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Letter: Get Expenses Back to 2007

— To the Editor:

The following is an open letter to Councilman Paul Smedberg.

In regards to your recent comment (Alexandria Gazette Packet, “On the Campaign Trail,” Sept. 20) in response to my complaint about the city's wasteful addiction to spending, you were defending the city’s record by saying you and your fellow Democrats have been “responsible” and “have tried to maintain a low budget rate given the challenges we have.”

In the 9 way-too-long years you’ve been a council member, your spending has been out of control. You sir, and your fellow Democrats, have created those “challenges” taking on over $100M in new debt on top of the $100M in increased spending. During the worse recession since the great depression, many of my fellow homeowners had to cut back their own spending to make ends meet, while the city has increased their tax bills.

For example, you and your fellow council members produced the BRAC mess by signing off on a letter that said in reference to the Mark Center site that “the impact to the regional roadway network is manageable” and “that no additional transportation studies are warranted.” You all concluded a “finding of no significant impact in regard to the Mark Center.” In addition, you all said any improvements needed would be paid for by Duke Realty. Really? Even after west end civic groups express strong concerns about the Mark Center site that fell on obviously deaf ears?

Then why now are you asking the taxpayers of Alexandria to foot the bill for tens of millions of dollars worth of additional improvements, tearing down the beautiful tree-lined median of Beauregard to make room for “bus only” lanes?

After all of that, you now want us to trust you and your fellow Democrats again to make important decisions about the Old Town Waterfront Project despite major concerns of homeowners throughout Alexandria?

I ask that you please stop creating new “challenges” and help me in my quest to restore fiscal sanity to the city and reduce spending back to 2007 levels so that homeowners can have $,1400 back in their pockets each year.

Robert Kraus

Candidate for City Council