New Columbia mayor leads first city council meeting

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Daniel Rickenmann took charge of his first city council meeting as mayor this afternoon at the city hall.

While no stranger to council meetings, it was his first time in the middle seat after serving District 4 for over a decade.

“I mean, it’s exciting. What’s great is that all the council members have been really engaged, especially the new members, Mayor Rickenmann said. “Over the last week, they’ve been really interacting, learning what’s on the agenda, being part of it and making great suggestions. It’s a great feeling.”

He was joined by new council members Tina Herbert, Aditi Bussels and Joe Taylor.

The meeting began with a state legislative update.

“This is a very hardworking council and very inquisitive about what’s going on. We all have relationships down at the state house,” the mayor said. “We want to make sure that we’re engaged about what’s going on. We don’t want to find out after the fact.”

The meeting continued with an update on the spread of COVID-19 before moving into infrastructure projects.

“Right now, we’re looking at how to cut some of the red tape. We’re working with planning staff to make it easier for people to do business,” Rickenmann said. “We’re working with HUD officials about the different grant possibilities so that we can make some investments in other neighborhoods. We want to promote not only affordable housing but also a path home ownership and taking care of some of the infrastructure needs. As your heard tonight, there’s a lot of funding opportunities and we just need to leverage that so we get the biggest bang for our city.”

The next meeting is in two weeks on February 1st, but the new mayor already likes what he has seen so far from the new council.

“Just the fact that everyone was paying attention to all the details, wanting to make sure we’re talking to the public and making sure people really understand what’s on the agenda. There’s a general sense that everyone’s ready to get to work,” Rickenmann concluded.

Categories: Local News, Richland