Video: Mayoral Debate on Jobs, Business & The Economy, 10/21/09

This is a complete video of the 10/21/09 Mayoral Debate on Jobs, Business & The Economy, sponsored by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The debate was moderated by Jim Foudy, publisher of the Gazette. This video is 1 hour 17 minutes long and was recorded by Adam Cohen.

Here is a guide to the debate circulated by the sponsors:

See also:

Gazette: “Mayoral candidates focus on Northampton economy” (10/22/09)
[The two candidates] agreed that the city needs to work to change a perception that downtown is unsafe and that a mayor should also push for next-generation high-speed Internet for downtown…

There were differences between the candidates, though, with disagreement about the city’s economic development leader near the top of the list. Bardsley said he wants to find a person with the best skills to lead a new city office in charge of economic development, and the only way to do that is to open the vacant position up to all candidates…

“The BID is a testimony to the fact that the city has not been living up to its responsibilities,” [Bardsley] said…

The candidates also sparred briefly over the topic of the wetlands ordinance, with Bardsley saying that it’s worth considering further restrictions to development in buffer zones…

Northampton Media: “Gazette-Chamber of Commerce Debate” (10/21/09)
Things got testy between the two candidates on the issue of the BID (“he was for it before he was against it,” quipped Higgins), on whether Economic Development Director Teri Anderson’s new department head position should be posted, and on the issue of wetlands regulations.

Video Highlights from the 10/19/09 Mayoral Debate: Wetlands, King Street, Infill and the BID
Question: “A much higher than expected percentage of the downtown business owners opted out of the Business Improvement District. Since the Mayor and Council approved the process for establishing the BID, what happened to that idea or process that resulted in such a large percentage of refusals to join?”

These are difficult economic times and some businesses can’t afford to contribute to the BID at this time.

Bardsley: “I think the fact that there was a perceived need for a BID…is a testimony to the failure of city government to really work with downtown and take care of downtown… [Statements have been made by BID proponents that] during the last 10 years the maintenance of downtown has diminished greatly and to the point where it was interfering with business. They also made the statement that during the last 10 years, the safety issues, or the perception of safety downtown, had declined considerably…”