District B candidates debate police, Sewerage & Water Board, taxes, AirBnB, chain stores and other issues (full video)

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Around 150 people attended a forum featuring the candidates for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, but if you couldn’t make it, here’s your chance to hear the wide-ranging discussion for yourself on police issues, the Sewerage & Water Board, property taxes, short-term rentals, the proliferation of chain businesses, historic-home demolitions and other issues.

District B City Council candidates (from left) Timothy David Ray, Seth Bloom, Andre Strumer, Eugene Ben, Catherine Love and Jay H. Banks speak Tuesday night at a forum organized by Uptown neighborhood groups. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

The video from the forum is split into five parts. Part 1 (above) includes the candidates’ introduction of themselves, and their discussion of staffing at the New Orleans Police Department and the coming end of federal oversight of the department through the consent decree.

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Part 2 features two questions about the Sewerage & Water Board — whether it should be restructured, and whether candidates support a proposal to create new stormwater fees to pay a $55 million debt owed by the agency for the new Uptown drainage projects.

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In Part 3, the candidates discuss reducing property-tax exemptions for nonprofit-owned land not being used for their mission, and how to reduce waste in the city budget.

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Part 4 features a trio of land-use issues: whether the city’s new AirBnB laws are working properly, whether the city should restrict the incursion of new chain businesses on areas like Magazine Street, and how requests to demolish historic homes should be handled.

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Part 5 has the a lightning round — three quick questions on the leadership of the police department, the Mardi Gras parade laws, and the statue at Lee Circle — and audience questions on stormwater fees and how to keep rising property taxes from forcing out longtime residents.

To watch all five videos in a row, click on our YouTube playlist.

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