(BEDFORD) – Voters met five women and five men who are campaigning for Bedford’s seven city council seats, Thursday evening.
With an opening prayer, by Pastor Jeff Huddleston, and Pledge of Allegiance led by Bedford North Lawrence High School student Chase Cummings, the forum got underway moderated by Krystal Shelter of the Times-Mail, and Myron Rainey of 1340 WBIW.
Krystal Shetler of the Times-Mail and Myron Rainey of 1340 WBIW served as moderators.
Approximately 75 people came to hear the City Council Candidates discuss how they believed the City Council should operate in cooperation with a newly elected Mayor.
Those that could not attend can listen to the rebroadcast of the forum on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. on 1340 WBIW. The audio will also be streamed online at wbiw.com.
The Republican Party was able to develop a strategy for the upcoming Municipal Election, this year. This will be the first administration change in 12 years, and four seats can be potentially be changed, with new faces.
All the candidates have a broad range of experience, education, and knowledge both in the private sector and government, that make this year’s candidates very diverse in expertise.
Some of the candidates are life long residents, while others are moving and coming back to call Bedford home.
The contested races are in City Council District 1, District 3, and two At- Large seats.
There were a few questions that the candidates knew in advance and a couple questions that were asked from the public.
The Candidates were able to describe how they viewed their job as a counselor, as well as working with the Mayor to accomplish his or her goals.
Most of the focus from the forum centered around similar themes, being infrastructure and bringing jobs to Bedford.
Andrea Rope running for District 3 answers question
The other similar themes where public safety, and working with other departments to make sure they have the equipment to perform their jobs.
Bedford City Council, District 4: incumbent Judy Carlisle, R, introduces herself
Some of the highlights:
Brian Skillman (District 1) – Transparency and lack of knowledge of functions of government and a misinformed public was something that needs attention.
Ryan Griffith ( District 1) – The city needs to do a better job of coordination on infrastructure projects throughout the city.
Howard Scott (District 3) – Thinks the city needs to redistrict the City Council districts that not been changed since 1958.
Brad Bough (District 3) – We must be able to improve infrastructure, to be able to attract industry, and must have people to invest in Bedford.
Andrea Rope – (District 3) – The city of Bedford must remain attractive to bring in new business.
Dan Bortner (At Large) – Three areas need focus: 1) Public Safety the City needs to be clean and safe and address the turnover of Public Safety. 2) Infrastructure and plan it right, 3) Fiscal Responsibility Once you are given grant money you own it, you will not always have grant money to fix things. We must be able to pay for it.
Angel Hawkins (At Large ) – I am excited to see Bedford grow, we must pour resources into our youth, parks/playgrounds must be attractive, not only are we raising families, but keeping families here. Bedford is friendly, and hospitality is great, hard to beat.
Adele Bowden Purlee (At Large) – Public Safety is number one, Our police officers and firefighters are important. We must complete projects that have already been started and find a way to fix the wall at Otis Park.
Of the seven council seats, four will be filled with new representatives. Longtime councilmembers Mark Scherschel, Byron Buker, Michele Murphy, and Bill McFadden did not file.
The following candidates will be on the primary ballot:
- Bedford City Council, District 1: Ryan Griffith, R; Brian Skillman, R.
- Bedford City Council, District 2: Larry D. Hardman, R.
- Bedford City Council, District 3: Brad Bough, R; Andrea Rope, R; Howard H. Scott, R.
- Bedford City Council, District 4: incumbent Judy Carlisle, R.
- Bedford City Council, District 5: incumbent Penny May, R.
- Bedford City Council, at-large, (pick two): Daniel Bortner, R; Angel Hawkins, R; incumbent Adele Bowden-Purlee, R.
Bedford residents will cast ballots on May 7.
Another forum with Mayoral Candidates will be held March 21st, with a similar format.