This latest fiasco over the location of the slaughter house pinpoints one vital point: We are the victims of our decisions at the voting booths. What makes this issue so important is that with a slight change to the way we cast our ballots in November, we could have a much better outcome at adjudicating issues before the City Council.
In my opinion, eliminating the “At Large” system of City Council representation would greatly improve the fairness of the process. Replacing it with the Ward system would offer every voting citizen in Alexandria an ability to vote for someone who understands and represents the issues within their own neighborhood, and would be working to solve them, rather than being beholden to no one, which is the present situation. Unfortunately, this solution is just not in the cards, as it faces too many political hurdles, none of which are easily overcome.
Therefore, the impetus for all issues before our City Council rests exclusively upon the votes of our six council members and mayor. Unfortunately, the four new faces on City Council have had little to no experience in advocating for the critical issues facing them each month. That means that we must therefore live with decision making that is not informed by experience, a case in point being the recent slaughterhouse decision. If citizens are upset with this decision, they only have themselves to blame, and must live with their voting choices. Those citizens who are upset about poor City Council decisions must express this concern to them. If the council chooses to remain unresponsive, citizens have several choices, one of which is to run for City Council themselves, and another is to vote the incumbents out of office. Still another choice is more draconian — they can move to a community with a more responsive and representative form of government.
Your decisions have consequences, Alexandria!
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet