To the Editor:
Alexandria’s streets have suffered through two harsh winters that have caused a rash of potholes throughout our city. Even with a hasty campaign of spring patching, things remain rocky. Not only do some of the holes remain, but the patching is pretty haphazard and leaves a lot of bumps. Drivers swerving to avoid losing a tire in one of these potholes or rattling their teeth loose on the bumps are endangering other cars and drivers. It’s a vicious circle. How did Alexandria’s streets get so bad? One answer is that Alexandria’s budgets for the past few years have suffered from inadequate revenues while expenses continue to rise. I have yet to see a pothole that gets cheaper because it was not filled, and deferred maintenance is actually more expensive in the long run. Meanwhile, our streets have suffered from normal aging and wear and tear, but also those two hard winters already mentioned. We need to improve our revenue stream so we can maintain all sectors of our transportation network, and poor street conditions are a most obvious problem to citizens. Our city will benefit from leadership that has a complete understanding of finance, long range planning, and the consequences of neglecting our priorities. Kerry Donley is running for mayor, and I support him because I believe he has the knowledge, vision, and experience to make sure this city lives up to its obligations and potential in all ways. Kerry Donley has held leadership positions in Alexandria and regionally for many years. He has served a total of 18 years as a council member, vice mayor, and mayor (mayor from 1996 to 2003), most recently serving as vice mayor from 2009 to 2012. During those years he also represented the city on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, including time as chair, and on the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. He served for years on the board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. He has a thorough understanding of our regional traffic grid and the importance of both roads and transit. A banker by profession, he understands municipal finance. He’ll make a difference to our city, its residents, and its roads.