To the editor:
On May 5, the citizens of Alexandria elected new leadership to serve as their voice on local issues over the next three years. The new City Council takes office on July 1 and the next few weeks are an opportunity for incumbents and new members to work together in the best interest of the city. This is not a time to forge new policy.
The current issue at hand is the timing of City Council elections and moving the elections from May to November. For years this has been a topic of conversation and has yet to be resolved. On the heels of an election that yielded unexpected results to some, this issue has emerged as a priority by the current Alexandria City Council.
Alexandrians voted for a more balanced City Council in order to gain fresh perspectives and ideas. Pushing through political legislation during a lame duck session isnt putting the citizens of Alexandria first.
The existing Alexandria City Council is holding a public hearing on Saturday, June 13 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall (301 King Street) to hear your opinion on moving City Council elections from May to November beginning in 2012. Heres what you can do to get involved:
1. Contact Alexandria City Council members by phone or email to let them know you support May elections. You can find all current City Council members contact information on the city website at www.alexandriava.gov/Council.
2. Speak in person on June 13 to share your opinion. You may register in advance to speak by calling the City Clerk at 703-838-4550 or come and register that day.
Following the public hearing, the Council will take action on the proposed ordinance.
You will read and hear opinions leaning both ways on this issue. I ask you to keep in mind that Alexandria isnt alone holding May local elections; at least 28 neighboring cities have elections outside of November, the majority occurring in May. These are in Fairfax County, Prince William County and Prince Georges County. There are good reasons to separate local politics from national and state level campaigns and I hope you will show your support for continued May City Council elections.
Frank Fannon IV
Alexandria City Councilman-elect