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Candidates answer questions at Chelsea chamber forum

By Lisa Carolin

Four candidates are running on Nov. 5 to serve three 4-year Chelsea City Council terms.

Three of the four candidates participated in a candidate forum on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at City Council Chambers.

Candidate Andi Philippe was unable to be there.

The forum was presented by the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce, and Paul Schissler, chamber president, asked questions posed by both the chamber and members of the audience who wrote them on index cards.

The candidates began with opening statements.

Jane Pacheco.

Jane Pacheco, a current Chelsea City Council member who has been serving since 2013, said that she is most proud of the processes that she’s helped put in place during her six years on the council.

She cited the establishment of a non-discrimination ordinance for the city and establishing a Human Rights Commission as examples.

Candidate Peter Feeney, who has served on city council since 2015, said he is proud of all the people who participate in the Chelsea community and said that one of his goals is to be a good team member and make the teams even better.

Candidate Charles Wisely said that he moved to Chelsea 11 years ago and has been attending a lot of meetings in town during the last two years because he is interested in the process of running the city and seeing the similarities with his career in commercial management.

When asked about traffic safety, Feeney said that he supports an additional law enforcement officer involved with traffic safety and enforcement. Wisely said he supports city budget expenditures for traffic safety, and Pacheco talked about grants that have been written for that purpose.

Charles Wisely.

As far as trying to bring more young families to Chelsea, Feeney suggested working with the townships surrounding Chelsea to create new developments with mixed housing.

Wisely said he sees two sides – people trying to afford Chelsea and people who can afford it and enjoying what comes with it. He shared that he was a farm boy who worked hard to be able to live with his family in Chelsea.

An audience member asked about Chelsea being a progressive community. Wisely agreed and said Chelsea is a great place to live.

Pacheco said that the city feels very strongly that everyone here be treated equally and said Chelsea falls somewhere in the middle between socially conservative and progressive.

Feeney said that there are a variety of political beliefs in Chelsea, and that regardless of one’s beliefs, there is nothing to fear.

When it came time for closing remarks, Pacheco said her main reason for running this term is to see that all kinds of people are represented and said that she represents a viewpoint that isn’t always vocalized on some of the issues.

Peter Feeney.

Feeney said he feels he can contribute, and Wisely said he wants to be helpful.

Schissler closed the forum by saying that being on city council is not a job for the faint of heart or casual volunteer, but rather for a skilled, thoughtful person who cares about the city of Chelsea.

He urged everyone to vote for the candidates of their choice on election day, Nov. 5.

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