John Edward Hall has left a light footprint in the city where he’s lived for 17 years. But despite his lack of public visibility, he’s decided to run for City Council as an independent.
Hall, 66, says he’s an inventor, a design engineer and an entrepreneur. He was inspired to run by independent candidate Paul Long, whom he met on the free trolley. “That was at a time I needed 15 more signatures to get on the ballot,” says Long. “He asked how he could do that.”
The statues of generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been an issue in Charlottesville for more than a year, were the focus of a blue ribbon commission, and City Council voted to remove the stature of Lee in February. Hall says he thinks there should be a public referendum on how to handle the statues.
He’s interested in transit, and says he wants the Transit Center to have machines that give change for the 75-cent fares. The Fashion Square Mall stop needs repair and permanent benches, he adds.
He wants concrete sidewalks along streets like Stribling and Harris avenues, and says property owners should share the cost. And he supports a living wage of $12 an hour.
Long, who ran for City Council in 2009, says he asked Hall about the issues that motivated him. “He wants to bring people together,” says Long.
Hall joins independents Long, Cassie Clawson, Kenneth Jackson and Nikuyah Walker, as well as Democrats Heather Hill and Amy Laufer on the November ballot.