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May 13, 2012

Panel discusses women and diversity in local politics

DailyProgressBy Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cupcakes and political anecdotes were shared recently when a panel of women involved in local government spoke about their experiences in politics.

Charlottesville Tomorrow, the Junior League and the League of Women Voters sponsored Wednesday’s event, which was held at the Cat Thrasher Photography studio and the Sweethaus bakery.

20120509-Women2
Andrea Copeland & Colette Blount

Andrea D. Copeland of Positive Channels moderated the conversation, which centered on how women can become involved in the political process and the obstacles they may face.


Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120509-WomenInPolitics

Former Charlottesville Mayor Nancy K. O’Brien, city School Board member Colette Blount and Sally H. Thomas, former chairwoman of Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors explained their personal reasons for becoming active in local politics.

“The impetus for me was that I cared about something,” O’Brien said. “I cared about something in the community and after caring, I thought I could do something about that better than some of the other people.”

Continue reading "Panel discusses women and diversity in local politics" »

November 07, 2011

City Council candidates on the Meadowcreek Parkway

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com
image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, EIGHTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comIf the federal lawsuit opposing the construction of the grade-separated interchange for the Meadow Creek Parkway is unsuccessful, will you support completion of the parkway?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

This has been a no-win topic on either side, whether you are for or against the parkway. I come down on the side that I support completion of the parkway and that’s going to earn the bane of a lot of people that don’t want that parkway going through Mr. McIntire’s legacy.

Let me pose this. There are so many ways to look at this.  Yes. McIntire Park is one hell of a legacy. I don’t see the parkway detracting from Mr. McIntire’s legacy. If we want to talk about a most notable figure in this city’s history,  how he viewed things and what he would like to remembered for and his legacy, I mean, it could be hinted that well, why not bring the World’s Fair to the City of Charlottesville? It all goes to that turn of the century mentality of city beautification. What is in the eye of the beholder?

If the grade-separated interchange for Meadow Creek Parkway is unsuccessful, well, what do we want to do? Do we want to run it through there and put up a stop light like we’ve done with so many interchanges along that beautiful main street U.S 29 road from Hydraulic on out to Hollymead? Come on, common sense people, common sense.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

I won’t, though it’s hard to say after the lawsuit what any next step in having the road be done would be.  Now if there is a majority on council that wants a new approach when it comes to the road, I think we can make that happen and I would be in favor of making that happen. 

Continue reading "City Council candidates on the Meadowcreek Parkway" »

November 06, 2011

City Council candidates on transportation

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, SEVENTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWhat is your transportation agenda for the city? Does it require more money?  How will you fund AND implement it?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

…I think the challenge for the upcoming council is going to be just maintaining, maintaining things as they are. And that definitely would include transportation.

My impression as far things go was that the council struggled just to maintain a budget without having to raise further taxes. Certainly no one wants higher taxes. The current transportation in place, well, transportation, you break that up into different items. The [Charlottesville Area Transit], roads which I’m of the opinion that some people have never seen a road here that they didn’t like.

It’s difficult to pin down where this is going to be headed. The challenge will be to fund it within the constraints that we are limited to and to keep services as they are at a sufficient rate. You know, to satisfy, getting the buses running on time.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

My ideas on transportation are almost wholly centered on public transit and expanding public transportation.  Of course we need to do much more to increase pedestrian transit.  When we talk about pedestrian transit I think one thing that people aren’t always aware of is that it’s also how people with disabilities get around…

I think there is a great interest in the city in expanding our bike lanes and doing much more for bike transportation, and I’m all for that, but I’m basically focused on a city that is built and based on public transportation rather than automobile-based transportation.  I would like to see a great expansion of public transportation…

Continue reading "City Council candidates on transportation" »

November 04, 2011

City Council candidates on their top priority

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, LAST IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWhat is your top priority for action by City Council if you are elected?


 

Scott Bandy (I) - Challenger

Reaching some sort of place where environmental consciousness does not conflict with common sense. We have a very zealous pedestrian and bike community but at the same time, look at our city streets and thoroughfares. They are dangerous and have become unsafe while we have made tremendous and most impressive strides in trails and bike lanes, why have our streets become unsafe?...

We’ve got to come to a place that we understand, that you know, we will compromise and we will balance things out so that everyone wins. Where everyone can walk away satisfied. No, you’re not going to get everything that you want. Nobody ever does in this life. But if we don’t, if there are some groups and some interests that are bound and determined it’s their way or the highway, things are still going to get progressively worse in the city and that’s unfortunate because to have the high standard as we do living in this city, it would be a shame to lose that and to people to further suffer than they already are.

 

Brandon Collins (I) - Challenger

I think we need to do something about poverty.  This is a multi-faceted issue and that is basically my main focus.  When we talk about poverty, it’s not always just the people who are unemployed or the people who get food stamps, sometimes it’s our teachers who are working and they are not making enough money to live here.  There are so many things to look at.  There’s employment and there’s wages.  There’s housing, there’s transportation, it’s a multi-faceted problem. 

I think I’ve got things in my platform that focus specifically on housing, jobs, public transportation, and the environment.  I think in a lot of ways how we deal with our planet also effects how we deal with people.  One thing that’s going to be a big issue is how the city grows and are we pushing poor people out of town because it gets so expensive.  I don’t think we should.  We have established neighborhoods here and I’d like to see our residents be able to live and work here.  But to be able to do that we have to do something meaningful to make their lives much more meaningful economically. 

Continue reading "City Council candidates on their top priority" »

City Council candidates on promoting employment

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, SIXTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comLast month the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce reported that Charlottesville lost 3,248 jobs during the years 2000 to 2010.  What specifically should city council do to promote employment?


 

Scott Bandy (I) - Challenger

The regulations in this city, and I’m going to borrow from another candidate…Mr. Fenwick… He said at his initial announcement that this isn’t a business-friendly city. It’s not. With regulations in place and ordinances as they are, they are not conducive to businesses, and I mean both commercial and industrial… That has got to be amended, that has got to be addressed, and it’s got to be changed… We are pinched for jobs. People are out there economically hurting like no time before in the history not just of this city, but of this country.

We must do what we can, not just to only encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses, but to be a welcoming place where we can attract those businesses that will complement, not go against, the grain of what this city is. We are a very environmentally conscious city, we are a very knowledgeable city. You can’t ask for a better place to live, but we are struggling. People like I said before are moving not just into nearby counties, but into counties in the region, into counties outside the region, because we are not providing our citizens with sources of income to supplement their families. We are not providing that economic highway to prosperity and self-sufficiency. We must take it head on. We must grab this bull by the horns.

 

Brandon Collins (I) - Challenger

Well it’s a hot topic and I am glad to bring this consistently to council’s attention and I have been raising this a lot in the campaign.  I feel like we have a duty to do everything we can to get people jobs that pay a living wage, and if not, then we have a duty to directly employ those people.  There is a lot of movement in this city to have a much more sustainable city, to improve our infrastructure, improve our neighborhoods, and we can put a lot of people to work doing that.  We can get outside funding to do some of that stuff. 

Overall, I would like to be at a point four years from now where we can begin to consider guaranteeing that every resident can get a job.  The way we can get there is by working to reverse the balance of jobs to workers, providing a lot more jobs, to the point where the market on human labor begins to shift in favor of workers so that all workers are beginning to earn a better wage.

Continue reading "City Council candidates on promoting employment" »

City Council candidates on the water supply plan

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, FIFTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comAre you planning to seek a new vote by the council on the previously approved 50-year water supply plan and how would you change the plan, if at all?


 

Scott Bandy (I) - Challenger

[N]o, I would not seek a new vote by the council if elected but I’m going to stipulate this, though--That does not mean that I am against dredging. The Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan have used that straw argument to further their agenda. I don’t understand why.

In June, … the RWSA, Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, [budgeted] funding to the tune of $3.25 million the avenue towards dredging. That’s a certainty in my mind right now. We’re not going to veer in any direction away from it. It’s going to happen. It’s been put in place. We’re moving towards that. What this has become now is a campaign against the dam.  I’m not necessarily for the dam. I’m certainly not for a 45-foot, 50-foot raise in the dam.

But what about water supply? I haven’t heard the Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan saying that they will commit to supplying water. What if Mr. Fenwick and Ms. Smith are elected to the council? Well, it’s going to be there turn to see where the funds go. Are most of those funds that are going to be available, are they going to be put toward dredging? Certainly, I understand their interest. There is no doubt what their interest is.….

We need to move beyond the plan. You know. If we’re going to try to encourage more business to come to the city, as Mr. Fenwick said, if we’re going to be a business-friendly, enticing and welcoming city, aren’t we going to encourage perhaps industry and commerce that doesn’t necessarily conflict with the way we would like to see things done? If they need water, don’t we want to supply that so that we can entice them? Have them establish and put roots here for the jobs that it can provide the residential base of this town.…

There’s got to be some way to move beyond this impasse. That’s why I think from the very start this should have been a referendum…

 

Brandon Collins (I) - Challenger

Continue reading "City Council candidates on the water supply plan" »

Audio of Charlottesville City Council candidate forum

2011-election-DPx476On November 2, 2011, the Fry's Spring Neighborhood Association hosted a forum for the candidates running for election to three seats on Charlottesville City Council. The general election is November 8.


Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20111102-CityCouncilForum

 

November 03, 2011

City Council candidates on the city's comprehensive plan

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, FOURTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com What changes, if any, would you make to the city’s Comprehensive Plan?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

I’ve done some studying on that now. To be honest I can’t say whether, you know, my knowledge whether the current council has updated that or if there has been an update, but certainly I would not want to make any grandstanding or dramatic changes. Any changes would have to be gradual, subtle, acceptable of course.

One thing that I know for sure would affect it, they talk about improving the sewer infrastructure in that. The residents of the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association are interested in a rezoning of that area of town south of the railroad tracks from the current residential zoning status to an R1, I believe they said R1, status. That would impact the sewer collection basin. That would hopefully reduce the overwhelming runoff from the storm drainage going into the basin. Hopefully it will add to lowering costs and trying to improve not just storm drainage but also add an emphasis for getting the sewer lines improved, replaced. There’s a lot of mess and there’s a lot of things to do.

Some priorities, the water plan, phew. What a mess. That is one thing that has been on the city and the county’s plate for a long time. It needs to be addressed. You can’t keep sweeping things under the carpet. Bring it out into the light of the day. Address it. Reach some sort of, not just compromise, but some sort of tenable active plan and go with it because there are just too many issues and they are piling up and we need these issues addressed.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

Continue reading "City Council candidates on the city's comprehensive plan" »

November 01, 2011

City Council candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, THIRD IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comHow should the city, county and the University of Virginia work together to enhance our community’s unique character and economic vitality?


 

Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

That’s been a bone of contention with some folks. County and city relations, I chalk that up to the fact that the city in a way conducts itself as if though were the county, and the county conducts itself as though it were the city. Look at the urban ring there. Commercial development. People moving out to the county. The city has lost a lot of residents, people that have moved from the city into the county. You go where the jobs are. The jobs happen to be mostly in the county. Not that we don’t have them in the city, certainly we do.

And of course, the University of Virginia. Let’s drag that into this. Certainly there is room for improvement. We could talk to each more. Not that we don’t already. But as Bob Fenwick said, as a city, we have a problem of talking things to death. The people want action. Whether that’s in the next few minutes or over a period of time. Certainly I am willing to extend the hand of cordialness and consideration to the university, to the county, to work on things together.

One of the things that is close to me that also involves the county is the Sunset-Fontaine Connector. The improvements are going to be in the county, but that improvement is going to dramatically affect the city. The residents along Old Lynchburg Road, that segment of Jefferson Park Avenue. They will be impacted when that  connector is ever completed and done. Perhaps once it is done, and certainly that’s one of the things I would be most interested in the county with, and of course, the university, because we have the Fontaine Avenue Research Park over there, of accomplishing. That impact would be that Jefferson Park Avenue, [Old] Lynchburg Road, could return to the status of a slower paced neighborhood street, not the cut-through as it is and has been currently used as. Let’s move on.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

… I think everyone knows that things between the county and the city have not been great for quite some time.  I am looking forward to at some point getting beyond the [Meadow Creek] Parkway and the water supply plan, and in to really seeing what the county and the city have in common … We can cooperate a lot on a regional transit plan, or a regional transit authority, if there’s interest in the county for that.  I think in the long term we really need to make a list of priorities for the city when it comes to the county and determine which of those are really worth taking a stand for and what is somewhat negotiable …

Continue reading "City Council candidates on city/county/UVa cooperation" »

October 29, 2011

City Council candidates on their qualifications

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com
In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

CITY COUNCIL, SECOND IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comPlease describe your past experience that qualifies you to be on City Council?

 


Scott Bandy (I) – Challenger

I started out on a platform of not being experienced, so I’m not going to claim any titles or accolades or any experience as far as that goes. It’s up to the voters, you know, from what they find out whether I’m qualified or not. I’m just running as a plain citizen. That’s how I want to be perceived and if honesty accounts for anything, that would be a consideration for the voters to mull over.

 

Brandon Collins (I) – Challenger

I am a lifelong resident of the City of Charlottesville….I have always considered Charlottesville a great place to raise my daughter.  Having grown up here and lived here, I have seen some of the great things about Charlottesville and some of the worst things about Charlottesville and I think I can relate to a lot of the folks out there that are struggling, that are suffering, and that have been through hard times. 

What basically qualifies me to be on city council are my politics, and that is that I place the needs of human beings and people over the needs of developers, or markets, or business.  That’s where I am coming from politically, and I think that it’s ultimately what we should all look for in a city councilor—somebody who is looking at the people of Charlottesville, the residents of Charlottesville, rather than other interests.

Continue reading "City Council candidates on their qualifications" »