Hello! And welcome to the first election podcast of the 2021 season. I’m Sean Tubbs, the host and producer of the Charlottesville Community Engagement newsletter, and this is an edited audio version of the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association Candidates Forum held on March 10, 2021. The full recording will be made available by the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood association, and you may have heard or read parts of it in the March 11, 2021 edition of the newsletter.
This is an attempt to get as much of the candidates’ words out there as possible. Edits are made for audio cohesion to make it a better listening experience, and to provide a little context from time to time.
“Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us, we really appreciate the four candidates, the filed candidates for the Democratic nomination for City Council joining us tonight for our neighborhood meeting,” said Jason Halbert, the president of the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association. The group has a tradition of inviting candidates to their meeting and this is the first chance anyone in the community had to hear all four explain a little bit about who they are and what their vision is for Charlottesville.
The candidates are:
Even though this forum was held on Zoom, the format was similar to other forums. If you’ve never heard one before, they usually begin with opening statements.
“We’ll just do some three-minute intros beginning with Carl followed by Yas, then Juan and Brian,” Halbert said. “I rolled a die to determine the order and we’d just love to hear what neighborhood you’re in and what your top priority is to be on Council. You’ll have three minutes each.”
For the full event, you will have to listen to the audio. On to the next newsletter!
Here, though, are the first five questions.
Question 1: What practical steps do you think you can take if you’re on Council to bring more transparency to the capital planning process so that neighborhoods and neighborhood leaders understand and can reflect back to their neighbors where these projects lie as a priority for the city?
Question 2: How do we balance the need for affordable housing… with the need to have infrastructure?
Question 3: “If you are on Council, how would you work with people with whom you disagree?”
In years past, these meetings were held in the basement of the Cherry Avenue Christian Church. But in the almost-spring of 2021, this forum was held online which meant interaction between candidates and participants in the virtual channel.
Question 4: “How do you feel about raising the property tax rate?”
Question 5: “What are your thoughts on the ward system for Council relations? How can neighborhood associations make sure they are heard?”