New West Columbia Councilman Mickey Pringle brings initiatives to his district
It took a while, but West Columbia City Council has a new member.
Mickey Pringle, a just-retired high school principal, was sworn in on June 18, as the council member representing District 5. The seat was held by Boyd Jones before Pringle was elected.
“I want to help create better living conditions in District 5 and West Columbia,” Pringle said.
Pringle retired at the end of June, after serving eight years as the principal of Denmark-Olar High School. He was an assistant principal before that. Pringle also coached football at Columbia High School, A.C. Flora, C.A. Johnson and Fairfield Central high schools. In all, Pringle was in public education for 38 years.
He was elected on Feb. 14, in a second election after the November election result, in which Marland Hardy Mitchell appeared to be the winner, was overturned by the Lexington County Election Commission.
After the first election, Pringle sent a letter to the county election commission contending that several people got to vote, who were not legally eligible to vote in District 5. The election commission agreed. When Pringle got more votes in February, that result was contested, but Pringle was eventually declared the winner.
Pringle said he was persuaded to run for office by a woman at his church, Turner Memorial AME. He also said was not accustomed to some of the unpleasantries related to an election, and he did not like that part of it.
Since being elected, Pringle said he has gone to work, bringing Youthbuild Columbia to his district. Youthbuild is a function of Benedict College and Allen University. Part of its mission is to offer financial literacy and consumer credit education programs, counseling, job skills training, and other empowerment activities in low wealth communities.
Pringle is married to Belinda Pringle. He met her at South Carolina State University when both were students. She is a retired special education teacher, who taught at Brookland-Cayce High School. Pringle is originally from Sanford, Fla. He moved to West Columbia, Belinda’s hometown, in 1980.
In addition to helping young people, Pringle said he wants to focus on an effort to help the elderly become more active. He said one way to do that is to bring senior citizens together with the youth in the community and allow the older residents to act as a positive influence to those who may need guidance and attention.