To The Editor:
The May 21 article about your reporter asking to copy the table of contents of the city regulations and the city manager’s staff response was truly appalling. It was rude, condescending and arrogant, a thesaurus worth of negative words. All that was asked was to copy an index. This is not exactly a national security issue with sensitive information. It may surprise the manager’s staff to know many city residents are familiar with real classified information, where a Freedom of Information request would be appropriate. An index of any city’s rules is not such an item.
However, what can we the citizens of Alexandria expect? These are the same people who need lessons in civic engagement. In basic management training the staff reflects the attitude of the mayor and City Council. That disdain flows down from the top and is transmitted to and practiced by the staff. The city government’s culture is reflected by the article’s example. The money spent on civic engagement training was wasted and we the citizens deserve a refund.
This incident shows the city manager’s talents and aptitude for those who pay their salaries are not fully utilized in Alexandria. Their contempt and disdain needs a larger platform. I suggest the airlines or maybe the Windows 8 developers, industries that does not like their customers and also condescending. In both cases they can practice their contempt on much larger numbers than just the 148,000 citizens of Alexandria.
Really what is the staff afraid of? It’s just an index.
William L. Blumberg, MBA