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April 23, 2009

Norris, Szakos and Taliaferro appear at first City Council candidate forum

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By Sean Tubbs & Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, April 23, 2009

Left to right: Julian Taliaferro, Dave Norris and Kristin Szakos

The three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the two seats on the Charlottesville City Council spent two hours on April 21, 2009 answering questions on the water supply, the Meadowcreek Parkway, the City’s efficiency study, Council priorities, and other community issues. The event was co-sponsored by Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Free Enterprise Forum in advance of the Charlottesville Democratic Party’s unassembled caucus to be held on May 9, 2009.  The general election is this November.

About 50 people attended the forum which was held at Burley Middle School in Charlottesville.  The candidates in order of appearance are incumbents Julian Taliaferro and Dave Norris, and challenger Kristin Szakos.

Charlottesville Tomorrow now presents the audio of the event. A full transcript as well as a video will be posted shortly.

Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20090421-Dem-Candidates-Forum

Watch the video: Video: City Council Candidate Forum

Download Download the transcript


  • 01:00 - Charlottesville Tomorrow's Executive Director Brian Wheeler describes the forum
  • 02:00 - Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum explains the forum's rules
  • 03:45 - First question: What is your top priority for action by City Council if you are elected?
  • 10:30 - Second question: Do you support the goal of establishing a 50-year water supply for the City and County designated growth areas? Why or why not?
  • 17:07 - Third question: How important is increased public water supply to the City of Charlottesville and its largest water customer, the University of Virginia?
  • 21:00 - Fourth question: Given the long funding and implementation period for any major infrastructure project, what are the advantages and disadvantages to the current City Council revisiting previous Councils' decisions regarding such projects?
  • 25:00 - Fifth question: How do you recommend the City evaluate its effectiveness on realizing its vision and accomplishing its stated priorities?
  • 31:00 - Sixth question: What are the highest priority recommendations in the City's recently completed Quality of Service and Efficiency Study and which will you champion?
  • 36:40 - Seventh question: The construction of the Albemarle portion of the Meadowcreek Parkway is underway, absent a court decision that would block the project, do you support funding and design approval of McIntire Road Extended and its grade-separated interchange with the Route 250 bypass? Why or why not?
  • 44:00 - Eighth question: How important is the business community to the City of Charlottesville and what specific steps do you advocate to advance the priorities for economic development and workforce development established by City Council?
  • 53:40 - Ninth question:  If you could focus on one area for improved partnership with Albemarle County, what area would that be?
  • 59:00 - Audience question #1: City Council funds schools but does not set education policy or spending priorities. How can City Council act given the limitations of your role in setting school policy?
  • 1:04:00 - Audience question #2: What will you do about noise from restaurants and music venues that disrupt mixed use residential neighborhoods like Belmont?
  • 1:07:45 - Audience question #3: Do you approve of putting the Eastern Connector through Pen Park? Regardless of alignment, how important is this road as a transportation priority?
  • 1:10:45 - Audience question #4: The 50-year water supply plan has only a 5% conservation goal built into its size and expense. Do you think this is reasonable, and if not, what do you think is a more reasonable goal?
  • 1:15:30 - Audience question #5: What are your concrete plans for increasing the affordable housing stock in the City and keeping it affordable?
  • 1:22:30 - Audience question #6: Would you support greater participation by neighborhood associations in the decision-making process in the City. If so, how would this be achieved. Please provide specifics.
  • 1:26:15 - Audience question #7: There's been a great deal of discussion outside of Council chambers regarding McIntire Park and the YMCA. What will be your stance on the YMCA in McIntire Park if it comes before Council?
  • 1:29:30 - Audience question #8: What creative or innovative ideas will you bring to a term on City Council
  • 1:38:00 - Closing statement from Kristin Szakos
  • 1:40:00 - Closing statement from Julian Taliaferro
  • 1:43:10 - Closing statement from Dave Norris


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