Each morning, alexandrianews.org subscribers wake up to the Once Daily Digest, which provides links to all of the new articles, announcements and calender listings that have been uploaded to the site during the previous 24 hours. Today, unfortunately, that Once Daily Digest arrived more than one thousand times.
On Tuesday, November 3, Virginia voters will go to the polls to elect local and statewide candidates. Alexandrians have the opportunity to vote for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, three members of the House of Delegates, Commonwealth Attorney, and Sheriff.
A few weeks ago Frank Fannon, our new Republican member of city council, introduced the concept of leasing rather then selling the more then 300 parcels of City owned land that were identified and inventoried by a consultant after a suggestion from the Economic Sustainability Work Group. Previous discussions centered on selling the parcels. The general idea is that these parcels could be a source of cash for the budget which as we all know is under horrible strain in the recession (or perhaps I should say now, in the recovery).
Last May the voters of Alexandria made some major changes in City Council. 3 of the former members are no longer there. A Council composed of 7 Democrats has been replaced by one composed of 5 Democrats, 1 Republican and an independent who ran with considerable Republican support. It is fair to ask why and to look ahead to see what may be expected from the new membership.
Alexandria’s Chief of Police David P. Baker resigned last week a few days after his arrest in Arlington on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. It was an unfortunate end to a fine professional career. By resigning, Chief Baker spared the City divisive controversy. We saw enough of that over our former Superintendent of Schools, Rebecca L. Perry. We did not need to repeat it again.
At its last meeting, City Council discussed the transportation impact of the new Department of Defense office installation at Mark Center. Council agreed to send a letter asking for direct access from I-395 to the office complex and asking for money for a comprehensive transportation study. They also directed the city staff not to issue any permits for road improvements in the area that were agreed to in a special use permit in 2004 until further direction from them.
I’m a crank. I’m an equal opportunity crank: I don’t like most politicians or political parties. Most politicians don’t keep their campaign promises, and often, in the end, their rhetoric appears manipulative.
The biggest surprise on election night of May 5 was not that Frank Fannon won a seat on City Council but that a newcomer to the City, Alicia Hughes, won as well. It is clear now, however, that Ms. Hughes omitted a great deal about her history during the campaign.
On Tuesday, May 5, Alexandrians will elect a mayor, six City Council members and nine members of the Alexandria School Board.
Campaigning for School Board is underway. There seems to be no over riding issue this year and, in fact, School Board District B and District C are having uncontested elections.In the absence of major issues the focus often shifts to lesser ones. One issue that has emerged is a charge that there are many students in our Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) who are really not residents of Alexandria. This is bad and should be stopped say those who have raised the concern. We need the space for our students and we are spending a lot of money on out of district students.