Charleston Moves’ Candidates Questionnaire: Candidates for Charleston City Council Friday, Oct.

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With but a few days before a big election for City Council in Charleston, Charleston Moves is publishing a tabulated account of the responses of many of the candidates to a questionnaire we asked them to fill out. Obviously, our interest is in modes of transportation other than the auto, which has gotten far more than its fair share of attention in our planning. We wanted to find out how sensitive our leaders (and their challengers) are to issues that concern us: alternative forms of transportation such as walking and bicycling. Seven of a total of 11 candidates in competitive races for Charleston City Council responded to Charleston Moves’ “Candidate Questionaire.” The biggest response came from District #6, where Mayor Pro-Tem Dudley Gregorie has four challengers. Councilman Gregorie himself responded, as did his challengers Francis Clasby, III and Ben D’Allesandro. His challengers Joe Good and Lauretta Lemon Dailey did not answer our e-mailed invitation. A response was received from Councilman Blake Hallman but his challenger Rodney Williams did not respond. (In fairness, Mr. Williams received his questionnaire late due to our error with his e-mail address.) Other non-respondents were Councilman Robert Mitchell, (His challenger Elizabeth Fulton’s response is included), as are the responses of Councilman Mike Seekings (District #8) and his challenger Bobbie Rose. Many responses showed evidence that the respondents knew their target audience well. Many, nevertheless, showed thoughtfulness and sensitivity. Since we cannot show any favoritism, we’ll leave it to you to sort through them. It’s not as complicated as it might seem. All in all, we think it was a worthwhile project. We get a glimpse into how people think on matters of importance to us and our membership. And we have a benchmark as to their positions.

Written  Response  Section   Question  #1:  With  regard  to  Charleston’s  future  transportation  needs,  do  you  think  it  important  to  have  a  positive   vision?  
D’ALLESANDRO   Of  course  it  is  important  to  have  a  positive  vision.  We  must  think  progressively  about  transportation  in  Charleston.   ROSE   Yes,  it  is  always  important  to  have  a  positive  vision,  a  plan  and  a  goal  in  regard  to  our  future  transportation  needs.   SEEKINGS   Of  course,  and  in  the  past  four  (4)  years  at  the  City,  our  vision  has  greatly  improved,  as  has  the  culture  of  transportation  integration.   CLASBY   Future  transportation  needs  a  child’s  vision.  This  perspective  was  overlooked  in  the  past  and  communities  were  divided.  Can  a  child  cross   that  bridge  or  road  safely?   FULTON   Yes.   HALLMAN   Absolutely-­‐  I  have  supported  bicycle-­‐friendly  initiatives  from  day  one  on  City  Council.   DUDLEY   Yes.  

Question  #2:  Please  list  3-­5  values  you  feel  are  shared  by  Charlestonians  in  general.  
D’ALLESANDRO   1.  Family   2.  Community   3.  A  strong  feeling  as  to  how  our  popular  City  should  grow.        

ROSE   We  share  a  desire  to  conserve  the  natural  environmental  beauty  of  our  city  and  the  surrounding  areas.  (Though  we  may  disagree  on  how   to  implement  our  conservation  efforts.)   We  share  the  desire  to  preserve  the  unique  historical  structures  of  our  city  for  future  residents  and  visitors.   We  share  a  desire  to  see  Charleston  prosper  while  supporting  sensible  development.   SEEKINGS   1)  Community   2)  History   3)  Preservation   CLASBY   1.  Sustainable  ability  to  walk.   2.  Community  connections  with  complete  streets.   3.  Livability  as  defined  by  the  ‘ability  to  simply  live’.   FULTON   Compassion,  Generosity,  Progressive  thinking,  preservation   HALLMAN   Based  on  personal  communication  with  them,  in  order:   1)  protection  of  the  “brand”  that  is  Charleston,   2)  protection  of  our  quality  of  life   3)  conservative  use  of  tax  revenue,  and   4)  better  response  to  citizen  input   DUDLEY   -­‐  Preservation     -­‐  Sustainability     -­‐  livability   -­‐  resilience     -­‐  integrity    

Question  #3:  If  you  think  having  a  positive  vision  important  and  you  have  one,  what  is  yours?  
D’ALLESANDRO   One  important  positive  vision  for  me  deals  with  public  transportation  in  our  region.  An  overhaul  of  our  system  would  have  such  great   benefits  to  the  Charleston  area.  

I  feel  we  need  to  change  people’s  perception  about  public  transportation.  Too  many  people  have  negative  feelings  toward  it-­‐  that  it  is  for   people  that  can’t  afford  cars  and  gas.  This  is  not  correct  thinking.  A  well  planned  system  is  faster  and  more  efficient  than  cars.   Another  positive  vision  that  is  important  to  me  is  to  make  Charleston,  especially,  Downtown  an  incredibly  biker  friendly  City.  Downtown   has  the  characteristics  to  make  this  happen.  It  is  geographically  small,  it  is  flat  and  it  is  full  of  people  that  want  it  to  happen.   ROSE   Charleston  is  a  linear  city,  therefore  we  can  more  easily  make  strides  toward  light  rail  (and  apparently  a  line  right-­‐of-­‐way  still  exists  from  a   former  line).  We  can  be  proactive  about  new  construction  to  ensure  that  bicycle  and  pedestrian  needs  are  incorporated  into  the  plans.  We   can  look  at  each  street  and  do  counts  on  usage  to  assess  whether  we  are  using  them  in  the  most  efficient  manner  possible  for  our  city.  We   can  broaden  our  viewpoint  and  look  at  what  other  cities  are  doing  to  address  burgeoning  transportation  needs  in  a  green,  low  impact   manner.   SEEKINGS   The  72/72  Rule.  Make  Charleston  as  good  a  place  to  live  for  72  years  (or  more)  as  it  is  to  visit  for  72  hours.   CLASBY   My  vision  is  that  of  a  child,  I  put  myself  into  their  perspective.  “Am  I  safe  here?  Can  I  get  there  by  walking  or  riding  my  bike?”  Future   development  must  answer  this  child’s  perspective  question  affirmatively.   FULTON   To  work  hard  to  make  Charleston  a  great  place  to  live,  work,  play  and  visit.   HALLMAN   I  see  my  role  on  Charleston’s  City  Council  as  a  coalition  building,  level-­‐headed  presence  who  focuses  upon  protecting  our  quality  of  life   while  making  sure  that  the  city’s  initiatives  are  as  well  thought  out  as  possible.  I  try  to  review  all  city  plans  through  a  cost-­‐benefit-­‐analysis   perspective.   DUDLEY   Sustain  a  balance  between  growth,  livability  and  preservation  in  a  way  that  respects  our  communities,  promotes  diversity  at  all  levels,   stimulates  healthy  neighborhoods,  embraces  innovation,  and  offers  access  to  a  wide  range  of  opportunities  expected  from  the  number  one   city  in  America,  such  as  first  class  public  transportation,  first  class  education,  and  first  class  jobs  and  industries;  while  maintaining  our   unique  charleston  appeal.    

Question  #4:  If  you  have  one,  how  would  you  propose  to  exercise  leadership  in  order  to  implement  the  vision   during  your  term  of  office?  
D’ALLESANDRO   We  have  to  take  cars  off  the  street.  I  would  take  away  lanes  of  traffic  or  the  parking  lane  to  cars  on  some  streets  and  devote  them  to  bike   lanes.  Yes,  people  would  complain,  but  they  would  get  over  it.   Charleston  should  have  parking  hubs  with  trolleys  and  bike  racks  to  take  people  further  into  the  City.   ROSE   I  believe  city  council’s  responsibility  is  to  look  at  the  big  picture,  balancing  development,  business  and  livability  issues  facing  the  residents   of  our  city.  Today,  the  council  seems  to  be  highly  focused  on  the  business  side.  I  would  work  directly  with  the  residents  to  determine  our   needs  and  the  best  way  to  implement  our  goals  for  future,  then  work  with  the  other  board  members,  negotiating  an  outcome  that  best   moves  us  all  forward  as  a  city.   SEEKINGS   Convert  the  southernmost  lane  on  the  Ashley  River  Bridge  to  bike/pedestrian  use.  It  is  the  most  important  and  achievable  transportation   project  on  the  books.   CLASBY   I  am  a  “uniter”,  I  have  organized  communities  and  created  ‘lifestyle’  changes  that  incorporate  activity  into  our  daily  lives.  Walking  and   bicycling  to  work,  school,  stores  and  just  for  fun  is  my  vision  as  a  leader.   FULTON   Listen  to  different  perspectives  and  make  sure  the  people  that  have  an  interest  are  able  to  offer  their  opinions.  From  there,  make  sure  that   programs  and  ordinances  are  implemented  efficiently.   HALLMAN   Through  my  experience  in  building  coalitions  to  successfully  preserve  Morris  Island  as  well  as  working  with  a  past  city  council  that  was   somewhat  dysfunctional,  I  have  become  adept  at  working  with  my  fellow  council  members  to  push  for  reasonable  initiatives.  As  the  chair   of  the  Traffic  &  Transportation  committee,  I  pushed  for  more  Pedicabs  to  be  licensed  on  the  peninsula,  arguing  that  they  were  much  more   beneficial  to  traffic  than  the  current  taxi  cabs,  Not  everyone  agreed,  so  we  suggested  a  compromise  of  fewer  Pedicabs  than  our  original   goal.  Thus  far,  the  expanded  number  of  Pedicabs  has  number  of  Pedicabs  has  not  been  to  the  detriment  of  the  city  or  its  traffic  flow.   DUDLEY   1-­‐  Create  and  support  legislation  that  promotes  a  comprehensive  plan  which  sustains  smart  growth  with  great  consideration  for  livability   and  preservation.       2-­‐  Work  closely  with  neighborhood  associations  to  ensure  that  the  aspects  of  the  plan  are  inclusive  to  their  needs  and  the  interest  of  their   communities.     3-­‐  Coordinate  with  the  Council  of  Government  and  the  Region  to  advance  and    implement  the  plan.  

CANDIDATES’   PRIORITIES  
CANDIDATE

Feet / Wheels D'ALLESANDRO ROSE SEEKINGS CLASBY FULTON HALLMAN DUDLEY feet feet wheels NA both feet Wheels

Tourists / Residents Residents Residents Residents NA Residents Residents Residents

Residents / Commuters Residents Residents Residents NA Residents Residents Residents

Drivers / nondrivers nondrivers nondrivers NA NA drivers nondrivers nondrivers

Children / Adults Children Adults Adults Children both Adults Adults

Local Businesses / Nat'l Chains local local local NA local local local bikeped bikeped bikeped NA bikeped bikeped bikeped

Bike-Ped / Autos more transit more transit more transit NA more transit NA more transit

more transit / more asphalt locals locals locals NA locals NA locals

affluent 2nd homeowners / less affluent locals Low Low Low NA NA Low low

High Speed / Low Speed              

 

     

 

Ranking   Priorities  

CANDIDATE D'ALLESANDR O ROSE SEEKINGS CLASBY FULTON HALLMAN DUDLEY      

Increase auto parking

enhance quality of life

car speeds 20mph, even higher

make streets more bicycle friendly

maximize the number of cars streets handle

make streets pedestria nfriendly

repair sidewalks

repair pothles

increase # of cruise ship stops here

focus more attention on public transit

6 5 7 9 7 * 7

1 4 1 5 1 1 1 * N/A

9 8

3 1 2 N/A

8 9

5 2 5

7 7 4 3 4 5 5

4 6 6 6 2 2 6 * N/A

10 10

2 3 3

10 9

2 3 4 *

8 8

1 6 3

7 10

4 5 6

9

4

8

2

10

3

 

APPROACH  TO  TRANSPORTATION   STRATEGY  
OPTION #1 A. prefer a supply side strategy - increasing the amount of asphalt by adding lanes and building new roads like the 526 extension; B. prefer a demand side strategy - adopt land use and alternative transportation policies, which will lead to a reduction in vehicle miles driven C. prefer to do nothing. In politics, the long term is the next election cycle.There's nothing I can do during my term, so it doesn't matter anyway. D'Allesandro Rose Seekings Clasby Fulton Hallman Dudley

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