When USCM Second Vice President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin isn’t fighting to save our tax-exempt municipal bonds, he is a leader on communications issues in his capacity as the Transportation and Communications Committee Vice Chair for Communications. On Tuesday, April 25, he met with fellow South Carolinian and friend, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, as well as staff to Chairman Ajit Pai.
In Washington, DC for the Conference’s meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mayor Benjamin had meetings at the Federal Communications Commission, urging the independent federal regulatory agency to affirm local property rights and other authorities in managing and seeking compensation for use of local rights-of-way and city-owned property. His key message was support mayors and their cities as they work with private companies to bring new communications services to people in our cities and other local areas.
Recently, the FCC proposed new rules and is currently reviewing other issues related to how cities and other local governments manage and seek compensation by private companies when using local rights-of-way and other city-owned property, actions that potentially threaten future federal actions limiting traditional local authorities.