Letter: A Fresh Approach

Letter: A Fresh Approach

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, June 9, citizens will have the opportunity to elect the Democratic Party’s candidate to be the next Mayor of Alexandria. There are three choices: incumbent Mayor Bill Euille, Former Mayor Kerry Donley, and Vice-Mayor Allison Silberberg.

In my view, Vice-Mayor Silberberg stands head and shoulders above the others:

  • She is the only candidate to make an effort to learn the concerns of residents across the city, by hosting Saturday morning coffee hours at a variety of venues and by attending meetings of civic organizations throughout Alexandria.

  • She is the only candidate to earn the endorsement of former state Sen. Patsy Ticer as “a voice of reason.”

  • She is not beholden to special interest groups.

  • She has the courage of her convictions; all too often, hers is the sole dissenting vote on a controversial issue.

  • She appears to be the only one of the three candidates who truly understands the value of Alexandria’s unique perspective on the history of our nation and that this is essential to the attractiveness and quality of life of our city.

In marked contrast, the current and former mayor appear to have pursued a strategy of divisiveness, imposing on different areas of the city one unwanted and ugly development after another. Remember when BRAC-133 was supposed to be located near a Metro stop? And what about the polarization engendered during heated battles over the controversial waterfront development plan, which persists to this day? Then there were the bullying tactics Mayor Euille used to force the Old Dominion Boat Club to move out of its historic location at the foot of King Street. And there was the Beauregard Avenue “Corridor C” redevelopment, and the Potomac Yard Metro controversy, and on and on. The most recent egregious examples are the nationally telecast embarrassment of constructing a fire station without allocating sufficient funds to provide staff for it and the ridiculous idea of selling our historic City Hall.

If either Mayor Euille or former Mayor Donley is elected as the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Alexandria, we can be absolutely certain that more of the same will continue. Isn’t it time for the city to try a fresh approach? In my opinion, Allison Silberberg is the only candidate who has the potential to be a candidate for all of Alexandria. Let’s give her the opportunity to show what she can do.

Hugh M. Van Horn