During the last chapter of my professional life, I commuted to Iowa City for seventeen years. That separation between home and office made it difficult to entertain community service. But recently, a question regarding community service came into focus — If not now, when? Given the coming city election on Nov. 5, I decided to seek election to the at-large seat on the Marion City Council.
I believe that applying my expertise in project management, business continuity, quality management and information security by serving on the Marion City Council is an appropriate objective. I want to foster the ongoing growth and vibrancy of Marion, and my background aligns well with the myriad important issues presented to the Council.
Marion is thriving. Residential and business development, coupled with numerous emerging cultural events, are making Marion “The Place to Be.” I’ll use my background to assess community development opportunities in terms of project planning, risk assessment, execution, and cost-control. I’ll promote synergy between residential, business, cultural, and recreational development, which will contribute to the continued growth and attractiveness of Marion.
But most importantly, community development must be in balance with the maintenance and improvement of existing infrastructure and delivery of essential services. I’ll work to ensure all efforts are completed in a manner that promotes transparency and effective communications to the community.
While subject to change as my issue visibility improves, the crucial matters on my radar are as follows:
• Marion’s airport must evolve. Perhaps as an “Executive Airport” at an alternate location, therein reducing potential land-use conflicts and optimally supporting emergent community and business opportunities over the longer-term.
• Regarding the library project, I’ve had concerns with the scoping of that effort, but not with its necessity. It’s time for the revised effort to be finalized and efficiently completed.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
• Continued scrutiny of the landfill’s operational needs through review of current agreements, capacity constraints, and water quality controls, will inform future options to protect Marion’s future growth.
• Continued revitalization and promotion of Uptown Marion are crucial. Uptown is a gateway to Marion’s vibrant neighborhoods and future commercial centers. We must stay the course in developing a lively and thriving community to the benefit of all Marion citizens.
As a council member, I’ll owe the citizens of Marion my very best judgment, enabled by my comprehensive and persistent study of the issues coming before the council.
Grant Harper is a candidate for Marion City Council at-large.