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Letter: Later, Later

To the Editor:

I am an Alexandria resident and retired librarian who also worked as a contractor with FEMA's flood insurance program. I was an opponent of Alexandria's Waterfront Development "Draft Plan." I watched Saturday's hearings for six or seven hours on cable TV. A couple of themes that are important to me were clear:

Many speakers provided specific weaknesses to the "Plan." For me this is perfectly (and painfully) illustrated by the fact that throughout the process whenever flood control was raised as a question, City officials jumped in with cozy and enthusiastic verbal assurances that "this is our number one priority." Yet, when they were raised on Saturday — once again — the answer was "we will talk about this later." Talk about "kicking the can:" The Council kicked it past the street and into the river!

Second, as I testified at an earlier hearing — and at least three speakers reiterated on Saturday — the "Plan" is a slick brochure full of "mom and apple pie" generalities supplemented by a chaotic collection of appendices, revised and sometimes contradictory footnotes, and draft legislative changes. When speakers asked for specific documents, the City was silent. Speakers then expressed disbelief that the Council could possibly know what it was voting on. Not to mention the voters. The Council's vote can in no way change a "Draft" into a "Final" document. I challenge the Council to produce a final document.

Bruce Miller

Alexandria