Locals gathered at the Vigo County Public Library on Tuesday for a chance to ask three Democratic mayoral candidates important questions.
“There’s a lot of choice involved, there are a lot of activities coming with the casino and the new jail, development of the river area, lot of things going on between Indiana State and the community, so it’s important I think to find out what people wanna do about all of those situations,” said Terre Haute resident Lucinda Berry.
Questions surrounding the new jail location drew differing answers from each of the three candidates.
“Building on the present jail or the present lot would be adequate, it would cost a lot less to keep the present jail,” said candidate David Conder.
“I believe that our best bet is to put it as close to the courthouse so that we don’t have to waste our time using our men to take prisoners back and forth,” said candidate Robert Hamilton.
“I just think that there’s, just as we were mindful of the Riverscape vision we should also be mindful of the Turn To The River project,” said candidate Karrum Nasser.
Another big topic was how to clean up Terre Haute and address empty and dilapidated houses.
“Many of those houses could be put out to a non-profit or a church and let them houses be updated,” said Conder.
“Our people that go out and check on these houses that need to be taken care of are going to need to have some authority so between the Mayor and the City Council there’s gonna have to be some new ordinances passed in order to take care of that problem,” said Hamilton.
“We need to increase the number of Code Enforcement Officers, currently we only have six, so that’s the first thing we need to do is to increase funding for that department,” said Nasser.
And while the focus was on the candidate’s answers, it was also a way for local to gauge the interest of their fellow citizens.
“It’s also interesting to see what other people ask, to find out what other people are interested in,” said Berry.
Mayor Duke Bennett and Independent candidate Pat Goodwin were present at the forum but did not take part in the question and answer portion.