I would like to offer my comments regarding Mayor Euille’s decision to run a write-in candidacy for Mayor. The Mayor has offered up many excuses why he lost the Democratic primary race, but he is not listening to the majority of the residents of the City of Alexandria. First, the Mayor and Former Mayor Donnelly signed a pledge in the Democratic primary to accept whoever won. Both have now ignored their pledge, which is a serious ethical breach and shows very little character.
Both Mayor Euille and Kerry Donnelly should be forced to resign from the Alexandria Democratic Party immediately. Furthermore, any Democratic City Council member that does not support the Democratic Primary Mayor winner – Vice Mayor Alison Silberberg – should also resign their party membership.
Mayor Euille blamed the Republicans and low voter turnout for his primary loss. Both are probably partially accurate, but if the Mayor was so popular with city residents, wouldn’t more people have turned out to vote? Furthermore, the local Democratic party had an open primary. If Euille and Donnelly were so concerned about non- Democrats voting, why didn’t they push for a closed primary?
The majority of Mayor Euille’s $200K plus primary campaign funding came from donations from developers. Vice Mayor Silverberg refused to accept donations from developers. The historical fabric of our great city is being threatened by all these greedy developers trying to make the city look like Crystal City – metal and glass condos everywhere. Alexandria thrives on tourism. Tourists are not traveling here to see boardwalks, condos and metal buildings. They are coming here to see and trace the steps of our founding fathers and other historical sites. Something you cannot find in other cities.
Mayor Euille has plundered this city into over $550 million dollars of debt. Soon this will grow to over $1 billion dollars in debt when you add in the new Potomac Yards Metro; needed infrastructure replacements and a new elementary school. How does one pay back $1 billion dollars without raising several types of taxes – property, sales, lodging and other local taxes? That is all money coming out of our pockets which is needed to feed, clothe and house our families.
The Mayor has this grand plan for a boardwalk and talks of the revenue generated from such. Has the city realized all the revenue projections they so proudly proclaimed they would receive from overflow crowds from National Harbor? I have not seen that tax revenue. How about the revenue generated from the use of trolley cars going back and forth from the King Street Metro to the waterfront? They will soon celebrate 5 million riders, but no there is no revenue here because it is free to ride! However, the Mayor did raise the parking meter times in Old Town from 7pm to 9pm for added revenue. That along with $7 million dollars in annual parking ticket revenue was generated.
Mayor Euille has repeatedly ruled on special use permits (SUPs) and other business related issues on several restaurants in Alexandria that he has or does own a minority share in by hiding behind an old obscure Virginia state law not requiring reporting of minority ownership. But, wouldn’t the ethical and moral thing be to recues yourself from voting on property you own?
The Mayor also undertook a very long, costly and nasty fight with the Old Dominion Boat Club (ODBC) and even threatened to use eminent domain against this private club if they did not give in to the Mayor’s wishes to give up their property. The ODBC is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) private clubs in town and has donated thousands of dollars to charities throughout the city and donated to city expenditures. Private entities should never be threatened with eminent domain, in my opinion.
It is time for a change. Mayor Euille has been Mayor for 12 years. He has shown lapses in judgment, ethical issues and just plain ignoring the wishes of city residents. Vice Mayor Silberberg has won the Democratic primary fairly. She has repeatedly spent time listening to residents all over the City of Alexandria and shows a genuine deep concern for all residents.
She is also the only city council member that has the courage to fight against all these developers squandering our historical city fabric. I therefore strongly urge all residents in the City of Alexandria to vote for Alison Silberberg for Mayor on November 3.
Lorie A. Green