Your Views: Deception in governing

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To the editor:

The word deception is defined as “the ability to believe something that is not true in order to gain a personal advantage.” The city of Alexandria excels in the art of deception. City agencies do not have your best interests in mind; they have their own agendas.

Citizens, you have been deceived if you think your voice can be heard and acted upon in an open forum. The point of these citizen meetings for the city is to check the box under citizen agenda and move on as the decision on projects has already been made behind closed doors.

Recent entities that fulfill this role of deception are the the Patrick Henry school project wherein the school board reneged on the citizen choice of Taney Road for buses only to vote at the last hour for the smaller neighborhood road Latham; the recent Seminary road diet never shown to be dangerous based upon its role as one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city; attempting to build a new school on Braddock Road without any consequences and increasing the noise ordinance for revenue.

The school board has decided to build a new school at Minnie Howard – changing the configuration with the school built on the existing field and the existing building demolished for field space. Again, neighborhoods will suffer; traffic will intensify and based upon the fact that King Street has had no traffic study for the past 15 years, I can assume that Minnie Howard would be in the same predicament.

There is another possibility: Take a drive down Duke Street to the Beatley Library and behind the library you will find a 38-acre parcel of land called Veterans Field. This is an ideal location for a stadium or a school, or both, that would honor the 25-acres suggested by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The 38 acres can be used for a greater purpose such as a new school or a sports complex or both.

Recently, the city has decided to change the noise ordinance from the current 55 decibels to 65 decibels. The city has developed the following noise categories: residential, commercial, industrial and a new category “institutional” which would cover schools, government buildings and churches.

The strictly residential areas will remain at 55 decibels. However, in areas where schools exist, the decibel level will change to 65 decibels and the noise in this area would now be two times greater – excessively annoying to the neighborhoods.

I believe this institutional category was introduced to allow the city to light up all fields in all neighborhoods and as such allow an increase in noise from all events in all neighborhoods. All to provide a constant revenue stream for the city at the neighbors’ expense.

-Bill Goff, Alexandria

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