New leaders to take charge in Irmo

By Al Dozier

Irmo will have a newly elected mayor and council after an official inauguration and swearing-in ceremony planned for December 5.

While the town will have a new mayor, he’s not new to the council.

Bill Danielson, who was first elected to council in 2020, has served as mayor pro-tem. He was able to unseat Mayor Barry Walker Sr., who served on the council for nearly 20 years. Walker was elected mayor in 2019.

Councilman Erik Sickinger, who has served on the council since 2020, was re-elected for a second term.

The new voice on the council is that of Phyllis Coleman, a newcomer to politics in the Irmo-Chapin area.

There was a protest about the election from council candidate Gabriel Penfield, who lost by 25 votes. Penfield complained to the Lexington County Election Board that disqualified candidate George Frazier was still on the ballot and drew 72 votes that could have gone to other candidates.

But election leaders said flyers were handed out at polling locations explaining Frazier had been disqualified. The Lexington County Elections Board voted to approve the election results.

 The town of Irmo also announced the successful completion and certification of the elections.

Asked about future goals for the town of Irmo, Danielson said he would like to see an increase in police patrolling throughout the Irmo area. He said the need for more safety measures is fueled by Irmo’s geographic location near populous areas throughout the Irmo-Chapin area

He said the town should continue with the plans for a new town hall, but the proposed location should be examined carefully to make sure groundwork is suitable. He also wants to review the overall plan to make sure the town isn’t spending too much.

Danielson said more space for a growing number of employees is definitely needed.

Sickinger, who often introduces new proposals for the town, said, “I want to continue to do the good work.”

He said planning and community involvement are very important to new development plans and infrastructure improvement as the town makes changes in the future.

Sickinger said he is pleased with the new leadership on the council and believes Danielson has “a good vision for the future.”

He also complimented Walker’s long service to the town, noting that his service would have a long-lasting impact on the town.  

Both Danielson and Sickinger said a previous plan for a new downtown district is no longer on the table. The project for a new Main Street along Mosely Avenue near the community park drew widespread criticism as local residents feared they would be forced to sell their properties.