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Letter: Inclusive Dialogue

To the Editor:

This year, the local elections in Alexandria are particularly important for the future of our city. The choices are clear and stark.

On the one hand, we may elect a Mayor and City Council that will continue to follow the closed, secretive, and divisive practices that have allowed development to run amok throughout the city. If we choose this path, we will condemn Alexandria to an uninspiring future of mediocrity, allowing it to develop into just another McCity with uninspiring architecture that could be located anywhere in the nation.

On the other hand, we can choose new leadership that will encourage open, transparent, and inclusive practices that respect and preserve the unique, historic character of Alexandria. If we choose this direction, we can retain the best aspects of life in a city that has witnessed first-hand the most important and dramatic episodes in our nation’s history. These and our rich cultural heritage are the things that make Alexandria such a desirable place in which to live and which annually draw hordes of tourists to our city. Lose them and we lose our major attractions.

During Mayor Euille’s nine years in office, he has deliberately chosen to lead the city much too far along the first path. Indeed, he and his collaborators on the City Council have clearly demonstrated not only that they are not really interested in the views of Alexandria’s citizens, but also — remarkably — that they are willing to antagonize residents in any part of the city. How else can one explain their willingness to force down the throats of Alexandrians BRAC-133 and unwanted developments in Arlandria, along the city’s historic waterfront, in the West End, and in Potomac Yard?

We believe that it is high time for a change in our city administration. In our view, Andrew Macdonald is the best choice for mayor on Nov. 6. He has consistently advocated the kind of open, transparent, and inclusive dialogue with citizens that has been so sorely lacking over the past decade or more.

Whatever your political persuasion, we urge you to think carefully about the direction you desire for the future of the city we love as you cast your vote on Election Day. The choice is yours, Alexandria.

Hugh and Sue Van Horn

Alexandria