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Letter: Democracy Not Debatable

— To the Editor:

Your coverage of the discussions about whether or not the two candidates running for the job as Mayor of the City of Alexandria should meet to debate is frustrating. The debate about whether to debate is not what many of the residents want to read about. We need to hear more about the vision that Andrew Macdonald and Mayor William Euille have for Alexandria. The city is a place that is easy to love but it is also an area that is struggling with land development, traffic, vacant businesses, education, and storm water/ flooding. We are also a city struggling with how we make public decisions so that residents have meaningful access and input. The candidates for Mayor need to find the time to meet in public forums and discuss these and other topics before the election.

Those of us that live in the West End have had our share of surprises with the city's decisions related to the BRAC project, second battle of Fort Ward, land use and traffic at dysfunction-junction, and the Beauregard Plan. In each case decisions have been made under the cover of darkness and in a ham-fisted way which makes many people cynical about our political leaders and civic engagement. Rather than spend time and money to send us political literature and speak in selected gatherings it would serve Alexandria well to be able for the public to listen to and ask questions of Mayor Euille and Mr. Macdonald. I don't believe this part of our democratic process is debatable.

J. Glenn Eugster

Alexandria