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Yes, I will run again. I love Irmo that much.
In a recent article (“Barry Walker Sr. to Run for Mayor of Irmo,” March 19), Councilman Barry Walker tells Free Times he has developed a “knack for building relationships.” Not in Irmo. He’s burned every bridge with the rest of Council. Most divisive of anyone ever serving here.
I can pick up the phone and call Mayor Benjamin anytime as well, and have, and the mayors of Cayce, West Columbia, Lexington, Gilbert, Blythewood, Eastover and many more. I actually spend more time fixing things myself with other Irmo councilmembers who I have a “relationship” with, and can actually do something about things here in Irmo. What has Walker — or Mayor Benjamin — done for Irmo? Really. If Walker “can do that,” why hasn’t he? Again, he’s just a “talker.”
Walker says Council is trying to make Irmo into an HOA, yet approximately 10 years ago we wrote a landlord ordinance that Walker supported. He even stated at a June 19, 2012 Council meeting that Council might need to consider “applying it to the entire Irmo community, not just rentals or landlords.” Now he’s against addressing the deterioration of our neighborhoods by requiring residents to keep yards up (cut grass, no parking in the yard), minimum upkeep (gutters and shutters). Again, just a “talker.”
He tells Free Times these neighborhood laws are “being enforced by the police department with a guy with a Glock” — how over-dramatic is that? Isn’t every ticket given for speeding by an armed officer, and every accident/incident responded to by an officer who, yes, is armed? I didn’t know that was news. It isn’t. Just typical, political “fear-mongering,” “agendizing” from a can’t-run-on-my-accomplishments candidate. And by the way, once the abatement notice (warning) is given, the resident has 10-15 days to comply. If not, then a ticket is written and the matter is handled and the court (judge, jury of peers) decides.
As far as “Muslim memes”, they weren’t anti-Muslim, they were “anti-terrorist” memes. And national press, ha. Yes, a reporter from The Daily Beast called, kin to a local newspaper here in Irmo with a political agenda of their own. Yes, they did try to make a story out of it, by twisting it. That failed as well.
As far as racist, let’s look at that. Walker commented in 2018 on the Irmo Police Department Facebook page on a post having to do with an arrest of a black man at a traffic stop with drugs, etc. Some people were objecting to the post, and Councilman Walker wrote, “You need to get non-white people to vote. Then we can determine who’s photos are put on blast.” That’s not building relationships. He has made derogatory remarks towards citizens and council members (Building Relationships 101?). If he can prove racist remarks, let him do it. He can’t; he is just a “talker.”
When Councilman Walker, or Talker, told Free Times that he can pick up the phone anytime and call Mayor Benjamin, and I can’t do that, is he implying that Mayor Benjamin is a racist and won’t talk to me because I’m a white man, which I know is not true because I have called Mayor Benjamin? He’s a good man. I even attended his inauguration years ago. Or is Councilman Talker actually admitting he is a racist because white men can’t call black men, but black men can call black men? Either way that is a racist statement. And I’m offended.
Connecticut, really? I have people right here in Irmo and Columbia tell me how Councilman Walker is an embarrassment to our Town.
Mayor of Irmo