Tuesday, December 20

The Alexandria Waterfront

For the last six months, I facilitated meetings of the City of Alexandria-appointed Waterfront Plan Work Group. Because there was so much controversy about a plan for the waterfront developed over the last few years by City staff with citizen input, the City appointed this seven member Work Group to identify areas of agreement and disagreement and offer recommendations they believed could strengthen the plan and unify the community.

This morning at a press conference at City Hall, the Work Group released its report, which can be found on the City of Alexandria's website (along with videos of all of our meetings) or at http://bit.ly/sxiqpt

In spite of very differing views among members of the group, the Work Group's report does highlight some important areas of agreement as well as offers the City Council some specific suggestions for focusing their deliberations when they meet next month to consider approval of the plan.

This certainly was an opportunity for me to witness connective change in my own backyard. Citizens appointed to the Work Group were all volunteers, and it was fascinating to see how they worked with one another as well as with City staff to produce a report that would be useful to Council. Sadly, I also had a front row seat to some of the most uncivil behavior I've seen anywhere in the world, leaving me wondering if this is a microcosm of what is going on in communities throughout our country and hoping it's not a foreshadowing of things to come.

1 comment:

Charla said...

I read the Waterfront work...nicely done. I understand the challenges between citizens, council, and developers and the change in civil tone at these meetings. Citizens do not feel their vocies are being heard and developers have the ear of the council. Emenint domain issues are real and the protection of property rights/property values is important. It it is nice to see concensus around the objectives to protect this and achieve the desired goals for the waterfront. East Coast is similiar to the Gulf Coast issues.