The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 15, 2012

Election 2012: Athens City Council District 5 Candidate Wayne Harper

The News Courier

— I retired Jan. 1 after serving almost 24 years as your police chief. During those years I served with four mayors, numerous council members and department managers. 

I have experience with the budget process in one of the largest general fund departments. Most importantly, I learned to live within the resources that were available.

I worked closely with representatives from county, state and federal agencies during my tenure as chief of police. I worked with local school, church, civic, and business leaders on special events at the Square and other locations around our city and county. 

My family and I have been truly blessed to live in a community with so many caring, friendly people. As I have visited neighborhoods talking with each family, I have been impressed with the hospitality and courtesy of my District 5 neighbors. 

The concern I hear most often is the need for basic infrastructure upkeep and improvements. People want their streets repaired, drainage problems addressed and litter cleaned up. Because I have lived in District 5 since 1991, I understand these concerns of my neighbors.

Some of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens are part of District 5 and have numerous areas where work is critically needed. I will be able to work with the mayor and other council members to get projects planned and completed.

To pay for these important projects, we need adequate funding. Stable funding comes from a strong, ever-growing business community. I will continue to support local industry and retailers, working hard to make Athens a “business friendly” city. 

The Square is an important part of District 5, and I support continued revitalization of our downtown area. Not only do the special events held on the Square provide entertainment and fun for visitors and citizens, they support our local retail community. I look forward to being involved in making these events successful in the future.

I know that industrial development is important to the growth of the city, but the integrity of our neighborhoods and concerns of the affected citizens should also be considered before decisions are made. I plan to be available and open to input from all citizens, not only from District 5 but from the entire city.

It would be an honor to represent District 5 on our City Council, and I would appreciate your support on Aug. 28.