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Getting to Know … Peter Dykhuis

Peter Dykhuis is the executive director of the IDC Group, which provides public policy, marketing and communications services for clients in the energy and technology industries. At public hearings last year, he decried increasing government spending and steadily rising property tax bills.

How many years have you lived in the community?

My family moved to Alexandria 40 years ago this summer.

What is your educational background?

I attended St. Stephen’s School For Boys and T.C. Williams High School before going to American University, where I majored in English.

What is your current job?

My company, IDC Group, provides public policy, marketing and communications services for clients in the energy and technology industries.

What are your achievements?

Making most of my mistakes only once.

What are your interests and hobbies?

My first job as an intern for a U.S. senator led to a lifelong interest in current events, public policy and politics. I play guitar and was in a local band once upon a time. My son, Eric, and I are currently collaborating on writing a children’s book. Skiing and sailing.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

As parents of 4- and 8-year-old boys, our restaurant rounds have changed quite a bit from our childless days. If a babysitter shows up, Akasaka, Evening Star Cafe or Landini Brothers; otherwise King Street Blues, Atlantis or Generous George's.

What is your favorite place in the community?

Christ Church for the history it has known and the top of the George Washington Masonic Temple for the amazing view.

What concerns do you have about the community?

Escalating real-estate values and runaway property taxes are changing the unique nature of our community. Many of our neighbors living on fixed or modest incomes — those Alexandrians who made our community a great place to live — may be unable to afford to stay here. Other Alexandrians who realized their dream of being the first in their family to own a home are receiving property-tax bills that exceed their mortgage payments and threaten their ability to stay in their homes. Rent increases in Alexandria are, similarly, squeezing renters. Many current residents are struggling to pay for city spending on an infrastructure that will mostly benefit more affluent newcomers after rising property taxes have forced them away.

What brought you here?

My parents relocated here when I was a child after my father returned from Vietnam and retired from the U.S. Army.

What are the community's hidden treasures?

Senior Alexandrians, with their wealth of knowledge and experience that is so often overlooked. It would be nice if we had a weekly “Eyewitness To History” program at a city facility to hear Alexandrians relate their unique life experiences.

What are your personal goals?

To provide my two sons with the foundation to achieve a happy, productive and caring life — and to keep an open mind.