To the editor:
I am becoming increasingly concerned about the questionable management of our city, particularly enforcement of city codes, bias against residents and for large developers and a lack of concern for neighborhoods.
When a small business gets cited for having a temporary sign on the sidewalk to increase visibility, yet scooter companies habitually block sidewalks and never get fined, I have an issue.
When a person gets a parking ticket for a sign that was placed that very same day and was in fact incorrect and replaced within a couple of weeks, yet builders park in fire lanes, in front of hydrants and on streets clearly marked “no parking” every day for months on end, I have an issue.
When a resident gets cited for a lawn being too long during lockdown, yet tree wells near the waterfront are overgrown and out of control and are completely neglected, I have an issue.
When we arbitrarily allow mega chains like Target to open but place massive restrictions on locally owned small businesses, I have a problem.
What I see is a complete lack of concern for citizen input, and selective, arbitrary and biased enforcement that is wrong. I see no progress on any of these issues.
Residents try to play by the rules: We use call.click.connect, now 311; we file Freedom of Information Act requests; we attend city meetings. But nothing changes.
What is so broken that we are largely ignored by the people in charge? What is driving our officials’ conscious choice to allow developers free and unfettered reign while nit-picking residents’ every action?
I don’t know the answers, but I do see the problems – as do an increasing number of residents. From Seminary Road to Old Town, from Del Ray to the West End, a storm is coming. In the next election, I hope that the message will finally come across loud and clear.
Perhaps it is time for a clean sweep of all elected officials and the ensuing change in city management that might finally be possible.
-Scott Collins, Alexandria