In the run up to Election Day on November 8
will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Charlottesville City Council
. In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8
2011 Election Center
website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more. All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.
CITY COUNCIL, EIGHTH IN A SERIES
Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger
This has been a no-win topic on either side, whether you are for or against the parkway. I come down on the side that I support completion of the parkway and that’s going to earn the bane of a lot of people that don’t want that parkway going through Mr. McIntire’s legacy.
Let me pose this. There are so many ways to look at this. Yes. McIntire Park is one hell of a legacy. I don’t see the parkway detracting from Mr. McIntire’s legacy. If we want to talk about a most notable figure in this city’s history, how he viewed things and what he would like to remembered for and his legacy, I mean, it could be hinted that well, why not bring the World’s Fair to the City of Charlottesville? It all goes to that turn of the century mentality of city beautification. What is in the eye of the beholder?
If the grade-separated interchange for Meadow Creek Parkway is unsuccessful, well, what do we want to do? Do we want to run it through there and put up a stop light like we’ve done with so many interchanges along that beautiful main street U.S 29 road from Hydraulic on out to Hollymead? Come on, common sense people, common sense.
Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger
I won’t, though it’s hard to say after the lawsuit what any next step in having the road be done would be. Now if there is a majority on council that wants a new approach when it comes to the road, I think we can make that happen and I would be in favor of making that happen.
I think it’s going to be very, very difficult at this point if the lawsuit– if the interchange is going to go through—there’s very little that we’re going to be able to do. It’s under construction. These folks really want the parkway done before January, before a new council is seated, and they want everything in place. I do not support the Meadow Creek Parkway and I will not support it on council, though I have a healthy understanding that this may be close to a done deal, but don’t tell any of my friends that.
Bob Fenwick (I) – Challenger
Well, I have opposed the Parkway for many years on a variety of reasons, transportation, costs, the process that was gone through in deciding to do this and in our system of government, we have three equal branches: the legislative, the executive and judicial and when we did not get what we considered to be a fair hearing from the legislative or the executive side, we pushed the judicial side. Now that having been said, if this is decided by a court that we have no case, then I will not oppose it. I mean, we have a system of government that works well when it works and that would be my stance on that.
Kathy Galvin (D) – Challenger
Yes I will support completion of the parkway. I have alluded to some of the benefits already, but in a nutshell, it provides access to where the jobs are currently growing, especially if we can get a high-efficiency bus on that road connecting from downtown and the south side [of the city] up to the northern part of the county. It provides access to what will be a beautiful park, better access to [the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center] (CATEC) and the [Charlottesville] High School from points south.
It will also begin to create connections between what I am calling the “civic center north,” which is the botanical garden, along with the campus of the high school, and CATEC, with the YMCA, you’ve got now, finally, access to the Vietnam Memorial … And then if we do get to the point … that we actually have a central market, a permanent market, that then is almost like another feature that is drawing people into the Downtown Mall, that’s like “civic central.” And then if we create … what I am calling “civic center south,” where we currently have the Boys & Girls Club, and we have the [Smith] Aquatics Center … then you are also creating another bigger network of connected public spaces that provide destinations …
Then at the other end of Cherry Avenue they are redesigning and reinvesting in Tonsler Park. Maybe Cherry Avenue could become one of our small area plans that we focus on, because you’ve got at both ends of the corridor amazing public investments going on that could … jump start a lot of businesses, African-American businesses, there, that will then feed into wealth creation, job opportunities, for a neighborhood that has really suffered tremendously, not just in this recession, but ever since a lot of our manufacturing left 30 years ago.
Satyendra Huja (D) – Incumbent
Yes, I would support the completion of the Meadow Creek Parkway because I think it will provide better access to downtown and minimize the impact on residential neighborhoods, like the Park Street neighborhood, and it will provide better access to a park.
Dede Smith (D) – Challenger
Well I am not sure there will be any issue of that once the federal lawsuit is settled….If it can go ahead, my bigger concern will be making sure that the interchange, and any other infrastructure associated with the parkway, enables citizens to get to [McIntire] Park. That is one of the positives. And also that the park is developed in a way that makes it an amenity to the community and that we can actually make it work.
The other thing that I am concerned with, and that we will need to be very vigilant about, is the impact that the parkway might have on our neighborhoods and that’s been on one of my concerns all along. I am opposed to the parkway on a number of different grounds, but I am very concerned about cut-through traffic. If it increases traffic, which I believe it will, I believe it will be a magnet for traffic, the congestion which we already have, is already here, before the parkway is ever built, will further exacerbate an already bad situation with people just trying to get to [Interstate] 64, or whether they are trying to get to some [other] place by using the parkway, that they will cut though our neighborhoods.
Andrew Williams (I) – Challenger
The Parkway is something else I’m also tired of talking about. No. If given the option, I would look at everything independently. I will support moving forward, however, if I know that the reality is my one vote, out of five, is not going to change the Parkway. It’s already on the ground, it’s going to happen. I mean, if given the vote, for consistency, no, I wouldn’t support the parkway, but in all reality, I know that the Parkway is probably something that’s going to come.
With the lawsuit, everything has its contingencies, and I think that time would certainly need to reveal a number of different things. I’ve always said, however, if given the option, I didn’t want to support the Parkway, because I believe there’s different things we can do like supporting the public transit system a little bit more, we have more bike lanes, but people can’t use that in the winter. It is what it is. I’m for moving forward, and while I want to see the park stay, the reality is, the Parkway is coming.