Columbia, South Carolina’s Mayor Steve Benjamin’s request to transfer the city’s lobbyist, grant writer, and a parks and recreation public information officer to the mayor’s office has been roundly rejected by the city council. The council opposed these transfers over concerns that the moves would not conform to the city’s form of government and would thus violate state law. Columbia has a council-manager form of government, meaning all city employees except the city attorney and municipal judges report directly to the city manager, who manages the city’s day-to-day affairs. However, the council did approve city manager Steve Gantt’s hiring of a strategic policy adviser, who will report to the mayor, to assist in writing speeches and helping the mayor formulate policy positions. Gantt is also proposing reorganizing five city departments that currently report directly to him among three assistant city managers.
For more information, see coverage in The State.
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