After a hard fought election, Columbus will have some new leaders within city hall. All of Columbus’ decline can’t be laid at Mayor Smith’s feet. He had a council that was for the most part not interested, unconcerned or just plain asleep at the wheel. Some of the council would speak up, ask questions maybe, but mainly they would be in agreement and vote to spend money we didn’t have. Transparency was a word that was not used. Most of my letters in the past questioned things I saw that needed to be addressed. From public work services that were ignored like ditches, gutters, not to mention street maintenance. We’ve got an Amphitheater not finished because the state stopped funding, a new fire station that cost went from $600,000 to over $3 million. No accountability has been offered. We built a roundabout at Harvey’s with our part coming from money we don’t have. Our police and fire departments are under staffed and we keep paying J5 month in and month out to oversee the overseeing. Without a forensic audit we (the citizens) will never know the truth of the city’s finances. $800,000 shortage at one time but only $32 million in debt according to Mayor Smith.
With a new mayor and two new council people I hope you will ask the hard questions. We didn’t get in this shape overnight and we don’t expect miracles overnight, but answers and transparency are needed and wanted. I have heard talk of a “wish list” for the new administration. When we have it ready we will present it to the public and city. “Make Columbus Great Again” is not a bad thing. We, all races will have to work together to make it work.
God Bless Columbus and America.
Lee Roy Lollar, Columbus