Alexandria Gazette Packet
April 15, 2019
City Council adopted a resolution affirming its “commitment to regionalism,” the first such formalized local pledge from within the metropolitan area, but with little in the way of specifics.
The resolution says the region’s myriad municipalities weave into a common economic, social and ecological tapestry. They share “interconnected and often interdependent networks of streets, roads, bridges, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and transit systems, as well as sanitary sewer, stormwater and water infrastructure.”
It follows that the city “recognizes the interests for the good of the region are often paramount compared to the interests of an individual jurisdiction. … The city … pledges its best efforts and faithful cooperation in working with other jurisdictions and regional bodies … in addressing regional issues, and designing and implementing regional policies and plans.”
“Regionalism is more a concept [and ‘a guiding principle’] than a formal program,” said City Manager Mark Jinks in a memo. “Regionalism means considering and adopting the best policies for the region, and not just those policies that may be best for one’s own locality.”
“We have to realize we’re a piece of a bigger puzzle,” said Councilman Canek Aguirre, who’s championed regionalism since his term began. “We might be a small jurisdiction, but we have a lot of influence, and this is a clear example of … [our] helping to lead.”
Aguirre says that, even though local politicians ultimately answer to local constituents, regional issues need attention too. He sees the resolution as helping to induce a more regionally collaborative culture in Alexandria, as well as “sending a signal to other jurisdictions.”
For example, he wants localities to pitch in on shared advertising campaign along inter-jurisdictional transportation routes, urging people to participate in the upcoming decennial census. He also sees cut-through traffic in Alexandria neighborhoods, a common complaint from residents, stemming largely from passing-through regional commuters, the volume of which Alexandria ultimately exercises little control.