Columbia Star

Herbert wins District One race

Tina Herbert

Tina Herbert

For the first time in 23 years District One will have a new representative on Columbia City Council. Tina Herbert defeated Christa Williams for the seat on Tuesday, November 2.

“I am incredibly honored just to have the opportunity to serve,” Herbert said. “I’m looking forward to building lots of collaborations throughout the communities and the district and helping us move forward.”

Herbert takes over for longtime Councilman Sam Davis, who announced in January he would not be seeking reelection. Davis endorsed Herbert when she announced she was running for Davis’s vacant seat.

“It means a lot because I feel like this is a pivotal time,” Herbert said. “It’s an important time because there is a chance in leadership, but this also means a lot to me because I am born and bred from this district. I can walk to my parents’ first apartment or to my 97-year old grandmother’s home where I live now. This community, at least the North Columbia side, the people there are my family, my friends, and my classmates. For me, this is a tremendous responsibility. It’s not one I take lightly.”

Herbert received 1,864 votes or 53.89 percent.

“I believe what resonated with voters is a combination of my life experiences as a single mom and as a professional,” Herbert said. “I am able to relate to a young single mother in the community, but I also understand the issues communities face day to day.”

Some of the issues Herbert wants to address is economic investment and economic development. She wants to see improvements in the conditions of the roads, sidewalks, and street lights in her district, which she believes would also help with safety. She also wants to invest in the community’s youth and help them find jobs.

“Strategic investment in the community is going to be my biggest thing as I look to make sure I try to eliminate some of the disparities in my district in every way possible,” Herbert said.

Herbert is one of four new members on council. She joins Joe Taylor, who ran unopposed for the District 4 seat. One of the two at-large seats and mayor will be determined in a runoff. Herbert feels the larger turnover on the council could be challenging early on.

“The newer folks will have to learn a lot,” Herbert said. “The upside of that is they’ll be more open and look for new innovative ideas and options. That’s going to be a big advantage.”

It will be an adjustment for her as well. However, she does have seven years of experience working for the Office of Business Opportunities with the City of Columbia that offered her insight into how the city works.

“It will help me tremendously,” Herbert said. “I won’t have to play catch-up. I understand a lot of the basics like budgeting and the capital improvement projects. I don’t know everything, and I’ll have to learn how to look at things from different perspectives.”

While her experience helps, Herbert is open to leaning on the three remaining councilmen when something is unclear or to make sure she has looked at an issue from every angle.

Herbert said she has already received input from the neighborhoods in her district and will use it to develop a list of priorities to tackle. She also plans to meet with Councilman Davis and find out if there are any unfinished projects he started.

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