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Hudson candidates debate issues

Oct 26, 2011 12:07 pm
[caption id="attachment_14853" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Nick Haddad, left, and William Hallenbeck, right, at the HAALA candidate forum. Photos by Tom Roe."][/caption]
Candidates for Mayor of Hudson, Republican William Hallenbeck and Democrat Nick Haddad, took the stage at the auditorium in the JLE Primary School to discuss issues facing the city for the Hudson African-American Leadership Alliance. The event was moderated by the Reverand Ronald Grant. The candidates agreed on most everything, except the final two questions of the evening. The final question from an audience member was about whether DSS allotments for housing were large enough.
Haddad: DSS underwrites a reasonable rent.
Audience member: Then why are there so many homeless people?
Haddad: I'm not sure there are a lot of homeless people per se sleeping on the street if that is how homelessness is defined.

When his turn came, Hallenbeck said he thought the city did have a homeless problem:
Hallenbeck: I agree with you in regards to the homeless. We have a homeless issue, and we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we have a homeless issue. And we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that we should be looking continuously for homeless shelter.

Hallenbeck then went on to list several possible options, saying, "is rent control one of those?"

The only other major difference came over the city's waterfront. Hallenbeck supports the city's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) as is, while Haddad feels it needs improvement. "Hallenbeck said he supported the proposed LWRP and that it was time to move forward with developing the waterfront," Tom Casey reported in the Register-Star. "He said he felt a majority of the city supported it, and that 'all those people can’t be wrong.'"

"Haddad said that he respected the decision of the council if it passes, however said he did not agree with the proposal, saying he did not believe businesses would want to invest in an area that shared light industry with recreation," Casey wrote in the Register-Star.

To listen to the full event, or to excerpts broken up by question, go to the WGXC Archives. The full file of the entire debate is there, and the meeting is also broken up into separate questions.

Click on each question to hear an mp3 recording of both candidates answering the questions.
Opening Statements from William Hallenbeck (first) and Nick Haddad. 10:24
What qualifies you for the job, and what would you do different from current administration? 6:32
Given the two-percent property tax cap, how would you protect quality of life? Haddad first.
The city is nearly 30 percent African-American, what would you do to make town employment rolls reflect that? 8:09 Hallenbeck first.
How would you make taxes fair? 4:39 Haddad first.
What would you do to lower water bills? 8:03
Would you fund the senior center in 2012 and in new building? 7:07 Hallenbeck first.
For people making less then $25,000 annually, what three quality of life issues are most important? 6:10 Haddad first.
What have you done with youth in the past, and what is your vision for youth in Hudson? 6:44 Hallenbeck first.
What book are you reading? 1:02 Haddad first.
What is your vision for the Hudson waterfront? 6:03 Hallenbeck first.
What will you do for affordable housing in Hudson? 7:03 Haddad first.

Read Tom Casey's version of events in the Register-Star.
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