A Closer Look: Council candidates address crime, traffic and jobs at WECT forum

A Closer Look: Council candidates address crime, traffic and jobs at WECT forum

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Candidates running for seats on Wilmington City Council talked about economic development, crime, traffic and other issues at a forum hosted by WECT and the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear.

Seven of the eight candidates turned out for the start of the forum, which took place at the New Hanover County Senior Center Wednesday night. The eighth candidate, Deb Hays, arrived during the discussion after attending the regularly scheduled meeting of the Wilmington Planning Commission, where she is the current chairperson.

The candidates were in agreement on many issues raised by local members of the League of Women Voters.

Hollis Briggs and Frank Madonna said they think district elections would be a good idea for representing voters in the city.

Paul Lawler brought up concerns about the proposed redevelopment of the Water Street Parking Deck project, opposing the use of taxpayer dollars to help rebuild the parking deck structure.

When asked if they thought a Citizens Review Board should be created to interface between law enforcement and government, Neil Anderson, Margaret Haynes and Alvin Rogers said they thought a Human Relations Council would be a better option, because it would allow for local control and could be instituted in a shorter amount of time.

John Presswood said clean and high-tech jobs are what the city and New Hanover County should work to attract, citing a business incubator-type setup currently in place in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The candidates are running for three open seats on the city council. Anderson and Haynes are incumbents seeking second terms. The third open seat currently belongs to Laura Padgett, who is not seeking re-election after more than 20 years of service on council.

One-stop voting for the 2015 Municipal Elections begins Thursday, October 22, and ends on Saturday, October 31, at the New Hanover County Board of Elections located at 230 Government Center Drive.

The hours are as follows:

October 22              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 23              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 26              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 27              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 28              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 29              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 30              8:00AM – 5:00PM
October 31              8:00AM – 1:00PM

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3.

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