Council candidates attend orientation meeting
COLUMBIA - Candidates for the First, Second and Sixth Ward council seats and members of the community attended an orientation Saturday morning to meet city staff, talk about community issues and ask questions.
Candidates listened to presentations by department heads that explained some of the hot button issues each department is currently discussing or dealing with.
City manager Mike Matthes said they've had these meetings before for the candidates and the general public so that they can keep up to date with some of the things facing the city.
"We like to give an overview to the community and to the candidates about what it is we do, what the high profile issues we're wrestling with at the moment are," he said.
After the presentations, candidates asked the city questions about things like crime and community policing, communication and public health.
The different department heads and city staff answered these questions and provided explanations of their actions so that the candidates knew where the city was coming from and could bring those responses back to the voters.
"They're [the candidates] doing a great service to the community by communicating that, so it's important to us to get the information back to them as soon as we can," he said. "Then they'll have good information to share with the public as they run for office."
Elections for these council seats will be April 7.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct grammar mistakes.]