Burlington mayoral candidates gathered at Mayco Bigelow Community Center this evening to discuss issues affecting East Burlington residents ahead of the October primary election.

Incumbent mayor Ian Baltutis, Joey Cook Sr. and Lisa Patrick answered questions from residents at the event held by local activist group Down Home and WNCC-AME Social Action Commission.

Major topics that were up for discussion included public transportation, housing, police accountability, community equity and inclusivity. Many residents pushed for better access to public transportation and extended hours for transportation routes.

Baltutis said that development in East Burlington continues to be an issue. 

“Our biggest struggle there is that when people think of development they usually say ‘I want to see a public grocery store’ or they name a big box-chain,” Baltutis said. “Those things just don’t plop down if you don’t have the economic statistics in the community.” 

Lisa Rowden, a member of Down Home’s Alamance chapter, was satisfied with the turnout of the town hall. 

“I was really pleased with the [community] engagement,” she said. 

Residents will be able to vote in the primary election on Oct. 8 and two of the candidates will move on to compete in the general election on Nov. 5.