Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Farewell to a Maverick

Breaking news:
Alexandria Vice Mayor Andrew H. Macdonald announced today (May 8) his resignation from the Alexandria City Council, effective immediately. In a letter to City Council and the community, he cited personal reasons for his resignation.

Vice Mayor Macdonald, a native of Alexandria and an environmentalist, was first elected to the City Council in May 2003 and re-elected in 2006. He has served as Vice Mayor since July 5, 2006. Prior to being elected to City Council, Vice Mayor Macdonald was involved in numerous Alexandria community and civic organizations and City Council-appointed task forces.

“We regret that Andrew is leaving the City Council, but we recognize that life requires that we make tough decisions,” said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. “He has served this City with distinction and his commitment to the environment and historic preservation has made this community a better place to live, work, and visit. We wish him well and look forward to his continued involvement in City activities.”

Vice Mayor Macdonald served on the Council of Government’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Regional Water Supply Issues, the Chesapeake Bay Policy Committee, and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee. Other committees include the Alexandria Economic Opportunities Commission, the Alexandria Library Board, Potomac Watershed Roundtable, Alexandria Waterfront Committee, and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Neighborhood Task Force. Before he was elected to City Council, he served on the City’s Environmental Policy Commission and the Cameron Station Task Force.

Planningspeak

The Growler has been carefully combing through the draft Braddock Road Metro small area plan this week. More on the fruits of the Curmudgeon's review later ...

But after repeatedly noting the same cliches turning up in page after page of the report, the Cranky One has concluded that we are in need of a glossary that helps us understand the real meaning embedded in planningspeak.

So here goes:

1. "Livable community"

Shorthand for more condos.

2. "Vibrant urban village"

Shorthand for more revenue from more condos.

3. "Transit-oriented development"

Code word for more condo residents being able to see the Metro platform while driving to work.

4. "Enhancing the pedestrian experience"

Indirect reference to congestion so bad people abandon their cars and travel on foot.

5. "Street grid"

Another metaphor for congestion, as in "with all the condo traffic, we'll have to open up the street grid."

6. "Self-contained" (as in "self-contained African-American community")

PC term for Jim Crow and segregation.

7. "A glowing mosaic"

Euphemism for patchwork development and lack of vision.

8. "Housing choices"

Means residents can choose a $1 million house or a Section 8 rental, but can't opt to move public housing elsewhere.

9. "Enhancing the Queen Street corridor"

Translates to "We can't or won't deal with the Spa Court."

10. "Consolidated open space"

Term for sleight of hand by which City approves hulking buildings on open space, leaves a strip of grass behind, then claims open space has been "created."