June 2024 City Council Candidate Forum (2-of-2)

Democratic Candidates for Alexandria City Council John Chapman, Jacinta Greene, Charlotte Scherer, Jonathan Huskey, Kevin Harris, and Canek Aguirre joined the DRCA’s June 2024 membership meeting to share a bit about themselves and answer questions submitted by our membership.


Candidates were given 5 minutes each to respond to the following questions (submitted by members). The order was chosen at random.

Accomplishments and Goals 

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time on Council and/or in your personal/professional life that you will bring to this role in the future?

2. If you are elected, what are your priorities/goals while in office?


1. What role do you see the City Council playing in its interactions with the School Board?
2. How would you contribute to efforts to improve outcomes for students in Alexandria (in partnership with or in addition to the School Board)?

Revenue and Budget 

1. What is the highest property tax rate you would consider appropriate under current conditions?

2. What areas of the budget would you cut if that threshold were insufficient to fund every priority?

3. Assuming the city continues to see a revenue shortfall, what areas of the budget do you see the best opportunities for cost savings?

City Infrastructure and Services 

1. Do you support and will you prioritize building a new high school, yes or no?

2. Del Ray is wonderfully walkable unless it rains. The sidewalks flood and don’t drain for at least 24 hours or longer. What will you do as mayor to address fixing our aged, uneven, and oft-flooded sidewalks?

3. A number of properties in Del Ray and elsewhere are including ADUs, both new developments and remodels. There is little to no accountability to ensure these are for extended family members or family employees, let alone occupant numbers. Not only does this impact the population numbers of Alexandria affecting funds allotted to the city for services, but impacts parking and infrastructure, and neighborhood impacts. What changes, if any, would you propose to ensure responsible building and accountability?

City/Council Operations 

1. Please name two things that you think the City does well. We usually only hear about what the City does poorly.

2. What do you feel are the most important mistakes to learn from during the last council? Please be specific.

Historic Concerns 

1. The Town of Potomac Historic District has been named one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in the commonwealth. Should the city regulate the demolition of contributing historic commercial and residential structures as it does in Old Town and Parker-Gray?

2. Would you support protections for the historic Town of Potomac and / Del Ray as a whole to prevent overdevelopment from destroying the small-scale nature of Del Ray?

Potomac Yard and Lessons Learned 

1. What are your thoughts about the process by which the Potomac Yard proposal was brought forward? Would you make changes to that process? If so, what?

2. Since the vision of high-density office development has changed in Potomac Yard, would you support revising the PY Small Area Plan, which premise was written in 24 years ago in 2010, and engage the community in this process?