Several hundred people gathered Tuesday night in east Columbus to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Coleman places re-election bid
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman handed over more than 4-thousand petitions for his re-election bid. Coleman touted his accomplishments over the last seven years like bringing 21-thousand new jobs to the city, replenishing the rainy day fund, and affordable housing. “There’s many, many things that we can look to over the past several years but we still have a lot more work yet to do,” Coleman says. “And that’s largely the reason why I’m running again is because of the work we have yet to do.”
Early last year Coleman introduced what he calls Columbus’ hometown airline, Skybus, which he says will generate thousands of jobs. And there has been a lot of discussion about streetcars in downtown Columbus, which could bring more economic growth to downtown.
But the mayor’s republican opponent, Columbus attorney Bill Todd, says the focus should be placed on the private sector. Todd calls investments like Skybus and streetcars “pie in the sky” compared to other kinds of development. He says he would like to use the local medical industry to bring economic growth to the city. “What I’d like to see is us to take a basic core strength in the community and let’s leverage it into an applied research and development center that takes advantage of all that brilliant pediatric research and medical research that’s occurring here. And brings jobs for research and development through pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and others who can pyramid off of the strengths we already have here,” Todd Says. While this is the first time Coleman will have a serious opponent, it’s also the first time he will run for mayor with a democrat as governor. “We have governor and an administration that’s interested and focused on helping out cities,” Coleman says. “And that’s not been the case over the many years until now. And we have been successful despite the fact that the state government and the federal government have not been responsive to urban communities particularly Columbus over the years.”
Todd says he thinks governments should be split. He says that’s why there have been problems in Columbus. “Today we have all democrats in city council and we have a democrat mayor, and, frankly, in my judgment, that’s why nothing’s happened in the last eight years.”