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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Respecting the Integrity of the Process
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Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Respecting the Integrity of the Process

It has now been two months since the Sept. 14, 2019 decision that was made by City Council regarding the design for the Seminary Road Project. Implementation is occurring and, in a few weeks, most features will be in place. I’m quite sure there will be tweaks throughout the coming weeks to ensure safety and smooth movement for all users. I have noticed this is the normal process for similar projects in our city.

I’ve been diligent from the outset of implementation to travel the 0.9 mile stretch of roadway and surrounding areas at various times of the day, numerous times each day. My husband has supplemented my travels by cruising the stretch two or three additional times each day when he is out and about. We intentionally travel at a.m. and p.m. peak hours. I have documented my travels with video and date and time-stamped photos of traffic movement. We have been on foot and in a vehicle.

I can report that, during our travels, traffic has moved smoothly and at the posted 25 mph speed limit most days since the lane striping was painted. Traffic flow was impaired three or four days because intersection sensors were damaged during the resurfacing and drivers were adjusting to the new lane patterns. T&ES staff were on site immediately to remedy the problem.

Each of our City Council members worked hard to render the final decision. They met numerous times with numerous groups. They listened to and heard what people presented. They visited the area multiple times to evaluate the situation. They should not continue to be badgered, hounded, berated, and suspected of less than ethical behavior. None of us would have elected people lacking integrity or ethical behavior. People with different opinions and viewpoints strengthen our civic environment.

I am a resident living in a single-family home and I did not view anything stated by our Mayor, Councilman Aguirre, or Councilwoman Pepper as critical of residents living in single-family homes. I feel they devote serious and sustained effort to fairly represent residents regardless of the type of home in which they choose to live.

When Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker stated she visited homes in the Seminary Rd. area I have no doubt that she did. When she stated she traveled out of state to research chicken processing facilities and the surrounding neighborhoods I have no doubt that she did.

I would be disappointed and concerned if she divulged the general location of those with whom she spoke during her research. She has shown respect for their privacy. I would not be so presumptuous to think she should share this information with individuals or groups. I would expect any private conversation I have with Council members to remain private. I have no interest in knowing the contents of private correspondence others have with Council Members.

I personally know of a resident who was in favor of the change in design but would not sign a petition for fear of retribution from neighbors. This is an abhorrent way for people to have to live their lives in a city that promotes kindness and understanding for those with different viewpoints.

As they say, “Win some, lose some.” Either way, we move on to what comes next. At present I am probably at a 1% win and 99% loss record with the endeavors I have participated in for our city. I’m sure there will be many more losses ahead for me. Disappointments, yes, but there will always be many more opportunities in the future. I am not bitter or hostile to those who made the decisions. They gave their best effort and that’s all that can be asked.

We need to treat our elected officials with respect.

Carolyn Griglione

Alexandria