Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for the Week of January 29 – February 4, 2009

Hails Service of 3 Veteran F.C. Planners

Editor,

I am writing to extend my sincerest thanks to Maureen Budetti, Suzanne Fauber and Christine Sanders for their many years of intelligent, thoughtful service on the Planning Commission.

They faithfully executed their duties per the Charter powers granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia, versus being political “yes women” to the City Council. They have been unfairly tagged as being against affordable housing in the City while they were analyzing the project’s failure to meet local zoning codes. I was proud to serve with them as Chair of the Planning Commission in 2001 and while I occasionally did not agree with Ms. Sanders and Ms. Fauber, I always respected their tremendous background in land use planning. I congratulate Dave Snyder for being the only council member who supported Ms. Budetti’s application for another term, understanding her honest, ethical perspective and unbiased and careful review of each city project brought forward under her leadership. I was also President of Citizens for a Better City from 1998 to 2000, presiding during the landslide election where current Mayor Robin Gardner won a seat on the Council. I find it somewhat embarrassing that her husband has attacked these Planning Commissioners via his blog, which in my opinion does not set a good leadership example for the City.

Good luck to the new Planning Commissioners and I hope you continue to exercise appropriate independent judgement per your prescribed duties.

Donald Griner

Falls Church

Can’t Get a Phone Call About Ticket

Editor,

I’m writing about a parking violation I was given on Tuesday, Jan. 13, while parked in front of my house with my parking pass showing. I was hoping you would be able to shed some light to the public on how unresponsive the Arlington County Treasury Office and Police Department have been ever since. They’re demanding that I pay $40 to pay for my car being parked legally in front of my house, yet when I call I am forced to leave messages (so far I’ve left five over the past two weeks) and they do not respond. If I want to contest this ticket, I must first show up in person at the Courthouse from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Monday through Friday. When I’m there, they’ll give me a court date during that same time period.

I’m new to this area, and I have a new job. I cannot take off work, and find it unfair that they’re asking me to do this for an offense I am being wrongly accused of. I’m not sure if this is Arlington County’s way of paying for Inauguration costs, but this is unfair and very disappointing. Even if they tell me I have to pay, no matter what, I’d at the very least appreciate a phone call back after I’ve called them every single day. Their system is broken, and the public needs to know to watch out for it because it’s not there to protect us.

Meghan Sager

Arlington


Kudos for Article on Local Bloggers

Editor,

Regarding the article “Falls Church Citizens Take Civic Engagement Online” – this was wonderful – very informative local reporting. Thanks News-Press. Please do more of this kind of reporting.

Jim Breiling

Via the Internet

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