Fisher runs for Finlay’s seat

Well, this is interesting… I see Kevin Fisher’s running for the Columbia City Council seat that Kirkman Finlay III is vacating to run for mayor. Maybe everybody knew that already, but I hadn’t really been paying attention to the council races, so it’s news to me.

Hearing about it today is coincidental for me, since after seeing Joe Azar last night I was looking for a link about him (for my previous post), and ran across the column I wrote about him in 2006. It seems that at the time, Joe was going around saying that I had enlisted Kevin Fisher to also run for mayor so as to split up the anti-Coble vote and ensure Mayor Bob’s re-election. This was particularly interesting since at the same time Mayor Bob was sure we were going to endorse Kevin over him. Well, we endorsed Mayor Bob.

Apparently, it really threw people for a loop that I had written a column encouraging Kevin to run… and then didn’t endorse him. No one should have been surprised (especially if they subscribed to Joe’s conspiracy theory). People try to read too much into things. The explanation is always easy, because I’m up front about my motives. I wanted Kevin to run because, while I liked Bob, I didn’t think it was good for him to coast to another easy win over Joe without having to answer any hard questions about his tenure as mayor. I thought Kevin could make it a real race, and we’d have a good, open airing of the issues. Which is what happened.

Anyway, now he’s running for city council. Here’s the release he just put out:


Kevin Fisher

Friday, February 5, 2010
Fisher Files for City Council, Pledges to be
“The Fourth Vote for Fiscal Responsibility”
Advertising executive Kevin Fisher filed today for the District 4 seat on Columbia City Council, pledging to be “the fourth vote for fiscal responsibility.”
Fisher carried District 4 over Mayor Bob Coble in the 2006 mayoral race. “The voters of District 4 honored me with their support in 2006 and I will work hard to earn their support again,” Fisher said. “The overriding issue is fiscal responsibility.”
Fisher said the approval of new TIF (Tax Increment Financing) districts this week showed City Council “continues to be out of touch with the city’s financial situation and immediate needs.”
Said Fisher, “While both TIFs may have merit, the idea that now is the time to embark on them shows a disconnect from fiscal reality. We have pressing public safety needs, pressing water and sewer needs and pressing public transit needs, all on top of trying to rebuild the city’s finances after a decade of Council’s glaring failure to exercise fiscal oversight. Siphoning money away from basic services at this time lacks both credibility and common sense.”
Fisher continued, “The fact that both Richland County Council and the Richland District 1
School Board refused to participate in the TIFs, along with opposition from all the mayoral
candidates, The State newspaper editorial board and many citizens demonstrates how isolated and
irresponsible City Council is on this matter.”
Fisher continued, “The good news is the TIF districts received the bare minimum of four
votes on Council. We can undo this and begin to implement fiscally responsible city government
with a single vote. I will be that fourth vote for fiscal responsibility.”
Fisher is president of Fisher Communications, a Columbia advertising and public relations
firm which recently marked its 20th anniversary. In addition to running for mayor in 2006, he has
been a regular commentator on city issues as the author of the City Watch column in Free Times.

Speaking of his column in the Free Times — he wrote one about me when I left the paper, and I enjoyed it.

4 thoughts on “Fisher runs for Finlay’s seat

  1. bud

    I’ve worked with Kevin before. He’s definitely a smart guy and has that politician personality. He can be stubborn though even in the face of overwhelming evidence to contradict something he’s trying to do. I’d certainly consider giving him my vote but it wouldn’t be a slam dunk.

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    I have a dilemma with Kevin Fisher. He seems to make a lot of sense as a candidate, but what I have heard about his personal ethics—how he treated his kids financially—have me concerned. I guess y’all would say that’s irrelevant….

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