Rick RussoQ: What is your background and what qualifies you to represent the people of Harrisburg?
My background consists of serving the town of Harrisburg for almost 8 years. I am a retired Harrisburg firefighter with more than 20 years of service. During my tenor on council I worked hard to make sure Harrisburg is safe for both residents and firefighters by increasing their budget to maintain safe staffing levels. My back ground in engineering will help with the newly created sustainability committee that will better Harrisburg through environmental development standards, water, and energy conservation. My voting history aligns with the residents by voting AGAINST the largest tax increase in the history of Harrisburg and voting AGAINST both projects on Stallings Road. Due to my recent retirement I have the ability to dedicate more time to make Harrisburg a town we can all proudly call home.
Q: What do you see as the issues facing Harrisburg right now?
Harrisburg still struggles in the areas of retail, commercial and industrial growth in addition to quality jobs which in turn causes residents a bigger tax burden. Harrisburg’s residential growth is causing a strain infrastructure which would include schools, roads and public safety. Although a sustainability advisory board was recently created Harrisburg has no ordinances in place to ensure developments are environmentally conscious, conserves energy, water and land for open space. Our Town communications are still not effective in reaching all of Harrisburg, many residents are not as connected as other. Finally Harrisburg needs to have a deeper connection with our state representatives to create a bigger voice in Raleigh for issues that impact our community.
Q: Why are you the best person for this office?
I am a long time resident of more than 30 years. During my almost 8 years on council I have served on committees that align to every aspect of the towns business providing me with the knowledge to make informed decisions. My experience as a council member has taught me the importance of working with all council members as a team. In addition to my council experience I have served the community through volunteering as a coach as well as the Hickory Ridge football cameraman. Our town will continue to grow and the need for knowledgeable servants on the council is more urgent than ever with the exciting challenges ahead of us.
Q: What goals do you have for Harrisburg, if elected?
The goals I have will directly align the issues I have stated above.
» Marketing existing retail, commercial and industrial properties for the creation of jobs and reduce the residential tax burden
» Engage our state level officials on the challenges we have with NCDOT on road infrastructure and its prioritization
» Work with the county on expediting the building and completion of schools to reduce the overcrowding we are currently experiencing
» Implement ordinances changes to ensure a sustainable Harrisburg
» Implement components of the public safety study currently underway to ensure safety of our residents
» Step up communications with our senior population that don’t engage in social media for updates.
» Slow growth by elevating the standards required to build in Harrisburg (lot size, building materials etc.)