Harper column: District 5 candidate focuses on jobs, property rights

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Steve Harper is the Republican candidate for Lancaster County Council District 5. 



On Nov. 6, the residents of Lancaster County District 5 will select their representative for County Council. After owning businesses in Lancaster County for more than 30 years and serving on the Lancaster County Planning Commission, I understand the issues that face our county from both the private and public sectors.   

First and foremost, we have to be fiscally responsible by avoiding costly lawsuits and real estate purchases that waste taxpayer money. The residents of District 5 and Lancaster County deserve transparency and honesty from their elected officials. I want to deliver the highest level of integrity and honesty.                         

After the 2010 Census, Lancaster County was added to the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study (RFATS). As a new member of RFATS, Lancaster County must compete in the region for road projects and funds. As a player on a regional stage, we must bolster our community image by electing the best representatives and hiring the best staff.

As a business owner and developer, I have always supported our economic development efforts. We need to continue to create new business opportunities. Long-term, steady economic growth builds our tax base, however, the short-term immediate need is to put our friends and neighbors in Lancaster County back to work. Aggressive economic development strategies and local job training are needed to create high-paying jobs. I firmly support the county’s support of the University of South Carolina Lancaster. USCL has so many exciting opportunities on the horizon that can only improve our community image and status.   

Protection of our property rights is a high priority. Individuals should be able to enjoy their homes and land without unreasonable rules. Farming and agriculture have a long history and deep roots in our community. Farms and agricultural uses should be allowed to thrive. From my years of service on the planning commission, I have learned that zoning and land-use laws should exist as a protection for property owners and never as a burden or punishment.       

In closing, I want to offer the following comments:                                         

I am a business owner who has personally invested in Lancaster County and created jobs.                                                                                                         

I am a community volunteer who has spent many hours serving and debating hard issues for the future of Lancaster County.                                                   

By spending my career in the private sector and volunteering years of service in the public sector, I am uniquely qualified to bring a common sense approach to Lancaster County Council.