interview the candidates

Brent Finnegan -- August 8th, 2008

This is a continuation of an earlier post, “council elections: the issues.”

Josh and I recently discussed conducting a Slashdot style interview with the candidates, where readers submit questions, we select the best ten (or so) and send them to all the candidates to answer. We’ll give them ample time to respond, and then post their answers as a series here on hburgnews.

So, we need your input: what questions do you have for the City Council candidates and/or City Treasurer candidates? Leave a comment on this post, or (if you wish to remain anonymous) email us.

14 Responses to “interview the candidates”

  1. Lowell says:

    Excellent idea Brent! I look forward with interest to the discussion.

    Would you prefer questions only from city residents? That would seem to make sense, city election and all but I was just wondering.

    Thank you,

    Lowell Fulk

  2. Deb SF says:

    If the economic slowdown continues, and state revenues to the city are cut, what gets – or should get – targeted first? Is anything off the table, that is, safe from cuts?

  3. charles chenault says:

    Deb – we have already suffered a $200,000 cut. Some of this was direct aid to certain programs. The rest was spread amongst the office supply budgets of the constitutional officers. We certainly expect more cuts. In my mind, public safety, education and employee pay should be protected by the city from cuts.
    Thanks – Charlie

  4. David Miller says:


    If the city is already facing declining State funding, is it appropriate to consider a move (liquidating Constitutional Officers) that would further decrease State funding?

  5. charles chenault says:

    David – I have stated that I would leave this issue to the required voter referendum. I am personally opposed to eliminating the city constitutional officers seeing no resulting appreciable increase in efficiency and the definite loss in state funding for these offices. Additionally, we share three constitutional offices with the county.
    Thanks – Charlie

  6. David Miller says:

    Thanks Charlie. That seems like a rationale stance on this issue.

  7. Brian M says:

    I would like to hear from the Candidates where they feel the greatest underfunded needs to the City’s infrastructure lie and what they foresee as a viable solution to correct those problems.

    (A timetable would also be beneficial. Although I am sure that it would be easy to simply say that they would need to look into the problem deeper and not provide one. A goal at the very least would be nice.)

  8. Brian M says:

    Another good question… what is the vision of candidates for the technological future of the City and when can citizens expect to have access online to services commonly found in other Cities of our size. (i.e. pay water or electric bills, register for new water service, register for classes offered by Parks and Recreation)

  9. David Miller says:

    Brian, while I value that very kind of service I do not value it above teacher/police/administration pay increases, staffing increases, and revitalization efforts. I would hypothesize that these “upgrades” decrease efficiency in the departments of billing and registration because of the infrastructure required. It would be interesting to research this to see if my hypothesis is valid.

  10. finnegan says:


    If you have any questions you want to ask all the candidates, send your questions to us:

    Also, include your questions for Treasurer, as well.

  11. Josh says:

    City Council: Politicians are often a lot of talk during the campaign season and offer no real change. I’d like to see change–not necessarily strategic change, but I’d like to see a revitalization of engagement and methodology if nothing else. What do you plan to do differently than your predecessors? If you’re an incumbent, what do you plan to do differently than in your previous terms?

    City Council: What’s your vision of Harrisonburg in 5, 10, 20 years?

    Treasurer: How would you feel about this possibly not being an elected position in the future?

    Treasurer: How do you plan to save me money?

    Treasurer: How would you like to see the office change in the future?

    Both: What sort of legacy would you like to leave?

  12. David Miller says:

    Or to Candidates for treasurer, does there need to be any change?

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