Strong Mayor Vote Taking Place Today in Columbia

8:19 AM, Dec 3, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Voters in Columbia are currently casting ballots on a referendum that would change the city's form of government.

The proposal would switch the city's government from a council-manager to what's known as a "mayor-council" system. If approved, the functions and authority that currently reside with the city manager would be given to the mayor. The mayor would also become a full-time position rather than part-time.

Charleston, for example, currently has a strong mayor.

Supporters of the measure say it would allow the mayor to make larger decisions without the approval of council, which could help matters such as public safety. They also say it would increase accountability, allowing voters to make a direct choice on who runs the government.

Those against it say this form of government is too much power for one person to have. They also say the city needs a professional manager, rather than a politician, to administer city business.

Polls close at 7 p.m. News19 will have results both on-air and on-line throughout the evening.

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