To the Editor:
If Bill Euille is trying to repeat what Republican Frank Mann did in the early ‘70s, and win a write-in campaign for mayor, he has a big challenge ahead of him as Frank Mann only needed 4,122 to win a May Election. Mr. Euille will need significantly more than that in a general election, with over 25,000 voters expected.
Mr. Euille should remember that 64 percent did not support him having a fifth term, so about two-thirds of voters voted against him and for another candidate. Lastly, there was not a low turnout in the primary. It was actually pretty strong for an off-year election, at around 8 percent. It will be very hard for Mr. Euille to convince half of the voters going to the poll in a General Election to write him in, something most voters are unfamiliar with doing. It is now a one-on-one race, not a three-way, a race that he couldn't even win as an incumbent, which is usually a big advantage. There are reasons that he had two challengers, and failed to convince even a third of voters to vote for him. He used to run on the idea of "One Alexandria," and now he is running to divide Alexandria.
On the other hand, many people voted for a new candiate for mayor that they liked, Allison Silberberg. Her concern for social services, libraries, and reaching out to those faced with a tragedy spoke to many people in Alexandria. Her concern about the pace and size of development, and the size of our debt, and the cost of carrying that debt, spoke to many people who are having to watch their personel budgets more carefully. She did not attack either of her opponents, and I believe many people in Alexandria wanted the city to turn in a new direction. Even if they like the pace of development, they feel it is time that there is some return on the increased tax revenue we supposedly get from development. We need to have storm water sewer seperation to improve our water quality, and we have other infrastructure needs. We need to look at future sites like the Gen-On site not just for their development potential, but for their open space and public park potential. We need to have a range of options on the table when it comes to major decisions, not just "my way or the highway."
One Alexandria is proving to mean the way one person sees the city, and not listening to a variety of viewpoints to come to a consensus. Bill Euille failed to listen to voters, and he has failed to listen to the advice of those who think he should consider his legacy over his ego. On election night, Bill Euille chose not to stick around to congratulate either of his two opponents, if either of them should win. He surely would of been congratulated by either of them and quickly endorsed. Instead of conceding and leaving office graciously, he has chosen to challenge the election, and go for a second, if albeit quixotic, chance to win. As a four term mayor, Bill Euille was bound to have many celebrations in his honor, and warm wishes. Now he has chosen sour grapes instead. If you don't like the result, ignore your pledge not to run as an independent, and abandon your party. I think those sour grapes will leave a bitter taste in many voters’ mouths, as they have in mine. I urge voters to support Allison Silbereberg and keep the city moving forward.