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Letter: Pragmatic Leaders

To the Editor:

Over the past nine years, Alexandria has grown to a population of over 144,000 while maintaining a historically low crime rate, a AAA bond rating, and the second-lowest property tax rate among major jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.

This is no accident. Under the leadership of Mayor Bill Euille and his Democratic City Council colleagues, Alexandria has supported a policy of measured growth to enhance the vibrancy of our city. They’ve sought to balance the residential tax burden by attracting new commercial enterprise and channeled new development right where it should be, near Metrorail stations. They’ve preserved affordable housing and constructed new public housing in attractive mixed-income communities. They’ve adopted a plan to replace underutilized warehouses on our waterfront with new parks and mixed-use activity centers. They’ve reinvested in civic infrastructure, including new and renovated schools, recreation centers, and police and fire stations. They’ve supported new transit options like expanded bus service and bikeshare, begun planning new high-capacity transit service along three corridors, and laid the groundwork to finally construct a new Metrorail station at Potomac Yard. At the same time, we’ve preserved the integrity of our neighborhoods and ensured that our historic seaport city remains a distinctive destination. Not to mention, we’re all breathing easier since the GenOn power plant closed on Oct. 1.

Many of these decisions were not easy choices, and often required rework and compromise to achieve the best policy for Alexandria. Yet time and again, Council Democrats listened and led by reaching for progressive, fiscally responsible solutions in the interest of the entire community.

Alexandria is on the right track but we still have important issues to address. Our best course is to stick with pragmatic leaders who’ve governed our city with a steady hand. On Election Day the clear choice is to reelect Mayor Bill Euille, Councilwoman Del Pepper, and Councilman Paul Smedberg, and elect John Taylor Chapman, Tim Lovain, Allison Silberberg, and Justin Wilson to council.

Nathan M. Macek

Old Town Alexandria