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The Daily Tar Heel

Candidates, Residents Discuss Local Growth

The Citizens for Livable Communities, an organization based on promoting positive community growth, organized the forum, which was held at the Century Center in downtown Carrboro.

The CLC was founded in 1991.

All eight of the candidates for Carrboro mayor and the Carrboro Board of Aldermen were present to discuss various topics with concerned citizens.

Each candidate had three minutes to describe how they envisioned the town as a "livable community."

After each candidate gave their three minute response, they rotated in 15-minute intervals around 8 different tables to speak with residents.

About 25 residents, many of whom are home owners and long-time residents of Carrboro, attended the forum.

Many of the candidates' priorities overlapped on the issues of housing affordability, community diversity, aesthetics and safety.

Incumbent mayoral candidate Mike Nelson discussed the importance of community walkability, housing availability and small business encouragement, adding "we need to make sure that we don't become victims of our own success."

Mayoral candidate Stacy Smith said she defined a livable community as being "affordable, diverse and walkable." Smith emphasized her desire to let residents know what is going on in town government and involving the community in the town's future.

Incumbent alderman candidate Jacquelyn Gist told residents that "each month (Carrboro) needs to evaluate taxed-rate impact from new purchases and policies."

Alderman candidate John Herrera said, "A livable community is one that has a good mix of people, people of all walks of life, education, a good environment, clean air, clean water and green areas."

Incumbent alderman candidate Diana McDuffee said, "I think we have a pretty livable community now, but there are improvements we need to make."

Alderman candidate Stephanie Padilla said "I think we need to think about more creative ways to raise revenue since over 50 percent of it is residential."

Alderman candidate Jim Porto focused on tax concerns and said, "The problem is that we don't have the tax base to support the things we want to do."

Incumbent alderman candidate Allen Spalt said, "We're lucky that we can see the elements of a livable community right here within walking distance."

Based on these issues, the committee will endorse one candidate for the Board of Aldermen and one for mayor sometime this week.

The City Editor can be reached

at citydesk@unc.edu.

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