12 Candidates, 3 Seats: City Council Candidates Face Off

By: Carter Johnson Email
By: Carter Johnson Email

List of Candidates

Democrats: James Halfaday; Satyendra Huja; Paul Beyer; Kathy Galvin; Dede Smith; Colette Blount; Brevy Cannon

Independents: Scott Bandy; Bob Fenwick; Paul Long; Andrew Williams; Brandon Collins

August 20, 2011

Twelve candidates. Three seats.

Wednesday, for the first time, all 12 Charlottesville City Council hopefuls were present for a forum hosted by the Senior Center in Albemarle. Among them are a student, a businessman, teachers and school board members, just to name a few.

With Satyendra Huja the only current councilor seeking re-election, three candidates will join Mayor Dave Norris and Kristin Szakos on the Council.

Voters gathered to hear answers to tough questions, like where the candidates stand on the construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway.

“With the Meadow Creek Parkway, that's a perfect example of our city not following through with our end of the agreement. I think we need to finish it,” said Democratic candidate Paul Beyer.

“Having a legitimate parkway, which is what it's going to be - 35 miles an hour, responding to the land, inspired by roads like Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway - is not going to ruin [McIntire Park],” said Brevy Cannon (D).

“A two-lane road with 35mph speed limits is not going to address major traffic concerns,” argued Colette Blount (D).

Independent candidate Brandon Collins agreed with Blount, saying, “The Parkway is a mistake. It's never too late to look at a mistake and fix it. Why move forward with a bad plan?”

The candidates were also asked about the community water supply plan and what percentage would be fair for the City to pay for the project.

“If elected, I would vote against any funding for it. I believe we should continue dredging and I believe that the kinds of funds that are being discussed are too much,” said Independent Paul Long.

Democratic hopeful Dede Smith agreed.

“The City should not pay anything. In fact, the City should be compensated for all the massive resources that would be lost,” she said.

Their answers no doubt set the candidates apart, as voters learned more about where each candidate stands on some of the biggest issues they would face while serving on City Council.

The three open seats are currently occupied by David Brown, Holly Edwards and Huja, who is running to re-claim his seat.

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