The following open letter is addressed to Mayor Allison Silberberg, Vice Mayor Justin Wilson and members of the City Council.
I am writing to endorse the letter appearing in the Aug. 24-30 issue of the Alexandria Gazette Packet written by city resident, Kathryn M. Huettner. I, too, am constantly annoyed and embarrassed by the appearance of our downtown/Old Town area. Quite honestly, if I were a tourist here, I would include in my description, once home, the charm of the historical sights of the city, but also, surprisingly, the dirty, unkempt streetscape.
In addition to the items already pointed out by Ms. Huettner, I must add the poor condition of the brick sidewalks, the sidewalk trashcans which are often overflowing with their rims covered by ABC gum, drink residue and other sticky objects that have not made it in, but on! There are cigarette butts all over the streets and leaf and tree detritus around the sewers. Many alleyways, especially those abutting restaurants, have nauseating, smelly streams of grease running down them and onto the streets. There is visual clutter from all the signage on posts and poles, often redundant and unnecessary.
I realize that city maintenance is a huge task, but as Ms. Heuttner suggests, we don’t need an uber-council like BID, to do a good job. We need supervision and oversight to use properly, the city departments that we already have.