Matthew Harper

Name:  Matthew Harper

Age: 36

Birth place: Long Beach

How long have you lived in Huntington Beach? I have resided in Huntington Beach since age 14 (1988) and in the Huntington Beach Union High School District since age 5 (1979).

Occupation: Governing board member, Huntington Beach Union High School District / deputy chief of staff to the chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors

Education: bachelor's degree in public policy and management from USC; graduate, Huntington Beach High School

Previously elected or appointed positions: Board of Trustees, Huntington Beach Union High School District, elected 1998, 2002 and 2006; elected member, Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee (AD67), elected 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010

Community organizations you belong to: Huntington Beach Elks Lodge No. 1959, local chambers of commerce through the HBUHSD.

What do you think are the biggest issues facing Huntington Beach right now? Public safety is crucial. With the exception of public safety, economic development is the most important issue facing Huntington Beach. Business activity in Huntington Beach is what produces employment and revenue for the city to perform critical services such as police, fire and public infrastructure. The city needs to allow for flexibility, so that employers can position their local businesses for long-term success.

What is one decision in the last year the City Council got right and why would you have supported it? A critical step towards improved economic development is the approval of the Beach and Edinger Corridors Specific Plan. I support flexibility from the city along the Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue corridors in an effort to promote the economic development and vibrancy needed to generate revenue for our important city services.

What is one decision in the last year the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently? Huntington Beach residents and employers demand top-ranked communications systems to get business done and keep in touch with their families. It looks to me that there was an error that led to the reversal by the city of Huntington Beach on the location of wireless communications facilities. We need to review our process and re-approach this issue in the coming year.

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