To the editor,
This is in response to your column Our View in the Alexandria Times of December 18-22, 2008, calling for a full-time paid Council.
In the ethanol/Norfolk Southern case, City Council was poorly served by the city staff. At least one of the worst offenders has bailed. Time for the rest to quit before the Council fires them.
The actions of the staff were so egregious that even if Council spent 100 hours per week on the job the results would have been the same.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars later, in costs, Council and staff time, and money picked out of our pockets, the mayor proclaims, We didnt learn anything new… Why didnt the mayor take action then, before wasting more of our money? As for the recommendations, as always, spend more money with new policies and guidelines and CYA is the result. Doesnt that further insulate the staff from Council? If you have honest, hardworking people who want to earn their salary, which we pay, they will do a superior job and be proud of it. That is what professionals do.
With a competent staff, Council would have to spend less time. There is no need for a full-time Council. Besides, the kind of salaries you indicate will not attract top talent with experience.
Current Council, regardless of whether you agree with their actions or not, is committed to doing a good job and serving the people of the city.
Council should get rid of the rest of the problems in City Hall, get talented people in there, and their job will not only be easier but us hardworking, legal taxpayers will be better served.