To the Editor:
In a recent letter to this paper, Mindy Lyle questions Ms. Silberberg’s judgement by suggesting absurdly that her opposition to development was essentially a failure to reach a consensus with her fellow council members. Ms. Lyle neglects to say that she, Ms. Lyle, is a member of the Planning Commission and a staunch supporter of its corporate CEO /mayor, Bill Euille. The Planning Commission’s members are appointed as part of a patronage system that provides the council with cover for their development decisions.
Under Mayor Euille’s administration, and that of former mayor Kerry Donley before him, development and more development has always been the only real agenda. Who on council today doesn’t support this agenda? The answer is that everyone on council, with the exception of Ms. Silberberg, does most of the time.
We need a new City Council that is not beholden to the moneyed special interests that are transforming a one-of-a-kind historic town into just another generic tourist destination. Even if you don’t live along the river, you should be concerned about the city’s future. Problems like the lack of parkland for a growing population, rapidly rising taxes and debt, destruction of affordable public housing, and a general loss of the city’s unique neighborhood identity will worsen if the current City Council remains in place.
Scrap the destructive business policies of Mayor Euille and his predecessor Kerry Donley. As a former vice-mayor of Alexandria, I urge you to elect a fresh City Council on Nov. 3 with Ms. Silberberg as mayor. Let’s usher in a more enlightened citizen-based government.
The writer is a former member of the City Council.