By Dennis Auld, Alexandria (File photo)
To the editor:
Having spent a portion of my career working for a newspaper, I understand and respect Mrs. Dunbar’s right, as publisher, to present her position on any subject. I do, however, disagree with some of the premises she puts forth in her latest column (“Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should,” July 30).
First of all, I do not know at this time if Mayor Bill Euille will choose to run a write-in campaign or not. He has indicated that he will decide soon. As we know from history, whichever he chooses, he will be all in.
Second, I will address what I consider as inconsistencies in the column. I accept, although not entirely, Dunbar’s view about the role of Alexandria Democratic Committee and the implications of its bylaws. Yes, I cannot disagree with her assessment on a factual basis, but as history has shown, candidates have used the write-in process, have been successful, and have not been branded as dishonorable.
As we all know, they were instantly welcomed and reinstated to the party. As one who has had direct experience with a non-compete contract, you know of the “wiggle room” and certainly all such contracts do not end up in court. In most cases, they are “hedges.”
Having worked the polls that day, and in talking to other poll workers, we all had the impression that voters knew who they were voting for. They were not necessarily voting “against” someone. To say that the driving factor in the race was based upon the issue of development is not “convoluted logic.” By many individuals’ analysis, development was the dominant theme in the election, not change. Parsing it further, speed of development was the factor. By this measure, quicker development got 63 percent of the vote, while a slower pace of development (or none) got 37 percent.
As for the Republican vote, this issue does not bother me. You can assess its impact by going to the results, on a precinct-by-precinct basis, and draw your conclusions. I actually do not think that the Democrat/Republican labels are that important here. It is the voters that want Alexandria to stay as it was, or those who believe development is important to Alexandria’s future, that is the driving factor in this election. On this basis, again, it is pretty clear where the majority of voters reside.
If you wish to argue that Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg is not against development, as she has stated, and is in favor of “thoughtful, appropriate development,” I would say her position is not supported by her votes, comments on the city council dais and her statements in neighborhood meetings regarding development issues. She is clearly affiliated with those who want to keep Alexandria as it was, to vote “No.”
As the election results showed, Silberberg was successful in garnering the votes from citizens who objected to development in their areas. It is understandable, but in looking at these votes, and the developments she voted against, I find it very difficult to accept her stated position, and conclude that her impact, while pleasing neighbors opposing development, is good for the city as a whole.
It has been stated in the local media — although not in your column — that if Silberberg is unsuccessful as mayor, just do not re-elect her. This disregards the point that a mayor and/or city council, at a point in time, can make decisions that have long-range effects. The mayor can also set the tone of the administration, which can affect the city’s business and agenda.
No matter what Euille’s decision is, on November 3, I will be writing him in for mayor.