To the Editor:
I would like to offer my comments regarding Mayor Euille’s decision to run a write-in candidacy for Mayor. The Mayor has offered up many excuses why he lost the Democratic primary race, but he is not listening to the majority of the residents of the City of Alexandria. First, the mayor and former Mayor Donley signed a pledge in the Democratic primary to accept the outcome. Both have now ignored their pledge, which is a serious ethical breach and shows very little character.
Both Mayor Euille and Kerry Donley have taken a leave of absence from the Alexandria Democratic Committee (ADC). So, on Nov. 4 they become members again? Should that be allowed?
Mayor Euille blamed the Republicans and low-voter turnout for his primary loss. But if the mayor was so popular with city residents, wouldn’t more people have turned out to vote? Furthermore, the ADC had an open primary. If Euille and Donley were so concerned about non- Democrats voting, why didn’t they push for a closed primary?
Much of Mayor Euille’s $195K plus primary campaign funding came from donations from developers. Vice Mayor Silberberg refused to accept donations from developers. The historical fabric of our great city is being threatened by all these greedy developers trying to make the city look like Crystal City — metal and glass condos everywhere. Alexandria thrives on tourism. Tourists are not traveling here to see boardwalks, condos and metal/glass buildings. They are coming here to see and trace the steps of our founding fathers and other historical sites.
Mayor Euille and most council members have plundered this city into over $532 million dollars of debt. The yearly debt service on this is $62M per year. Soon, this will grow to over $1 billion in debt when you add in the new Potomac Yards Metro; needed infrastructure replacements and a new elementary school. How does one pay back $1 billion without raising several types of taxes — property, sales, lodging and other local taxes? That is all money coming out of our pockets which is needed to feed, clothe and house our families.
The mayor has this grand plan for a boardwalk and talks of the revenue generated from such. Has the city realized all the revenue projections they so proudly proclaimed they would receive from overflow crowds from National Harbor? How about the revenue generated from the use of trolley cars going back and forth from the King Street Metro to the waterfront? Oops, that is free. However, the mayor did raise our parking meter times in Old Town from 7 p.m. to 9 p..m for added revenue. That money along with $7 million in annual parking ticket revenue is generated.
The mayor also undertook a very long, costly and nasty fight with the Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC) and even threatened to use eminent domain against this private club if they did not give in to the mayor’s wishes to give up their property. The ODBC is one of the oldest private clubs in town and has donated thousands of dollars to charities throughout the city and to city expenditures. Private entities should never be threatened with eminent domain, in my opinion.
It is time for a change. Mayor Euille has been mayor for 12 years. He has shown lapses in judgment and just plain ignoring the wishes of city residents. Vice Mayor Silberberg has won the Democratic primary fairly. She has repeatedly spent time listening to residents all over the City of Alexandria and shows a genuine deep concern for all residents.
She is also the only City Council member that has the courage to fight against all these developers threatening our historical city fabric. I therefore strongly urge all residents in the City of Alexandria to vote for Alison Silberberg for mayor on Nov. 3.
Lorie A. Green