Senseless Spending

There's a stench coming from the Potomac River, and it's not rotting fish. The smell is the decaying of Alexandrians' tax dollars being spent on unnecessary changes to Windmill Hill Park instead of repairing its crumbling seawall. This is like spending money to move your porch from the west side of your house to the east while ignoring a broken foundation. No one with any sense would do that.

Four City Council members are calling the volleyball-and-dog-run switch a "land use" issue, but it's really a tax misuse issue. How is it we have funds to move a volleyball court and erect an expensive ornamental fence and gazebo that will ensure increased maintenance costs and yet we don't have the money to fund a consultant to conduct a professional needs assessment for our elderly? Why do we find money to pay for a mural to decorate a bridge and yet we're still without a multigenerational center? And why does the council commit $500,000 for a Capital Development fund that few want while we go without traffic-calming devices and desperately needed traffic-light synchronization?

Alexandria also seems to have lots of money to hire yet another consultant to study the need for a visitor center, and then has to raise cigarette taxes because there is a revenue crisis. So how can anyone then justify unnecessary spending of scarce tax dollars at Windmill Hill Park without any definable "public good" in return?

Why do Alexandria residents continue to allow the City Council to set such topsy-turvy budget priorities? Where's the accountability in Alexandria? We need some changes. We need council members who will establish the priorities that citizens want and council members who will stop being parochial and concentrate on the common good.

Linda Couture

Alexandria