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Candidates for Dayton City Commission debated issues facing West Dayton on Tuesday night

Candidate Stacey Benson-Taylor speaks into a microphone while sitting next to fellow slate member Scott Sliver during a debate Tuesday night at the Northwest Dayton Library. Shenise Turner-Sloss and Darryl Fairchild are sitting across from them at another table, representing the opposing slate. The four candidates are vying for two open Dayton City Commissioner seats. Election day is November 2.
Mawa Iqbal
Candidate Stacey Benson-Taylor delivers an argument during a debate against Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss Tuesday night at the Northwest Dayton Library. She and her slate partner, Scott Sliver, are running for two open Dayton City Commissioner seats against Fairchild and Turner-Sloss.

On Tuesday night at the Northwest Dayton Library, candidates for two open Dayton City Commissioner seats debated issues facing the West Dayton community.

The candidates were split into two slates — Stacey Benson-Taylor and Scott Sliver at one table, and Darryl Fairchild and Shenise Turner-Sloss at the other. Each team was asked 10 questions and given about a minute to respond.

Debate topics ranged from community-police relations to after-school programs.

One question was about the sewage backup discovered at the Linda Vista apartments this past summer. The candidates were asked how the city could prevent horrible living conditions like that in the future.

Sliver said all the responsibility shouldn’t fall on the city.

“Obviously, I think it's a good idea to bring properties up to code and to make them livable,” Sliver said. “But then you have people who are going to be responsible for that. Is that going to be the city running some program? Is it going to be independent?”

But Turner-Sloss disagreed. Even though it wasn’t her team’s turn to speak, she talked about her and Fairchild’s experience evacuating tenants from Linda Vista.

“We had to make sure that we contact Montgomery County to have Catholic social services out and to have St. Vincent come out to remove those families so they can have a decent place to rest their head that evening," she said. "The city does not have a process in place, and it is simply unacceptable.”

Although they were in teams on the night of the debate, the candidates will be listed individually on the ballot. Early voting started Tuesday, and Election Day will be on November 2.

For more information and how and where to vote, visit the Montgomery County Board of Elections website.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.