New Irmo Mayor outlines vision for town

Barry Walker became the town's first African-American Mayor after being elected in November

IRMO, S.C. (WOLO) —Even though he has been on the Irmo Town Council for 15 years, Barry Walker is looking to bring some fresh news ideas to the table in his first term as Mayor.

Some of his goals is to rebuild relationships with other communities and develop infrastructure in his town.

Back in November, 1800 voters showed up to polling places across Irmo, choosing Walker as their town’s new leader over incumbent Hardy King, who had served as Mayor since 2011.

Now as he gets ready to take the reigns of his community, he says it’s his mission to repair Irmo’s reputation in the Midlands.

“Over the next six months, you’ll see me out there being a cheerleader, working with the Chamber, working with the Lake Murray Country, working with different organizations to build up the relationships that I think have been burned over the last several years. I want to bring some more of that bacon back to Irmo,” Walker said.

Ever since his election in November, Walker said he has met with the Columbia City Council, and plans to have meetings with both the Lexington and Richland County Councils.

Meanwhile, Walker plans on addressing several issues in his own community, like redevelopment and revamped infrastructure.

He is also overseeing the formation of five new committees, including one aimed at making Irmo’s roads a top priority for counties to repair.

“You ever hear the expression, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil?’ Well I think I can be the big, squeaky noise in Irmo to make sure those roads get the priority that they need to have,” said Walker.

As he begins his first term as Mayor, Walker is eager to work with his new council, as well as give more people in Irmo a chance to be heard.

“We have a lot of energetic people that are interested in getting involved with the community, and I’ve been tasked to give that vision to the town, and make that town go in a direction that will be good for us,” said Walker. 

Walker previously owned Mac’s on Main, a restaurant in Columbia.

He was sworn in as Mayor in a ceremony Tuesday, officially becoming Irmo’s first African-American mayor.

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