Posted: February 10, 2017
Hundreds gathered on Tuesday, January 31 for Mayor Steve Benjamin’s State of the City Address at the Darla Moore School of Business. At the address, Mayor Benjamin highlighted the city’s many successes in 2016. He also unveiled City Council’s Vision Statement and mentioned that citizens should look forward to plans for 2017. Attendees were thrilled to see everything that the City has planned to help spur future growth and sustainability.
Over the course of 2016, City Council members worked diligently to come up with a strategic plan to improve the overall quality of life in the city. That strategic plan, known as City Council’s Vision Statement, describes what their ideal state for citizens, businesses, students and tourists will be in the future. It poses as a detailed roadmap that has distinct directions from one destination to the next. It is a complete layout of new ideas and goals for Columbia to reach its full potential.
The Vision Statement consists of seven different focus areas and a set of five goals as desired future states that City Council hopes to achieve by 2036. Each Council member has endorsed one of the focus areas and will act as a lead spokesperson that will work on communicating/implementing the objectives of that area. New projects and initiatives will be created to incorporate the goals of the statement. Council agenda items that involve vision statement projects will be recognized and updated to notify the public of the progression that City Council has made.
Focus areas are explained below as the desired future states Council hopes to achieve by 2036:
Goals to Achieve the City Council 2036 Vision:
- Attracting and Retaining Talent This focus area recognizes Columbia as the center of global knowledge economy and the leading hub of insurance technology of the world. It attracts business interests and investment from around the globe.
- Planning Together This area focuses on offering superior, cost effective basic services to citizens and businesses with a well-balanced, growing tax base. The success of this new government is largely the result of engaged citizens and visionary leaders.
- Connecting our Community With three beautiful rivers running through the heart of the City, three interstate highways that connect the region to over 75% of the American economy, and a historically designated and well-planned urban core, Columbia is recognized as the economic engine of the South.
- Empowering our Residents Columbia is an inclusive, caring, and compassionate city that embraces diversity. We provide a variety of services and resources that develop human potential and invest in the growth and development of all residents. High level medical services, abundant recreational amenities, and a beautiful and safe natural environment allow citizens to live healthy and active lives.
- Economic Prosperity-Endless Possibilities Columbia is a capital city of endless possibilities! A balance between fiscally responsible government and strategic investment has encouraged desirable private sector growth. The City has an internationally recognized business friendly environment that has produced a sustainable revenue stream to support reinvestment in our public infrastructure, schools, neighborhoods, and our arts and cultural community.
- Enhancing Columbia’s Neighborhoods The City protects and honors the uniqueness and character of its history. Columbia attracts employees and families that desire a safe, sustainable, and accessible community. It has distinguished itself by managing growth to protect and improve its valued quality of life.
- Leading the Way in Innovative and High Quality Municipal Services Long considered a leader in municipal service delivery, the City of Columbia embraces new technologies and is committed to the highest level of customer care and constituent service for residents and visitors.
GOAL 1 - Grow opportunities for entrepreneurship, business development and a skilled workforce to achieve a healthy economy
GOAL 2 – Connect the City’s neighborhoods and business districts through cohesive land use, infrastructure development, and transportation planning
GOAL 3 – Foster a healthy quality of life focusing on safety, culture, and recreation
GOAL 4 – Collaborate and partner with entities within the Midlands region to become the state’s prime destination for residents, visitors, and businesses
GOAL 5 – Provide high quality municipal services, efficiently, effectively, and responsively
To view the full City Council Vision Statement, please go to http://www.columbiasc.gov/vision