On October 7, 2009, the five candidates for two seats on the

Charlottesville City Council

participated in a forum sponsored by

Charlottesville Tomorrow

and the

Free Enterprise Forum

. Independents

Bob Fenwick

,

Paul Long

and

Andrew Williams

sat next to Democrats

Dave Norris

and

Kristin Szakos

as they answered several questions on land use, transportation and infrastructure in Charlottesville. Each candidate also gave a three-minute closing statement.


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City Council Candidates Forum

from

Charlottesville Tomorrow

on

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.


QUESTIONS:


Question 1:


Should we start the planning process over on the fifty-year

community water supply plan

?  Why or why not?


Question 2:


The Charlottesville City Council vision statement describes “Economic Sustainability” as a key element for the City’s future.  The goal says:  “We have a business-friendly environment in which employers provide well-paying, career-ladder jobs and residents have access to small business opportunities…”  How would you assess Charlottesville’s economic condition today?  As a Councilor, what specific strategies would you pursue to generate new jobs and economic vitality?  What is your vision for the City addressing economic development opportunities?


Question 3:


Do  you support the

proposed grade separation

at Route 29 and Hydraulic Road as a City transportation priority?  Why or why not?


Question 4:


Over the last four years, the community has had an average population increase of 1,167 persons annually, 225 people per year in the City and 942 people per year in Albemarle County.  What do you think of this rate of growth and how should we plan for it?  How would you define sustainable growth for our community?


Question 5:


The city has vowed to increase density near the downtown area, how will you balance the desire for density with citizen concerns about changing the character of neighborhoods.


Question 6:


How do we ensure the community infrastructure—roads, sidewalks, fire/rescue facilities, libraries, etc.—is in place to support our current population, new development and redevelopment in our designated growth areas?  To what degree should this infrastructure be funded by the real estate property tax, a gas tax, developer proffers, or new service districts?


Question 7:


Do you support the

Meadowcreek Parkway

?  Absent a court decision that stopped this project, if you get the opportunity to vote on an element of

McIntire Road Extended

or the

Meadowcreek Parkway Interchange

, and the result of your vote could have the effect of stopping the project indefinitely, how will you vote and why?


Audience question 1:


Charlottesville last purchased parkland three decades ago. Do you support the acquisition of parkland for passive recreational purposes? Will you commit now to this as a major line item in the 2011 Capital Improvement Plan budget? Assuming the Meadowcreek Parkway is built, should the master plan the eastern half of McIntire Park include a

botanical garden

?


Audience question 2:


Is it healthy for Charlottesville to be controlled by a single political party?


Audience question 3:


What role should industrial enterprises play in Charlottesville’s economy? Do you support attracting manufacturing industries with blue collar jobs, and if so, how would you do so? In addition, please state your position on national chain retail stores.


TIMELINE FOR PODCAST:


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