YOUR VIEW | Thankfully Cooler Heads Prevailed for Our Boys and Girls

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To the editor,

As a native Alexandrian, alumnus of the Alexandria Boys and Girls Club and regular voter, I am shocked and dismayed by the actions of Councilmen Krupicka and Wilson and their letter blaming their unwillingness to assist the Boys and Girls Club on a flawed system and important city fees.
This club has significantly benefited the city as among its alumni are two mayors, members of City Council, a T.C. Williams principal, police and fire department officials, numerous public and private school teachers and coaches, and others who have made meaningful contributions to our city. The two Councilmens unfavorable actions are much clearer than their lame bureaucratic excuses of process and fees!

Several comments from local architects and builders indicate that the $20,000 or more in city fees that the club has to pay to simply remodel its interior are outrageously expensive, particularly to a nonprofit organization in difficult economic times. Remember, our club is not a Mac Mansion whose cost may be passed on in a sale to a wealthy individual. In fact, as we charge our 200 members annual dues of $5, it would take 20 years of dues to recoup these fees.

The two Councilmen seemed to believe the club was asking the city to give it $20,000 from the city budget without seeming to realize that the clubs board and numerous supporters spent the last several years raising this money before embarking on this ambitious program. Had the board simply sat on our laurels and debated processes then the city would never have realized their good fortune of $20,000 in exorbitant fees!

Thankfully, the majority of City Council members who supported the club and its mission to assist at risk children realized the club was asking for a waiver or discount of the unreasonable fees. So without trying to set a precedent, Council recognized the need and voted accordingly.
As the two Councilmen admonished the clubs board, writing government isnt the solution to the financial challenges, etc., I am reminded of the words of Ronald Reagan when he said, Government isnt always the solution. Sometimes its the problem.

Gerald B. File
Alexandria, VA

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