An update from Steve Benjamin

This just came in via e-mail:

Dear friends,

On June 30th, I will stand before the people of Columbia and swear the oath of office to become mayor.

I am thankful for all of your hard work that has led us to this moment and I remain humbled by the faith you’ve placed in me and my vision for our city.  I know that I would not be here if it weren’t for you.

That’s why I wanted to take a few minutes to give you an update on everything we have done and are doing leading up to July’s transition.

As you may already know, Mayor Coble and City Council have graciously invited me to attend and participate in all City Council meetings and work sessions. While I do not have a vote, I have accepted his invitation and have already attended several meetings and budget work sessions.

I have regular meetings with the city manager and have met with all assistant city managers and department heads in order to gain a full understanding of all the projects and initiatives currently underway as well as ask for their input on how the city can be run more effectively and efficiently.

We have some truly talented and dedicated public servants working for the City of Columbia and I am honored to be working with them.

I am confident that by working together, we can accomplish anything.

While it is vital to learn the ins and outs of City Hall, I remain convinced that the key to creating real and lasting change in Columbia lies beyond those walls in an honest partnership with our regional neighbors.

With that in mind, I have made it a point to meet with or reach out to every mayor in Richland and Lexington Counties as well as the Chairmen for both County Councils in order to begin fostering the regional cooperation and collaboration I campaigned on.

Whether leading the charge on fiscal accountability and transparency, standing up to support first responders, protecting our natural environment, or promoting the arts; our campaign was fundamentally about bringing people together and creating One Columbia.

Now, with the campaign over, I am reaching across the traditional boundaries that have divided us for too long and pulling together a transition team that represents the best South Carolina has to offer.

I will announce the leadership of the transition team this week and start finalizing dates for a series of community meetings across our city.

The One Columbia Listening Tour will give every citizen from every neighborhood a chance to voice your unfiltered ideas and concerns directly to me. But, more importantly, it will give us all an opportunity to find the common ground we share so that together we can start building the future our families deserve.

Look for more updates to find out how you can help as we move closer to the July 1st transition and beyond.

God Bless you and God Bless the City of Columbia.