County Council member Steve Baer to seek second term in November

March 3, 2010 

Steve Baer announced Wednesday he will seek a second term representing Hilton Head Island on the Beaufort County Council.

Baer, a 63-year-old AT&T retiree, defeated incumbent Starletta Hairston in the 2006 GOP primary and began a push for better oversight of the county's Aviation Board, which he said had a history of making decisions about the Hilton Head Island Airport without giving the public a fair chance to comment.

The airport is in his district, and although Baer has said the quick removal of tree hazards at the airport should be a top priority, he also said he recognizes the community effect the tree-cutting will have.

"It impacts people in my district heavily," Baer said.

Baer cited the recent efforts to update the airport's master plan as a "major accomplishment" for the town and the County Council.

"We're going to get real engineering data on the capacity the airport can handle and how long the runways should be," he said. "Up to now, we've had people making wild assessments on both sides of the issue, and for years, we've lacked really good, hard data."

Baer said his platform of good financial management is the same as it was in 2006.

"I want to continue looking at both the capital and the expense side on every line of the county budget," he said. "I've been a real advocate of getting reliable, trustworthy county numbers on how much staff we have and how we spend."

Baer also has pushed for the resurfacing of Marshland Road, a project he said is important to residents in his district. Baer said the resurfacing will be funded by federal stimulus money allocated by the state and a 1-cent sales tax for road improvements approved in 2006 by county voters. The project will be finished by November, he said.

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