Student Government Association hosts municipal election forum


The Appalachian Online

Jackie Park, Reporter

BOONE — Appalachian State’s Student Government Association hosted a forum for the candidates for Boone mayor and Boone Town Council on Oct. 17.

During the forum, the seven participants were each allowed to make an opening statement. Each candidate was then asked five identical questions followed by three yes-or-no questions and were all allowed to make a closing statement. Nick Williams, the director of external affairs for the Student Government Association, acted as moderator.

Rennie Brantz, current mayor of Boone, is running unopposed. For Boone Town Council, there are six candidates running for three seats.

Each candidate was asked about a number of issues, ranging from thoughts on police reform to their feelings on the no-skateboarding ordinance and if whether they believed this was a good or bad idea.

The town council candidates at the forum were Charlotte Mizelle, Sam Furgiuele, Connie Ulmer, Jeannine Collins, Quint David and Marshall Ashcraft.

All of them said that they endorsed sustainability and protecting our mountains, that more housing should be provided from the university and that there should be a compromise reached within the skateboard restrictions in town.

When talking about the possibility of Boone becoming a sanctuary city, all but Collins and Brantz responded “yes” with Ashcraft siding with both yes and no.

Additionally, when asked about public/private partnerships in order to create more housing and parking, Collins said that this is the answer to our housing problem, but the key is finding the right partner. David, Ashcraft, Brantz and Mizelle all agreed that this is the way to go but to tread with caution. However, Furgiuele and Ulmer disagreed by saying that they were suspicious of privatization and the money involved. All agreed that there needs to be a solution to the ever-growing problem of housing on campus.

This forum was put on by the Student Government Association in order to allow candidates a space to discuss a variety of issues that affect students and residents in the town of Boone, according to the forum’s Facebook event page.

“By attending this forum, I definitely was able to make a better decision on three candidates who I want to vote to represent the town of Boone in town council,” Anastasia Swanson-boyd, a sophomore political science major and SGA senator, said. “Before attending the event I only knew basic facts about the candidates, whereas now I can make a constructive decision on who I believe best to occupy those positions.”

Story by: Jackie Park, News Reporter