Fitness club owner running for Charlottesville City Council
Charlottesville resident James Halfaday has declared his candidacy for the City Council, seeking one of three nominations from the city’s Democratic Party.
“We need to infuse our city with new energy,” Halfaday said. “I know in my heart I can create a positive outcome for our community.”
“I think he’s a young guy with a lot of good ideas and I think we need to get some younger people involved in local politics,” Taliaferro said.
Halfaday, 31, is a co-owner of the Snap Fitness franchise in Charlottesville. He received a degree in Native American studies from Western Illinois University and is a member of the Ojibwa tribe.
Halfaday said he moved to the area six years to assist a friend who was going through a difficult period and decided to move here two weeks after arriving.
“As long as I’ve been a resident of Charlottesville, I have hit the ground running for our community,” Halfaday said. He is currently a member of the Building Code Board of Appeals and the city’s police advisory panel. Halfaday also has served as a facilitator for the city’s Dialogue on Race.
“We cannot remain a city divided along racial and income lines,” Halfaday said. “We must be one Charlottesville, and that is our Charlottesville.”
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Halfaday said he is a strong supporter of education, and called upon the city to decrease the dropout rate at Charlottesville High School. He said he would work to improve the city’s transit system and make bicycling safer to reduce the need for more roads.
“I would prefer if we could prevent another fiasco such as the Meadow Creek Parkway,” Halfaday said.
On the topic of the community water supply plan, Halfaday said he would have supported dredging of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir.
“However, I’m not on council yet, so you have to go with what the current council votes on,” Halfaday said.
Halfaday has previous experience as an elected official. In November 1998, he was elected to the Board of Trustees for the village of Dunfermline in Fulton County, Ill. The village has a population of 300 people, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
Halfaday is the second Democrat to announce campaign plans for this election cycle. Incumbent Satyendra Huja declared his candidacy in late March. The Charlottesville Democratic Party will choose its three nominees at an Aug. 20 unassembled caucus, otherwise known as a “firehouse primary.”
Two independent candidates, Scott Bandy and Bob Fenwick, have declared they will run. Councilors Holly Edwards and David Brown have said they will not seek re-election. The terms of Councilors Dave Norris and Kristin Szakos continue until the end of 2013.
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