Charlottesville City Council candidate forum - Democrats, May 16, 2013 Credit: Credit: Sabrina Schaeffer, The Daily Progress

Last week Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress hosted a candidate forum for the five Democrats seeking election to Charlottesville City Council.  Two of the five seats on council will be on ballot this November in the general election.

These candidates are seeking the two nominations of the Democratic Party which will be decided in the June 11 primary.  They will face two Republican candidates and potentially some independent candidates in November.

TIMELINE FOR PODCAST

0:01:04–Welcome and format explanation from Brian Wheeler

0:05:21–Candidate opening statements

0:15:27—Question 1: Do you think the Belmont Bridge should be replaced, repaired, or turned into an underpass?

Responses from Szakos, Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick

0:23:18—Question 2: What role should the City Council play, as opposed to area non-profits, the school system, and the private sector, to help improve the self-sufficiency of city residents?

Responses from Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos

0:34:48—Question 3: What is your top priority for action by the City Council if you are elected and how are you qualified to champion that issue?

Responses from Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos, Grady

0:44:56—Question 4: The Charlottesville Redevelopment Housing Authority is facing pressure from the federal Housing and Urban Development to increase rent and stiffen eviction policies, and from tenants and others in the community, to avoid evictions. As a city councilor, how will you guide the authority in responding to these pressures?

Responses from Lees, Fenwick, Szakos, Grady, Bellamy

0:56:52—Question 5: How do you imagine Charlottesville will look in 50 years with respect to its population and built environment and what decisions will you make to influence that vision?

Responses from Fenwick, Szakos, Grady, Bellamy, Lees

1:08:03—Question 6: The City Council has occasionally been a target of criticism for taking positions on issues outside the city. What do you see as the primary role of the council and what role should it play in speaking on issues beyond its control?

Responses from Szakos, Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick

1:17:22—Question 7: Charlottesville’s annual per-pupil spending in FY 2011, at $16,246, ranked sixth overall and third among cities statewide and was more than 50 percent higher than the state average. Will per-pupil spending go up, down, or stay about the same if you are elected to council? Why?

Responses from Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos

[NOTE: More detailed responses and a separate podcast are available for this question here]

1:29:10—Audience Question 1: How do you plan to address traffic concerns that continue to increase and overpower the city?

Responses from Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos, Grady

1:34:05—Audience Question 2: How do you plan to provide for jobs for young adults?

Responses from Lees, Fenwick, Szakos, Grady, Bellamy

1:39:17—Audience Question 3: Do you think it is important to have at least one African American on the City Council?

Responses from Fenwick, Szakos, Grady, Bellamy, Lees

1:43:27—Audience Question 4: What will you do specifically to help the homeless?

Responses from Szakos, Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick

1:48:41—Audience Question 5: What role do you see passenger rail service playing in the city economy and in the regional transportation network? Would you support a West Main Street Station expansion for more passenger trains?

Responses from Grady, Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos

1:54:57—Audience Question 6: How do you see the Jefferson School City Center fitting into overall city planning?

Responses from Bellamy, Lees, Fenwick, Szakos, Grady

2:00:20—Thank you from Brian Wheeler

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