Services Carolinas.
I also enjoy being involved in ministry and missionary outreach to my native Himalayan people through local and international efforts.
2. What are the three biggest issues facing the city?
I see the three greatest issues as public safety, infrastructure repair and upgrades, and economic growth and making development decisions that place performance, measurement and accountability at their foundation.
3. At the end of your term, what is one major accomplishment you want to be able to point to as your crowning achievement — a policy change, local project, etc. that you played a major role in bringing about?
Increased funding for law enforcement. This would help hire additional officers and provide more funding for additional training, especially training to have more trauma-informed officers in our department.
4. What do you want your legacy to be as a public official?
Unbiased common sense and logical decision-making for the betterment of all of Columbia and its residents. Even if the decisions are tough, I want Columbia’s residents to know that I’m willing to take all voices into consideration, to stand up for what is best and to make decisions that will propel us forward.