Council candidate forum set for Tuesday night

By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Daily Progress and Charlottesville Tomorrow are co-hosting a candidate forum tonight for the eight men and women running for three seats on the Charlottesville City Council.

The event will be held from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Burley Middle School auditorium on Rose Hill Drive.  Doors open at 6:00 pm.

Seven of the eight candidates on the ballot have agreed to appear at the forum. They are socialist

Brandon Collins

, dredging activist

Bob Fenwick

, homeless advocate

Paul Long

, city school board member

Kathleen Galvin

, incumbent councilor

Satyendra Huja

,  former school board member

Dede Smith

, and State Farm employee

Andrew Williams


Huja, Galvin and Smith are running as the Democratic party nominees. Collins, Fenwick, Long and Williams are all on the November 8 ballot as independents.

Independent candidate

Scott Bandy

declined an invitation to appear in the forum.  Bandy said he objected to not being invited to a forum held in July which featured only the candidates seeking the Democratic party’s nomination.

“When the Daily Progress and Charlottesville Tomorrow decided to host its first forum for city council candidates, it did so to the exclusion of candidates who were not Democrats,” Bandy wrote in a press release earlier this month.

“Consider this some small way to make the Daily Progress and Charlottesville Tomorrow answerable,” Bandy continued.

Candidates will be given three “rapid response” questions before being asked more in-depth questions about their positions on important local issues.

Citizens can also

submit questions through the Charlottesville Tomorrow website

using Google Moderator.

“Google is teaming up with some national news outlets to use the Google Moderator website in the presidential debates,” said Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Brian Wheeler.  “I thought we could use it in the same way for our local elections allowing a wider audience to submit questions in advance of the forums.”

Voters in both Charlottesville and Albemarle County have many more opportunities to hear candidates explain their views before election day .

This Thursday, the

Jefferson Area Tea Party

will host the five candidates seeking seats on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.  That event will begin at 7:00 pm in Lane Auditorium in the county office building.

Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Daily Progress’ series of candidate forums will continue next week.

Christopher J. Dumler

(D) and

James C. Norwood

(R) will face off in the Scottsville District forum being held at

Cale Elementary School

on Monday, September 26. The winner in that race will succeed

Lindsay Dorrier Jr

., who is retiring after three consecutive terms.

Cynthia Neff

(D) and

Kenneth C. Boyd

(R) will answer questions in the Rivanna District forum that will occur at

Hollymead Elementary School

on Wednesday, September 28. Neff, who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Delegates in 2009 is challenging Boyd in his campaign for a third term on the board.

Both supervisors forums begin at 6:30 pm. Citizens can also submit questions for these forums in advance using Google Moderator.

Ann H. Mallek

(D) is running unopposed in her bid for a second term representing the White Hall District, so there will be no separate forum for that race.


North Charlottesville Business Council

will sponsor a forum for supervisors at a luncheon on Wednesday, October 19 at the Doubletree Hotel.

The Fry’s Spring Neighborhood association will hold a second city council candidates forum on Wednesday, November 2 at the Cherry Avenue Christian Church. Bandy has indicated he will appear at that forum.