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Runoff candidates field Q&A at forum

For Madison's municipal election, Tennessee Valley Republican Club sponsored forums for City Council candidates, mayoral candidates and the runoff election, which will be held on Oct. 4. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
For Madison’s municipal election, Tennessee Valley Republican Club sponsored forums for City Council candidates, mayoral candidates and the runoff election, which will be held on Oct. 4. RECORD PHOTOS/GREGG L. PARKER
MADISON – Sponsored by Tennessee Valley Republican Club, the Runoff Candidates Forum on Sept. 10 included a question-and-answer session.
The audience was allowed to ask questions from the floor as Distrcit 1 candidates James Ross and Maura Wroblewski and District 7 council candidate John Seifert replied. (District 7 candidate Lena Sledge did not attend.)
* Question — Should the city build the $23-million Madison Recreation Center?
* Wroblewski: “At this moment, I say no because I don’t have all the information.”
* Ross: “No. Ultimately, the discussion needs to happen but (council needs to) get proper funding and get info out (to the public). We need the mayor as program manager to drive it.”
* Seifert: “No. I see the need for the pool. On the business side, we’re tyring to make a market with basketball tournaments, but we are not Apple Inc. to establish a market.”
* Question: Does the City of Madison lack long-range planning?
* Seifert: “Madison, with its history of growth real quickly, has a lack of planning. We need to justify why we’re going to do something … What’s the demand and what are the other options? I’m engineering by degree and program manager by career, so I live by plans.”
* Wroblewski: “The Western Growth Plan is a great step. We’re being strangled by Huntsville. (Concerning the rec center), the city promised the pool years ago. Take 3 million from the city and 3 million from the schools and build the aquatic center.”
* Ross: “With my background with the Army, you do this step by step. I am the last candidate that is a veteran. If I lose this election, no veteran will be on Madison City Council. The military demographic needs to be represented on city council.”
* Question: What should the city do about the employment status of Police Chief Larry Muncey?
* Seifert: “I’ve met with Muncey and police officers. I come from a police family. My grandfather died in line of duty. My dad was a policeman. I understand what they go through and what Chief Muncey brings to the table. City council has got to be very careful about the message that we send — whether to confirm or deny the recommendation. Regardless of what happens, somebody is going to get ‘ticked off.’ I will discuss (the issue) with experts and be in prayer to make a decision.”
* Wroblewski: “We need to do what’s best for the department and Madison. But put the situation to bed as quickly as we can. (For details), we can only go by what we’ve heard in the media. (Council) needs to research this.”
* Ross: “I don’t have an opinion because I don’t have the facts. Part of holding public office is to make the hard decisions.”
The City of Madison’s municipal runoff election will be held Oct. 4.

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