South Side Residents turn out for Common Council Forum

Dozens of South Side residents attended the Common Council Candidate Forum at the Beauchamp Branch Library Tuesday, Oct. 13.

The event, arranged by The Southside Coalition and Syracuse United Neighbors, gave community members a chance to hear the candidates answer questions related to the area.  It was also a chance for residents to speak up and have their voices heard.

“The South Side always gets the short end of the stick,” said Louise Thompson, with SUN.

Present were candidates Ryan McMahon (R) from the 3rd District, Howie Hawkins (G) and Tom Seals from the 4th District, and Lance Denno (D), Jean Kessner (D) and Fanny Villarreal (R) who were vying for the two At-Large openings.

The forum began with a list of question from the Southside Coalition leadership. Each candidate was given one minute to address issues about reducing crime, the proposed youth curfew, dealing with vacant homes, ensuring that federal money gets into the hands of families and how to improve city services in the South Side.

Following that, the candidates answered questions submitted by the audiences.

Although ranging from subjects like Radon levels and stimulus money, all the questions revolved around improving quality of life in the South Side.

While it would have been nice to have more time and space to talk about all the issues on the audiences mind, it was a good opportunity to get an idea of the candidates’ platforms.

“Tonight gave me a good idea of who I’m voting for,” Walter Eiland said.

Victoria Coit was impressed by the passion shown by the candidates, but was still left with questions when the forum came to a close.

“I didn’t feel like any of them had a true vision for the South Side,” she said.

Regardless, Tuesday night’s event showed that residents of the South Side care about and are taking an interest in their city. Hopefully the candidates will take an interest in the South Side.

— Story by Bryan Hood, The Stand’s Roving Reporter