In reply to Mr. Paul Friedman's Letter to the Editor published Monday, I would like to offer a response.
First, it is surprising that such a letter, or should I call it the promotion of the Alexandria Democratic Party's ballot, was published just one day before the election.
Second, the reasoning Mr. Friedman used to oppose City Councilman Frank Fannon blurs reality and is totally misleading. I doubt that Mr. Fannon, or any other accountable public servant, would cut Alexandria's education funding by millions just to fund the Alexandria Pipe and Drum Corps. It is not a one-to-one relationship unless Mr. Friedman is saying that the Pipe and Drum Corps was to receive the millions from education budget cuts. The issues of Alexandria's schools do not all surround expanding budgets—look at the state-of-the art facilities of T.C. Williams. There are other issues that the writer ignores and tries to blame on one councilman's fiscal prudence to live within our means.
Mr. Friedman is correct that Alexandrians have been united in their desire to see the Mirant/GenOn plant closed. As a resident of North Old Town, it is a celebrated event and all of those involved in past actions warrant praise. In the end, it was a decision by Mirant/GenOn to close the plant. Please read the past press articles regarding the closure. Of course, the public pressure did help, as did the roles of the local civic groups, and the city, state and federal governments. Such pressure in addition to financial and technological reasons led to the closing. We should be united in the final closure as we were in the process leading to the closure.
Tuesday is a very important day for our city, our Commonwealth and our country. We should not be so blind as to just vote for a one party slate. We finally have some opposition voices on our City Council. Mr. Fannon has offered fresh and nuanced views, not experienced in Alexandria in many years. If Tuesday we go the way of re-establishing the city Democratic Party Politburo council as we once had, we will once again suffer the consequences.
Please vote your conscious, not a one-party slate. Our city, state and country prosper when there is a healthy debate and there are differing views. As has been experienced in our city and several dictatorial or communist countries, past and present, one-party rule is self-serving and ends up locking us, the citizens, out while benefiting the few elected and their acolytes.