As the community gets ready for election day on November 6th,
is preparing to mail our non-partisan voter guides featuring the results of interviews with each of the candidates for
Charlottesville City Council
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Over the next few weeks, this blog will feature some of the questions that did
make the cut for the voter guide, but which still offer important insights into the candidates’ views on local growth and development issues.
Election Watch 2007 website
includes the complete audio and written transcript for each candidate interview.
Subscribe to our e-mails
to get immediate notification of the availability of the
2007 Voter Guides
. The content below are excerpts pulled from the verbatim transcripts.
CITY COUNCIL, FOURTH IN A SERIES
The City Council’s 2025 vision statement identifies economic sustainability as a key objective. What do you think needs to be done to support that objective, and what role should government play to promote economic vitality?
David Brown (D)-Incumbent
: Well, one of the things we need to do [is]… to have a skilled workforce whose skills meet the need of the emerging business community. That’s in our public schools, it’s in adult ed, CATEC, partnerships with the University of Virginia, with PVCC.
Secondly, we need to continue to support small and emerging businesses…. And, thirdly, we need to make the Downtown be an attractive place for businesses, a place where people want to locate, which means it needs to be safe. We need to continue to have good schools where people feel like that their employees will want to live here and what we need in particular is to attract businesses for which there are career paths for our residents…
Holly Edwards (D)-Challenger
: …[T]he key will be operate smarter with the dollars and levering resources from private, state and federal resources and I guess… as a new Councilor, I have to be really strategic about following the dollars. And what’s going to be different more so about this election is that everything’s happening in November whereas before new Councilors had from spring until the end of the year to prepare for the budget…
…Just from listening to some of the concerns that people had during the campaign trail, I heard a lot… of concerns about how the budget seemed to be so out of balance with the priorities… and a lot of it had to do with people not having enough information about the thought process that went into some of the decisions and, granted, everybody’s not going to agree with everything that’s handled, but I’d like to see a way that… we all feel as if we’ve taken a part in that plan…
Barbara Haskins (I)-Challenger
: Right now, the main sources of City revenue are homeowners, taxes, and commercial, and a lot of it is homeowners because we have a limited commercial base… it’s nothing like the County where the commercial tax base is just exploding, so they can take a lot more of their revenue from businesses…. I want to be able to sustain homeowners in what they can afford to pay and then the City’s budget flows from that. Right now, we’ve been on a non-sustainable trajectory. We’ve had since about the middle of the last 10 years double-digit inflation in the assessments every year and that’s been rising taxes for homeowners and… I would change it if I were elected, so we’re talking about the City but the City is funded by homeowners and funded by businesses and so my focus is really more on how do you protect the economic viability of the homeowners…. There’s been lip service but not so much regard for them.
Satyendra Huja (D)-Challenger
: Well, promote workforce training, and job creation activities. Especially growth of new small businesses and expansion of existing businesses. As you may know, most development, economic development, comes from expanding existing businesses. So, I will try to see what their needs are and try to meet those needs for them. Also, the City can provide utility capacity, for example, sewer and water, for without that, you cannot have development.
Peter Kleeman (I)-Challenger
: …I read carefully through the strategic plan for economic development and I was a little bit surprised… to find out that the strategic plan is really a much shorter-term plan than the Charlottesville City Council vision plan…. It’s called the Economic Sustainability Matrix. Anything that has a date on it is dated is 2006-2007 and we’re talking about a plan that I believe should extend out to 2025, so…
What do I think needs to be done to support this objective of economic sustainability in 2025 is that we need to have some time increments with some intermediate targets as to what it is that we really would like to see in terms of economic development… there are neighborhoods that could use some economic development activities, local stores. There are zoning restrictions to putting economic centers in some neighborhoods. I think that they need to be looked at and revisited and perhaps a partnership with the City and some of the neighborhoods could look into how can we provide these commercial economic entities that could provide local jobs… It would make living in those residential areas even more appealing than just being in a total housing area…
…What role should the government play? I think we need to play the role of a facilitator…