Local Gov. 101 for Columbia, SC

Get familiar with how Columbia, SC’s local government works and explore your role as a citizen.


An aerial view of the State House

Photo via Trinity Partners

Table of Contents

To be an effective citizen, you have to be a knowledgeable one.

How does our local government work? Where can I have a say? Who can I go to if I have a problem? What resources are available to me?

Class is in session, Soda Citizens. We’re teaching Columbia Gov 101, where we break down different aspects of our local government to become engaged Soda Citizens that create healthier (and more effective) communities.

How does it work?
In short, the Mayor and City Council members develop policies and enact laws.

The City Council is made up of:

  • The Mayor
  • Council District members (4)
  • At-Large Council members (2).

Who’s who? Let’s start at the top. We’ll give you a peek into our City Council members but strongly encourage you to get-to-know them by clicking on their names and exploring each member’s bio page on the City of Columbia’s website.

The Mayor

Mayor Rickenmann

Mayor Rickenmann

Photo from Columbiasc.gov

Daniel J. Rickenmann | Mayor Rickenmann was raised in Spartanburg, graduated from USC, was a local entrepreneur, served two stints on the Columbia city council, and was sworn in on January 4, 2022. He is expected to serve a four-year term.

Council District members

Councilwoman Tina N. Herbert, District One | Councilwoman Herbert is a workers’ compensation attorney with Mickle and Bass, LLC. She’s also an Economic and Community Development Committee Member, a Public Safety Committee Member, and sits as a chairwoman on the Technology Committee.

Councilman Edward H. McDowell Jr., District Two | Councilman McDowell is passionate about neighborhoods and serves as an Administrative Policy Committee Member, Arts and Historic Preservation Committee Member, and an Environment and Infrastructure Committee Chair member.

Councilman Will Brennan, District Three| Councilman Brennan was born and raised in Columbia, currently lives in Hollywood-Rosehill, and owns both Brennan Worksa design and construction company — and Carolina Sky Development LLCa Commercial Real Estate Development firm.

District Four | This seat has been vacant since Councilman Joe E. Taylor Jr. unexpectedly died before the first of the year. During his tenure, Taylor expressed a passion for small business objectives. There will be a special election for this vacant seat on March 28.

At-Large Council members

Councilwoman Aditi Bussells, At-Large | Councilwoman Aditi Bussells is a founding partner of Resilient Richland and believes Columbia can be a prosperous destination for families to live, work, and play. She would like to deal with the root causes of crime and bring more family-supporting jobs to our city.

Councilman Howard Duvall, At-Large | Councilman Howard Duvall is the former mayor of Cheraw County. He also serves as an Environment and Infrastructure Committee Member, is a chairman for the Public Safety Committee, and is a Technology Committee Member.

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