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Letter: Hurrah for Alicia Hughes

To the Editor:

Reading through the list of potential additions to Alexandria’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013, we were struck by the incongruity of the modest requests for funds to support Sunday delivery for the Meals on Wheels program ($60,000) or to restore the library hours cut during the Great Recession ($50,000) as opposed to the outrageous requests to keep the King Street holiday lights on all year ($96,000) or to provide additional opportunities for awards to City employees ($500,000) or for “traffic-calming” measures (also $500,000), for example. We fail to understand what most members of the City Council are thinking. As taxpayers, we expect our elected officials to provide the necessary services for citizens, not to spend money on frivolous matters like extending holiday lights or providing unnecessary additional avenues to reward City staff or to add speed bumps instead of conducting badly needed traffic studies for areas the Council seems intent on cramming with overdense development.

Whether or not the City Council members want to admit it, there are citizens in Alexandria who depend on services like the Meals on Wheels program Ms. Hughes has been trying valiantly to support.

And the support of free public libraries is an American institution that has its roots in the earliest years of the republic. If you consider Alexandria’s lack of support for such important services together with City Council’s stone-deaf reaction to the residents of the city’s West End, you get the impression that Alexandria’s current Mayor and City Council are driving in the direction of pushing everyone out of the city except the wealthiest residents.

Hurrah for Ms. Hughes for standing up for Alexandria’s citizens who desperately need a voice to speak on their behalf.

Hugh and Sue Van Horn

Alexandria