Open carry, affordable housing and trash top discussions during ‘Meet the Candidates’ Forum

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 12:12 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The race to the polls is on. In a little over a month, Columbus voters will cast their ballots for a number of positions including their city council members.

And tonight was a chance to hear from many of the candidates hoping to get your vote.

Davis Broadcasting and the Courier Eco Latino Newspaper held a candidate’s forum with the public asking questions of those running for city council.

“My concern now is the open carry permit -- that open carry law that they passed that’s going to take effect later this year,” said Thomas Hunter, a member of Omega Psi Phi Incorporated.

Hunter wanted to know about plans to create ordinances regarding carrying weapons in public.

“Are you going to allow them to carry them to hospitals? Are you going to allow them to carry them to church?” asked Hunter.

Incumbent District 3 candidate Bruce Huff said that’s a conversation council will have to have with the public.

“We’ll have to meet with the council and we’ll also have to meet with the public and let you all have some input,” said Huff.

District 3 candidate Demarco Johnson works at King Kutz Barbershop, where firearms are not allowed. If elected, Johnson said he plans to give businesses the freedom to choose whether they will allow weapons inside.

“They have something -- a sign posted out there -- it doesn’t change the fact of that,” said Johnson. “And so, therefore, we would just look to empower those businesses.”

With home prices skyrocketing, a question was also posed regarding affordable housing.

District 5 candidate John Quincy Adams III said that’s an issue he faced when he was young.

“I think also any kind of major projects and developing housing should go along with ensuring that the area has access to affordable housing,” said Adams.

Incumbent District 5 candidate Charmaine Crabb made a point to note that Muscogee County is running out of land. With that in mind, Crabb said she’s in favor of building up -- making buildings taller by adding affordable housing.

Another concern for voters is the trash pickup in Columbus.

“The first thing we would try to do is try to build morale in the community,” said District 9 candidate Alyssa “Nia” Williams. “When you take pride in your community, you don’t want to see your community look that way.”

“We need to make sure that our Public Works department has the budget and human resources and equipment to pick up a lot of the stuff,” said District 9 candidate Douglas Redmond.

The next forum will be a meet-and-greet with the mayoral and board of education candidates on April 14.

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