Salisbury Chamber of Commerce Hosts City Council Candidate Forum - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury Chamber of Commerce Hosts City Council Candidate Forum

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SALISBURY, Md. - November elections are fast approaching. Six city government seats in Salisbury are open for the taking. Five of those seats belong to the city council and the last seat belongs to the mayor.

Candidates running for city council were invited to introduce themselves before the business community Thursday. Six of the 10 candidates running for city council attended the Chamber of Commerce's luncheon at Salisbury University, where they participated in a candidate forum. 

A common theme among many of the candidates was continuing the growth the city has experienced over the last few years.

"Second of all is economic growth and jobs. We've done a good a job at that," said District 3 incumbent candidate Jack Heath. "Our rate of unemployment has dropped significantly and we actually have more jobs in the city right now than we have people to fill them, which is a good thing."

The growth and development is certainly evident in downtown Salisbury. 

"The downtown growth is certainly phenomenal," district five incumbent Angela Blake said. "We certainly deserve the face lift. Salisbury's been waiting a long time. But the city also has a lot of other growth and development."

District 1 incumbent candidate April Jackson said she wants that energy focused on the entire city as well, which means focusing on neighborhoods with blighted homes.

"Downtown is great but you have to also realize that after people leave downtown, they have their home to go to," Jackson said. "And, we want to make sure they are safe and the communities are viable for them to live in."

Candidates focused on topics like public safety, quality of life, and accountability.

"My concerns are censorship at the council meetings," district three candidate Riley Smith said. "I believe that the citizens are being less and less heard."

District 5 candidate Shawn Jester said his priorities are accountability, opportunity and prosperity.

"I want to make sure that the city government is accountable to the residents, we're using every taxpayer dollar wisely," Jester said. 

But no matter the message, community leaders said they hope people take action on Election Day.

"They need to get out and vote November the 5th because voting locally matters and voting in every election matters," Mary Ashanti, president of the Wicomico County NAACP branch, said.

Councilman Muir Boda for District 2 is the only candidate listed for that district. The only councilman not seeking re-election is James Ireton, who serves District 4.

Election day is Nov. 5. A candidate forum for Mayor Jake Day and challenger Wayne King will be held on Oct. 23 at Salisbury University. 

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