On July 20, 2011, Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress co-sponsored a city council candidate forum for the seven candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for three of the five seats on Charlottesville City Council.
About 150 people filled the Burley Middle School auditorium to hear the candidates respond to questions posed by the moderator, the audience, and each other.
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The Charlottesville Democratic Party will hold an “unassembled caucus,” also known as a Firehouse Primary, on Saturday, August 20th, from 9am to 7pm at Burley Middle School to select its three council nominees. One candidate for Clerk of the Charlottesville Circuit Court will also be nominated.
In the primary, Charlottesville Democrats may vote for up to 7 council candidates and rank them by order of preference. This ranking is to facilitate an instant runoff in the event there is not a simple majority.
The candidate forum participants
Quick response topics
MEADOW CREEK PARKWAY
Do you support construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway in the city of Charlottesville, YES or NO?
Do you support the Western Bypass route now in place if the state fully funds its construction as well as fully funding other local transportation priorities such as the Belmont Bridge replacement, Hillsdale Drive Extended, Berkmar Drive Extended, the widening of Route 29, and the improvement of the Best Buy ramp to the U.S. 250 Bypass? YES or NO?
As the primary approach for adding to our long term water supply, do you favor dredging and water conservation before construction of a new or taller dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir, YES or NO?
Moderator questions (each candidate received 3 of the 7 questions)
What is your transportation agenda for the city and how will you fund AND implement it?
Much is made of the status of city-county relationships and the importance of maintaining and strengthening this relationship. On a grading scale of A to F, how would you grade this relationship, and how do you think it can be improved?
Performance measurements for local government
Do you think the city is doing a good job of measuring its performance on the implementation of its vision and council priorities? Would you favor any specific other approaches or methodology?
Are you planning to seek a new vote by the council on the previously approved 50-year water supply plan and how would you change the plan, if at all?
Role of City Council
What are the top responsibilities that you believe City Council should be actively and consistently engaged in?
Are you satisfied with the performance of the city schools? How would you support continuous improvement as a member of City Council?
Workforce development / Jobs
What do you see as the best opportunities to develop career-ladder jobs that city residents can pursue?
After the moderator questions, the candidates each answered one question from the audience. Then each candidate had an opportunity to ask another candidate a question.