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Candidates for mayor of Fredericksburg agree on issues, disagree on dealing with them
Date published: 4/15/2012
She has emphasized that the city took advantage of a good opportunity when it purchased the bonds last fall when interest rates were low.
"When we took a look at the city's future needs out to 2020, and determined that we could meet all of those needs and a courts facility and stay well within our very conservative debt limit, I thought it most advantageous to take advantage of the historically low interest rates that existed last fall," she said at the same forum.
Paxson has said he thinks the project needs to be scaled back and the new courthouse should not be downtown.
All three candidates have said they would like to see more economic development. They also said the city should do more marketing and promote tourism more.
Communication with city residents is something the three candidates would like to improve.
But they differ on whether the city should hire a public information officer. The position is in City Manager Beverly Cameron's proposed $78.6 million 2012-13 budget.
Greenlaw said that the city needs a communications plan and that a PIO is a legitimate position.
Howe isn't ready to support hiring someone full time, but would support hiring a contractor until the city decides exactly what the person's role would be.
Paxson said in one of the forums that he didn't think the city needed to fund the position and could find other more cost-effective ways to communicate with citizens, such as through social media.
Two of the candidates say they are consensus builders and will bring people together. Greenlaw says she does that as a real estate broker, putting together deals, and Paxson says he does the same, serving as associate pastor at Fairview Baptist Church.
Howe, a small business owner, advocates more transparency in city government so that residents can have more input in decision-making.
Last week, all three candidates weighed in on the petition presented by downtown merchants asking that Capital Ale House's Oktoberfest be moved from Caroline Street to the riverfront park. The council asked the city manager to explore that option. Both Greenlaw and Howe said they would support moving the event. Paxson said he would like to see it stay on Caroline Street.
All three candidates have experienced difficulty with social media in their campaigns. Paxson was the first to be attacked with fake followers on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. This week, both Howe and Greenlaw were forced to take their Facebook campaign pages down to get rid of the fake followers and secure their accounts.
Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413
CANDIDATE FORUM SET FOR WEDNESDAY
There will be a candidates forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday
The forum is cosponsored by the College Heights Civic Association, College Terrace Civic Association, College Hill Civic Association and the Maury Neighborhood Association.
Stephen J. Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the center, will serve as moderator.
Candidates seeking the seat held by retiring Mayor Tom Tomzak include current council members Mary Katherine Greenlaw and Fred Howe, as well as newcomer Matt Paxson.
At-large council candidates are incumbent Councilwoman Kerry Devine, Planning Commissioner Roy McAfee, former City Councilman Matt Kelly and newcomer Paul Quinn.