Irmo, SC (Paul Kirby) – Barbara “Barb” Waldman has filed to run for former Councilmember Barry Walker’s seat on the Irmo Town Council. Walker is now the mayor, having defeated Hardy King in the November election. That forced a special election to fill Walker’s council seat.
Waldman says she will be listed on the ballot as Barb during voting. This is a perfectly legal step she’s taking. She is doing so because she’s been called by the shortened version of her name so long that even friends that know her well might not recognize the name Barbara Waldman when they vote. To everyone who knows her she's just Barb.
Waldman has never been elected to public office. The word public is important here because she’s held many leadership positions. Most have to do with education and either Lexington-Richland School District Five or USC. Even though her only child is 24 now, during her first 12 years in school, her mother was there and seemed the one that either volunteered or got volunteered for every position there was to make school a better place for students.
Her daughter started in Irmo area schools and eventually graduated from Irmo High School. As she advanced through the grades, her mother was asked to serve on School Improvement Councils of several schools her daughter attended. She was also very involved as a member of the PTOs. Barb eventually served in various leadership capacities with each of those.
Her hard work didn’t go unnoticed and she was eventually asked to serve on the board of directors of the School District Five’s Foundation for Educational Excellence. She is on the board of Parent Advocates for Gifted Education and is the community representative on the Irmo High School SIC (School Improvement Council) now that her daughter has graduated.
The Waldmans have been residents of Irmo for 27 years. She and her husband Alan have been married 35, and they have the one daughter who’s now in grad school. She was a faculty member at USC that worked in Biochemistry. A graduate of Virginia Tech, she went on to earn her PhD. from John Hopkins University. Although she is still currently an Academic Affiliate at the University of South Carolina, she says she is mostly retired now.
Waldman says that she really got interested in local politics a bit over a year ago. That’s when she decided to attend an Irmo Town Council meeting. She had always enjoyed the quality of life the area offered and wanted to see that increase through actions at the local level. After attending some of these meetings, she just felt drawn to serve.
She says that if elected, she will work hard to improve communications between the town and its citizens so that everyone will be aware when issues come up. She also said, “We have to be careful and thoughtful think about the decisions we make about growth in our area.” She described herself as a critical thinker and says she looks at issues from all sides.
To Waldman, continuing to invest in the town of Irmo’s Police Department must be a top priority. She says the police need to have the personnel and proper equipment to do their jobs, safely, effectively, and efficiently.
Barb Waldman would welcome your questions and comments. There are several ways to reach her. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. You can also go to her Facebook page at Barb for Irmo Town Council.