To the Editor:
Apparently Alexandria’s good old boy network has decided that the only way to win the mayoral race is to sling mud at the Democratic candidate, Allison Silberberg and disparage her abilities and accomplishments. Much to her credit Ms. Silberberg has ignored the remarks and risen above the fray. Those of us who have watched this from the sidelines should not be so kind.
These good old boys have decided to quit the Democratic party because the by-laws no longer fit their agenda — very simply they did not like the outcome of the Democratic primary. It is interesting to note that they favor the party when it suits their purpose, but abandon it so quickly when it does not. Then again, where have we heard “promises are made to be broken” before? This group seems to believe that public office is their entitlement — that the city is their inheritance and the powers of governance can be manipulated to suit their satisfaction and their needs. We, the citizens of Alexandria, now have to decide whether we are willing to continue to accept this type of governance.
The perceptions of Ms. Silberberg as stated by the good old boys totally misrepresent who she is and what she stands for. She was elected vice-mayor of the City Council in her first election, garnering the highest vote count of any council candidate — a resounding victory which even Bill Euille was unable to accomplish. Three years later she won the Democratic primary — a victory so outstanding and perceived as so impossible by the opposition that the good old boys are now running for the exits from the Democratic party in order to conduct a write in vote to save face.
So there must be something about Ms. Silberberg that the good old boys fail to grasp — namely her uncanny ability to draw people to her. She listens and she asks questions. It is not about politics for her, but about neighborhoods, academics, schools, controlled development and what is best for the city. She has our trust. With Ms. Silberberg as our mayor, city issues will be discussed openly and decisions will be based upon inputs from the citizens, unlike the executive sessions and backroom politics of today (e.g., BRACC). The citizens of Alexandria will be able to go to a City Council meeting (or School Board meeting) without fear that the vote (or fix) is already in. Ms. Silberberg’s intention was never to go it alone, because this city is blessed with brilliant and well connected citizens who are eager to have their voices heard. This attitude displayed by the good old boys, this ridiculous notion that Allison Silberberg is not ready for office rests in the fact that Bill Euille lost an election he was expected to win. After all he was the incumbent who had raised over $200,000 from developers who were (and still are) trying to help keep him in office. Mayor Euille did a lot of good things for this city in his day, however, now it is time for him and his good old boys to go quietly into the night. Let this city start a new day on Nov. 3.