Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Taxpayers Or Cash Cows?

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Taxpayers Or Cash Cows?

If any taxpaying resident needed proof that you are nothing more than a cash cow to the overlords ruling Alexandria, then simply savor the revelation our city has decided to circumvent current zoning ordinances to allow 80-foot stadium lights at all athletic fields at every school field — public and private, elementary, middle and high — and in all parks.

No lengthy outreach to the citizens it serves through community discussions; no justification reached by soliciting views of the of neighborhood associations; no cost projections presented to the public. The city manager apparently decided these light poles are necessary. If this doesn’t make you feel like a cash cow, then here are other examples:

  • The Potomac Yard Metro: Justin Wilson – your next mayor unless a write-in candidate emerges to defeat him – wants a metro in Potomac Yard badly, and ASAP; not later when the city has some of its mandatory costly infrastructure projects behind it.

Apart from the timing, here's what else is wrong: Of several sites, the one selected with negligible public input will destroy irreplaceable wetlands protected by the Federal government. Does this bother you?

It should if you care about the city actively soliciting the views of the citizens it serves, preserving fragile wetlands and realizing a metro will not reduce traffic nor produce wealth. If a metro station could do this, then our existing metro stations would have long since eradicated traffic congestion and reduced our growing city debt.

  • T.C. Williams Stadium Lights: Most people don’t know that years ago the city enticed an African American community to move from their homes so T.C. Williams high school could be built. Among the lures used to persuade this community were new homes nearby the new athletic stadium, and a verbal promise there would never be stadium lights.

Without the lights, the displaced African Americans were promised they would never be subjected to noisy night-time athletic events thereby allowing them to enjoy the tranquility of their homes after their day’s work.

Fast forward: Our today rulers, foremost the new school administrator and his board, decided this promise made is not a promise worth keeping. But this time, the affected African Americans will not be bullied. They're suing the city.

What’s shameful is the new school administrator should be focusing his energies on improving T.C. Williams anemic academic achievements. After all, our taxes are intended to educate our children; not to light up an athletic field.

  • Karig Property: Another shameful abuse of the public trust. This one is so egregious that those affected by the city’s capricious mismanagement of this four-acre property are not going quietly into the night. Like the African American community fighting stadium night lights, the Karig neighbors are also seeking redress from the court.

At the heart of the dispute is whether the Karig property merits protection from development due to having a stream. Streams and the land they traverse are protected by law. Spoiler alert: According to specialists, including a consultant hired by the city, the Karig property has a stream. But this fact was not reported by city employees at either a Planning Commission or at a City Council hearing. Result: the city approved development of the Karig property.

And what of your mayor-in-waiting Justin Wilson and city manager? Since no revenue can be produced for city coffers by wetlands nor can a stadium without lights be rented for use at night, you can quickly deduce where they stand. With this duo in power, expect to zip your lip and open your wallet. You are a cash cow, nothing more, for their costly visions, massive light poles and destroyed wetlands.

Jimm Roberts