Election day: Transport, transit top some lists

With sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 50s, City voter Jenny Ackerman calls this "a beautiful day for the election."

Standing outside the Herman Key Jr. Recreation Center, Ackerman says she supports Kathleen Galvin, a school board candidate who she thinks is "well-qualified" (as well as "excellent").

Ackerman, who calls herself "privileged" to vote, believes that a major issue will be "the Italy trip," the recent revelation that several City officials might get a free ride abroad to explore Sister City partnerships.

Meanwhile, Satyendra Huja, a Democratic candidate for City Council, says he thinks the most important issues are traffic and the environment, stressing that the two issues are integrally linked. The longtime Charlottesville planner, who retired three years ago, hopes to build a "better transit system" which he hopes will in turn address environmental issues such as pollution.

"We're all worried about traffic," says Mark Saunders, who supports independent candidate (and former Hook columnist) Peter Kleeman.

Downtown resident Robert Smoot says he feels strongly that City officials should address Downtown Mall garbage collection– or lack thereof: "You see a lot of garbage sitting there, and I think they could do a better job with that."

Smoot also says he "prefers expansion downtown rather than in the county" in hopes that there would be "more people coming to support restaurants and businesses."

Longtime Charlottesvillian Lloyd Smith says he voted for "people who said they would shift taxes from homeowners to give equal access to education." He wants taxes levied on a per capita basis.

"It really feels like democracy with a lower case 'd,'" says two-year Charlottesvillian Kate Berman, who says she's impressed with the voting and election process, noting that she enjoyed attending one of the candidate forums at Charlottesville High School.

Over at University Hall, a County precinct mired in controversy due to tonight's parking-grabbing concert at nearby John Paul Jones Arena, there was activity, but no logjam just yet.

A volunteer says she counted 61 voters by 10am. And election official Tyson Janney notes that the precinct contains 1,500 registered voters.

"We just hope we have a reasonable turnout," says a clearly concerned Janney. "We're open until seven because parking is going to be very difficult."

Although morning activity at the JPJ parking lot appeared confined to just two trucks, including a 3WV remote vehicle, Janney says tonight's concert "raises the issue of the viability of U-Hall as a voting location. Somehow they have to avoid what's going on at JPJ."

Voter Nita Davis says she supports Republican candidates, who she thinks will address her concerns, among them "family values, against abortion, against gay marriage."

As a recent resident of Charlottesville, Anne Seidel says the most important issue for her is managing growth: "We're all interested in over-development."

Another voter echoing growth worries was Dennis Mooney, a recent graduate of UVA and a lifelong Charlottesville resident. "If one of the candidates could fix the traffic congestion on 29, they'd have my support for life," Mooney says.

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1 comment

A very well researched article that shows what the pressing issues are for different people in the area. It will be interesting to see if these problems get resolved.