We Alexandrians deserve better

We Alexandrians deserve better
(Graphic/Jessica Kim)

To the editor:

This past year has been a watershed year of political cynicism and arrogance in Alexandria, demonstrated by City Council’s egregious mishandling of three land use debacles – Zoning for Housing, the proposed Monumental Sports & Entertainment arena and the redevelopment of 301 N. Fairfax St. The common theme is an imperial – and imperious – City Council and mayor who apparently feel themselves above their constituents, intolerant of our positions against these developments and policies and seemingly comfortable with relinquishing their power to developers.

Current members’ refusal to recognize that Council works for us, that our well-researched, reasoned and informed opinions matter and that we expect them to represent and not oppose us disqualifies them all for my ballot. I’m part of a group suing the City as a defendant in one of two active land use lawsuits.

Except for John Taylor Chapman, who I support as the sole Council member who voted to reject the size of the 301 N. Fairfax St. development, I’ll not vote for any incumbent. We need to retire them all as cynically disrespectful to their constituents, arrogantly out of touch and each pushing their favorite personal agenda for Alexandria rather than what moves the entire city sustainably forward.

In addition to John Chapman, I’ll be voting for Charlotte Scherer, Jimmy Lewis and Jonathan Huskey, because they seem committed to these principles:

• Respectfully engaging with constituents;

• Viewing this as a privilege of office and not a burden;

• Supporting smart development by taking back the agenda from commercial developers and eliminating the overly cozy relationship the Planning Commission has with this donor class;

• Protecting and preserving the unique characteristics of each Alexandria neighborhood;

I’ll also be voting for Steven Peterson for mayor, who brings the credibility of having run a business – so he’ll find ways to not overspend and over-tax. He appreciates that the current Council’s addiction to taxes is why they have given “carte blanche” to developers who promise density no matter where they want to build or how inappropriate the building they propose.

Steven is a developer who understands why “smart development” will protect the nature of each unique Alexandria neighborhood and preserve the essential character of the Old & Historic District as our economic engine. That gives me a sense that we can reverse his opponents’ shameless capitulation to developers and take back the long-term planning process.

I’m only voting for four of six Council seats in the open primary, because I view the rest of the field as undeserving of my vote. That leaves two slots that I’m reserving for strong independents who may declare their candidacies this summer after the Democratic Primary.

If you agree with me that now is the time to “clean house,” shine the disinfectant of sunlight into Council deliberations and replace manufactured 7-0 unanimous votes with credible 4-3 or 5-2 votes with real debate, then please join me in voting only for those candidates who embrace the long overdue changes in our government. We Alexandrians deserve better.

-Scott Corzine,