2012-03-09 / Government / Neighborhood

District 3 candidates discuss issues with South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association

By Josh Cruse

At the March meeting of the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association, the candidates for the District 3 seat on Columbia City Council were asked which programs they would cut.

Michael Miller said the bus system is one area that cuts can come from. However, his biggest concern wasn’t over a particular program that needs to be cut. He believes the money is available but is not being spent wisely.

Moe Baddourah said the Drew Wellness Center is a program that might not need to be cut, but one that the city needs to find alternative funding for such as from a private company. While he didn’t speak of any other programs, Baddourah said the biggest focus for him is to privatize certain programs to help the city.

Jenny Isgett singled out Parks and Recreation as a program that could see some cuts. Isgett believes that the city needs to prioritize the important programs in Columbia, such as fire and safety, and water and sewer.

Daniel Coble believes that certain programs such as filling positions left by retired employees can be done away with. Rather than spending money to fill a position, Coble believes the department heads can find a way to share the responsibilities of the retiree to save money. Another way to help the city save money is to work and consolidate with Richland County.

Joe Azar, who is running for the City Council At-Large seat, also weighed in on the question. He didn’t mention a specific program but said he would investigate the different programs before deciding which one needed to be cut. Azar says he would focus his efforts on working on the city’s infrastructure and bringing in more revenue without raising taxes and creating a burden for taxpayers.

Columbia Police officer Adam Champion said the South Kilbourne Neighborhood is the first neighborhood in Columbia to have a police surveillance sign installed. The sign was installed Friday, March 2 at the corner of Suber Street and South Kilbourne Road. Three other signs will be installed in South Kilbourne at the following locations: Suber Street and Live Oak Street, South Beltline Boulevard and Plowden Road,, and South Kilbourne Road and Live Oak Street.

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