Alexandria To the Editor:
Citizens have the right to expect that our local government will make decisions on their behalf only after holding a public hearing and listening to their informed opinions. The great failure of the Potomac Yard Metro decision process is for this hearing, the procedure normally followed was discarded.
Many matters surrounding the Metro are questionable or unclear. These dates are not. The city government set a public hearing date for April 14 with the question before the council being should city government approve an appropriation of $320 million to bond for the Metro at the site designated as Option B.
City Council held the hearing after having done the proper advertising of that date. No one who came to testify nor anyone following the matter knew that what was being considered was a Metro station with only one entrance rather than two, but still with a price of $320 million. Council members knew this having discussed it in executive session.
Only on May 4, more than two weeks later did the city manager issue a memo announcing what we were getting for our $320 million was a Metro with one fewer entrance so that there would be no entrance at a convenient distance from existing homes.
If all the relevant information had to be withheld until May 4 for whatever reason, what possible reason was there for not delaying the public hearing past the May 4 date? This is nothing less than a scandal. We need an investigation to learn who decided on this unorthodox and probably illegal way of doing the public’s business.