My View with Bill Rossello: Why I’m running for council

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My View with Bill Rossello: Why I’m running for council
Bill Rossello. (Courtesy photo)
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After nearly 33 years in Alexandria, I have established deep roots in the city I love. With a long history of giving back to the community, my mission is to address the most important challenges facing our city government at a critical inflection point in our progress: transparency, integrity, development, schools, traffic and the environment.

I’m running because I think it’s time for a change. That said, you will see in my platform so many of the values that our community holds dear: support for strong public schools, taking care of our city workers, caring for our most vulnerable communities, equality and equity and protecting our environment.

But while we may generally agree on values and objectives, we don’t always agree on how to get there. That’s a good thing. It means we have choices, and more diverse views always lead to better solutions.

Here’s what I think we need to do:

• Restore integrity, transparency and accountability at City Hall, making residents and neighborhoods the central focus of our government once again.

• Promote responsible development and more sensible approaches to affordable housing that preserve and enhance quality of life across the city, and do not lead to more flooding, traffic congestion and school overcrowding.

• Accelerate school construction to meet burgeoning enrollment – without co-location of housing on school campuses.

• Get traffic moving again, particularly as we all emerge from the pandemic.

• Live our Eco-City pledge once and for all, particularly to save our tree canopy and scarce natural parkland.

Along with my platform, what sets me apart is my experience. I’ve spent 35 years as a management consultant, business executive and now business owner. I have seen a lot of data, solved a lot of problems and built and executed a lot of strategies. I’ve advised companies of all sizes, including some of the largest in the world.

Also, it has been my honor to have served a number of federal agencies and five of our national laboratories where impactful science happens.

Most importantly, I bring to City Council my experience working with 20 local governments in 11 states and two Canadian provinces on issues of management, budget and operations.

I also spent seven years on Alexandria’s budget committee, so I understand better than most how this city’s finances work. I’ve given back to the city in other ways. I currently serve on the Mobility Advisory Committee, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee and as a board member on my neighborhood civic association.

Previously, I successfully worked to build new athletic fields as a leader of our largest youth sports group, the Alexandria Soccer Association, and developed their first scholarship program for vulnerable youth.

A little about my personal background: I was born in Baltimore to Puerto Rican and Spanish parents. I attended public schools, graduated from Duke and worked my way through business school at The College of William & Mary.

My wife, Bonnie, and I have lived here for 32 years, first in Old Town, then North Ridge and now Seminary Hill in the West End. Our kids attended the city’s public schools and we volunteered extensively for them. So, I know both the city and Alexandria City Public Schools well.

We love this place and we’ve invested our entire adult lives here. That’s why I am offering up my ideas, energy, leadership skills and deep experience for service on your next City Council. After all, experience really does matter!

For more information, please visit my campaign website at www.billforalexandria.com.

The writer is a candidate for City Council in the June 8 Democratic primary.

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