Harry Griffin For City Council
The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina Class of 2016
First time candidate
I want to serve on City Council to give my constituents the active voice that they desperately deserve. For far too long we have seen complacency and because of that, many ideas are heard, but no action has taken place. The lack of communication has led to many issues, such as increased traffic, overdevelopment, and flooding within the community.
I see the priority and where my focus will be is preventing overdevelopment that is flooding our streets and cramming our roads. There should be development, but in appropriate places that can handle the density, the storm water and the traffic. District 10 at this point is not that place. We need to fix the problems we have.
On short-term rentals, I oppose the idea of superseding a committee that has worked for months on this. Hard working citizens have taken the time to research the issue and put together some ideas. I was disappointed to see that city staff crafted regulations instead of the committee itself and was too influential. That is a disservice to the citizens that took a long time to look at an important issue.
Let’s be honest – moratoriums are a result of poor decision-making in the past and a failure to plan. The city should invest in drainage and transportation fixes before doing anything and then invest in infrastructure to ensure the neglect that has happened does not continue. Charlestonians deserve better from their government instead of the neglect and absent leadership we have had.
I’m concerned about District 10. So, I believe the Church Creek Basin and the necessary improvements to help in that area are the utmost priority.
We must invest in transportation improvements. That includes finishing I-526 and building the Glenn McConnell Parkway. We must invest in our infrastructure across the board to improve our way of life.
Working in the maritime industry, I see both positives and negatives as with any issue. I like cruises leaving from and stopping in Charleston and believe it is an important part of the tourism industry, but the issue is the same as with many issues – Charleston failed to invest in the infrastructure to mitigate the growth. We must invest in infrastructure around the terminal to ensure its operation is not a hinderance on businesses.
Where appropriate I will support them, but we should not impede traffic of cars nor be taking away travel lanes for more bike lanes. I support more bike paths then bike lanes.
I am against the repeal of the Heritage Act. If you pretend history did not happen, it will reoccur. We need to make sure we are teaching people and not ignoring history.
I am presently in my final semester of a Bachelor’s Degree program in Business Management
Being civically engaged in our community I have become familiar with the issues that challenge the Charleston area, the main ones being flooding, transportation and infrastructure.
Professionally, I work for a Civil Engineering firm that specializes in transportation and infrastructure. During my six years with the firm I have gained a tremendous amount of professional knowledge and insight. I have been involved with many transportation improvement projects from inception to the completion of construction.
Within my role with my company I have cultivated many wonderful working relationships with Mayors, Council members and staff of Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester County, City of Charleston, Town of Mount Pleasant, BCDCOG, and the SCDOT commissioners and staff.
Additionally, I am a member of the West Ashley Steering Council, Charleston Chamber, and Charleston's Young Professionals. I and am very involved in the West Ashley Revitalization Plan.
Why not represent the citizens of Charleston on City Council? I have the expertise, existing relationships and I am ready to work. I believe I would be an asset on Council with my professional knowledge. Additionally, I want to give back to our community. I am a vibrant, dedicated and highly-engaged, decade-long resident of West Ashley who plans to bring solutions to the table while restoring honesty and integrity back to District 10.
Regarding the short-term rental ordinance, I believe that short-term rentals are necessary for Charleston to maintain its competitive advantage for tourism. I believe that the subcommittee should work with the property owners to address concerns.
Affordable, accessible or workforce housing in the Charleston area is a very challenging issue. I believe one of the solutions to mitigate sprawl is the implementation of dense housing centered around office/retail space. However, with this implementation process, the City must take a prudent approach in the planning process.
I believe that moratoriums are a reaction to try and mitigate unbridled growth. Given the reoccurring flooding in District 10, I would support the extension of the current moratorium. Furthermore, I believe that if our approach to growth is proactive, responsible, and sustainable, moratoriums will not be necessary.
While engaging in conversations with many of the residences of District 10 flooding has been a reoccurring theme.The Church Creek Basin is currently being studied to provide recommendations to address the flooding. I believe that this project should be our top priority because homes and businesses continually flood.
I believe that the solution to traffic congestion is multi-faceted. Yes, I support the promotion of carpooling and also incentivizing companies to allow their employees to work remotely. Further, I believe we need incentivize companies to come to West Ashley so residents do not have to commute to work but simply work where they live.
I believe that the cruise ship terminal is essential to our tourism industry.
I support providing more bike lanes and pedestrian facilities such as multi-use paths. The steps that I will take to provide these facilities will be to request that they be incorporated at the concept design phase of any transportation improvement project.