Columbia City Council

June recognized as Columbia Music Month with events across the city

Columbia’s City Council declared June as Columbia Music Month during Tuesday’s council meeting. The proclamation by City Council recognizes the contributions of music to the culture of the Midlands as well as its ability to stimulate the local economy and tourism. Make Music Columbia is encouraging people to come out June 21 to create music at designated places across the…

New law pressures Columbia landlords to crack down on rowdy tenants

The city of Columbia is a step closer to cracking down on rental properties that create a nuisance in communities, and that could mean penalty fees for landlords. The city council Tuesday unanimously approved a new ordinance that makes landlords responsible for what happens on their properties. “We’re looking in the best interest of the city,” Councilman Sam Davis said…

Holbrook: Police officers likely to use more ‘hands-on’ methods as restrictions increase on stun gun use

Columbia police officers now face tighter restrictions on when a stun gun can be used to subdue a violent individual. City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a resolution to amend the law enforcement agency’s policy on use of the devices. “I’m very proud of the advances that the police department has made in making sure that not only do we keep…

Columbia City Council considers bond options to fund hospitality tax projects

Organizations looking for Columbia hospitality tax money to fund their events will have to wait until the upcoming budget cycle. Columbia City Council refused to take action Tuesday on requests from six groups that sought dollars to fund projects or events. Council members said they wanted to wait until they could get a better grasp of the high demand for…

Study: More organizations should be funded through Columbia’s hospitality tax

Columbia’s hospitality tax program could get revamped to benefit more organizations as the city works to become a tourist destination in South Carolina. A study conducted by the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence in Tourism and Economic Development found that grant funding should be expanded to include more events to continue driving tourism in the area. “It is clear that…

Gonzales Gardens demolition gets support from Columbia City Council

Columbia City Council has thrown support behind the demolition and redevelopment of the Gonzales Gardens apartment complex. Members voted unanimously to back plans from the Columbia Housing Authority to revitalize the 19.5-acre public housing development just off Forest Drive. Council, however, did not approve a $1 million grant request from the housing authority to help cover the costs of tearing down…

UPDATE: Former Columbia city councilman pleads guilty to tax charges; Richland County councilman also charged

Former Columbia City Councilman Brian DeQuincey Newman pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of failure to pay taxes. Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington was arrested Tuesday and faces three counts of the same charge. Kelvin Washington (left) and Brian DeQuincey Newman Judge J. Cordell Maddox Jr. sentenced Newman to two years probation and a $10,843 fine, as well as ordering him…

Columbia City Council ushers in ‘new beginnings’ with newly-elected members

Columbia City Council is trying to build “One Columbia” with a new set of council members who will change the face of the elected body in the coming year. Councilmen Howard Duvall and Rev. Ed McDowell were sworn in Tuesday afternoon, along with returning member Moe Baddourah, in front of a packed crowd of supporters and family. Howard Duvall takes…

Columbia City Council OKs stiffer penalties for false fire alarms

An ordinance designed to crack down on multiple false security alarms got its first approval from Columbia City Council. Council members unanimously approved the law, which complements the city’s existing false fire alarm ordinance. Senior Assistant City Attorney Mike Hemlepp Jr. said homeowners would receive a warning letter after two false alarms. Penalty fees will be charged for the third,…

Columbia voters elect Howard Duvall, Ed McDowell to City Council in runoff

Columbia’s City Council is getting some fresh faces. Howard Duvall and Ed McDowell defeated opponents Andy Smith and Aaron Bishop for seats on council in Tuesday’s runoff election. Duvall, the at-large winner, earned 66 percent of the vote with 4,894 votes over Smith. McDowell, the new District 2 representative, edged out Bishop with 820 votes for 51 percent of the votes….

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin officially endorses Andy Smith for City Council

Andy Smith got a big boost for his campaign for Columbia’s at-large City Council seat Wednesday. The youngest candidate in the race received an official endorsement from Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin just two weeks out from the Nov. 3 election. Andy Smith (left) speaks to students in the Mayor’s Fellows Program. (photo by Kelly Petty) “His understanding of our vision…

Election 2015: Candidate filing closes in Columbia

Candidate filing closed at noon Friday for the city of Columbia’s Nov. 3 election with a crowded field on the ballot. Five people are running for the District 2 seat on City Council. Six candidates, including incumbent Cameron Runyan, are running for the at-large City Council seat. Incumbent Moe Baddourah is the lone candidate for District 3 as he goes…

Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan announces re-election bid

Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan called his re-election bid a fight against the “old city hall history of financial recklessness” that he said is being passed on to taxpayers. Columbia City Councilman announces his run for re-election to the at-large seat Wednesday. (photo by Kelly Petty) Runyan, 38, announced his decision to run for the at-large seat Wednesday morning, the…

Columbia Museum of Art seeks $1 million from city

The Columbia Museum of Art has asked the city of Columbia for $1 million to help fund its renovation plans. The funds would be added to $10 million that already has been collected through the museum’s capital fundraising campaign. Columbia Museum of Art Executive Director Karen Brosius explains renovation plans for museum. (photo by Kelly Petty) “The Columbia Museum of Art…

S.C. Pride prepares for October festival amid opposition

Organizers of the South Carolina Pride Festival say funding received from the city of Columbia represents their ability to add to the local economy, despite opposition from some religious groups. “We’re getting supported because we have clearly done our job,” said Jeff March, president of South Carolina Pride. Columbia City Council recently approved giving S.C. Pride $47,500 from the city’s hospitality…

Local real estate agent John Adams announces run for Columbia City Council

Columbia’s City Council members could see the son of a former mayor join their ranks, as John Adams has announced his intent to run for the at-large seat. John Adams, a local real estate agent and son of former Mayor Patton Adams, plans to run for Columbia’s at-large city council seat. (photo provided) “Taking Columbia to its full potential is not…

Nickelodeon Theatre Executive Director Andy Smith announces run for Columbia City Council

The candidate pool for Columbia City Council continues to grow as the November election nears. Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre, is the latest resident to announce his bid for the at-large seat currently occupied by Cameron Runyan. “I think we’ve got a new generation stepping up wanting to take on leadership roles across the city, and I…

Columbia City Council passes resolution to create no-kill community for animals

The city of Columbia took steps Tuesday to cut its euthanasia rates and improve the well-being of animals in the city. City Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing Columbia as a “no-kill” community. The measure set up the Blue Ribbon Committee to develop solutions to create a better environment for animals. The resolution laid out several goals including expanding free and…

Aaron Bishop tells constituents “I am District 2” as he announces candidacy for Columbia City Council seat

  Aaron Bishop summed up what he wanted constituents to know about him in four words: “I am District 2.” The Richland One School Board member kicked off his campaign Wednesday night for the Columbia City Council seat with family, friends and supporters in tow. “My leadership is unquestionable because I am a proven leader who listens, and I’m anointed…