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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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Mayoral Candidates Debate Future

Mayoral Candidates Debate Future

By JONATHAN POLSON

Fredericksburg’s three mayoral candidates participated in a recent debate discussing such issues as the relationship between the University of Mary Washington and the City of Fredericksburg.

The debate, which lasted two hours, took place on April 18 at James Monroe High School.

The three candidates running for mayor, Vice Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw, City Councilman Fred Howe and Matt Paxson all participated in the debate.

The candidates spoke about how well they believe the nuisance ordinance is working.

Greenlaw praised the way UMW took action toward the problem. She stated that UMW stepped up quickly over the past year as concerns increased.

As stated in a previous Bullet article, former SGA president Rob Belcourt spoke to the Board of Visitors and stressed that UMW students are willing to listen to the community members and he also encouraged students to “attend meetings that promote a dialogue between the community and university.”

“It is always an ongoing problem and concern when you are in a university town,” said Greenlaw.

She stated that the nuisance ordinance has led way for positive change and improved spirits among the residents of College Heights.

“Everybody seems to be working well on the problem,” said Howe.

Howe added that UMW is working well with the people in the town and that, together, they made major improvements this year.

Paxson commented that having open dialogue between the city, rental owners and UMW would lead to an ultimate solution.

“I love loud music,” said Paxson, “but there is a time and a place for it.”

The candidates also answered questions about other concerns facing the city.

“City council can’t make a decision without hiring a consultant,” said political first-timer Paxson. “I’m running to lead this city.

Howe spoke about the need to revitalize downtown Fredericksburg.

“I have been preparing for 33 years for this position,” Howe stated in regards to his qualifications over his competitors.

UMW Political Science and International Affairs Professor Stephen Farnsworth moderated the debate.

President Hurley was unable to be reached for comment before The Bullet printed.

The College Heights Civic Association, College Terrace Civic Association, College Hill Civic Association, the Maury Neighborhood Association and the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at UMW sponsored the debate.