In the next several weeks, we will see the Alexandria City Council approve a new scooter pilot program for the year 2020. Undoubtedly, this will be a unanimous decision, because the City Council has proven over time to be indifferent to the concerns of citizens, and this scooter program is no exception. This stems from the patriarchal attitude of the City Council that the City Staff has the best interests of the Citizens when preparing staff work on the recommendation of decisions. This attitude prevails because Alexandria is one of the few local governments in Virginia that doesn’t have a “ward system,” which results in citizens having no representation at all, and City Council Members being accountable to no one. Imagine if Congress consisted of representatives at large — who would speak for the concerns of the individual states, and who would champion their interests? In the last year, a number of articles have been written about the numerous reasons why the scooter program is not ready for prime time in our two major business districts, Old Town and Del Ray. Who are our advocates? The citizens of Alexandria appear to be voices crying out in the wilderness, their concerns falling on deaf ears. This appears to be another case of taxation without representation.
Townsend A. “Van” Van Fleet