Ian PatrickQ: What is your background and what qualifies you to represent the people of Harrisburg?
I studied architecture at UNCC. A professor said, “You’re not here to learn about architecture, you’re here to learn how to solve problems; buildings come later.” He was right. I started in a large firm and now own my own. I do planning for a living. I sit on the board of CPNI, a non-profit group helping struggling towns in North Carolina improve their buildings and economies. I’ve served on the board of the US Green Building Council, the AIA’s Legislative Review Committee, and am a disaster inspector for NCSEER. I volunteered after Hurricane Florence. It was humbling and heartbreaking.
Q: What do you see as the issues facing Harrisburg right now?
More and more people have decided to make Harrisburg their home. Who can blame them? Harrisburg has low taxes, low crime rate, tight-knit community, and an exceptional school system. It’s a great place to live and raise a family. My wife and I are raising a 9-year-old son, Uriah, and our daughter Stevie Jean was born in September. But poor development has taken over. I hear others talking about “smart growth,” with no real idea what that means. I’m trained to ensure that towns are planned so people love the place they live and want to take care of it.
Q: Why are you the best person for this office?
Harrisburg will experience growing pains. My entire professional career as an architect has been dedicated to designing enjoyable spaces, dealing with growth, and ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public. I have helped plan universities, zoos, libraries, private homes, office buildings and all sorts of public spaces. I can bring this expertise to the town council and make sure that any projects are fiscally sound and right for our community. There’s no magic bullet. You can’t just increase lot sizes and expect problems to disappear. It’s not that easy. Harrisburg needs someone who can see the whole picture.
Q: What goals do you have for Harrisburg, if elected?
I have three goals:
One, modify our development standards to encourage beautiful communities where people take pride in their homes.
Two, create our own police force, so we can get back some of the small town feel that has been lost.
Three, make it a priority to encourage small business in our town. If there’s going to be yet another oil changing station, I want it owned by a local resident. I’m a business owner. I can help.