THE 45,635 voters registered for Alexandria's city elections aren't invited to cast their ballots until Tuesday, but already we can tell you that the results look good--because among the political jurisdictions of this region, Alexandria has earned a reputation as a home of good government, and no change in this high standing is expected. The field of candidates is a strong one, the campaign pace has been active and most contenders are looking for a good turnout.
What accounts for this political success? Over the years, Alexandria has been governed by not very partisan mayors and bipartisan councils. Currently, for example, Mayor Beatley, a Democrat, has worked with a council of four Democrats and three Republicans. In this election, the mayor and four council incumbents are running--a solid nucleus of experience if the voters wish to maintain the political balance that has served the city so well.
There are local issues that are sure to concern the mayor and council over the next term, including the city's budget and how to stretch it; how much new construction to allow and what to do about the financing of public transit. It is these local concerns, and not the effects across the country of White House policies, by which Alexandria's contenders for municipal office are best judged.
If the wealth of talent makes some of these distinctions difficult to make, there can be comfort in the knowledge that all odds point to Alexandria's staying in good hands beyond this election.