The residents of a one-block section of North Paxton Street in Alexandria yesterday announced their intention to secede from the city of Alexandria and form their own independent county.
More or less.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all citizens are entitled to have their street listed on city maps and records," thunders an opening section of the "Paxton County Declaration of Independence." "We have never been allotted our rightful place on the official city map."
What led the secessionists to think the unthinkable was an official map widely distributed by the Alexandria Police Department and used by the city school system. It fails to show that N. Paxton Street runs from Richenbacher Avenue to Taney Avenue. Where the street should be is only a blank.
Engin Artemel, head of the department of planning and community development, which oversees map-making in the city, said yesterday that the omission had just happened this year, "and I can guarantee you it will be corrected."
But some residents say their street has never been listed on some city documents.
"You'd point this out to city officials and they'd day, 'Gee, you're right,' but nothing would ever be done about it," Said Marjorie O. Olson, who like most adults on the street has given herself a title: she is cochairman of the otherwise nonexistent County Chamber of Commerce.
T was that and similar outrages that led 24 of the street's 65 residents -- many of whom settled the subdivision 23 years ago -- to affix their John Hancocks to the Declaration.
"Last winter the snowplows couldn't find us after the great blizzard of '79," said the county's "mayor," Charles R. Burdette, who likes to wear a large medallion around his neck as a symbol of his office. The medallion has Aztec writing on it.
"When I want to invite kids over to my house after school they can't find it because the street's not listed," wailed Douglas Metzgar, 12, a native Paxtonian.
In a last-ditch effort to get the recognition they want, the residents of the 19 houses on both sides of the street decided to "secede," and form their own government.
"Councilman" John Cahill said he wants to apply for federal revenue sharing money as quickly as possible. "When we print our maps, we're going to leave the City of Alexandria off them," he said.
"Sheriff" Cyrt Cyrtmus said "we can work with Alexandria to control" crime. Chief Judge Wina Kelley Said "she believes in fixing tickets," including those for parking and ballet.Mayor Burdette said he would like to see the Orioles, play in Paxton County.
Burdette also announced that Paxton County Independence Day will be celebrated this Saturday at a closed-to-outsiders block party.
At Alexandria's City Hall, reaction yesterday was cautious.
"During this period of transition we stand ready to help Paxton County in any appropriate way," said Alexandria City Manager Douglas Harman. Mayor Charles E. Beatley Jr. said the loss of the street "was more psychological than financial."
Meanwhile, Paxton County "Councilman" John Cahill announced he wants to apply for federal revenue sharing money as soon as possible. "And when we print our maps, we're going to leave the City of Alexandria off them," he said.