Council Candidate Forum

By: Meryl Conant
By: Meryl Conant

Local elections are less than a month away, and on Friday Staunton City Council candidates basically agreed on all of the issues discussed, most of which pertained to preserving the city's beauty and calm.

Six candidates are vying for three seats. Friday, all were in the hot seat answering questions from the Historic Staunton Foundation.

One of its key issues which every candidate supports is corridor overlay zoning, meaning creating specific guidelines for businesses along the city's entrance corridors.

"I would like to see our corridors maintain the same charm as our downtown," said former School Board Member Andrea Oakes.

"It's something we can do, need to do to enhance the character of Staunton,” explained businessman Don Wilson. "We need to adopt a vision of what the character should be and stay with it."

"I support it conceptually and I am sure there are some grant and transportation funding to help offset the cost of this," added Carolyn Doll, a certified public accountant.

Another hot topic is using traffic-calming measures in the city's downtown and neighborhoods.

"It does reduce the amount of time police offices are going to have to spend out on radar versus some of the more serious issues they have to deal with," said current Vice Mayor Lacy King.

"There are some areas city wide that need street improvement, sidewalks and hopefully encourage people to leave their cars and walk," explained retired Police Sergeant Roy Hartless.

"If we can get more of this town pedestrian-friendly, we are going to cut down on some of this traffic and gridlock we are all going to be facing in upcoming years," said businessman Bruce Elder.

The candidates also agreed on creating new guidelines for the historic overlay district and asking more residents to consider making their neighborhoods part of an historic district.

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