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
Last 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.