Columbia Free Times
This Just In

Strong Mayor Debate Enters Final Hours

Gov. Haley Supports Strong Mayor; Others Weigh In
By Eva Moore
Monday, December 2, 2013 |
Endorsements are piling up on both sides of the strong-mayor issue ahead of Tuesday's vote. The latest to weigh in against a strong-mayor system for Columbia are former Columbia City Council members Hamilton Osborne and Anne Sinclair, and attorney I.S. Leevy Johnson. Meanwhile, the pro-strong-mayor side is trumpeting the support of Gov. Nikki Haley, former council member Belinda Gergel and S.C. Sen. Kay Patterson, among others.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott told The State he won't be taking a side in the debate, but the pro-strong-mayor side has been using Lott's various criticisms of the city's command structure as evidence that the city needs reform.

Speaking of The State, by its own reporter's count last week it had published some two-dozen editorials and columns in support of a strong mayor system, including a planned four front-page editorials. The number has now likely exceeded 30.

The Gamecocks are now ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll after beating Clemson in Columbia Saturday. It was the Cocks' fifth straight win over the Tigers, a school record. This also marks the third straight year that USC is not going to the SEC championship despite having beaten the SEC East champion.

The New York Times visited BMW's South Carolina plant to report on a European-style apprenticeship program to train younger workers in manufacturing jobs. It's not every day someone says something like this about the Palmetto State: “'South Carolina offers a fantastic model for what we can do nationally,' said Ben Olinsky, co-author of a forthcoming report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington research organization, recommending a vast expansion in apprenticeships."

USA Today wrote about Rev. Leon Winn, a black pastor from Manning who's planning to take on Rep. Jim Clyburn in the general election next year. Winn switched from the Democratic to the Republican party five years ago.

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