City Council candidates meet their match

City Council candidates meet their match

Four of the five Democratic candidates for City Council recently met at Fry’s Spring Beach Club to discuss their positions on various issues facing the neighborhood off Old Lynchburg Road and Jefferson Park Avenue. Only months ago, a contingent of elderly retired residents from the neighborhood forced the Council into agreeing to make various improvements to OLR.

Democratic City Council candidate Satyendra Huja is sickened by tree cutting, just like Old Lynchburg Road residents.

An audience member asked about city budget cuts and candidate Linda Seaman responded: “At budget time I’d be glad to start with the neighborhood associations and ask you, ‘What do you wanna keep and what do you want to get rid of?’” And candidate Jennifer McKeever added, “I also think that all new initiatives that are going to be in the budget need to have hearings prior to the budget being delivered,” she said. “That’s just a common sense approach.”

As to a question regarding development-driven tree clearing, Satyendra Huja said, “It’s sick.” Seaman chimed in: “We’ve now become a tree city and the goal is to move from 32 percent tree cover to 40 percent,” she said. “We don’t do it by cutting down 200-year-old trees.” Meanwhile, Holly Edwards encouraged residents to get more involved. “Council can’t do it alone,” she said.

On this matter, the moderator of the forum felt inclined to speak. “As potential City Council members…I would ask you to be very, very conscious of working with every citizen…to listen to them…so that your citizens don’t always have to be out policing the creeks and watching the trees and checking the size and width of the bridges and trying to find traffic circles and traffic calming measures.”

For the only time that night, the room erupted in applause.

For more information: Charlottesville Tomorrow has podcasts and reports on the Fry’s Spring Beach Club forum as well as the more recent May 19 City Council Candidate forum held at the Jefferson Area Board for Aging.

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