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Daily Archive for April 20 2011

Generation Charleston Hosts Candidates Forum

 The story below ran today on WCHS Radio.

Candidates running for at-large seats on Charleston City Council answered questions on the city’s user fee, road paving, storm water management and more during a forum hosted by Generation Charleston Tuesday.

Of the 11 candidates that will appear on the ballot, eight took part in the event.

T.J. Meadows with Generation Charleston moderated the meet and greet. He says it was an opportunity for residents to find out more about candidates.

“We wanted a chance to find out where they stand on the issues, and we couldn’t think of anything better than a forum where our members could actually put questions to the candidates,” Meadows said.

Municipal elections typically have a lower turnout than other elections.  Meadows says that’s a problem Generation Charleston wants to change.

“I think one of the most underplayed government roles is that of city council.  It’s hugely important,” Meadows said.  “It doesn’t get a lot of press.  People don’t get excited and run out to the polls.  Most of the issues that affect people are handled right here on the local level.”

Candidates discussed ways to encourage business development in the city, reduce violent crime and crub high gas prices.

Meadows says those topics are the kinds of things that people care about.  He says the only way to get things fixed is to get involved.

“We’re all around the water cooler all the time talking about how we don’t like this, or we don’t like that,” Meadows said.  “If you don’t show up to vote, you don’t have any means to complain.  People need to realize that the very thing they’re complaining about can be handled at the local level.”

The republican candidates in this year’s election are Chris Dodrill, L.G. Sturgill and Tom Lane.

Martha “Gale” Poore, Kasey Russell, Pat Brown, Jerry Ware, Andy Richardson and Mary Jean Davis are running as democrats.

Charles “Chuck Parks and Jason “Slim” Blackhurst are running as independents.

The six top vote-getters will make it onto council. The election is set for May 17.

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