Richland County Councilman Paul Livingston announced Wednesday, March 16, 2022 that he will file for reelection to the Richland County Council District 4 seat.
During his time in office, Livingston has held every officer position on the council – including chairman multiple times – and has helped the county improve its infrastructure, recruit lucrative industry, strengthen service delivery and much more. He possesses critical institutional knowledge and experience that will serve the county well during a time when, due to turnover, new staff and council members are settling into their new roles.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the people of District 4 and all of Richland County. We have accomplished so much in the areas of economic development, regional cooperation and service delivery, all of which has helped improve the quality of life for all residents,” Livingston said. “But there is so much more for us to do. COVID-19 in particular slowed or delayed important work that we need to get done to take Richland County to the next level.”
Livingston’s priorities include:
Regional cooperation. Livingston said regional cooperation works. Over the years, he has played a critical role in building regional relationships, leading to successful efforts such as Riverbanks Zoo, The River Alliance, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and development in downtown and the Vista.
Economic development. Richland County’s efforts to create new jobs and recruit new industry into the county has been at its most successful level in history over the past few years, Livingston said. During his time on the council, he has supported and helped recruit big economic development projects, along with other major improvements. Some of those include the arrival of International Paper, Verizon, the expansion of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the Village at Sandhill and China Jushi.
Relationship building. Livingston is a bridge-builder and has forged important relationships with local leaders – from school board members to municipal officials and beyond. These relationships are critical for increasing regional cooperation and addressing common issues among government entities and communities.
Revitalization of key corridors. Livingston is committed to working to revitalize business and residential corridors in the county that have been neglected or have been awaiting improvement. One of his goals is to complete area master plans to guide quality growth and development in those areas. He also is committed to addressing law enforcement and security concerns in communities across the district and county. Residents should be confident that they and their families are safe, he said.
Affordable housing. It is critical to make sure that everyone has a fair opportunity to secure affordable housing, Livingston said. While growth and development are needed and should be embraced, it is not acceptable for some people – many longtime county residents – to be priced out of the market, he said. Ensuring that an adequate amount of affordable housing is available contributes to the diversity of the county, helps reduce homelessness and increases security, he said, adding affordable housing provides the working poor a safe and secure place to live.
Mental health. Livingston said the decision to move people dealing with mental illness out of state-run institutions and close many of those facilities has led to the unfortunate consequence of many people needing services to address their illness ending up on the street, homeless and in county jails, including Richland’s detention center. He said while it might not be a popular subject, he will pursue ways to assist people with mental illness from the county perspective.
“I am recently retired and I can think of no better way to spend my new-found time than to pour myself into helping Richland County be a top-notch county that we who live, work and play here love to call home as well as a place that lures new people, industry and business,” Livingston said.
For more information, contact 803-576-5463.