Your Views: We need true public servants

Your Views: We need true public servants

To the editor:

The Alexandria Times’ Oct. 14 editorial on increasing crime in Alexandria said, “A head-in-the-sand approach will not make gangs go away.” I’ve seen lots of Alexandria government heads in lots of sand over the past four years.

The most basic obligation of government is to keep us safe and, second, to make our lives better. Public servants solve problems and make it possible for us to all have good lives.

But that’s not what Alexandria has become for many.

My experience over the last four years has made me a harsh critic of the Mark Jinks-Justin Wilson city administration.

The city administration’s strategy seems to be, in my opinion, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” They are not action-oriented or problem solvers in service of the public.

Alexandria’s city government has a reputation of lacking transparency, of aloofness and of failure to address and resolve problems that affect us all. Look up the definition of “bureaucrat.”

I’ve worked extensively over the last four years with Wilson, Jinks and others on a major building code issue. Four years after first occupancy was approved by Code Administration, the building still has a long list of major defects and code violations, some of them possible safety hazards. It would no more pass an inspection today than it would have when Code Administration issued occupancy certificates in August 2017.

It appears Alexandria’s Code Administration department doesn’t even check to see if developers and contractors operating in Alexandria have the required Commonwealth business licenses. If you are careful not to look, you will “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

Alexandria has almost unlimited potential to be a wonderful place in which to live and work. Our city government is shortchanging all of us. We have to do better than this bunch of head-in-the-sand bureaucrats.

-John Skibinski, Alexandria