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Letter to the Editor: New Leadership For Alexandria

To The Editor:

Imagine this as a platform of "accomplishments" on which to run for City Council:

  • Allow the BRAC site to be chosen and built on, causing incredible turmoil in the Seminary-West End. This is clearly the worst site possible with no Metro access, but council just let it slide by, no hearings. Someone had to order and approve the city manager writing the Post advocating the site. Millions in city dollars for roads/transportation.

  • Approve the Beauregard Small Area Plan. Eliminate 2600 affordable housing units, get 800 back (with a net loss of 1800 units), then sit around and bemoan the loss of affordable housing in the city. What do we get? $66 million in additional city debt for road and intersection improvements and a firehouse for the wealthy who will live there.

  • Approve a Waterfront Plan roundly criticized by a large percentage of the citizenry. Try to split hairs on zoning (text v. map), deny receipt of a petition for review, have your own agency (BZA) say you were wrong in not applying a 6-1 supermajority, file suit against BZA, hire high-priced outside lawyers to press your case but tell BZA they're on their own.

  • Do not waste the time incorporating the GenOn site into the Waterfront Plan, though it is clearly part of the waterfront. Perhaps some developer has already given Council a plan for that valuable acreage.

  • Do nothing about the atrocious state of our city's schools — continued poor test scores and now even worse finances.

  • Keep jacking up the real estate tax burden on homeowners. During the real estate recession, there was an occasional modification of the tax rate, but total taxes kept going higher. And city expenditures went up every single year of the recession.

  • Allow an ethanol transloading to be built and operated right under your noses, with no involvement of nearby residents, an elementary school, or your own fire separtment.

  • Create more development turmoil in Arlandria.

So whose "platform" is this? For the most part, it's Euille’s, Pepper’s, Smedberg’s, Krupicka’s (departing), Donley’s (departing), Fannon’s, and Hughes’, as well as Lovain’s and Wilson’s from the previous council. Some voted for or against some things, but they all passed.

It's time to dump the old guard.

Tom Burke

West End