Elections

Charlotte’s District 5 City Council candidates give their views on 4 key issues

Staff reports

DEMOCRATS

Darrell Bonapart

Age: 48

Education: Business Administration Degree

Professional experience: Certified Human Resource Mgmt Consultant

Previous public offices held (if any): N/A

Family: Son, Darrion 27 years old and Daughter, Hannah 17 years old

Website: www.DarrellBonapart.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

No. We need mass transit development not toll lanes. Toll lanes do not reduce traffic and do not reduce dangerous gas emissions that Charlotte has been plagued with over the years.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

No, it is not. At one point within the last 20 years, there were more affordable housing developments located in the regions of South Charlotte, West Charlotte and North Charlotte. East Charlotte still has an abundance of affordable housing developments. CHA quietly sold off a lot of properties located in prime real estate locations adding to the gentrification that was already taking place under the City within A City Plan. The decision of the City Council helped cause the affordable housing dilemma we have today.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

No

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

To reduce some of the crime, I would make sure with provide the resources and urgency for CMPD to aggressively deal with the increased gang activity to include the prevalent opioid epidemic we have in our city. The council has not moved quickly enough to staff up our police department to have the specialty positions such as gang intervention, drug trafficking and domestic violence. There are not enough officers in those departments, for example.

Kris Chambers-Woodruff

Age: 30

Education: MBA in Information Technology Management

Professional experience: United States Navy and Intel Corp

Previous public offices held (if any):

Family: FIance’, stepson, daughter

Website: Kris4CityCouncil.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

No, it was a short sighted deal that monoplized an vital highway. I-77 toll lanes should have been funded by the public for the public, and will adversely affect North Mecklenburg. Whatever costs associated with pulling out of the toll lane contract will pay dividends in the future.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

Depends on the demographic. I believe we need more affordable housing, as quickly as possible, for seniors and people on a fixed income. Also offering affordable housing for seniors has the potential to open up markets where many seniors want to downsize from their current residence. Those who do not meet that category, should be more dispersed because of the burden that could be placed on our school system. The key to affordable housing is working with other counties and municipalities in our metropolitan area in to invest in a transportation system that will allow folks to commute in and out of Charlotte conveniently and affordably. It is projected in the near future that three of four humans on Earth will live in a city in the next 20 years or so. The demand for housing will rise, so will cost. The only viable solution is to create an efficient network of public transportation to allow people to live in areas that they can afford, and have reliable means to their jobs.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

Only if that $30 million is used to upgrade Bank of America Stadium, and the MLS and NFL teams share it.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Educating our youth on domestic violence and anger management as early as elementary but no later than middle school is one of the the best ways to reduce violence in the future. Advocating to CMS to implement these courses to our children is the first step I would take. Fredrick Douglass stated, “It is easier to train up strong children, than to fix broken men.” Any step to change the culture of violence in our community must start with our children.

Roderick Davis

Age: 33

Education: Currently enrolled at American Public University working on my B.A. Political Science

Professional experience: For profit and nonprofit management

Previous public offices held (if any): None

Family: Wanda Davis, Angel McIntosh, Charles Mcintosh, Shaikeira Stephens, Monta Davis, Raquandra Davis, (R.I.P.) Shania Hammonds, Antonio Hammonds, Rodriguez Hammonds.

Website: www.RoderickDavis.org

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

Not if they plan on charging citizens to drive on them.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

No

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

No, the money should be used to create a homeless shelter that can handle the growing homeless crisis in this city.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Ensure all funding relating to law enforcement is going to CMPD so they can staff their homicide department. I would also push for a 8,000 personnel increase. This growing city doesn’t have enough officers and without the presence of law crime is more likely to happen. Our current City Council Member have done absolutely nothing to help.

Scott Derek Jenkins

Age: 52

Education: College Educated

Professional experience: 26 Years of Fed Gov/Local Gov Experience

Previous public offices held (if any): None third time running for office

Family: Married father of 3

Website: Twitter @SDJENKINS2015/scottj604@yahoo.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

No! My position has always been that the roads were built by the tax payer. We are paying to maintain them even today. NCDOT needs to improve and even build new lanes for all to use.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

We need more affordable housing! This something we all know. The idea to build more housing quickly is a good one I support. I favor policies that will achieve the required units needed to keep pace with demand. We need housing to fit all income levels. I believe all Charlotte residents deserve an opportunity to have a place to call home.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

Yes! I am open to the idea but we also need to prioritize our city needs first. I am also open to alternative funding options. I have been getting a lot of feedback about the stadium being built at the Eastland Site.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Make sure that CMPD has the training, facilities and resources for better community policing. Call for training for our residents on when and how to interact with our officers. I am very sorry it took the Scott case to force change, but I believe we are moving in the right direction. Hickory Grove for which I am a resident does not have its own new police substation. The police currently operate out of a rented building that is not adequate for an effective community policing policy. If elected I will fight to have it funded and built.

Matt Newton

Age: 37

Education: I am a life-long Charlottean who graduated from Myers Park high school at age 16 and UNC-Wilmington at age 19. I received my Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and became licensed to practice law in North Carolina in 2006.

Professional experience: I am an attorney, small business owner, former chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party, and have served on numerous boards and committees in the community. I led the effort that reformed our Citizens Review Board ordinance in 2013 and, more recently, acted as a Red Cross liaison and personally recruited business partners (Bojangles’, Quicktrip, Hawthorne’s Pizza, and Libretto’s Pizza) to assist in the Woodscape fire relief effort.

Previous public offices held (if any): None

Family: My beautiful fiancee Tiffany and I will be getting married in October. We are the loving parents of a pet family consisting of two dogs and three cats.

Website: www.mattnewtonfor5.com

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning to build express lanes on I-77 south, U.S. 74 and I-485. Should those projects continue?

Yes, so long as NCDOT provides a definitive answer on what caps, if any, will be placed on tolls. Unlike the I-77 north Cintra project, these DOT express lanes will not limit construction of general purpose lanes, expedite public transportation and emergency response efforts, and toll proceeds will be earmarked for local transportation and development projects.

For years, a City Council priority was to disperse affordable housing throughout the city, to prevent it from being clustered together. The city has moved away from that policy in an attempt to build more housing quickly. Is that a good idea?

The best policy is to disperse affordable housing evenly throughout our city. As per the Opportunity Task Force report, even distribution is how we combat our city’s upward mobility crisis and ensure all Charlotteans have access to living-wage jobs, quality transportation options, and good schools. Housing stock can continue to be increased throughout Charlotte via smart rezoning/planning approvals tied to subsidies, amenities, and tax grants (TIGS) when necessary.

Do you support the city spending $30 million in hotel-motel money for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium?

I don’t support demolishing our historic landmarks, with little to no guarantee for local infrastructure, transportation, or small business growth, to subsidize a billionaire’s unproven venture. The money would be better spent on expanding transportation options to existing Charlotte venues like Bojangles’ Arena/Ovens, developing Eastland, or on the creation of an international district, including streetcar, along the Central Avenue corridor.

With homicides on the rise, what steps would you take to try to reduce crime? What has the current council NOT done?

Allocate more resources, including pertinent equipment, technology, and employee incentives, to police precincts in high and violent crime areas. Also, the systemic and socioeconomic hardship research has shown leads to crime must be addressed. This includes providing employment, transportation, housing, and education in underserved communities. City Council has missed opportunities to make real progress in these areas.

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