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Citizen Engagement Snuffs City Council Pay Raise

The Alexandria City Council intended to vote in December 2015 to raise its own pay from $27,500 to $45,000, a 64 percent increase, but citizen engagement stopped the heist in its tracks. Many City residents, including firefighters, opposed the plan with robo-calls and other expressions of displeasure. An Alexandria Tea Party member wrote a scathing etter to the Council (see below).

Fiscal responsibility is a core Alexandria Tea Party value, so we applaud Alexandria citizens for being vigilant. This case shows that you have to watch government officials, who are naturally rapacious as a class, every minute and that ordinary people can make a difference. In point of fact, republics were never meant to work without citizen engagement and our Republic, like others in history, cannot long endure without it.  Score one for We The People!

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Dear Mayor and City Council

For the political leaders of this city to vote themselves a large pay increase is unseemly. It gives the city the whiff of my hometown of DC - cronyism. Given that taxes keep going up, the city debt remains at irresponsible levels, and that many city projects are in dire need of reform, the optics are terrible. All the more so with the economy as stagnant as it is forcing many of us to tighten our belts.

Yes, the argument is that we need to attract qualified people to run for office. Well, who have we had governing the past several years, third-stringers? How many local politicians have decided to run again after their term was over in the past election? Just one or two, or almost all? The argument is nonsensical and borderline insulting.

Please don't adopt the ways my hometown of DC where being a politician becomes a lucrative job advancement. If you can't afford more than one term then leave. Politics should not be a career. Those who make it so are selfish megalomaniacs.  The city council and the mayor's office are to serve the interests of the people, not themselves.

Respectfully,
Francois Krodel
WDC Native

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