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Letter to the Editor: Vote Your Conscience, Not Democratic Party Promoted Slate

Anthony Costanzo responds to a letter written by Paul Friedman.

Dear Editor,

In reply to Mr. Paul Friedman's Letter to the Editor published Monday, I would like to offer a response. 

First, it is surprising that such a letter, or should I call it the promotion of the Alexandria Democratic Party's ballot, was published just one day before the election. 

Second, the reasoning Mr. Friedman used to oppose City Councilman Frank Fannon blurs reality and is totally misleading. I doubt that Mr. Fannon, or any other accountable public servant, would cut Alexandria's education funding by millions just to fund the Alexandria Pipe and Drum Corps. It is not a one-to-one relationship unless Mr. Friedman is saying that the Pipe and Drum Corps was to receive the millions from education budget cuts. The issues of Alexandria's schools do not all surround expanding budgets—look at the state-of-the art facilities of T.C. Williams. There are other issues that the writer ignores and tries to blame on one councilman's fiscal prudence to live within our means.

Mr. Friedman is correct that Alexandrians have been united in their desire to see the Mirant/GenOn plant closed. As a resident of North Old Town, it is a celebrated event and all of those involved in past actions warrant praise. In the end, it was a decision by Mirant/GenOn to close the plant. Please read the past press articles regarding the closure. Of course, the public pressure did help, as did the roles of the local civic groups, and the city, state and federal governments. Such pressure in addition to financial and technological reasons led to the closing. We should be united in the final closure as we were in the process leading to the closure.

Tuesday is a very important day for our city, our Commonwealth and our country. We should not be so blind as to just vote for a one party slate. We finally have some opposition voices on our City Council. Mr. Fannon has offered fresh and nuanced views, not experienced in Alexandria in many years. If Tuesday we go the way of re-establishing the city Democratic Party Politburo council as we once had, we will once again suffer the consequences. 

Please vote your conscious, not a one-party slate. Our city, state and country prosper when there is a healthy debate and there are differing views. As has been experienced in our city and several dictatorial or communist countries, past and present, one-party rule is self-serving and ends up locking us, the citizens, out while benefiting the few elected and their acolytes.

Anthony Costanzo

Sherry Henderson November 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM
I totally agree with Mr. Costanzo's thoughts on Mr. Friedman being a political hack for our own Alexandria Democratic Committee, so, as that was the case, he shouldn't have tried to cast Mr. Fannon in a bad way. Through some word of mouth research that I've done, I've come to find out that Mr. Fannon actually didn't support any funds being set aside for the Alexandria Pipe and Drum Corp, which, I might add, from what I was told, caused some controversy with people who thought he was going to support it. While Mr. Fannon sought to reign in school spending, he can't be also held accountable, nor should any other member on council, as to how the Alexandria School Board puts together their budget. I think that Mr. Fannon was fair in his assessments of the budget, as pertains to Alexandria schools, as the student population within Alexandria is prohibitively low, especially in comparison to other neighboring jurisdictions. Let's face it, most adults with children tend to move out of Alexandria once their children become old enough to go to school. That is a very well economic fact that my fellow Democrat, Mr. Friedman, failed to mention. As I've said before, I know a ton of Democrats who have already voted for Frank Fannon, or, are going to vote for him tomorrow, on Election Day. By the way, Mr. Fannon is a 5th generation Alexandrian with strong ties to our city, through his family and all of the great work that they've done for our community throughout many years.
Linda Couture November 05, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Yes, Patch Old Town definitely is pushing the Democrat slate. When I wrote a letter questioning the Sierra Club's endorsing four Democrat candidates who supported big developments that allowed clear-cutting and other projects that are negatively affecting Alexandria's environment, it was only printed after a nagging email and then without front notice as the letter today criticizing Fannon.
Sharon McLoone November 05, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Linda, you may recall that I emailed you Nov. 1 explaining that I was not able to publish your letter as promptly as you wished due to publishing 14 School Board candidate questionnaires and then getting waylaid by covering (and experiencing personally) Hurricane Sandy. Your letter did get prominent placement when it was published but has since moved to another location on the site due to more recently published news as is common with a daily online publication.
Aristotle Kristatos November 06, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Frank Fannon is a good man and deserves another term on council. He serves as a valuable check upon what is a heavily slanted Democratic council while serving our community with integrity and honor. I certainly hope Alexandrians will see fit today to re-elect Frank to another term in office.
Sherry Henderson November 06, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Both my husband and I are Democrats, and we voted early this morning for other Democrats, as well as voting to reelect a very good and honest man, Frank Fannon, to the Alexandria City Council. Here's even a Frank Fannon campaign commercial, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3wvqnWhwzo If you haven't voted yet, please vote for more balance on the Alexandria City Council, and vote for Frank Fannon and other Dems!

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