The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 20th

Mayoral Candidates Articulate Views on Environment

The forum, which was sponsored by the Orange-Chatham Group of the Sierra Club, was divided into three sections, each section presenting new questions for the candidates.

The sections allowed Chapel Hill residents and members of the club to hear candidates express their views on environmental issues.

Candidates voiced their opinions on issues such as water pollution in local streams, widening Columbia Road and tree ordinances in Chapel Hill.

Each candidate said receiving support from the Sierra Club would be beneficial to his mayoral campaign.

"The Sierra Club is a very strong local organization," said candidate Kevin Foy. "It is as strong here as it is anywhere. Their endorsement is a very strong endorsement."

The Sierra Club's Web site states that the group has 700,000 members. The group focuses on environmental issues and strives to educate the public on environmental protection and restoration.

The club's political committee supports candidates for office through endorsements, publicity and contributions. Before the Nov. 6 election, the club plans to endorse one of the candidates.

"All endorsements are important," said candidate Lee Pavao. "The Sierra Club is a respected entity."

The forum began with set questions from the Sierra Club moderator that were directed to all candidates.

The second section of the forum asked candidates different questions pertaining to past political efforts. Issues discussed ranged from a potential curbside garbage collection system to UNC re-zoning.

In the concluding part of the forum, candidates fielded questions from members of the audience.

The audience focused on the development of soccer fields, as well as other housing development projects.

Mayoral candidate Cam Hill said the forum was beneficial but felt it did not allow him to express his views on certain environmental issues. "There was lots I didn't get to say," Hill said.

But the candidates added that the format of the forum restricted their conversation slightly. "Interchange would (have been) helpful," Pavao said.

Greg Gangi, director of student affairs at UNC and a member of the Sierra Club, said the organization used the forum to gauge each candidate's environmental stance. "The Sierra Club has studied the candidates past views on environment and will definitely listen closely to what each candidate says tonight."

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