Opinion Your Views — 26 September 2013
Effort expended pushing waterfront plan on residents is just amazing

To the editor:

I am continually amazed by the fervor and persistence with which the mayor and city council are willing to fight their constituents regarding the development of the waterfront (“Circuit judge dismisses waterfront suit,” August 22).

Ever since the plan surfaced, elected officials have expended significant political capital, effort and taxpayer dollars pursuing it with single-mindedness far out of proportion to its deserved place in city affairs and value to the overall community. They also have consistently fought any substantive objections raised by opponents. Many of these objections were based on a broad range of issues — including mine, which focused on the virtually nonexistent financial and economic analysis presented by the city.

I also am astounded by the fact that the Democratic mayor and city councilors are willing to fight ordinary residents for the benefit of favored commercial interests. While Democrats need not be enemies of the chamber of commerce, one would normally expect them to take a more balanced view and to better respect the concerns of people who lack a financial interest in the plan.

Notwithstanding city officials’ claims of hundreds of public meetings, the plan was released with no explanation of alternatives considered or why this particular approach was selected. The mayor — and almost all of the current and past Democratic city councilors — has steamrolled the public with respect to getting the plan approved and implemented. As a Democrat, this is not representative of the principles for which I vote.

Based on my experience, discussions with friends and neighbors, and articles in the local papers, this does not appear atypical of the way our elected officials push through favored projects. It raises the question: Where are Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when you really need them?

- William W. Rogalski Jr.
Alexandria

(Photo/File photo)

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