COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - The phone lines at Houston's Columbia Cleaners normally stay busy, but now they are even busier with well wishers and customers congratulating Reed Houston on his victory as the next mayor of Columbia.
"I'm overwhelmed at the responsibility that the people have placed in me and I feel that because they want Columbia to advance and grow and I do too," said Houston.
Houston will replace incumbent Mayor Harold Bryant in July. Bryant served on the board of aldermen and as mayor for over 30 years. Houston has never held a public position before, but he says he can offer what the city has been looking for.
"They are ready for something different," said Houston."They are not unhappy with the past it's just that they are ready for something different."
Houston also said he wants to improve communication with schools, businesses, and the media.
"I want to bring this town together on the same page to work for a common goal and that is for Columbia," said Houston.
Houston said he would like the city and county to work on joint projects, especially with infrastructure.
"That's going to save the county and the city money and if you don't have a relationship how can you explore those avenues," said Houston.
He said the police department has done a good job, but he thinks things there could be improved.
Houston said he hopes he and the board of aldermen can learn and grow together.