District 7 Runoff

By on 13 April, 2011 in City Living, Government, Kate and Stephen with 5 Comments

Last night our neighborhood association got together for cookies, a smattering of association business, and a little bit of politics. As you may know, the race to replace Martha Roby for District 7’s seat on the City Council is going to take place in about a week. On April 19th, we’ll know whether Jenny Ives or Arch Lee will represent much of Midtown … at least until this fall, when they’ll have to run again in the regular election.

Ives and Lee began by asking everyone in the district to vote. They noted that a surprisingly small number of people voted on March 8th and said they hoped more people would participate in the upcoming runoff.

For almost 45 minutes, both candidates answered questions from concerned Cloverdale-Idlewild residents on a range of issues. At the top of everyone’s agenda was the ongoing neighborhood struggle against spot re-zoning efforts. Both candidates assured the neighborhood that they would work to keep the city’s historic residential neighborhoods intact. Both candidates emphasized their interest in keeping crime rates low.

One question asked candidates to clarify their views on the City Council’s relationship to the city schools. This was especially timely given recent debates over whether the Montgomery schools should split off from the county. Neither Ives nor Lee supported a split from the county, but both encouraged more support for Montgomery’s schools.

“The city should be more aware of the money they give to the school system and hold them accountable,” said Ives. “That’s the golden rule – if you have the gold, you make the rules.” She cited the new Believe It program as a good model for community engagement with schools.

Lee said that social improvement programs would ultimately help Montgomery schools the most: “Economic development will help our schools by increasing the tax base, but really our problems go back to the family and the home.” He cited “lack of leadership and structure in homes” as the major causes of school problems, crime and blight.

In response to one resident’s question about various new city initiatives for traffic and crime control, both candidates said that they supported the police use of checkpoints and technology to pinpoint the source of gunfire. Ives said that she supported red light cameras, but Lee said his work with AAA had taught him that the evidence for those cameras was mixed.

The candidates stayed after the meeting to discuss individual residents’ concerns. They are in the process of a whirlwind of campaign events all over the city – if you’re still undecided, or just want to hear more from the candidates, there should be plenty of opportunities to catch them in action before you go to the polls.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a dog, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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There Are 5 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Heather C says:

    Wish I had known about this!

  2. Jay Croft says:

    I don’t belong to a neighborhood association. Is that the only way to find out these things?

    • Cloverdale Idlewild, because of space considerations, did not publicize this meeting. They were not inviting anyone not living in their district.

      In the future, I’ll try to keep you posted about things. And if you really want to be on top of stuff, you might rethink your decision not to belong to the Old Clovedale Assn.

  3. Heather C says:

    That explains it 🙂 We are in South Hull (although our across-the-street neighbors are Cloverdale Idlewild)

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