The Alexandria City Council is holding a couple of their final budget work sessions this week on the proposed budget recommendations from the City Manager.

This week, the sessions are focusing on the preliminary additions and deletions to the FY 2015 budget which begins July 1. There will also be a discussion with the Budget & Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee (BFAAC) and an in-depth review of the Business Tax Reform Work Group Recommendations.

These sessions happen TONIGHT (Monday April 21, 2014) @ 6:30 PM in the Council Workroom in City Hall and Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 6:00 PM in the Sister Cities Meeting Room on the first floor of City Hall.

If you have something to say regarding the FY 2015 budget, now would as good a time as any…

The Alexandria City Council is seeking applicants to fill the following vacancies on City of Alexandria boards, commissions and committees. Council will act on these vacancies at the May 13, 2014, City Council meeting. All applicants must complete a Personal Data Record Form and return it to the City Clerk’s Office or file the form electronically via the City’s website http://www.alexandriava.gov/Boards no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 2, 2014Applications received after this deadline will not be forwarded to City Council. Applicants may only submit an application to one committee at a time. 

Here’s the list…

(more…)

BillEuilleOn Tuesday, April 22, Mayor William D. Euille will outline the City’s vision, accomplishments and future challenges during his annual State of the City Address.

The address will begin at 6:45 p.m. in Council Chambers, and will be immediately followed by the regular City Council legislative meeting at 7 p.m. The event, which is open to the public, will be broadcast live on Alexandria Comcast channel 70 and on AlexTV.

City of AlexandriaThe City of Alexandria is seeking nominations for the Ad Hoc Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Advisory Committee established by City Council on April 8.  This twelve-member Advisory Committee will make recommendations to City staff on the update to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and Complete Streets Design Guidelines. The group will identify pedestrian and bicycle issues and needs, and provide input on; policy recommendations, development of pedestrian and bicycle networks, project recommendations and design standards, and development of criteria for prioritizing project recommendations.

The Committee will hold its first meeting later this spring, and will meet approximately six times (additional meetings may be required if necessary) over the course of the estimated 18-month process.  The Committee will be retired upon completion of the plan.

The City seeks to fill five slots:

  • Professional in the Urban Design or Landscape Architecture field (1 slot)
  • At-large Citizen representatives (3 slots)
  • Business Community (1 slot)

Additional information and the application form can be found online or requested from Steve Sindiong, Project Manager at 703.746.4047.

All applicants must complete and submit a brief application form to the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services (T&ES). Applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25.  Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered. 

For more information about the upcoming Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and Complete Streets Design Guidelines planning process or the Advisory Committee, please click online.

Save Engine 204 Press Conference & Rally - April 12, 2014 in North Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

As I have posted about previously, the City Council of Alexandria, Virginia is on the verge of voting to close down Engine Company 204 which is located in the North Old Town area of Alexandria and moving it out to the West End of Alexandria where response times for fire and medical calls are terrible. There would still be fire apparatus at the station for non-medical calls but, there would be one (1) less water engine supporting Old Town, Potomac Yard, Del Ray, and Rosemont sections of Alexandria.

City staff have acknowledged in budget memos, that because of the proposed move of the water engine, response times in the areas that 204 is responsible for now will get worse (did you also know the City has looked at closing down Station 201 as well?):

Additionally, the reduction of Engine 204 would leave Station 204 with some apparatus available for incident response, but reduce the working capacity of the station and could result in increased response times in its response area of 6.5 minutes at the 90th percentile currently to over 8.7 minutes at the 90th percentile. In addition, response times in other areas of the City would also likely increase as these engines “cover for” other units when they are out on a call. Hence, a reduction in engines may result in higher response times beyond just the “first due” areas.

As the video at an earlier post shows, even seconds matter in a fire. Recently, Engine 204 showed up to a fire call two (2) minutes before the second unit. How bad would that fire have gotten without Engine 204? It should also be noted that Engine 204 has a LONG history in the City of Alexandria.

Having said all that, dozens of your fellow residents gathered on Sunday at a rally in support of keeping Engine Company 204 in North Old Town.

Here are some photos I took of the rally. Above is a wide angle shot of residents gathering prior to the press conference and rally getting underway.

(more…)

There is a great op-ed/rant at Alexandria News which is a MUST read on the fiscal year 2015 budget in Alexandria. Click this link to read it.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Why is the City Manager giving himself a 6.6% raise (far above the rate of inflation)? He has also proposed higher salaries for his staff.
  • Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC) got a $14M loan in 2011, have they paid the City any of the money back (that certainly would help save Engine 204 eh?)?
  • Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) – with the commercial market crashing in Alexandria, why continue funding this organization?
  • Mr. Young is proposing to eliminate about 33 positions in the Parks & Recreation department. Why go after low-level employees?

Read more at this link.