Letter: Thoughtful Leader

Letter: Thoughtful Leader

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, June 9, in one of the most important local primaries of recent years, Alexandrians will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the candidate likely to be elected mayor. Three individuals are running: incumbent Mayor Bill Euille, Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, and former Mayor Kerry Donley. I have supported each in past elections. But this time, my vote will go to Vice Mayor Silberberg, a steadfast proponent of thoughtful development, sound budgeting and greater transparency in decision making at City Hall.

I have known Allison since her days on Capitol Hill where she interned for Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and later worked for Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas. In a highly competitive environment where representatives of special interests use every available means to influence deliberations, Allison distinguished herself as a thoughtful policy analyst, a skilled communicator and a highly effective advocate for those who lacked the capacity to speak for themselves. Here in Alexandria we have all benefitted from her more than 25 years of public service as a volunteer leader and from her tenacity when, as vice mayor, she has insisted on careful review of key issues before the City Council. Vice Mayor Silberberg can always be counted on to ask the tough budget questions and to urge consideration of the impact of proposed projects on neighborhoods where they would be implemented. Most important, however, is her long time commitment to open government where the goal is a well informed citizenry and responsive elected officials who collaborate with their constituents to address major issues facing the city.

Vice Mayor Silberberg envisions a future for Alexandria built on a firm foundation of vibrant neighborhoods where children have access to excellent schools, adults can work and shop nearby and amenities, including libraries, art galleries, musical entertainment and top-notch recreational facilities are available to everyone. Our current and former mayors should be very proud of their many accomplishments while in office, but to paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, there comes a time when the best decision is to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders. As mayor, Allison Silberberg will listen to city residents, she will focus on "mission critical" budget priorities including infrastructure, parks and open space, she will strongly support our businesses, promote smart development and simultaneously ensure that the architectural treasures unique to this historic city are protected.

Voters have a clear choice on June 9. If you want your voice to be heard, value the qualify of life in this special community, and are looking for a visionary leader of proven integrity who understands and respects Alexandria's place in American history, then vote to elect Allison Silberberg our next mayor.

Dr. Marina Lee Weiss