Three people are running for two at-large seats in the Nov. 3 election — incumbents Hardy King and Barry A. Walker Sr. and challenger Sarah Watson.
A brief look at the candidates:
HARDY KING (I)
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Education: Graduate of Western Alamance High in Burlington, N.C.; attended Appalachian State University; graduate of Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government
Occupation: Owner of furniture revival service
Elected political experience: Town councilman since 2005
Current membership in community organizations: Friarsgate Residential Association
Family: Married, two children
Resides in: Old Friarsgate
Why I am running: We need to continue to grow our borders, bringing the revenue into Irmo, not Columbia, or allowing Richland County to keep 100 percent. Irmo has changed in the last four years as we have grown. Growth has occurred in those areas which would have occurred, regardless if annexed or not. We need to develop a town center around Irmo Park. As I have done with annexation, I will work to make these things happen. I have proven I don't just talk or di-rect town staff to do it. As an Irmo business owner, and a resident, I am on the front line — on the ground so to speak — and I see and hear and know the needs from both perspectives first-hand.
BARRY A. WALKER SR. (I)
Education: University of Connecticut, bachelor’s in mathematics
Occupation: Restaurateur and musician
Elected political experience: Town councilman since 2004
Current membership in community organization: City Center Partnership
Family: Married, three children
Neighborhood: Archers Court
Why I am running: I lived in Irmo for over 20 years. I have seen our community grow and change for the better. We have a population that is getting older and I want to make sure that Irmo is place were they can grow old comfortably. I believe:
1) Irmo should adopt a no-smoking ordinance
2) Irmo should encourage small business to relocate here by reduc-ing governmental interference with the way they conduct business. 3) Irmo should work closely with its chamber of commerce to encourage business growth
4) If our senior citizens feel unsafe, we should increase police check-ups and patrol.
5) Irmo should require all head of household residence over 18 years of age to own a loaded fire-arm in their home.
6) Irmo should have more community cookouts and gatherings to help all residents get to know one another.
7) Irmo should continue to hold the line on expenses and have a zero tax rate for residence.
Education: Graduated from Fur-man University, bachelor’s in sociology
Occupation: Financial services representative
Elected political experience: None
Current membership in community organizations: Representing Richland County, Central Midlands Council of Governments; S.C. Association of Regional Councils board of directors; Savannah River Site Citizens Advisory Board and chairwoman of the administrative committee; Auntie Karen Foundation Executive Committee
Resides in: Town of Irmo
Why I am running: I have a firm belief that the town of Irmo should direct its own growth and development, rather than allowing it to be dictated by others. We must be-come proactive in responding to those issues that are important to the town, such as economic development, community safety and the preservation of the town’s character. I want to combine new ideas that reflect the faces of the town with the basic values that we share as a community. Growth and economic opportunity are issues that Irmo will face in the coming years. A positive proactive approach will ensure that the town grows in a direction that will allow us to chart our own fate, and control our own destiny. I want to serve the Irmo community and assist in position-ing the town for the opportunities of tomorrow.
— Compiled by Tim Flach