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Letter: Vote for Change

To the Editor:

The time for change at City Hall is overdue, and we have a chance to effect that change on the first Tuesday of November. There are a lot of significant reasons for replacing most of our current leaders, but the most egregious among them are BRAC; the waterfront rezoning plan; the Beauregard small area plan; huge tour buses running amok in old town, clogging the streets and choking the citizenry with diesel engine smoke; and the outrageous decision to pay city manager Rashad Young approximately 23 percent more than he was paid in his last position as city manager of Greensboro, N.C., to manage a city just a little more than half the size of Greensboro.

For those who don’t know: At the time Mr. Rashad was hired to manage our city of 144,301 (2011 estimated population), he was given a salary greater than that of his counterparts in Arlington (2011 estimated population: 240,875) and Fairfax County (2011 estimated population: 1,100,692). When Fairfax hired its new manager earlier this year he was given a salary just $12,000 more than Mr. Rashad’s — to manage a county with a population 7.6 times larger than Alexandria’s. Clearly, City Hall was out to lunch on this matter.

Repeatedly, our current leaders have done an unacceptable job of representing the interests of the majority of Alexandrians, choosing instead to cater to the wants of developers and other special-interest groups. Of particular concern are the BRAC Five: Mayor Euille, current council members Del Pepper and Paul Smedberg, and two former council members seeking reelection — Tim Lovain and Justin Wilson.

I urge all eligible voters in Alexandria to vote for change on Nov. 6. We need it and we deserve it.

Robert T. Keelin

Alexandria