To the editor:
Weren’t they the two councilmen who, as lame ducks, manipulated our election process to reschedule the next council election concurrent with the presidential election of 2012, so they might have a better chance of getting elected at that time? They succeeded.
Councilor Tim Lovain’s assertion that Vice Mayor Justin Wilson’s responsiveness to citizens is commendable is specious.
Residents shouldn’t automatically go to an elected official with complaints. That undermines city staff. Complaints should be worked from the lowest level, and go to the elected only after all else fails. Anyone who has worked within an effective organization knows that.
This is the reason for some of the dysfunction we’re seeing at city hall.
But it’s city hall culture, nurtured by the vice mayor and current council, less Mayor Allison Silberberg, that is most disturbing. Witness the flood of letters you’re seeing now and previously about problems all over Alexandria.
Lovain’s contention that Wilson listens to citizens but ultimately knows best is laughable. Akin to our puppet planning commission that indicated, as reported in the local press, that it doesn’t really care for public input.
Case in point, in 2016 an Alexandria citizen spoke at the planning commission, factually and civilly, about poor planning and violation of city rules concerning a proposed development.
Shortly after a uniformed Alexandria police officer showed up at his home advising him to watch what he says at city hall.
A couple of days later, the victim of this police visit and I were invited for an audience with the then Alexandria Police chief. Caveat: The home visit was not the Alexandria Police Department’s fault.
If you’re interested, see me for details.
What do you think of a city that attempts to suppress the First Amendment rights of its citizens? Tammany Hall in Alexandria?
-Hal Hardaway, Alexandria