To the Editor:
The upcoming City Council election presents both quandary and opportunity to shape Alexandria's future. The quandary is how to choose among the many candidates, fine people who are offering their services to the City. The opportunity is to find those who will reflect our best values for the future development of Alexandria.
What values do I find important? Aesthetics, to preserve the charm which brings people to the City. Diversity, which mixes people from all walks, and all income levels, in a common community.
Environmental sensitivity, which fosters green spaces and parks. Responsiveness to input, respecting those with whom we differ. Development with impact mitigation, so the City does not have to pay the bill for businesses.
On these scores, regrettably, both the current and recent councils have not had high grades. Potomac Yards (anyone consider the construction pretty or charming?) will clog Highway 1, and the once-promised developer-financed Metro stop is not there. The BRAC move to Seminary Road lacked consideration for the traffic impact.
The Waterfront planning process divided the community, and treated some with disrespect. The Beauregard plan will eliminate much low-income housing. The Arlandria plan also will eliminate much low-income housing. And so on. We are well on the way to becoming just another gentrified suburb .…
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Council's actions reflect almost a single-minded focus on increasing property tax revenue, with much less attention to the community's other needs. This is judging by the results, not by the intentions.
So, this liberal who believes in conservation of the best of our community, has come to a harsh conclusion: Alexandria's voters have the opportunity to send a message to the Council by voting for an entirely new slate. No incumbent should be spared. We need to start over.