City Council seat

Businessman to challenge Tameika Isaac Devine for Columbia council seat

cleblanc@thestate.comJuly 16, 2013 

— Longtime North Columbia businessman Tommy Burkett said Tuesday that he will challenge a veteran councilwoman for an at-large seat on City Council.

Burkett said his campaign to unseat Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine will focus on public safety issues.

The owner of a family business that he said dates back 42 years, Burkett said in announcing his candidacy that he led the effort to get surveillance cameras in parts of the Eau Claire community.

“I believe public safety is our most important challenge, and even as a private citizen I’ve worked to make our streets safer,” Burkett said, stressing his roots.

“I’ve always believed in doing my part to improve the quality of life in my hometown,” the 69-year-old said. “As a candidate for City Council, my only goal is to make a meaningful contribution to a city I love.”

Burkett said his community activism includes being one of the founders of the North Columbia Business Association, a citizen-led effort to revitalize the Main Street corridor and adjoining neighborhoods. He said he graduated from the city’s citizens police academy and is the president of the academy’s alumni association.

Burkett owns Burkett Systems, an electrical contracting business along North Main Street. He and his wife, Sharon, have two adult children.

Filing for city seats opens Aug. 8. The election is Nov. 5.

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