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Charlottesville City Council Candidate Debate Heats Up

By: Jessica Jaglois Email
By: Jessica Jaglois Email

August 18, 2011

Eleven candidates answered questions Wednesday night at the "People's Forum," speaking out as to why they deserve to represent the taxpayers.

The issues are dividing the candidates into groups rather than individually. Between the 50-year Water Supply Plan, the Meadow Creek Parkway and jobs, it's one group of candidates versus the other.

No one saw that more than the audience at Random Row Books in Charlottesville. A packed house with no air-conditioning set the scene for a debate that quickly heated up.

"It's definitely divided by how these candidates make decisions," said attendee and dredging advocate Rebecca Quinn. "Some can read beneath the veneer, others can't."

"The ticket is divided on those who see we need to build infrastructure in order to create jobs and those who don't," said attendee and Democratic candidate Paul Beyer's brother, Scott Beyer.

All the Independent candidates and some Democratic candidates don't want to build a new dam nor build the City's portion of the Parkway, McIntire Park Extended.

Kathy Galvin, Incumbent Satyendra Huja and Paul Beyer do want to build a new dam and continue the Parkway.

In a surprise move, Democratic Candidate Brevy Cannon said that he would not oppose the Meadow Creek Parkway. A far cry from what happened earlier in the day.

A group of former Charlottesville leaders held a news conference at the Transit Center on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, saying current local leaders shouldn't back out of the Parkway project. The group says, if the city does back down, they could have to reimburse VDOT their expenses for the Parkway so far: $13.4 million.

The conference turned into a shouting match once the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park showed up to negate their claims.

As groups fight over which candidate is endorse, and the candidates fight over where they stand and who should vote for them, the Democratic Primary is right around the corner.

That's when the top three Democratic candidates will be nominated to be on the ballot come November.

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