City of Columbia Receives 2020 Municipal Achievement Award
The City of Columbia has received a 2020 Achievement Award from the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). MASC Achievement Awards honor innovation and excellence in local government projects and services.
For the 2020 Achievement Awards, the City of Columbia won in the Public Safety Category for the City’s Homeless Court.
Services provided through the Homeless Court are based on a person’s particular needs and can remove barriers to employment and housing.
Participants in Homeless Court who voluntarily receive treatment and access to partnering rehabilitation programs can have their funds dismissed and sometimes have their charges dismissed.
“Our commitment to caring for the health and progress of Columbia means caring for the well-being of every citizen, across all socio-economic levels, especially those living in the most difficult and dangerous situations,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “The Columbia Homeless Court is an innovative and compassionate solution that has shown measurable results in helping a vulnerable population segment move toward more stable living situations. The City of Columbia thanks the Municipal Association of South Carolina for its recognition of the program’s success through the 2020 Public Safety Achievement Award. By partnering with the Columbia Police Department, Fifth Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office, Richland County Public Defender's Office, nonprofit service providers, a local law firm and the SC Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission, the Columbia Homeless Court has implemented a program which now serves as a model in use by other SC communities and across the country.”
“I am truly proud of the work being done by our city staff that is having a life-changing impact on those in our community who need it the most,” said City Manager Teresa Wilson. “The progressive and groundbreaking work of the City's Homeless Court could not be possible without our community partners. We are excited and grateful for this award and we look forward to continuing our efforts to support this program.”
For more information, see the attached document and visit to view a video announcement about the 2020 Municipal Achievement Award and the City of Columbia’s Homeless Court.
Advertisement of Vacancies on Various Boards and Commissions
The City of Columbia is accepting applications to fill several vacancies on the following boards and commissions.

Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)
Seeking to fill three (3) vacancies.
The purpose of BPAC is to advise the Mayor and City Council Members, the City of Columbia transportation planning staff; community organizations; and partners on bicycling and pedestrian issues facing the city; to work toward development of bicycle/pedestrian master plan; to represent community and constituent interests in transportation planning decisions; and to provide feedback to staff on projects relating to walking and bicycling. Applicant must reside/work within City Limits. Term – 2 years.

Board of Zoning Appeals
Seeking to fill two (2) vacancies
Hear and decide appeals when someone claims that the Zoning Administrator had made an error in any order, requirement, decision or determination in enforcing the zoning ordinance; The Board of Zoning Appeals may grant special exceptions for uses that the City Council believes are generally permissible but require review and approval on a case-by-case basis to ensure secondary impacts do not adversely impact traffic; vehicle and pedestrian safety; adjoining property in terms of noise, lights, fumes, and air flow; the aesthetic character of the environs; and the orientation and spacing of buildings ; and may grant a variance to certain provisions of the Zoning Ordinance where a literal enforcement of the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance would result in unnecessary hardship, provided that the spirit of the Zoning Ordinance shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. Term – 3 years.
Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission
Seeking to fill two (2) vacancies.
The purpose of this commission is to protect, enhance and promote the City of Columbia's natural resources and visual beauty. They oversee the development of a master plan for the beautification of the City of Columbia and its implementation. Term – 2 years.

Citizens Advisory Council for the Columbia Police Department (CPD)
Seeking to fill nine (9) vacancies.
This council will meet quarterly to review police actions and determinations of complaints received by the police department. Term – 2 years.
Design/ Development Review Commission (DDRC)
Seeking to fill three (3) vacancies .
Applicant must have experience as Real Estate Broker/ Developer and two applicants is a general appointment. The purpose of the Design/Development Review Commission (DDRC) is to review and approve work proposed within the City's historic districts, urban design areas, and upon designated landmarks. Term – 3 years.
Planning Commission (PC)
Seeking to fill one (1) vacancy
The purpose of this commission is to develop and maintain a continuing planning program which will benefit City of Columbia residents; to provide a mutual forum to identify, discuss, study and address local development issues and opportunities; to foster, develop and review policies, plans and priorities in order to insure orderly growth, development, conservation and preservation; to furnish technical assistance to city government and its agents; and to review and coordinate federal, state and local programs that have an impact on the city. The Commission also advises City Council on annexations, zoning changes and approves subdivision plats/large development plans.
Term – 3 years.

Deadline –Applications are due no later than July 31, 2020 at 5pm.

For applications and more information contact Ashley Jenkins at (803) 545-3026 or send a request to . You can also visit our website at to download an application.
27 New Firefighters Sworn Into Service After Graduating from CRFD Recruit School
Recruit Class 20-01 Completes Training Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
Columbia Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins officially confirmed 27 new firefighters for the department as members of the 2020-01 CRFD Recruit Class graduated on the morning of July 24, 2020.

Each recruit was presented their badge at an outdoor ceremony held on the grounds of Benedict College. Commencement exercises were live streamed from the college for friends and family members of the recruits to enjoy. Due to the pandemic outside guests were not able to attend the graduation.

““I’m proud of each and every recruit class that has come through our department but what these men and women have done is highly commendable,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “During this unprecedented time they answered the call to serve as protectors of our city and county. Not only have they had to face intense training and the rising temperatures that come with each summer but also the added threat brought on by this virus.”
“I am highly proud of their accomplishments as well as our department’s training staff for facilitating this recruit school during what has been a most difficult period,” Jenkins added.
All members of class 20-01 will report to work beginning this Saturday July 26, 2020.

The department would like to congratulate the members of Recruit Class 2020-01

Alexandre Ambroise

Michela Brummerloh

Jacob Burgess

Caleb Chasteen

Bryson Curran

Julianne Davis

Travis Diaz

Robert E. Ford Jr.

Chame’o Frierson

Clayton Fripp

Gary Gardner Jr.

Leah Gardner

Harold Goethe III

Brennan Laffoday

Laurie Lloyd

Michael Louis

Kevin O’Brien

James Olson

Franklyn Owen IV

Aerielle Robinson

James Rogers

Dennis Siudut

Telvin Smith

Jacob Springsteen

John Terry III

David Vega

Terrell Washington Jr.

The department also presented several awards during the ceremony including the Maltese Cross Award and the Bryan P. Roberts Award. Recruit Clayton Fripp would take home the Maltese Cross while Recruit Kevin O’Brien would earn the Bryan P. Roberts award.
 The Jack. H. Veal Top Instructor Award for this recruit class would go to Fire Captain Chad Alexander.

Maltese Cross Award
The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his or her life.... just as the Crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he or she works in courage, pride and honor.
Columbia-Richland Fire Rescue established this award to be presented to the top recruit as voted on by the class and instructors.
Bryan P. Roberts Award
In 2007, Bryan was hired to be part of the CFD Recruit Class 07-01. Unfortunately, Bryan passed away while at home, prior to the completion of recruit school. His fellow classmates dedicated the remaining portion of the recruit program to his honor. In Bryan’s honor and memory, the Columbia Fire Department set-up the Bryan P. Roberts Award in 2007. This award is to be presented to the recruit that has maintained the highest grade point average in each recruit school

Click the link below to watch the graduation ceremony!
#MaskupColumbiaSC Campaign Gives Columbia Citizens Chance to Wear Expressive COVID-19 Face Masks &Then Share Across Social Media Channels

Tapp’s Outpost, in conjunction with the City of Columbia, is pleased to announce #MaskUpColumbiaSC, a new public education/social engagement campaign to encourage all citizens to protect themselves from potential exposure to COVID-19 by wearing protective face masks when in public. The #MaskUpColumbiaSC campaign gives Columbia citizens of all ages the chance to express their individual imaginations and inspirations by wearing fun and expressive face masks, and then sharing with everyone through social media and on the new   website, hosted by Tapp’s Outpost.  
Further, the new #MaskupColumbiaSC Challenge is a photo and video contest that everyone can join in to show off their mask designs, demonstrate mask-making how-tos, or zoom their fun and creative tik-toks. Winning designs will be announced every week through social media and on Tapp’s Outpost
To enter the contest, a mask must be shown while being worn in the photo/video in order for consideration. Citizens are also asked to add #MaskupColumbiaSC to their photo and video entries posted to their own social channels. Individuals that do not have social media accounts and would like to participate can submit contest entries to , which will be monitored by Tapp’s Outpost.
Image Submission:
Submit images to the website, or post to your own social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and include #MaskUpColumbiaSC hashtag that include you, family members, or pets wearing a mask that expresses your own creativity. The photos MUST include images of a mask being worn. The photo entries will be featured as previews prior to virtual City Council meetings and shared on social media accounts. To enter the contest, social media users MUST use #MaskupColumbiaSC  to identify a contest entry.
Video Submission:
Submit videos that include tutorials of how you style, create and design your mask. Participants can also submit dance routines or tik-tok skits. The video CANNOT exceed 60 seconds and a mask MUST be worn. The video entries will be featured as previews prior to virtual City Council meetings and shared on social media accounts. To enter the contest, social media users MUST use #MaskUpColumbiaSC to identify a contest entry.
A Resilient Columbia Message from Mayor Steve Benjamin
Follow these easy steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 1.        Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

2.        If soap and warm water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

3.        Clean surfaces frequently with disinfecting supplies (telephones, keyboards, copiers, printers, desks, etc.)

4.        Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other individuals

5.        Do no gather in crowds and groups.
6.        Maximize social distancing among co-workers and the public.

Remember, Safety Starts with an “S” but it begins with “YOU”.
Let’s continue to unite and fight the spread of the Coronavirus. 
Columbia City Council

Stephen K. Benjamin
Sam Davis
Councilman District I
Tameika Isaac Devine
Councilwoman At-Large
Howard E. Duvall, Jr.
Councilman At-Large
Edward H. McDowell, Jr.
Councilman District II
Daniel J. Rickenmann
Councilman District IV
Will Brennan
Councilman District III
Teresa Wilson
City Manager