Irmo Mayoral candidates talk plans if elected

Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 7:40 PM EST
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IRMO, S.C. (WIS) - One of the biggest races to watch in the town of Irmo is the race for mayor.

Incumbent Barry Walker is up for re-election running against Councilman and Mayoral candidate Bill Danielson.

“I’ve served my community in many ways,” Danielson said.

“We have accomplished so much,” Walker said.

Danielson was first elected to council during a special election in March of 2020 and was re-elected to serve a full term in 2021.

He calls himself a business man rather than a politician.

During his last four years on council, he’s had a focus on small businesses establishing the Irmo Future Growth Corporation geared towards supporting small businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said one of his main focuses if elected mayor will be security.

“We had all of this crime seeping in on our boarders, especially from the Harbison area,” Danielson said.

Danielson also said he plans to tackle security issues by supporting the local police department.

“I feel like we’re fully staffed per say, but I don’t think we have enough to cover the entire geographical area,” Danielson said. “This town has grown geographically over the last 30 years, but we haven’t grown population wise, and we’ve spread that patrol area out. I’ve ridden with the officers plenty of times and have heard how if someone is out sick we’re having trouble covering that shift and we now have three officers on instead of four.”

Danielson also wants to expand the police department by adding more officers and upping the salary to compete with neighboring districts.

Meanwhile, Walker said the town has given enough funding to the police department and has a different approach to improve security.

“I want to make sure that we project a police department that’s community friendly and that we have a police department that’s doing communal policing,” Walker said.

Walker has held the mayoral seat since 2019 and before was serving on the town’s council since 2004.  

Walker and Danielson said they spent their campaign talking to constituents about what changes they want to see in the town.

They both said infrastructure was at the top of that list.

Walker said he’s already working on widening Broad River Road.

“I’ve already started the process of widening Broad River Road,” Walker said. “Which is a major deal, because it’s not the town but the county that does that and we have to work with the county to get that to happen. So, I want to keep the gas on the petal if you will and make sure the county gets that accomplished in the next two to three years.”

“We need to look at how we’re growing this town, and we don’t have a road map,” Danielson said. “So, what we’ve done, and we’ve just recently done this, we hired an engineering expert engineering firm to come in and do a comprehensive plan. We have a plan now but it’s five to six years old.”

Walker said he also wants to address over charging sewage fees with Blue Granite he hopes to instill volume metric billing for all customers in Irmo.

Danielson said another order of business, if elected is improving communication between the town’s council and the mayor’s office.

You can watch their full interviews below.

Irmo polling locations:

48 - Irmo - Irmo Elementary - 7401 Dustin Johnson Blvd. (Gibbs Street)

54 - Quail Valley - St. Andrews Presbyterian Church - 6952 St. Andrews Road

60 - Murraywood - St. Andrews Presbyterian Church - 6952 St. Andrews Road

402 - Ballentine 1 - Ballentine Community Center - 1053 Bird Road

403 - Ballentine 2 - Ballentine Community Center - 1053 Bird Road

420 - Dutch Fork 2 - Ballentine Community Center - 1053 Bird Road

431 - Friarsgate 1 - Friarsgate Park - 1712 Chadford Road

432 - Friarsgate 2 - Friarsgate Park - 1712 Chadford Road

433 - Old Friarsgate - Friarsgate Park - 1712 Chadford Road

471 - Parkridge 1 - Harbison Fire Station - 131 Lake Murray Blvd.

471 - Parkridge 2 - Grace United Methodist - 410 Harbison Blvd.

494 - Riverwalk - Grace United Methodist - 410 Harbison Blvd.

To see a full list of races and voting information for the Midlands, click here.

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