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CorgiMatt

Mayor Bob Coble's 2008 State of the City address

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Good speech by the mayor. I think it very clearly outlines what Columbia has accomplished and where it needs to go. I liked the list of projects completed. Columbia really has accomplished a lot in the last year or so. Its interesting that he said Columbia's goal is to become a world class city. While that is certainly admirable and wroth striving for, it seems like every city wants to be 'world class' these days.

I was actually intrigued by this, so I did a google search and came up with the following list of cities that either think they are or want to be world class:

Columbia

Charlotte

Greenville, SC

Columbus, OH

Sarasota, FL

Denver

Indianapolis

Greeneville, TN

Nashville

This is not comprehensive at all. The bold cities are those that I saw more official looking, less anecdotal sounding links. The point of this is not to discuss the merits of these world class cities, but whether or not you think Columbia has the capacity to become a world-class city. Thoughts?

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With assets like Fort Jackson, USC and their research campus plans, Midland Tech's research campus on the north side, and other highly qualified colleges and universities in and near Columbia, we certainly have all of the ingredients to become world class.

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What exactly defines a world-class 'thing', whether it's a city, or a venue, or a school...?

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Ok, I found this definition online:

"A general term for a high level of competitive performance as defined by benchmarking and use of best practices."

I guess any city looking to obtain this status would need to be highly competitive for attracting jobs (without incentives, IMO, The city would be the incentive), quality of life, education, entertainment, etc...

I think it's possible to be world class in one area. But, that's not a truly world class city. It's one aspect of that city. I'd say that most cities on that short list you came up with Spartan have a long way to go...

Though I'd say any of them have the chance. For Columbia a few things would have to fall into place including Innovista to start leading the way in its industry as the top place to conduct research. And while there's many aspects to a city and each one would need to be built up, it's entirely possible to make one world class before pursuing another. Education is always a good place to start. Yea yea. While all of SC's urban areas have better schools than the rural districts, there's still progress to be made. The capacity is definitely there. It's a bold initiative to reach 'true' world class status, but entirely possible.

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I hear about Charlotte's efforts to be a world class city, and IMO its nowhere near that. Columbia is not at Charlotte's level yet, though it does have a lot to offer that Charlotte cannot. But hey if thats the rally cry that gets people motivated to do good things for their community, thats fine with me. I don't want to down play the idea, because I think Columbia can do it. I just think that the term "world class" has become a buzzword these days.

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" I just think that the term "world class" has become a buzzword these days. "

Yep, that's pretty much all it is. It has lost any cache it ever had (if there ever really was any). Might as well say "Columbia wants to be a Super Deluxe City!"

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The "world class" moniker is really played out, and it's really just too subjective. If the city defines what it means as "world class" and establishes a map to get there, then I could get with that. Two things will have to happen for the city to really reach that status. It must change the way it perceives itself and the way it does business. I really think the first is starting to occur, and that's giving the city more confidence as it goes forward.

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OK, I just actually read the text of the speech. Although we often talk about everything the speech covered on here, it was pretty impressive to read about all of the progress the city is making in one article, including programs, initiatives, projects, and developments. I truly think Columbia is off to a great start in terms of making a name for itself throughout the Southeast and even across the nation. Out of all that Coble talked about in his speech, I think the one that will have the farthest-reaching impact will be the "Together We Can" initiative which will target the local school districts, specifically Richland One.

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krazee, I read about the Richland 1 initiative, and knowing that district well by growing up there, having relatives who still live there, and knowing people and having relatives that have worked/are working in that district, I can tell you that anything dealing with Richland 1 is doomed to failure. It is more horrible than you can imagine.

I hope I'm wrong, I really do.

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" I just think that the term "world class" has become a buzzword these days. "

Yep, that's pretty much all it is. It has lost any cache it ever had (if there ever really was any). Might as well say "Columbia wants to be a Super Deluxe City!"

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I didn't realize the City was operating at a deficit. I would like to know what those administrative expenses are that have tripled over the past 10 years.

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I didn't realize the City was operating at a deficit. I would like to know what those administrative expenses are that have tripled over the past 10 years.

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Why do we not give police raises? Probably because we have $337,000 a year going to city manager and his two secretaries. NO THIS IS NTO APRIL FOOLS... no just Nightmare on Main St

VALERIE SMITH CITY MANAGER OFFICE MANAGER/EXEC ASST $75,000.00

TERESA FLORENCE CITY MANAGER EXECUTIVE ASST/T/CM-D/O/GOV AF $101,000.00

CHARLES AUSTIN CITY MANAGER CITY MANAGER $161,138.64

That doesn't include his other two secretaries either.

http://www.wltx.com/datacenter/story.aspx?...rderby=Location

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Wow, thats incredibly unnecessary. I think the CM in Charlotte makes like $120. or so? Maybe $130k. $400 is way too much.

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^Charles Austin makes $161K. The $400K figure is for the entire CM staff.

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Ok, thats not so bad then. $161k may still be a little high, but thats not unreasonable at all.

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