Opinion: Hughes’ voice is missing on budget issues

Alicia Hughes speaks to a crowd at Pat Troy's Ireland's Own pub after winning election to the Alexandria City Council (File photo)

To the editor:

On Tuesday, Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young presented his fiscal year 2013 budget recommendations to the city council. Until council approves the final budget May 7, the city’s budget and fiscal affairs advisory committee will be examining the budget, hearing the concerns of residents and making its recommendations.

However, when BFAAC meets, there will be a conspicuous empty seat at the table. Since Mathew Tallmer submitted his resignation October 27, 2010, Councilwoman Alicia Hughes has not had a representative on this important body. We are going into a second budget cycle without the benefit of the advice of her appointee. BFAAC’s budget analysis and yearly report are major vehicles for resident involvement in the budget process.

I hope Ms. Hughes will make an immediate recommendation to the entire council to fill this vacancy. I also believe she owes the taxpayers of Alexandria an explanation of why this vacancy has existed for close to 16 months.

– Susan B. Kellom



  1. Does anyone know why Mr. Tallmer resigned? I wonder if the problem now is that Alicia Hughes just hasn’t bothered to do her job, or if she can’t find anyone willing to be her rep on the board becuase no one wants to be associated with her, or a bit of both.

  2. Not that it is any of Ms. Gordon’s business, but I resigned because I was burned out. I had served continuously on BFAAC since I was appointed as an at-large representative in 1996 (when Vice Mayor Donelly was the Mayor). In fact, some claim I am the longest-serving member in the history of BFAAC, although I do not know that to be accurate.

    Before the election of Councilwoman Hughes, I told then-chief Financial Officer Bruce Johnson and other members of BFAAC, including Dak Hardwick, that I likely would leave after that budget cycle. AFter her election, Councilwoman Hughes asked me to serve as her representative. I agreed to do so with the understanding that I would serve just one more budget cycle.