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Letter: Sound of Change

To the Editor:

If the explosive eruption of Krakotoa in 1883 was a “sound heard ‘round the world,” the cheering you heard on Friday morning at 1 a.m., after the Board of Zoning Appeals reversed a City decision that prevented citizens from protesting a major waterfront zoning decision last January was heard all over Alexandria.

The 4-2 vote by a small body of appointed citizens tasked with ensuring that the City’s zoning code is properly and fairly applied, did more than shine a spotlight on a corrupted public and political process. It challenged the direction in which Mayor Euille and developers want to take the City, one that I believe is having profound negative impacts on the face of Alexandria.

In a statement released by the City, Mayor William D. Euille said, “the BZA decision on the protest petition will not halt the Plan’s implementation; however, ensuring a change in zoning use is a critical element of the plan. City Council will need to discuss the BZA’s decision and determine how to move forward, because this component is not only important to shaping the future of Alexandria’s waterfront, but also critical to the future of development in our city.”

In other words, the Mayor is saying I don’t care what you think, we are going ahead with our plans; we don’t need to listen. In fact, I think this plan and others like it are part of the reason that City spending has risen so dramatically over the last decade. This growth is not making Alexandria a more livable community. Their vision for Alexandria is not sustainable.

The closed-door decision by the City Council on Saturday to spend even more taxpayer dollars fighting the BZA and citizens should be a second bang that wakes us all up and reminds us that the current administration will never hear what we have to say. It’s time for real change at City Hall.

Andrew Macdonald

Andrew Macdonald is running to be Mayor of Alexandria