Two candidates in race for council Ward 4 positionWhy would you run for a seat on the Alexandria City Council or the Alexandria School Board?
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Why would you run for a seat on the Alexandria City Council or the Alexandria School Board?
The Echo Press asked that question to the six candidates running for school board and the six candidates running for city council.
This is second of four stories containing their answers. It includes comments from the two candidates vying for the Ward 4 city council position – incumbent Dave Benson and challenger Steven Hensley. It also includes remarks from Sara Carlson, who is running unopposed for another term in Ward 2.
Alexandria City Council
Ward 4 (two candidates)
•Dave Benson started to work for the city of Alexandria in November of 1966 working in the park department. He worked in that department until March of 1967 when he started working for the Alexandria Police Department. He retired from the police department as a sergeant in February of 1996. In November of 1996, he was elected to the Alexandria City Council and has served ever since.
“I have served the city of Alexandria for more than 40 years and would like to continue to serve the people of Alexandria another term. The last few years have been tough for the city and the taxpayers, but we must work together to keep our heads above water and stay within a tight budget.”
•Steve Hensley said that as the city of Alexandria continues down the path of increased population and growth, having representatives who aren’t afraid to speak up and ask questions will be vital to remaining a leader in the state, which is why he decided to run for city council.
“As we grow, we become more diverse. Reflecting that diversity on our council will benefit the city in many different ways. As a member of a younger generation, I offer a perspective that is unique and different compared to the other sitting members of the council. I will combine my energy, curiosity and willingness to find out answers to questions with the council and expertise of my elders. As our roads are crumbling and property taxes go up, a multi-million jail is being built, we continue to hire more employees for government jobs while the local private sector continues to lose jobs and we elect the same batch of people time and time again who produce the same ideas and the same solutions.”
Hensley believes it’s time for new ideas, a new vision and a better representation of diversity.
“I will be a leader for the people and will always remain accountable. Let’s think outside the box. I have ideas to enhance prosperity while preserving our success as a city.”
Council Ward 2 (one candidate)
•Sara Carlson said she is extremely interested, involved and concerned about what happens in the city of Alexandria and that is why she refiled.
“Being on the city council during these tough economic times is complex. However, I believe that it gives me some solid background in the city and what its needs are. I take pride in what we have accomplished over the last few years. We have tried to keep taxes down and important services like police and fire operating efficiently and effectively.”
Carlson said all services in the city are important in order to keep the city viable and productive. Despite the tough economy, she said Alexandria is still growing and is a wonderful place to live, work and play.
“I believe I can and do make a difference in Alexandria and I enjoy working for the betterment of Alexandria. Therefore, I have re-filed for my position on the council.”