Tag: Matt Edwards

The West Columbia Mayor Problem

West Columbia voters said a resounding “NO” to a change in government Tuesday, defeating an attempt by supporters of Mayor Joe Owens to change the form of city government to a strong mayor type by a 2 to 1 margin.

Now the council must decide if there are further steps to be taken regarding some of Owens’ alleged actions while in office.

Since first taking office, Owens may have assumed the duties of a strong mayor and more, under the current council form of government, in violation of state law.

West Columbia Strong Mayor Referendum Next Week

It is one week until September 30th, the day West Columbia voters will decide whether they want to change their form of city government to one with a strong mayor.

To add to the drama surrounding the vote, former West Columbia police Maj. Matt Edwards filed a lawsuit against the city claiming he was dismissed improperly and defamed by a subsequent report commissioned by city council.

According to several sources familiar with the city, Mayor Joe Owens gave Edwards a $10,000 raise shortly before his position was made redundant in a reorganization of the force last spring.

Owens, it should be noted, does not have the power to give anyone a raise on his own with the current council form of government. But, he did it anyway.