Today is Election Day in Alexandria, Virginia, where residents will go to the polls and select a mayor, six members of the city council, and non-partisan candidates for school board.
Of course, I’ve joked that I live in a neighborhood where Obama yard signs come standard when you purchase a house, and right now, all city council members are Democrats, and our Democratic mayor, Bill Euille, is running for reelection uncontested.
However, earlier this year a special race for the state House came down to the wire, with the Democrat garnering a winning margin of 16 votes out of about 2,700 cast. So Republicans think they have a shot at some of the city council seats. Two Republicans are running (Phil Cefaratti and Frank Fannon) and the local GOP is also urging its members to support independent Alicia Hughes. Since the top six candidates get seated, the Alexandria GOP is urging folks to vote for those three and leave the other three spots blank.
It will come as little surprise that in the middle of an economic recession and a steep drop in real-estate values, the city council raised property taxes this year, increasing the average tax bill by $76. At the same time, they hired a “professional ethicist” to help them decide how to deal with a budget shortfall.
My recommendation? Stop spending $9,000 on a consultant to tell you how to make hard decisions on budgeting.