Candidates for Greenbelt City Council fielded questions on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Green Ridge House, in the second forum for the 2011 elections. Along with sharing biographical information and their visions for the future, candidates also answered questions on the following issues:
In the order that the candidates answered. Due to the unstructured nature of the debate many candidates did not have the opportunity to answer every question that was posed.
How would you address the problem of a number of deferred maintenance needs, such as the tripping hazard posed by a partially removed bus stop across from the Green Ridge House?
Emmett Jordan: We need to gather more information on how the City delivers services.
Rodney Roberts: We can't change everything but we have to change the way we do business. We can't fund everything we want to do. We have to do the most important things first. Sometimes, the little things like this are the important things. We have to focus our funds so we don't miss things like this.
Bill Orleans: Was the City Council notified of this hazard through the City Manager's weekly report? Did the City Manager tell Public Works to look at the situation?
Judith "J" Davis: We don't get a blow-by-blow account of everything. But I keep a little black book with me and I've noted this problem in it. We can't operate on a "pay as you go" basis—sometimes we have to borrow money, just as every household does.
Ed Putens: We have to take care of things like the tripping hazard and do an organizational review of how the work gets done. We have to look at new ways of doing things.
What would you do about the condition of our highway overpasses, particularly the Greenbelt Road overpass and the ramps there?
Ed Putens: We have to work with the National Park Service on that, we can't routinely use our people to do what the Park Service should do. The Park Service has to deal with budget cuts, but we can't put too much of a burden on Public Works. The good news is that the Parkway will be resurfaced near Southway.
Konrad Herling: Things like this sometimes take time to fix, but persistence, like Chris Shuman's efforts on the deferred maintenance issue, helps get them done.
How can you alert citizens to issues such as the firefighters issue that came up at a recent City Council meeting?
Konrad Herling: Through the media.
Ed Putens: Through the media.
Judith "J" Davis: Through the News Review and other media.
Leta Mach: Maybe we should highlight issues in a column in the City's newsletter.
Note: These are summaries of the questions and answers, candidates are invited and welcome to elaborate on their responses. Also check out our onging information on candidates and the elections.