To the editor:
I view this upcoming election as a referendum on the future fiscal health of Alexandria. Do we want to continue to have our debt escalate and to raise taxes on the backs of our citizens to finance our representatives’ bad decisions? To continue to see the demise of businesses in Old Town? And continue to see political attacks against our neighborhoods from an unfriendly political system? The answer is no: there can be no status quo. We cannot persist in ignoring what is happening in our city, in our schools and in our neighborhoods and as such I cannot vote Justin Wilson for mayor.
His political agenda is counterintuitive to what is needed; he has cost our city millions in taxes. For these reasons I do not believe he is worthy of our trust.
In 2007, Wilson was elected to the city council – during this period he allowed the BRAC to be part of our skyline. As a “transportation expert” he was asleep at the wheel, allowing this structure to be built not only in a congested part of the city but also in a place where there was no Metro access. As a transportation expert you would think Wilson would have run from such a project.
Higher taxes are Wilson’s method to finance escalating debt. In 2009, he motioned for a tax increase in the midst of a financial armageddon. In 2016, Wilson issued a 3-cent tax increase: triple the city manager’s proposal. In 2017, Wilson proposed to double the real estate tax from 2.7 cents as suggested by the city manager, to 5.7 cents.
There is one candidate for mayor that supports neighborhood tranquility, tight budgets, measured development, political transparency and the need for excellence in schools. With a newly elected council, Mayor Allison Silberberg will have her way. A new vice mayor will sit to her immediate right – as every other vice mayor has, save for Wilson – representing a sign of solidarity and purpose for the betterment of the citizens of Alexandria. We need to take back our city. We need Silberberg as our mayor to help us do so.