Updated: Nov 4
Town of Ellicott's Only Non-Partisan Platform for Candidates to Answer Questions from Community Members Held on October 22. Watch Online.
Fluvanna's Candidates Forum took place on Sunday, October 22nd, 2023, at the Fluvanna Fire Hall and is now available to view online. Fluvanna's United Neighbors (FUN), along with the Fluvanna Community Church (FCC), Fluvanna Community Historical Society (FCHS), Fluvanna Free Library (FFL), Fluvanna Fire Department (FFD) and the War Veterans Recreation Inc. (War Vets) sponsored the event. Fluvanna's Candidates Forum was the only nonpartisan, educational, public event of its kind taking place before Election Day (Nov. 7th, 2023), giving citizens a chance to meet and question candidates hoping to represent the community.
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CANDIDATE PARTICIPATION AND COMMUNITY ATTENDANCE AT FORUM:
Approximately 50 members of the public attended the Candidates Forum in-person or online. Of the fifteen people running for office within the Town of Ellicott, including the contested Legislative seat in 'District 15,' eight candidates participated in the event. None of the current incumbents accepted the invitation to meet and answer questions from the public at the Candidates Forum.
To read the biographical information and campaign information submitted by the candidates, for more information about the town positions currently up for election and to review a list of candidates who accepted, declined or failed to respond to the event (see page 3), download the Candidates Forum Booklet:
Members of the public submitted their questions to the candidates either in-person or online. There were nearly 30 questions, comments or concerns raised at the Candidates Forum. Topics covered included:
Dilapidated Water Tower: Questions were raised concerning the Town board's decision to paint the rapidly failing water tower at the County Airport, which will cost the taxpayers (most especially from Fluvanna) over $1 million. The candidates called for a thorough review, a full accounting of this decision and alternative resolutions to the issue.
Old Fluvanna Road Bridge Closure: Candidates received several concerns about the Town's purported plans to permanently close the bridge on Old Fluvanna, failure of the Town Board to budget any funds to replace the bridge and the damage such a move would have on the community. The candidates promised, if elected, to replace the bridge and guaranteed to keep Old Fluvanna Road open.
Fluvanna Town Green/Park: Several people asked for the candidates' support to help the community restore Fluvanna's historic Meeting House and develop the adjacent parkland as a Town Green. Members of the public and the candidates commented on the multiple benefits to the community (including property values) and pledged their support for the vision.
Elimination of the Ellicott Police Department: Questions and concerns were raised regarding the rumors of the Police Department’s closures or merger with the City of Jamestown, Town of Busti/Village of Lakewood or the Sheriff’s Department. The candidates promised to block any efforts by the current Town Board incumbents to eliminate the Police Department.
Town Attorney Conflict of Interest: A question was raised regarding why the Town would hire an attorney who sued the Town of Ellicott on behalf of the BPU costing Town of Ellicott taxpayers over $1 million.
Open Government: Questions were raised on what the candidates would do to make government more open and transparent. The candidates outlined several plans to include the public including holding meetings in Fluvanna at the Meeting House and elsewhere, conduct hybrid meetings (in-person and online), encouraging more public input and encouraging the formation and participation through groups like FUN.
WATCH THE CANDIDATES FORUM ONLINE:
Anyone unable to watch the Candidates Forum live can hear from the candidates and watch the entire recorded event on the @FluvannaHistory Youtube channel or on this page by clicking the following:
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS TO THE CANDIDATES:
Members of the public still have time to submit questions to the candidates. FUN will forward any questions or concerns posted in the comment section section below to the candidates (even those who failed to attend the Candidates Forum this year). Anonymous questions may be submitted here. All responses received, including a lack of response, will be posted in the comment section below.
Special thanks to Thomas Spanos (Law Office of Thomas G. Spanos) who served as moderator, Anne French (FFD) and Richard D. Keefer, Pastor Emeritus (FCC) who convened the Candidates Forum, Cindy Rodgers who served as the timekeeper and Candie Muzza who managed the recording and live stream of the Candidates Forum and the Fluvanna Fire Department and volunteers for hosting the event.
We welcome your questions and feedback regarding this or ideas for future events. To do so, please contact us at ContactUs@FluvannaHistory.com or call +1 (716) 804.7163.
Disclaimer: The biographies provided and positions stated at the Candidates Forum are those of the candidates. The views and opinions expressed by the candidates are there own and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Fluvanna's United Neighbors, the Fluvanna Community Historical Society, the other co-sponsor and event organizers.