During the long controversy over the redevelopment plan for the Alexandria waterfront, many residents pressed for more open space along the Potomac River. The Alexandria City Council scornfully rejected this because of the high cost.

Now the mayor and council are threatening to use eminent domain to get control of the Old Dominion Boat Club parking lot [“City might seize riverfront space,” Metro, Nov. 21]. Using eminent domain against an unwilling seller in Virginia means the city will not determine the price of this land. A court will do that, according to a city official. Just how high a price will the city’s taxpayers now end up paying — especially if the court determines that the club cannot function without the property it would be losing?

If the cost issue weren’t bad enough, the council’s message to the boat club regarding further negotiations is: “We’re going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” To have elected officials sounding like Mafiosi is unseemly.

Katy Cannady, Alexandria

The writer is a board member of the Old Town Citizens Association. The views expressed are her own.