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Mayoral, City Council candidates answer forum questions

READ MORE: Mayoral, City Council candidates answer forum questions
WILMINGTON -- A candidates' forum Friday night gave Wilmington residents the chance to ask mayoral and council candidates how they intend to lead the city. The people who turned out wanted answers about some pressing issues. The convention center, the water and sewer authority and crime were three of the hot topics at the candidate's forum. Another issue: firefighters wanting raises they say they deserve. Earlier this year firefighters asked the city to give them bigger raises as part of the next budget year. While Council plans to study the pay scale for all city employees there are no immediate plans to give firefighters more money. Firefighters are looking for city leaders who'll represent them going forward. Scottie Jorman is married to firefighter. She said, "My husband has to work two jobs sometimes. I just started going back to work; there are some firemen that work three jobs and hardly get to stay home with their kids." No matter what issues are important to voters as they head to the polls Friday night's candidate forum was the perfect time to ask the important questions of those who want to lead the city. Voter Neal Shulman said, "I'm going to look at whether the candidate is going to be truthful with me, if they're going to do what they say, that they are going to hold themselves, the city their representing to the same standards that it holds its citizens." There will be another candidates' forum October 5. Election Day is October 9.

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What is wrong with this place?

So Harper Peterson is a money grubbing land developer, and Saffo is a yes man soundbyte grabber.... but does that really mean that we should elect someone with no political experience with "skinhead" tattooed on the side of his head, because he is gonna do "things" about "stuff"? its like electing a ficus tree because you think its funny. Vote with your brains. and not just becasue you someone is "for the people".

Ron Paul 2008

I support Justin LaNasa for Mayor of Wilmington.


The issue at hand is not whether a candidate does or does not have tattoos, nor is it his knowledge of ALL events and problems. What is important, is that he cares enough to take on the load to rid certain developements of corruption and pocket padding. Carreer politicians tend to lean towards their own interest after time. LaNasa wants to make change, as resisted as most find it. Regardless, change is good. Remeber: Absolute power and control lead to corruption. F.P.


Well this sounds like a tattoo studio that wasn't abiding by our strick regulations,Yes I do work close with the New Hanover County Enviormental Health Dept. having been a part of writing the regulations for body piercing.I feel that just like any other governing body everyone should follow the rules,and if not you must be held accountable for you actions,read the Star News Jan 16 2006 making false statements to discredit someone is against the law and I understand why your using a fake name, I have never been married nor do I plan to Justin LaNasa

Saffo is Special Interest Bag Man

Just because Peterson, or anyone else, develops land doesn't make them bad or evil... When certain developers buy their way into office and buy off elected officials to hijack government for their personal gain, that's a problem. Harper puts Wilmington and the citizens first. Saffo, Kristi Tomey and Laura Padgett put their own selfish interests first. They are paid for by a certain group of developers for the benefit of those developers, the taxpayers be damned.

Yes he is

You are 100% correct.

Other Opinions Do Matter

Let's say Lanassa is an average Joe. Lanassa is indeed a business owner who wants to "fight" for other small business owners. If that were true, how would you explain the audio and video tape two other artists made during the "pretend" college interview a year and a half ago where Mr. Lanassa verbally bashed every tattoo artist and tattoo establishment in Wilmington, and said they whould be closed down. The real reason, is because there are several good artist in Wilmington, and each deserves fair credit. But that financially impacts Mr. Lanassa so he would not have that. How many times has Mr. Lanassa reported other tattoo studios in Wilmington to the Health Department? That is probably a question left better answered by the county Health Director (Thomas Stitch), but it has been numerous times to different studios. How about Mr. Lanassa's former business associate, friend and companion? I personally do not associate with anyone who has killed someone during a game of Russian Rolutte after bing drinking, but apparently that is Mr. Lanassa's thing. I could go ino more vendictive things such as bumper stickers and emails, but that is not important. Perhaps if anyone should speak, Mr. Lanassa's wife who just recently left him should be interviewed. She would be able to tell much more than I, and confirm what I have said. So, know someone before you vote and especially before you speak of their greatness.

LaNassa and Peterson

LaNasa might not be as polished as the other candidates for mayor, but he's got a great perspective and he isn't spoon fed dishonest soundbytes to repeat with a smile like Billy Saffo. LaNasa needs to be better informed on some issues, but you can't teach honesty and common sense. Saffo is a pawn for special interests and being a nice guy doesn't compensate for his reckless tax-and-spend agenda on behalf of development interests. Peterson's commitment to keeping taxes down, government in the open, and accountable to the people makes him the best choice. LaNassa would be a great person to have on an advisory board...all of which have been stacked with corrupt realtors and bankers.

I agree....if you believe

I agree....if you believe Saffo you are drinking the kool-aid. This guy is not out for the citizens of Wilmington. He has raised almost $200,000 to be mayor. This is insane. Yes people have the right to donate to whomever they please, but Cmon...Wake up. This is government bought and paid for 100%. Wilmington belongs to ALL of the People of Wilmington. Aren't you tired of a select few making decisions against what the people want? This is not Democracy. Do you really see Mr. Saffo as one of the people?


Oh how we forget- Peterson has always been in this to better himself. Did we forget he is the reason we lost the Icehouse downtown, made them close so he could buy the property. He is a business man and the only business he supports is his! I will agree I think his opinions have changed and he may seem like a better leader- but he had his chance and he screwed it up. Give the regular guy a chance.

Who are you kidding.

You have a Special Intrest problem with Saffo? Please, if it dosent involve Downtown or Harpers Business believe me Harper isn't interested. He proved that last time around. And this LaNassa guy, he actually stated in the paper that he had never voted in a local election because he did'nt like any of the canidates. So he want's us to instill the honor of public office on him, an unknown, when he can't even bring himself to participate in previous elections. Sounds to me like one night around the local watering hole with his "coasty" buddies someone bet him he would'nt run for Mayor and that they bet a 12 pack that he could'nt get more votes than Ricky. Saffo all the way, not because I'm in bed with him but because he has done more for this City than any previous Mayor or Councilman in the last 10 years. Take it from a City employee Harper is bad business. Remember the whole Katherine Moore era? Talk about a worthless Council.

no sound bites please.

Who is kidding whom? Saffo is all about special interest and it is blatantly obvious. He has no understanding of the facts pertaining to the issues, but don't listen to me listen to the facts. 1. Convention center: They loose money. Don’t believe me do your own homework. Read the Brookings Institute report. The report concluded that they are a failure and a bad investment. In addition, read the prospectus and annual report of any good real estate fund. It will list the holdings of the fund. None of them invest in convention centers because they are a bad investment. So naturally it begs the question who would profit from a convention center. Developers. Who will get stuck paying the bill? Citizens. Example: Baton rouge LA. They went through the same convention center debate several years ago that we are going through now. Their $100 million dollar promise did not pan out. All of the same promises that Saffo is making about the convention center are the same ones that the city leaders made in Baton Rouge. What Happened? It turned out to be a $100 million flop. Who got stuck with the bill? The citizens. 2. Water and Sewer Authority: Do you understand exactly what this means? Do you know who will be in control of the decisions that impact citizens of Wilmington? Unelected officials that are not accountable to the people. Democracy is about the people, all of the people. Not just a select few. 3. What Saffo has done for the city____________________. (Item left blank intentionally.) Lol 4. Nice sound bite accusing Harper Peteson of only caring about Downtown and his business. What are your facts? None... I presume.

Soundbites? Look who's talking

First of all, I support Saffo just like I supported Broadhurst. Not because I'm a developer, or local businessman or banker but because I know he is better person in general than Harper. Let's face it, Harper just isn't a nice guy. I have met him numerous times and he is arrogant, pompass, he looks at you like your less of a human than him.....I could go on and on but I digress. Instead I'll make fun of your ignorant post but simply presenting a few facts. You know what a fact is don't you? I know you Liberals have trouble with facts but hold on, they won't kill you (just your pride). #1 I dont like the idea of a convention center either. I have told Saffo this personally. But did you know that Harper was a supporter of this white elephant before Saffo came along. The Starnews reports " it was Peterson who got the convention center ball rolling when he was mayor by securing the hotel room tax money for the project." Kind of like the rest of those Liberals who voted for the war before they voted against it. #2 Remember Katherine Moore. The corrupt councilwoman who lied and played the race card every chance she got. A very close ally of Harper. You are identified by whom you associate with. #3 Saffo has done more to fix the sewers than any other former or current mayor or council member to date. He has addressed the issue head on and has stated repeatedly that the buck stops with him. Consolidation of water and sewer is the the smartest idea (along with consolidation of all city and county departments) and a positive step forward in fixing this growing and urgent problem. Starnews again cited Harper with the following "cutting the maintenance budget to the sewers and asked why he did that. "I don't know why," Peterson replied. "I guess it was all my fault." Wow , thats not just a fact it's a condemnation by Harper on himself. #4 Growth of downtown. Harper told PPD no to a headquarters building in downtown. Broadhurst opened up talks when he was Mayor and Saffo finalized the deal bringing new jobs to downtown(aka Harper country). Up to 2000 when it's all said and done. It's sad that Harper spent his entire 2 years focusing on his special intrests and Saffo hits a home run. You know, thanks for allowing me to present you with a few facts. As you stated "don't listen to me listen to the facts." Heard enough? and


Not yet….lol I am waiting for facts not editorial Your item #2 I am glad you see the light on the convention center. Yes, I know Harper Peterson supported initially. The market Place changes and due to changes in the market place he no longer supports it. I would hope someone who supports a $50 million project has the intelligence to keep up with market conditions as it pertains to such an expensive investment. My criticism with Mr. Saffo is that he refuses to accept the facts as it pertains to convention centers. The fact Mr. Saffo continues with the project simply shows a lack of judgment with investment decisions with the peoples money. It is the peoples money whether it be the people of Wilmington or the entire state of North Carolina. It is still the peoples money. So his excuse that the money will return to the state is equally as weak. If what he says is true it still is not an excuse to waste money. That just shows an utter disregard for the people. Your item #3 Yes I was there at the debate when Harper made this remark. It was said in obvious jest. The problems that created the sewer damage happened long ago from decades of neglect. What I am concerned with is who offers a better solution to the problem. The intelligent solution is not to hand over control of the cities assets ($400million) to an entity that is beyond the reach of the people. This simply creates another bureaucracy. Maybe you like big government bureaucracies but most people don’t. Another bad decision and utter disregard for the rights of the people. Your item #4 As far as who is a nice guy and who is not. Harper is so I disagree with you with you 100%. I met Mr. Saffo and he is a nice guy too. In fact I would say he is a Gentleman. Great….I care about what decisions they are going to make for the city and ALL the people. So Mr. Saffo is 0 and 2 as indicated above. PPD, I believe a better representation of what happened was that he did not want to give them a tax break. Like you gave Saffo a pass on the convention center I'll pass on this one, as I don’t know too much about this issue. Personally I don’t agree with handouts to multi million dollar corporations. You might, but I don’t. Well that’s it for me….I’m tired. Lol

What was Saffo before being Mayor?

What was Saffo before being Mayor? What was his job? His daddy is a developer behind projects all over.


Just curious; Does the tattooed gentleman (Lasana) have more than a primary education? I believe I heard "yeah", "and stuff", and "things", mores time than any direct answer. I do not know whether to be concerened or amused..

LaNasa for Mayor

For your information LaNasa has been in the army and the coast guard serving our country. He is here to support the average Joe, and give those a voice that is usually unheard. I think we should give him a chance, he cant screw up our city any worse than it already is because of previous so called leaders who are only in it to serve themselves!!!


It's Lanasa and you don't need a P.H.d to know that "yeah", "things" aren't going all that well downtown and there is plenty of "stuff" to work on like a transparent, outside audit of where our tax money is actually going.


All you really need to know is this Mayor and City Council has polluted our waterways 106 different times with sewer spills. Wouldn't it have been nice if after 50 or 60 spills they had started correcting the sewer problems?


I remember seeing him shortly before the campaign and wasn't his head was shaved to exhibit his head tattoos? But after filing for the election, he has let his hair grow over it. I have 2 tattoos from the military, so I have nothing against them, but is he now ashamed of his tats? Or does he think that no one will vote for a mayor with tattoos on his head and is trying to deceive the public with camoflage?

Seasons Change

Whats the problem- someone cant grow their hair out. I know personally that Justin LaNasa is not ashamed and isnt trying to please anyone. He is being himself. When the campaigning began it was 100 degrees outside- it's cool off some- so having a shaved head I think doesnt make a difference. If he didnt want people to judge him based on his tattoos you think he would have revealed them in the first place. Get a grip!!!

It's called hair

I'd be more concerned about the concerted effort to rob the citizens of Wilmington of their tax dollars and spend tax money in personal enrichment schemes of the builders and developers groups. I'll say that the current political jerks in office are covering up themselves the same way. What are they hiding under the suits? Saffo and several city council members have everything to gain from hiding their ties to the developer crowd.