Democratic Cville Council Candidates Meet on Fry’s Spring - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Democratic Cville Council Candidates Meet on Fry’s Spring

Posted: Updated: May 8, 2013 10:07 PM

Top priorities for Charlottesville took center stage at a forum Wednesday night.  Four of the five Democratic candidates for City Council sat down at the Fry's Spring Neighborhood Association meeting to discuss a laundry list of issues those in the neighborhood want to see addressed.

People in the neighborhood heard from council candidates about issues from upgrades to Azalea Park to improving streets and sidewalks.

"I think it was a great opportunity to hear the candidates to get a feel for their personalities and how they feel about the issues that are interesting to our neighborhood," said Susan Dempsey, who lives in Fry's Spring.

Public transportation was a highlight. Those in Fry's Spring want to see more collaboration between university and city buses.

"Try to really push CAT, really work with CAT and I'm in a great position to do this because I'm at the university all the time, to coordinate UTS and CAT so that the services so synergize," said Councilor Adam Lees.

One candidate says he wants to see more rider input. 

"The study should come from you. You all know how many riders there are so maybe less studies that take a lot of money and maybe more neighborhood input to the system," said Melvin Grady, City Council candidate.

Supporting small business was also on the list. Candidate Bob Fenwick says his work with cash mobs supports those businesses.

"It's just an incredibly terrific experience to see the reaction of the business owners across our community when they see the community responding to their concerns," Fenwick said.

Candidates even addressed concerns about how they would handle uncivil behavior during public comment sessions at council.

"We have to let individuals know that these things will not be tolerated because this is a city that is rooted and founded on respect. We want to set the example that everyone will be respected," said Wes Bellamy, City Council candidate.

Kristin Szakos is running for re-election but couldn't attend Wednesday night because she's out of the country. She was however at the last Fry's Spring Neighborhood Association meeting to answer questions.

The primary election is on June 11.

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