“My Take” One-On-One with Mayor Daniel Rickenmann

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Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:38 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 2:58 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For the first time in 12 years the city of Columbia has a new mayor. Last week, Daniel Rickenmann was sworn in as the city’s new leader. WIS sat down with him to discuss his plans starting with his first 90 days in office.

“We are putting together a study committee with multiple committees from utilities to organization to housing to community development and public safety. We are encouraging the community to be a part of that. We are appointing these communities to help us build a strategic plan. What are the top three to five priorities in each of these areas that we can put into a plan. That we have timelines, milestones, and goals that so we can be held accountable to it. Those actions are what people want to see.”

It is no secret Columbia has had its fair share of water issues. WIS has done several exposés on the Columbia Water department. Recently, customers have called us asking to help them fix major leaks in their community. So, we asked the new mayor about his plans to help alleviate this matter for customers.

“Investing in training and technology. There is a technology called Good Roads. It allows us to mount a box to a garbage truck which can detect potholes and other issues on the road. But also allow us to be notified about water leak. So, we can get ahead of the curve that info gets sent to a supervisor. So, this where we have an opportunity to change the small business community in Columbia.”

We also asked the mayor if he plans on privatizing Columbia Water, and he told us no. Finally, another hurdle to overcome is the city’s tax problems. Before becoming mayor, Daniel Rickenmann mentioned he planned on improving the issues. So, we asked how he plans to tackle the concern.

“We have a plan. If you look, we have three or four options in our study. We have to decide the best way to move forward as a community. I think the advantage today is we have ARPA, infrastructure money, the school districts are getting a nice chunk of money, the county and state is getting money. Now is the perfect time for us to advance and try to make ourselves competitive. Greenville on the commercial property side is 38 percent less, Charleston is 48 percent less. We have to reduce by 25 percent to be competitive. The growth in the southeast is about six percent we are about two percent. We have a great opportunity to address it.”

We hope Mayor Rickenmann will deliver on his promises to the city. The citizens of Columbia need and want to see change in the coming years. And That’s My Take, What’s Yours?

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