Halfacre hopes to help city ‘by choice, rather than by chance’
By Greg Oliver
CLEMSON — Clemson City Council candidate Robert Halfacre has enjoyed a lifelong love of Clemson, having been raised by parents who were longtime faculty and staff members at Clemson University.
He says he wants to spend the rest of his life in Clemson with his own family.
Halfacre has shown his love for Clemson by serving in a variety of ways over the years, including with the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce and, more recently, the Clemson Economic Development Advisory Committee. Now he wants to take his commitment to the city to another level by running for city council.
Among his primary goals if elected is “to help Clemson develop by choice rather than by chance.”
“We need to develop specific plans so we are not overwhelmed by chaotic growth and random sprawl,” Halfacre said. “While I have spent my career promoting business development, my goal as a council member is to enrich community development. I would like to be a part of our community’s efforts to anticipate, plan and accomplish our shared vision and goals.”
Halfacre said the city’s efforts to gauge public opinion about the 2014 comprehensive plan “was an appropriate step to understanding the hopes of our citizens.”
“I would like to see that continue and enhance conversations about what we share as a common vision,” he said. “We truly do have the best of all worlds — small-town feel with world-class opportunities. In order to ensure this same future, we need to continue to engage the community in honest and transparent conversations.”
Halfacre said there are many things for council to consider in the future — including infrastructure and transportation challenges, university relations and sidewalks and bikeways, among others.
“Our vision for the short and long term should be influenced by looking at best practices and using citizen input,” Halfacre said. “We have a comprehensive plan that can guide some of this discussion, and I think it is critical that we craft a shared vision for our community.”
Halfacre said the city can take its comprehensive plan “to encourage our students, citizens and visitors to all see the benefits of a more pedestrian-friendly Clemson.”
“We need to make it convenient, safe and enjoyable to walk or use public transport,” he said. “This will require a careful eye toward additional housing, as well as walkways and public transport routes. A focused educational effort with careful planning can lead us to a less-congested Clemson.
“The future of Clemson needs to be in the forefront of our minds and actions, and we should collaborate as a community to preserve the best of Clemson now while taking the long view about what will ensure Clemson has a bright present and future. Let’s be strategic and smart about our short- and long-term decisions about how we grow and support all residents along this path.”
But Halfacre said it is important that the comprehensive plan not sit on a shelf or the internet not being used.
“While we have a comprehensive plan that was crafted and addresses some of the issues we face in Clemson, the suggestions in this plan are guideposts,” Halfacre said. “These include careful consideration of the height of buildings of all types to help maintain the small-town feel and calibrate the amount of parking we need and traffic that we need to manage for more ease of travel, especially in and around downtown. Taking into account our community shared vision and realistically exploring all the resources needed to support improvements and infrastructure for balanced and thoughtful growth should help us to make proactive, not reactive choices about zoning and or any expansion of our built environment in general.”
Halfacre and his wife, Lara, are the parents of a son, Blake, and daughter, Addison.
“Our son and daughter have embraced growing up in this community and regularly engage in school, athletic, leadership and church activities,” he said. “We could not be prouder of our children and, having grown up here, I know firsthand the many benefits Clemson can afford our young people. Lara and I are blessed to enjoy these for our children as well as ourselves.
“I am eager to help our Clemson community continue to enjoy the benefits of this beautiful place that is rich with natural, social, cultural and intellectual resources. Investing in the future of Clemson is a driving force for me, and I hope to collaborate with others in the best interest of our city.”
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