Opinion: Decision against Arlandria residents evokes the Jim Crow era

Opinion: Decision against Arlandria residents evokes the Jim Crow era
If approved, Arlandria Center, depicted in a rendering above, will tower six stories over the low-lying neighborhood of Arlandria-Chirilagua.

To the editor:

The weekend vote approving the massive new development in Arlandria is but another example that citizens are marginalized. Their input doesn’t count. The city that belongs to us has been hijacked by a mayor and a supporting council, each elected at large, who wrongly equate each new mini-BRAC type development with universal betterment.

However you want to label their actions, their unholy cabal is significantly altering the city by dense-packing it. Their goal appears to be more — possibly more tax revenue — at any cost. It is certainly not an improved quality of life for current residents.

To what end is their development mania leading? Is it one billion residents packed within the city’s rigid limits wherein no new major roads can be built to accommodate the additional vehicular traffic? Is it one million residents? Half a million along the river alone? Have they analyzed the effect on the quality of life their development addiction is having on existing residents? On future residents? On the features which make the city historic and unique? Finally, why their disdain for open spaces?

I’ve had enough of this crew. I have especially had enough of the Jim Crow-era system by which council members are elected, a system depriving citizens from electing from among their neighbors a representative solely accountable to them. Begone them all, and begone the Jim Crow system that put the council members in office.

– James M. Roberts