UNION — Union City Council District 4 candidate Ricky Todd Harris says that if reelected he will continue to work to promote economic development and to save the taxpayers money by reducing the city’s bonded indebtedness.
A Union native and businessman, Harris is seeking his third term representing District 4 on Union City Council. He said he decided to seek reelection because he enjoys helping and serving others. Harris said he is concerned for the future of the youth of Union and views his position on council as a chance to help the city move forward.
“Union is a wonderful place to live and has much to offer,” Harris said. “With additional education and employment opportunities, it will be more appealing to younger generations, enticing them to stay here.”
To provide Union’s youth with the employment opportunities that will allow them to live and work in their hometown, Harris said he will continue to work to promote economic development.
“As in the past two terms, I will continue to focus on bringing jobs to Union,” he said. “There is no easy solution to turning our situation around; to reversing our declining tax base due to the loss of jobs and residents. However, if the city, county, and the economic development board continue to work hard together, I am confident we can make a difference.”
To help make that difference, Harris said that, in addition to promoting economic development, he wants to continue council’s efforts to save the taxpayers money by paying down the city’s bonded indebtedness as soon as possible.
In September, council voted unanimously to approve a plan to refund and restructure the outstanding debt associated with four series of general obligation bonds. The refinancing of the bonds at a lower interest rate will save the city more than $600,000 in bond payments and free up nearly $1 million in debt service funds.
“We are going to continue these efforts in order to pay these bonds down and eventually paying them off,” Harris said.
Harris also pointed out all the positive changes that have occurred during his two terms in office.
“I am very proud of the Timken Sports Complex, the positive changes to Main Street, and the addition of companies such as Belk, Gestamp, and Gonvauto South Carolina,” Harris said. “By no means am I saying I am responsible for all of these. I just believe it is important to recognize that many good things have happened in Union. And, of course, we have a long way to go.”
Harris said the achievements of the past eight years can be credited to the diverse mixture of professional knowledge of the members of council.
“The expertise and management skills of everyone provide great insight,” Harris said.
In addition to praising his fellow council members, Harris thanked the people of District 4 for their support during the past eight years.
“I hope I have served my district well,” Harris said. “The decisions I have made have been done so with careful consideration of all parties involved. I listen to what those in my district and other districts have to say. I appreciate that the residents of District 4 have given me an opportunity to serve them and I would welcome the chance to continue to do so for another term.”
A 1981 graduate of Union High School, Harris attended Spartanburg Methodist College before going to work with his father, Willie Harris, at Harris Electrical Contractors Inc. He later became the owner/operator of the business which his father established in 1957.
Harris and his wife, Jean, have been married for 24 years, and they have one son, Michael Todd, a junior at Union County High School. The family attends Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Harris is facing challenger Kevin Montgomery for the District 4 seat.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.