Cherry Avenue resident Scott Bandy is the first person to file papers to run for the Charlottesville City Council this year. Bandy will appear on the November ballot as an independent candidate.
“If elected, I’m going to be the independent voice on City Council,” Bandy said.
Bandy, 50, is currently unemployed but said he has spent many years working in retail. He first moved to Charlottesville in 1989 from his native Fredericksburg.
“I’d like to think that I could make a difference,” Bandy said. “This is such a good place to live. I see so many issues that seem to not be acted on or constantly tabled. That’s no way for a proper locale such as Charlottesville to do business.”
Bandy began collecting the necessary 125 petition signatures in February, the process for candidates not placed on the ballot through a political party’s nomination.
“In my adventures to get signatures, I introduced myself as an independent,” Bandy said. “Because of that I vowed to stay independent and not be beholden to either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party.”
Bandy said his relative inexperience with local government issues is an asset.
“Sometimes an outside eye can see things a heck of a lot better than the jaundiced eye that has been so bogged down with the typical status quo of doing things,” Bandy said.
Bandy said Albemarle County has done a “terrific job” in trying to contain growth. He said the biggest challenge for Charlottesville is to diversify its tax revenue base.
“The city cannot solely depend on residential growth as a means of revenue,” Bandy said. “We have got to be business friendly to industry and commercial interests but at the same time, sensitive to the environment.”
Bandy’s candidacy is the first during an election cycle with three seats on the council up for grabs. No other candidates have yet announced their plans to run for election.
However, incumbents Holly Edwards and David Brown have both announced they will not seek re-election. City Councilor Satyendra Huja will announce whether he plans to seek a second term at a City Hall press conference at 11 this morning.
Independent candidates for local elections have until Aug. 23 to submit their candidate paperwork and petition signatures.
Democratic candidates will compete in an unassembled caucus on Aug. 20 at Burley Middle School. The Charlottesville Republican Party has not yet announced how it will select candidates if any decide to run.