Your View: Laws must be enforced with reason and judgment


In response to your September 2, editorial, A Law as Breakable as an Egg, regarding the City of Alexandrias enforcement of its laws and regulations, I offer the following thoughts.
It is compelling to believe the city, when performing its regulatory function, could insist on a strict by the book approach. Such an approach, as your editorial suggests, would ensure a high degree of equity. Every act in violation of the rules would be resolved immediately and in accordance with established penalty provisions. From an administrative perspective, this approach would be very cut and dry and would not reflect the entirety of a given situation and the context of daily life in our city.
Fortunately, the city does not engage in such simplistic practices. Instead, we depend on well- skilled, reasoned individuals to apply our laws in a manner that both respects order and demonstrates fairness to all concerned. Good judgment and critical thinking skills are valued in our city employees, particularly those given the weighty responsibility of enforcing our laws.
The opening of the Alexandria Academy, which prompted both an article and an editorial in your newspaper, is a prime example of where reason and good judgment have a place in the administration of our laws. For some months, the city has been working with the school to ensure they open their doors on time and in full compliance with our laws and regulations. The conditions under which a special use permit would be required of the school were made clear. Aside from the comments made in your article by Alexandria Academy officials, the city had no reason to believe the Academy intended to act in a manner inconsistent with the law.  
At issue, then, is the criticism of the city for failing to act upon a violation of law that had not occurred yet, and a rebuke of a city official who expressed an intention to approach the situation with a measure of regulatory restraint. As to the potential violation of the law: the city will address the matter as necessary. As for the use of restraint, I suggest it is a function of thoughtfulness and good judgment.