In Matthew Harper's nearly three years on the Huntington Beach City Council, he has built a reputation as conservative, pro-business and unfraid to put in his 2 cents.
He always comes to the meetings prepared, whether he intends to speak for or against an item. On occasion, he'll get into a little back-and-fourth with colleagues.
"He'll irritate a lot of people, and being truthful isn't something that is easy to swallow," said his father, William Harper. "He tries to be tactful, but he's got his priorities set pretty firmly."
The new mayor has strong views on a number of issues. He has spoken quite vehemently against the plastic bag ban, which the city imposed this year, and the proposed ban on polystyrene. He's advocated for construction of a new senior center as well as the legalization of fireworks in the city. He's also been vocal about keeping at bay what he often refers to as "the heavy hand of government."