Improving Public Safety
Every resident of Columbia deserves to feel safe in their home, at work, or out and about in the Capital City. That's why Howard Duvall is committed to reducing crime and improving our crime prevention efforts.
Howard supports initiatives that have been put in place by the new leadership team of the Columbia Police Department and he wants to help create stronger partnerships between the neighborhoods of Columbia and police officers patrolling our streets. He also understands that our brave officers put their lives on the line every day for us, which is why we can always count on him to be a voice for making sure they have the equipment and tools they need to keep us safe.
Howard is also a strong supporter of our firefighters. He's become concerned that promises made to our first responders have not been kept, which is leading to firefighters leaving for jobs with agencies in other cities and lowering the morale of the Fire Department. That's why he will support and lead the effort to raise the pay of our firefighters.
Updating our Aging & Crumbling Infrastructure
For far too long, Columbia has neglected its responsibility to update its infrastructure needs, especially when it comes to water and sewer lines. This has resulted in multiple breaks in our aging water and sewer lines, which causes environmental havoc and major disruptions to our daily routines.
Howard believes we need to meet our obligations to update the crumbling system underneath us and not just pass the buck along to future generations. That's why he will be a leader in helping to keep more revenue from the water and sewer system specifically earmarked and budgeted for updating and replacing lines that need it.
Howard also believes the city needs to fix the minor problems of our roads that are causing major problems for our vehicles. A pothole may not be considered a major issue to our elected leaders, but that same hole or major dip in the street can create hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in repairs to the alignment of a car or truck, damage to our shocks, and unmeasured aggravation to everyday people.
Holding the Line on Taxes & Making Wiser Spending Decisions
Residents of Columbia pay some of the highest property tax and sales tax rates in South Carolina. In fact, the sales tax to eat out in Columbia is higher than it is in New York City!
Howard Duvall doesn't believe in "taxing up" our budget to create additional revenue. He thinks its time for our city government to hold the line on taxes, enact more cost-saving efficiency measures and widen the tax base by creating more jobs, which in turn creates more tax revenue.
Howard believes City Council can make wiser spending decisions and tighten up its budget as well. That's why he will help find ways to reduce duplication of services and eliminate government waste.
Creating New Jobs
If Columbia is to truly reach its potential as a leading city in the 21st Century, then it's going to have to diversify its base of jobs. Columbia has been too reliant on jobs provided for through government funds for too long. Howard Duvall wants to see Columbia become the next Southern Hot Spot for economic development, much like Atlanta was in the 1980s and Charlotte was in the 1990s, and he vows to make it happen here.
Every year the University of South Carolina graduates thousands of students who are ready to start their careers. Unfortunately, many of them leave our city and state because better job opportunities exist beyond Columbia's borders. That's another reason we can count on Howard Duvall to create, support and enact policies that make Columbia more attractive and competitive in luring new companies and developing the entrepreneurial spirit right here in the Capital City.
Being Accountable & Accessible to You
Columbia residents deserve to have dedicated representatives on City Council who are accountable and accessible to them. Howard believes the No. 1 job of any elected official is to listen to people, offer solutions and find ways to help. And, in past positions of service, that's exactly what he did. That's why we can always count on Howard Duvall to return phone calls, answer questions, and provide help to constituents on a daily basis.