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Huntsville City Council District 3 candidates urging growth along South Memorial Parkway

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Huntsville City Council District 3 race includes a veteran city leader and two political newcomers, but all three agree on the need for new business development along South Memorial Parkway.

Incumbent Jennie Robinson is seeking a second four-year term on the city council. She also served on the Huntsville Board of Education for several years.

The challengers include Rosemary List Schexnayder and Trent Iley.

[Click here to see what the candidates have to say on the issues]

WHNT News 19 spoke to the candidates about the race.

Each candidate talked about roads in District 3 as a top priority. Robinson said she is excited for development on Haysland Road near new Grissom High School.

Iley wants to keep recreational fees affordable for the community.

And Schexnayder wants to see a tighter grip on neighborhood zoning.

WHNT News 19 asked the candidates about being worthy of a voter's trust.

Robinson said she's built up that trust over time.

"If you can come in and articulate a vision for an area, it pulls people together," she said. " Really I think that's all I've done."

Iley focused on changes he's made in life.

"I'm real. I've made some mistakes in my past, I've learned from them. I've grown from them, I've owned them," Iley said. "But, I want to under promise and over deliver to my constituents in my district."

Schexayder said it's about making a consistent effort.

"If you're making things better every day, you're working the best that you can, and I do that every day of my life," Schexnayder said.

The candidates spoke about Huntsville's debt. The city says the capital debt is at $335 million and, they say Huntsville's AAA credit rating has been in good standing for 10 straight years.

"They rate us based on our very vibrant economy, and also on the way we structure our debt within our capital plans and our capacity to repay," Robinson said.

"That's a fantastic rating," Iley said. "That means we pay back what we borrow. But, I don't see a need to borrow any more money to get more things. We need to be fiscally responsible of what we have in the area."

"You have to know how to service the debt, and that's one of my greatest concerns is how is the debt being handled by the city," Schexnayder said.

The candidates each have ideas they want to continue, or bring to the district.

Robinson, wants, "to brand, to promote, to create new design, to revitalize and to create economic vibrancy in that entire area from Martin Road all the way down to potentially Ditto Landing."

While Iley, "would like to increase the Parkway corridor, whether it be on the southside or the northside because both of those are kind of being neglected with the downtown redevelopment and westwardly."

Schexnayder is focusing on neighborhoods.

"I am promoting an opt-out ordinance for the City of Huntsville for existing neighborhoods," she said. "We need some form of control in our older neighborhoods."

The election is Tuesday, Aug. 28.