Candidates bat the issues!

Challengers for seats on Seneca City Council are suggesting better ways to run city government and believe new blood is needed. Their incumbent opponents, while conceding things can be improved, are defending their record in office which they believe will demonstrate that the city spending is paying off with new jobs and will result in a stronger tax base for the future. Seven of the eight city council candidates, with the exception of Robert Holbrooks, took part in last night’s forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The event drew a large crowd to the Gignilliat Community Center. One of the challengers, Joel Arnold, said he has studied the city’s audit and has a lot of questions about the city’s financial practices. And Arnold chided the incumbents for their financial support of a developer’s project to build a Hampton Inn and Suites on E. N. 1st Street. But one incumbent, Ernest Riley, said no tax dollars were used to build the hotel. According to Riley, Seneca’s financial condition allowed the use of enterprise money to help spur economic development.