Alexandria system needs change, a new leader

The mayoral election is an opportunity to determine the future culture of leadership in the city of Alexandria. For six years, on behalf of several community organizations, I've attempted to get City Council members and city government managers to address a number of problems that affect our community in the Seminary Hills area -- illegal land uses, storm water, crime, crowds, traffic, and human rights on public and private lands. My neighbors and I have been met with disinterest, disrespect, reluctance and disdain from city managers.

The mayor and City Council delegated tasks and funds to city managers with little or no oversight. These city managers believe that they are experts hired by the city and they know best for communities. More often than not, they design actions without, or with limited, public involvement and seem to resent questions or comments from residents on the solutions that they put forward. This behavior breeds distrust, uncertainty, and tension between citizens and their government. Often called "the Alexandria way," this culture leaves many feeling beat down, helpless or angry. Pro forma public involvement often reinforces the paternal leadership style that exists now

The city of Alexandria government needs to be a nonpartisan advocate for the citizens it serves in words and deeds. Although well-intentioned, Mayor Euille has neglected this aspect of the leadership that he provides. A change in the culture of city government and leadership is needed. Electing Andrew Macdonald for mayor is a way to improve the relationship between the city and its residents and build a stronger city for the future.

J. Glenn Eugster


Romney and Ryan don't have jobs plan

Re: "The clear choice for troubled times," Oct. 25

I must strongly disagree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney for president, which you base on his imaginary plans to create jobs. In truth, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have opposed every legislative initiative to create jobs, including jobs for veterans and other unemployed people. Mitt Romney says he is for job training, but he and Paul Ryan intend to practically eliminate all funds for job training for unemployed persons. This includes those whose jobs were sent out of the U.S. by companies like Bain Capital, which Romney co-founded. Economists have looked at Mitt Romney's proposals for jobs creation and have concluded that, in fact, the jobs he says he will create would be created if he does nothing. And that is exactly what Mitt Romney's job proposals would do -- nothing!

Tony Langbehn


America needs bipartisanship, not just red and blue

We very often read and hear in the news media about "red states" and "blue states," designations of political ideology.

Why not also have "white states," the third color of the American flag? The color white stands for purity. The white states would be comprised of people who say, "Left or right, Democrat or Republican, we demand an end to the politics of duplicity, demagoguery and half-truth! Enough with distortions and falsehoods in American politics! Let us have candidates for elected public office put all their cards out on the table!"

The American flag looks most beautiful when all three of its colors are present.

Lawrence K. Marsh