Mayor, Council shouldn’t be bullied

Mayor, Council shouldn’t be bullied

To the editor:

Tristan Varma tried to strong arm, coerce and bully the mayor and City Council members into “raising their hands” at the April 13 City Council meeting.

The point of the story was that a member of the public tried to bully the mayor and Council. Why should anyone attending a public meeting feel pressured to raise their hands? That is offensive and insulting. Varma’s outburst and demands flies in the face of the kind of independent, thoughtful and respectful behavior that one expects at a meeting.

Varma’s attack stands out as cultish and demeaning behavior. If readers react to the larger issue, it still has nothing to do with what occurred at the City Council meeting.

Lastly, your story on the Council meeting, “ARISE calls for more money” in the April 18 Alexandria Times, ended by saying that regionally and locally City Council members were under pressure to respond to what’s happening in the Middle East. Does regionally mean Arlington and Fairfax counties? Since when do they have a say in what Alexandrian politicians do? What demographic was the reporter referring to locally, anyway? Details to back up this claim were missing.

You can get an outpouring of letters on events in the Middle East, but these opinions still don’t apply to what transpired at the hearing. The mayor and Council are in charge of what they do, and shouldn’t be made to feel compelled to “raise their hand” or comment on international issues. Their dedication to local issues is laudable, and so is their backbone.

-Lori Heymann,