Hudson City Council President Chris Foster is being challenged by resident Madeline Lepidi-Carino for his Ward Two seat. Following are questions posed to the candidates by Hudson Life. Responses were limited to 225 words and are unedited.
1. The Phase II property remains empty. What is your stance on development there and/or land use more broadly?
Foster: Phase II was hotly contested and as such requires more community input, which our comp plan steering committee is gathering. If I needed to make a decision today, I believe it would be 1/3rd housing, 1/3rd community space of some sort, 1/3rd best use of office or grocery, possibly shopping or restaurant. I still remain firmly in the camp of the residents need to drive this by stating their wants and desires, and council must listen making the best financial decision possible to achieve resident goals.
Lepidi-Carino: The land needs to be developed for the benefit of the residents and to generate tax revenue for Hudson. We need empty nester housing for residents who want to downsize yet remain in Hudson. Having empty nester housing as well as single-family homes for our young families will benefit our residents and provide a growing tax base for our community.
2. Residents have expressed concerns about Main Street vacancies. What can council do to nurture a thriving downtown retail district?
Foster: The economic growth board should work with the chamber of commerce on community marketing and establish a dashboard of metrics measuring success, as well as with our business development manager to find the right fit of businesses for Hudson residents needs. Ultimately if Hudson residents shop elsewhere because the options don’t meet their needs, we will continue to see vacancies.
Lepidi-Carino: Downtown revitalization involves public and private partnerships, adaptive use of historic buildings, such as the Windstream Building, development of empty nester and single-family housing, and cultural amenities.
3. How will you ensure that residents have a voice in city matters?
Foster: I respond to nearly every e-mail, go to doors when my neighbors need help, and return calls everytime they want to voice an opinion. I have read comments into record during council meetings even when I disagreed with the message the resident sent because I believe it is my obligation to ensure their voice be heard. I summarize meeting notes and push them to the community to keep them informed, and have for the past nearly four years.
Lepidi-Carino: I will have open forums for the residents to ask questions and voice their concerns, be available in person and via social media and my website, and encourage residents to attend council meetings, either in person or by HCTV and become involved. ∞
Attorney. Retired as mental health therapist, guardian ad litem