The residents of a one-block section of North Paxton Street in Alexandria who playfully suggested they wanted their street to become a county because its location was left off some city maps really ought to form a monarchy, Alexandria City Manager Douglass Harman said yesterday.
In a puckish letter written to "Mayor" Charles R. Burdette of the fanciful "Paxton County," Harman stated that "the notion of a county government is inappropriate to an urban area and fails to take advantage . . . of the principality or kingdom structure commonly recognized in Europe."
For example, Harman wrote, "The mayor of your principality would be king, and the other officers would have more splendid titles . . . You would have the opportunity to make personnel decisions and actions unrestricted by the usual civil service constraints . . . You could have [government] officers executed for failure to perform" their duties.
Harman, who also sent a separate letter to Burdette apologizing for the deletion of the street listing from some city maps, had some other ideas for the would-be "kingdom."
The residents of "Paxton may wish to engage in warfare prior to determining who should actually be king," Harman wrote. "European standards suggest that this war last a minimum of 10 years. During this period, the city of Alexandria would provide all necessary bleachers and other arrangements necessary to facilitate the appropriate strife and conflict," Harmon wrote.
In response, "mayor" Burdette said the declined the notion of setting up a monarchy. "We want to keep this on a democratic basis. We could not afford to wage a ten-year war because we have very little militia. We also couldn't behead anyone because there aren't that many people here," he said.