To the editor:
When Alexandria voters go to the polls on June 8, they must vote for members of City Council who have contributed favorably to our overall welfare. An example of this is that four City Council members voted to eliminate the School Resource Officers Program.
The SROs often serve as educators, emergency managers and informal counselors. This program was instrumental in providing school security and resembles what one would expect from a successful mentor program, wherein the students learn that law and order is not a pejorative issue. The four dissenters should find other work, since school safety and security is not a priority with them.
Another serious issue is that City Council members who continue to vote for even more density should not be reelected. As the most dense city in Virginia, and within the top five nationally, the council needs to carefully consider the overall impact of every proposed development that increases this density, lest we become a Manhattan on the Potomac.
We have reduced considerably the ambiance of the waterfront by erecting massive buildings that exceed the boundaries of what has been zoned. Also, visitors find it almost impossible to locate a parking place, and when they do, not everyone uses cell phones to pay for parking.
As a candidate for City Council in 2000, I proposed a building moratorium. Even then, it was evident that development was getting out of hand. Densification for its own sake contributes to our fiscal and social problems and reduces the overall livability and historic charm of our city.
Vote smartly, Alexandria!
-Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet, Alexandria