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As Election Nears, Local Candidates Put In Hot Seat

As we get closer to Election Day many potential voters are seeking more information about the candidates and candidates for at-large positions on the Utica Common Council were on the hot seat Monday night.
As we get closer to Election Day many potential voters are seeking more information about the candidates and candidates for at-large positions on the Utica Common Council were on the hot seat Monday night.
It was a full house at Notre Dame Elementary School for a public forum with the Common Council candidates. This year, there are eight candidates running for Common Council At-Large and residents say the forum was a chance to truly get to know each one.
"You can come here, ask a question, and you can tell if somebody is going to be your candidate because it's just the passion alone they have for the city," said Dan Trevisani from South Utica.
"It's a good way for everybody to see everybody at once cause most of these guys are going around the neighborhoods and talking solo and this way you can compare, you know, even the way they look at each other, how they act amongst each other," says Utica resident Kevin Schanley.
These residents are just two of the dozens that came out Monday night to learn about the eight candidates running for a spot on the Utica Common Council. They say these forums are extremely important before casting their vote and the candidates agree.
"This is a chance for the community to get to meet and hear all the candidates have to say and what they believe they can do for the city,” said Ed Bucciero, Councilman At-Large for the City of Utica.
"When I first came into the community that's how I started learning exactly what the issues were and who was responsible," said Candidate Carmen Sonia Martinez.
Community members also say the forum is a way to raise concerns and bring up major issues going on in the area.
"I used to think there were pockets of bad areas now you're starting to see only pockets of good areas left in the city,” said Trevisani. “There's a lot of blight and a lot of people are very concerned about it."
Residents came out with a lot of questions but the number one concern on everyone's mind, jobs, especially with the new Nanocenter project underway.
"The condition of the city, brining businesses into the city, things of that nature,” said Schanley.
"I'm very concerned with jobs," says Martinez.
Each candidate was given two minutes to respond to questions from the public. Other concerns included public safety, education, specifically charter schools and economic growth in the city.
"We want to make Utica a beautiful place, I was born here, raised, I left but I came back, and I want my children to have the same thing,” said Christine Young.
Every candidate Eyewitness News spoke with wants to remind people of the importance of voting. This year's election is on November 5, 2013.

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