Come to the city council debate tonight

A previous city council debate I moderated at the same venue.

A previous city council debate I moderated at the same venue.

This evening, I’ll be moderating the final debate of the Columbia City Council race.

It’s sponsored by the Columbia Chamber, the Community Relations Council (of which I am a Chamber-appointed member) and the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina. We’ll be at the Chamber’s offices on Richland Street.

In case you haven’t kept up, Joe Azar is challenging at-large Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine, while veteran District 1 member Sam Davis faces Chris Sullivan.

We’re on a tight schedule, dealing with both races between 5:15 and 7 p.m., so I’m working today on trying to whittle down the prepared questions so I can get the best ones in. I don’t intend to ask about such irrelevancies as who belongs to the NAACP or who might be a closet Republican, because I can hardly imagine anything less relevant.

Of course, the candidates can bring up what they want, but my intent is to get good answers to how they intend to improve the city.

If y’all have any last-minute suggestions, toss ’em at me…


10 thoughts on “Come to the city council debate tonight

  1. Patrick

    I would suggest asking the candidates their opinions on whether the city should continue to permit additional student-housing apartment developments in lieu of mixed commercial/residential development.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That’s a good one! I’ll add it to the list, although I’m seriously worried about running out of time and not getting to this or other good questions. But who knows? Maybe they’ll be brief in their answers…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I did work that question in, and I’d tell you what the candidates said, except that I have a terrible time keeping track of that while moderating. I’m always watching my timekeeper while going through 3X5 cards from the audience and trying to decide what to ask next…

        The event was streamed onto Facebook Live, though, and I’m going to try to find the link and share that with y’all…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Here’s the link to the video feed.

          As you’ll see, it was a bit awkward, as we only had one microphone. So after asking a question, I’d have to step over and hand it to the candidate to respond. That threw me a bit at first, but I got used to it…

  2. Doug Ross

    I hope you bring up Mr. Sullivan’s affiliation with an organization that works with this group:

    “Sullivan is the spokesman for a group called Building Communities and Families. That acronym — BCF — also informally stands for Bloods, Crips and Folk Nation, referencing three infamous gangs, or “street-level organizations” as Sullivan refers to them.”

    Does the community really back working WITH gangs that have a long history of violence rather than working to disband them and prosecute the members who break the law?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I had not seen that yet.

      By the way, Chris Trainor (who wrote that piece) covered the forum last night with a steady stream of Tweets, if you’re inclined to check it out.

      I was pleased that his last word were these:

      I didn’t want the night to be about who belongs to the NAACP and who is a secret Republican. We managed to stick to issues fairly well…

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