Stephen Benjamin is a man who has aroused the political interest of most residents in the metropolitan area of Columbia. Steve has already been at the helm of this city’s leadership for over two years. This man, whose life started some forty-two years ago, has many accomplishments in his repertoire. Some of these preceded his election as mayor of Columbia. In addition, some of these were in service to the larger South Carolina community.
Before being elected as mayor of Columbia, Stephen Benjamin had his formal education in New York. Later on, his family relocated to this state and Steve undertook his undergraduate education in the University of South Carolina. As a student, the mayor was involved in numerous extracurricular activities. For instance, he was active in various student organizations and had affiliations with the NAACP.
Career wise, Mayor Benjamin had served in various public positions before his election. Most of his pre-election career activities revolved around Benjamin Law Firm, LLC. The mayor has also served in the Governor’s cabinet of South Carolina.
Prior to the elections, Steve had made various promises concerning the City of Columbia. These promises touched on areas such as the city police department, the fire department, and investment opportunities. His campaign was filled with optimism about the city’s transformation. Most of his detractors had faulted the mayor’s vision for the city as unattainable. However, the mayor has shown a great display of character by sticking with his vision for the city.
Among the things that Mayor Benjamin had promised to help the city achieve, was helping stimulate the city’s economic growth. Currently, the economic prospects of the city are better than they were when the mayor took over. In his state of the city address, the mayor urged residents to look around and witness the fruits of this development.
It should also be noted that during Mayor Benjamin’s tenure, there was a $1.1 billion dollar increase in investments. Moreover, the level of unemployment fell tremendously. Right now, there are over nine thousand job openings within Metro Columbia.
It was also the mayor’s vision that the city fosters a culture that values art and creativity. This vision has materialized in the form of the just opened Tapps Art Center.
In the wake of his campaign, Mayor Benjamin had expressed concern that public safety should be a priority in the City’s budget. True to his word, the city’s police and fire departments have had a two million dollar boost in funding since then. The men and women in uniform have also benefited from new personal benefits that address the risks they face in their line of duty.
It has not been all bliss for the mayor during these first two years. For instance, there was uproar over the mayor’s decision to commit taxpayer’s money to a new year’s celebration festival. However, the mayor’s steadfastness paid off because the festival was able to generate over $1.4 million. The festival was so successful such that everybody is looking forward to the next year’s event.
Although Mayor Benjamin’s performance has been above average, he still needs to do a lot in order to realize his vision fully. Among the areas that the mayor needs to pay attention to, include the city’s education sector. The mayor should also be vigilant to ensure that the gains he has made are not reversed because of laxity.
In overall, Stephen Benjamin might go down in history as one of the best performing mayors this city has ever known. However, his success is dependent on consistency. It should also be noted that Benjamin has been in this position for only two years. This is not enough time for anyone to judge his performance accurately. Therefore, it is entirely up to Mr. Mayor to curve out his place in Columbia’s history.