By most indicators, Columbia is a thriving city. It ranks high on several “best small places” lists. The unemployment rate is pretty low – 3.7% in 2013. The growth rate is pretty high – up 5.9% between 2010 and 2013. And you’d think as goes the city, so goes its government.
But during budget discussions at city council earlier this month, city manager Mike Matthes noted, “every city department is about 30% understaffed from our competition, our bench mark, our comparison cities.”