To the editor:
Would you rather have John Muir or Scott Pruitt as mayor of Alexandria? What were the leaders of the Mt. Vernon chapter possibly thinking when they endorsed the Scott Pruitt candidate? There clearly needs to be a leadership change and a reversal of this endorsement.
Mayor Allison Silberberg has been an amazing supporter of the environment, a champion of the tree canopy and a strong watchdog over environmentally damaging development.
Vice Mayor Justin Wilson has, to me, demonstrated zero environmental concern. Through many hours of testimony and subsequent email exchange on the Karig Estate, he only asked softball questions and voiced no concern over damage to a wetland, damage to the headwaters of Strawberry Run, clear cutting of many trees – some of them old growth species – increased runoff and threat of mudslides on the steep marine clay hillside that one of the houses would occupy.
He has hidden behind the Dillon Rule as an excuse that the City of Alexandria has no power to do anything to restrict development, even if the development did not comply with federal clean water regulations. Residents of Alexandria should be embarrassed by Wilson and the other city council members who sat by and accepted inaccurate information from misleading staff members who discounted and suppressed expert opinion that was contrary to their views. They also did not question the staff’s truly bizarre setback requirement that was only concocted to prevent a more environmentally acceptable alternative to the proposed development.