On May 15, 2007, The
Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association
(FSNA) served as the host for the second in a series of forums featuring City Council candidates. There are three open seats and five candidates have declared. All of them are Democrats. The only incumbent in the race, Mayor David Brown, was not available to attend the forum which was moderated by FSNA President John Santoski.
Visit our Election Watch 2007 website
for detailed information on the candidates, campaign finance reports, upcoming candidate forums, and related events.
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The candidates began the event by giving a short opening statement, followed by responses to two questions submitted in advance by the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association. One of the major issues for Fry’s Spring area residents is cut-through traffic from the County along Old Lynchburg Road, and residents wanted to know how prospective councilors would weigh neighborhood interests versus those of the City and County governments.
“What should be the priority for protection of the residential quality of City neighborhood in relation to development and other interests, would you work to establish a policy to protect the neighborhood residential interests, and how would Council assure that the policy is implemented by City staff?”
: “Neighborhoods are building blocks of any community, and I think if you don’t have healthy neighborhoods, you don’t have a healthy community…”
: “I think we should follow the plans that we create. We have this inordinate process, this strategic process, all of these processes in place, and they seem to kind of go away at some point in the decision-making process, in particular with special use permits.”
: “It’s important for neighborhood associations to be involved in any kind of development planning process from the very very beginning.”
: The city needs to place pressure on “UVA for predatory student development and the county for predatory building and an inability to follow through with previously outlined plans.”
Question #2 with excerpts from the candidate’s responses:
“How would you measure the negative impact on the quality of life in the City’s residential neighborhoods, including the safety and comfort of their residents, rather than just using the levels of service measurement that measures only the convenience of drivers and their riders?”
“The way that I would measure negative impact specifically rates to my family time. How much time do I have to spend time at home or doing things with my family?”
“I think we may need to measure problems on a road in some different ways than they’ve been measured before, not by just volume.”
: “I would like to switch the question around, how would I like to see how happy the neighborhood is… find out what the neighborhood people feel, what they think needs to be improved, what would make it a nicer place to live.”
HIGHLIGHTS WITH QUESTIONS ON GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT ISSUES (times correspond with audio in the above podcast)