Editorial - Take survey and guide city's futureSome people like to complain that “government” doesn’t listen to them or doesn’t care what they think. There’s a popular saying that you can’t fight city hall and a general feeling that the voice of the everyday citizen doesn’t matter because government will do what it’s going to do no matter what the average Joe says.
Some people like to complain that “government” doesn’t listen to them or doesn’t care what they think.
There’s a popular saying that you can’t fight city hall and a general feeling that the voice of the everyday citizen doesn’t matter because government will do what it’s going to do no matter what the average Joe says.
Don’t be part of that cynical crowd. Make your voice heard loud and clear – especially now, right here in the city of Alexandria. You’ve never had a better opportunity.
The city is updating its comprehensive plan, which is like a blueprint of the community’s future. It will guide the city’s direction for years to come on such crucial issues as transportation, parks, trails, recreation, economic development, housing, cultural opportunities, water quality, land use and more.
City leaders are making a big effort to get local residents involved in the plan. This isn’t mere lip service. They launched a website about the plan – www.alexandriacompplan2012.com and meetings to explain the plan and gather input will take place soon. It’s a nine-month process, one that city leaders hope will get the community talking and interacting.
All the input and feedback generated through the survey will be considered as part of the 2012 Alexandria Comprehensive Plan and will be summarized for community review.
You can put your two-cents in now by going to the website and taking a survey, which is one of the first steps in the process. It takes about five to 10 minutes to complete and hits on some very important aspects of Alexandria’s future. (Those without computer access can get hard copies of the survey at Alexandria City Hall, 704 Broadway.)
The survey asks people about their perception of the Alexandria community and which issues should be a priority – from housing and job growth to having more activities for seniors and young people.
The survey asks people to rate Alexandria as a place to live, work, retire, raise children and visit. It asks if Alexandria is a welcoming community and what is it about the area that makes people decide to stay or live here.
The questions try to get a clearer idea of local neighborhood issues – absent landlords, foreclosed homes, conditions of the streets and if there are enough sidewalks.
Many of the questions take some time to ponder. A transportation part of the survey, for instance, asks residents to list the two improvements they’d like to see most – more bike lanes and walking paths; another freeway interchange, more connections for bikers and pedestrians, a four-lane highway to Glenwood or relocating the airport.
Just taking the survey can give you an idea of the kind of balancing act city leaders face trying to meet what residents see as priorities versus the limited amount of funds that are available. It’s not as if they can wave a magic wand and transform the city so that it meets everyone’s expectations. Hard choices have to be made about priorities and what can be done short-term and down the road.
Citizen involvement in those decisions is vital. So take a few minutes and take the survey. Tell your friends and neighbors about it too. Your input matters!