Councilman Walker to announce run for Irmo Mayor

Councilman Barry Walker / Town of Irmo

IRMO (WACH) -- Irmo Councilman Barry Walker tells WACH Fox he will announce his plans to run for mayor on Wednesday.

Walker has been on Irmo Town Council for seven years, but this won't be his first run for mayor. He also ran for the office against Mayor John Gibbons in 2007.

Earlier this month Mayor Gibbons announced he will not seek re-election after leading the towns more than 11,000 residents for 20 years.

Gibbons is noted as one of the longest-serving municipal leaders in the Midlands.

Upon announcing he won't run, Gibbons said he hopes the person who will fill his seat will maintain his work.

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"When government decides that it wants to provide all kinds of services, to be all things to all people, that's when the costs get out of hand," said Gibbons "so I hope that they continue to define it as a limited service municipality where our main goal is safety, security and attractiveness."

When Walker last ran for mayor he told WACH Fox, "We need to have a progressive stance on how we're going to embrace this change."

Since Gibbon's reign as mayor the town opened a $1.3 million police headquarters, the police force grew to 22 officers, and the town's property tax was eliminated in 2005.

Gibbons notes the town's safety "I believe it's the safest place in the state to live," and said he hopes that remains true after leaves at the end of the year.

"Its in good shape for someone to take over so it's time to go."

Gibbons plans to spend much of his new free time with his family and seven grandchildren in his home on Lake Murray.