Columbia City Council’s proposal for Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott to manage the city’s police force has split the city in two – a divide that can best be represented by a show of hands.
During a public meeting on the issue in District 1, which includes the Eau Claire neighborhoods in north Columbia, State Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, asked everyone to raise their hands if they opposed the contract. Nearly every hand went up.
The next day, during a public meeting in District 3, which includes Shandon, Rosewood and portions of Five Points, Councilwoman Belinda Gergel asked everyone who supported the consolidation to raise their hands.
“I’d say 90 percent of them raised their hands,” Gergel said.