Alexandria mayoral candidate Charles E. Beatley last night linked with the strongest language he has used in the campaign the current city administration to the proliferation of massage parlors and what he called "shady businesses and illegal gambling" in the city in recent years.
Using a strong voice and reading from a prepared text, Beatley said, "If I become mayor there will be no re-occurrence of the seedy dealings which have developed in the recent past." Beatley spoke to about 200 people at a forum sponsored by the Alexandria Leagueof Women Voters.
He said the massage parlors and illegal gambling operations, which have been the subject of several prosecutions in recent months, didn't exist in "previous administrations."
He did not mention by name Mayor Frank E. Mann, against whom he is running in next Tuesday's election. But the administration previous to Mann's was Beatley's who served as mayor from 1967 to 1976.
Because of the format of the meeting, Mann was unable to respond directly. Afterwards, he said, "Everything to which he (Beatley) referred, existed when he was mayor. He didn't do a damn thing about them. He turned his back on the shady practices.
"This (City) Council uprooted those practices. We instructed the chief of police to root them out. It wasn't easy, maybe that's why he didn't do it himself."
The indirect attack on Mann coupled with references to creation of a "baby Las Vegas" in which he said large sums of money floated freely around the city, marked a drastic change in tactics for Beatley. Previously, Beatley has stressed that as mayor he would bring harmony to the City Council, something he claims it has lacked under Mann.
However, in meetings last week before the Old Towns Civic Association and the Del Ray Citizens Association, Beatley clearly lost the attention of his audiences, who were attracted by Mann's short punchy comments about cutting taxes and the budget.
Last night Beatley, who like Mann has been elected three times to the mayor's post, mentioned taxes and the budget only in passing.
The group also heard from the 16 candidates running for the six city council seats, as well as City Attorney Cyril D. Calley, who is running unopposed for reelection.