City council candidates forum Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 21, 2011

SALISBURY — The Historic Neighborhoods Alliance will sponsor a forum next week for Salisbury City Council candidates to learn their positions on issues that impact historic neighborhoods.
The forum will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Salisbury Station, 215 Depot St.
The Historic Neighborhoods Alliance is a nonprofit organization with representatives from Salisbury’s historic districts. The group first held a candidate forum in 2009 with more than 70 people in attendance.
With support from historic neighborhoods, the Alliance aims to have an even larger event this year, according to a press release.
Salisbury’s upcoming municipal election includes nine candidates vying for five council seats.
The alliance will ask candidates their positions on four topics:
• Crime mitigation in the historic districts
• Neighborhood revitalization and stabilization
• Sub-standard housing & code enforcement
• Historic preservation plan implementation
Residents of historic neighborhoods and people interested in preservation of those neighborhoods are encouraged to attend and hear the candidates.
The city’s historic districts have older properties, often with unique maintenance needs. They also tend to have a greater number of rental units.
Some of the rental property issues in older neighborhoods involve absentee landlords, problem tenants and houses that are allowed to fall into extreme disrepair.
With these things in mind, city code enforcement becomes important, as does landlord and tenant accountability, according to alliance members.
With the recent completion of a historic preservation plan for Salisbury, alliance members are interested in knowing candidates’ positions on effective implementation of the plan’s recommendations. This plan can provide guidance on how to grow and develop historic areas while preserving their history and architecture.
The Historic Neighborhoods Alliance encourages support of continuing revitalization of the city’s neighborhoods, serves as an open channel of communication among the neighborhoods and identifies issues of common concern while working together to facilitate the resolution of those issues.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.