Meet the Candidates: Councilman at Large, PT 2 - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Meet the Candidates: Councilman at Large, PT 2

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ALEXANDRIA, La. -- We're wrapping up our Alexandria city council "Meet the Candidates" series with the last of the six candidates running for the councilman at large seat.

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford caught up with Steve Coco, Emile Hurts and Lee Rubin to hear about why they're trying for the seat.

Two weeks to go until a new Alexandria city councilman at large is elected. And, we're introducing you to the remaining candidates trying for the spot.

"I've got the experience," said Steve Coco, a candidate. "I've covered city councils as a journalist in Texas, California, Georgia, Philadelphia and Louisiana. I've seen city councils work and I've seen them not work. I know what it takes to make one work."

"Well I'm running for city council because I've been a lifelong member of the community," said Emile Hurts. "I've been an activist. I've served in the Samtown Woodside neighborhood council for three years. This would just be a continuation of what I already do."

"I guess I was part of that big silent majority, although I wasn't totally silent, I just hollered and screamed at home," said Lee Rubin, a candidate. "Now that I've sold my business after 35 years, I've got the time to be vocal and do something about it."

These candidates say they've got their eyes on some big issues in the city, ones they believe they could change.

"There are problems with the utility department," said Coco. "The problems include robbing Peter to pay Paul, taking money out of the utility fund to put in the general fund to prop up the golf course and the zoo. Also, from '05-'09 the City of Alexandria annual reports strongly indicate that the utility customers were over charged $11 million for the fuel adjustment charge. That would be a violation of the city code."

"First biggest issue I feel is the division that exists between the administration and the council," said Hurts. "I would like to bring a more pleasant atmosphere to that. That's what I would like to work on first."

"The biggest issue in this campaign surely is the relationship amongst the council members and the relationship with the mayor," said Rubin. "We've got to all get together and listen to the mayor's agenda, see what he wants to do. It doesn't mean we have to agree with him. We do need to civilly debate the issues and make the right decisions. And, I think that's the number one issue."

Finally, here's what they say they would do on their first day if elected.

"To make a conscious effort every day to inform the tax payers in plain speak, in common language what's going on," said Coco. "I don't think the tax payers are getting the full story."

"Get with my colleagues," said Hurts. "Talk with them and see where their head's at. Get with the administration and work with them. And then just moving forward with the people in my community."

"Build a relationship with my fellow councilmen," said Rubin. "That's number one. I'd like to sit down individually with each one of them and hear what their concerns are and do what I can in order to bring that cohesiveness back to the council that we need."

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