Letter to the Editor: Do we want lights on every field?

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Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School has no lights, no bathrooms, worn out turf, a track that doesn't meet regulations and an outdated press box, score board and concession stand. (Photo: Missy Schrott)
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To the editor:

If any taxpaying resident needed proof that they are nothing more than a cash cow to those ruling Alexandria, then simply savor this revelation: our city has decided to revise current zoning ordinances to allow 80-foot stadium lights at all athletic fields at every school field – public and private, elementary, middle and high – and in all parks in Alexandria.

There was no lengthy outreach by the city to the citizens it serves through community discussions before this decision was made. The views of the neighborhood associations were not solicited. No cost projections have been presented to the public.

If this doesn’t make you feel like a cash cow, then here are other examples:

The Potomac Yard Metro: Justin Wilson – your next mayor unless a write-in candidate emerges to defeat him – apparently wants a Metro in Potomac Yard, and now – not later when the city has some of its mandatory costly infrastructure projects behind it.

Apart from the timing, here’s what else is wrong: Of several sites, the one selected with negligible public input will destroy irreplaceable wetlands protected by the Federal government. Does this bother you?

It should if you care about the city actively soliciting the views of the citizens it serves, preserving fragile wetlands and realizing a Metro will not reduce traffic nor produce wealth. If a Metro station could do this, then our existing stations would have long since eradicated traffic congestion and reduced our growing city debt.

T.C. Williams stadium lights: Years ago the city enticed an African American community to move from their homes so the high school could be built.

Among the lures used to persuade these families were new homes near the new athletic stadium, and a verbal promise their descendants claim was made that there would never be stadium lights.

Fast forward: Our rulers today decided this promise made is not a promise worth keeping. But this time, the affected African Americans will not be bullied. Several are part of a group that’s suing the city.

Since no revenue can be produced for city coffers by wetlands, nor can a stadium without lights be rented for use at night, you can quickly deduce where the city stands. You are a cash cow, nothing more, for these costly visions, massive light poles and destroyed wetlands.

– Jimm Roberts, Alexandria

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