Due to a typographical error, a story in Saturday editions of The Post gave the incorrect amount to be furnished by the German Marshall Fund to underwrite part of a West European tour by five Alexandria city officials. The correct amount is $7,500.
Arlington officials are concerned about the impact Metro stations may have on surrounding neighborhoods, so next week they are going to the suburbs of Paris, Stockholm and The Hague to see how rail systems there have worked.
Alexandria officials are grappling with plans for that city's waterfront, so later this month they will leave on a two-week trip to inspect the waterfronts of Copenhagen, Geneva, Basel, Vienna, Cologne and Hamburg.
The trips have two things in common: Both are largely funded by the German Marshall Fund, a Washington-based organization designed to promote transatlantic cooperation, and both have angered some Northern Virginia officials who were not invited.
"I don't see in this economic climate that junketing serves a useful purpose for fiscally prudent government," said Alexandria City Councilman Donald G. Casey. "If you want a vacation, I think you should pay for it," said the Democratic council member.
His anger was matched by that of Councilman Carlyle C. Ring Jr., a Republican, who was described by one City Hall aide as furious over the trip. Ring called for the members of the council who are remaining at home to discuss the "propriety" of the trip during a meeting scheduled for early September while the others are in Europe.
Alexandria will pay $3,500 of the expense of sending abroad a five-member delegation headed by Mayor Charles Beatley Jr. The fund, endowed with $100 million by the West German government, will pay the balance, $75,500.
"I would have been delighted to go," said a miffed John W. Purdy, the only Arlington County Board member who will stay home when the six-member delegation leaves Aug. 23. "It's nice that some citizens are going, but I think it is more important that board members go. All five of us [on the board] could have gone."
Purdy is retiring from the board in November.
Officials from Arlington and Alexandria defended their trips, saying each will provide badly needed international perspectives on crucial issues facing those jurisdictions.
"Certainly I am looking forward to this trip as an individual," said Republican-backed County Board Vice Chairman Stephen H. Detwiler, who has never been to Europe. "I think everybody expects we'll bring back different ideas and different perspectives. This is going to be a very intense trip with little free time."
Detwiler's Democratic-backed colleague Ellen M. Bozman agreed. "If the taxpayers were footing the bill it would be a different question," Bozman said.
Actually, Arlington taxpayers will spend an estimated $3,000 to send public works director Henry S. Hulme overseas. Hulme was dropped from the group after its size was pared from 10 members to six. But County Manager W. Vernon Ford decided to send Hulme because he already was scheduled to go to Manchester, England, in early September to view a sewage system.
The fund will pay air fare plus $90 per day for the six-member group, many of whom say they also expect to spend some of their own money given the current high prices at European hotels.
Board Chairman Walter L. Frankland Jr., who will be in Europe on private business, will meet the group in Paris and The Hague. Paul C. Nassetta, a prominent Northern Virginia developer who owns property near the Clarendon station, is paying his own way.
"I can afford it and there's no way I want anyone to think I'm going on a free ride," said Nassetta, a member of Arlington's Economic Development Commission. Nassetta cut short a month-long Bermuda vacation with his family to join the group.
In addition to those previously mentioned, other Arlington delegation members include: deputy planning director Thomas C. Parker, County Board member Dorothy T. Grotos, planning commission chairman Richard Malesardi and economic development commission member James Marshall. Spouses and family members will not accompany the group.
Arlington officials concede they have already approved detailed redevelopment plans for the areas surrounding the Wilson Boulevard subway stations.
"But a plan is a plan until something happens," said Grotos, who noted that so far little redevelopment has occurred.In Europe, the group will focus on aesthetic features of areas surrounding rail systems, Grotos said.
Although Alexandria has adopted a waterfront plan and is negotiating with federal officials about a final plan, the five-member team from that city will see how European capitals have improved their waterfronts.
"Few U.S. cities have done much with their waterfronts," said City Manager Douglas Harman, a member of the delegation. In addition to Harman and Beatley, other delegation members include Vice Mayor Robert L. Calhoun, city planning and community development director Engin Artemel and transportation and environmental services director Dayton L. Cook.
Northern Virginia officials aren't the first to take advantage of the largess of the eight-year old German Marshall Fund.
Last year three members of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp. and former D.C. transportation director Douglas N. Schneider spent 10 days investigating what a fund official characterized as "the management of open spaces . . . in European squares, boulevards and open air markets." Among the cities that group visited on its $12,000 tour were London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich and Venice.
"I understand that some of their observations are included in the development plan," said fund vice president C. Kenneth Orski. "These tours have the characteristics of professional visits rather than sightseeing trips to some watering holes, although that danger always exists."