This is the first time in 30-plus years of living in Alexandria that I have written a letter to the editor for one of our local newspapers. But after watching and carefully listening to the candidates for mayor I felt compelled to reach out to my fellow Alexandrians.
I am writing in support of Justin Wilson for mayor and the reasons are pretty simple. He knows our city inside and out; he has a vision for our future that is grounded in his support for the success of all our children; he understands the importance of making sure our city infrastructure is capable of moving us quickly and safely and that our facilities provide a healthy and productive environment for our students and employees; and he is ever mindful that a diverse economic base is an imperative for a community that expects full value for every tax dollar we spend.
One might argue that there is nothing in the above that truly distinguishes Mr. Wilson from our current mayor. So, let me explain what I think differentiates Mr. Wilson from Ms Silberberg.
He genuinely listens to our interests, needs, wants and complaints, but he does not placate. Contrary to the opinions of some, when you listen to “many” you can not always satisfy “one” or a “few.”
He is laser focused on creating the policies that will move us forward with an appropriate respect for our history. He is not held captive by loud and vociferous NIMBYs who use our past as a justification for thwarting reasonable change. This, also, means that unless we want to have our residential taxes continue to soar we have to “develop” land for commercial use (commercial enterprise uses much less of every tax dollar collected than does residential use … that’s a good thing!).
He has the ability to engage council in healthy debate while building a consensus to act. I would posit that action informed by healthy debate is preferable to talking an issue to death.
And, perhaps most importantly his attention to the details helps him translate the big picture of governing into the minutiae of government … the actions and tasks necessary to provide all the services that make Alexandria a great place to live and work.
In other words he is a leader and as much as I like Ms Silberberg (and I genuinely do) we need Mr. Wilson’s leadership to move us forward. That’s why I hope you will join me in voting for him on June 12.