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Alex. mayor: Debt default means 'millions' in local costs

Friday - 7/29/2011, 11:31am  ET

(WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)

The Politics Program

Alexandria Mayor William Euille speaks with WTOP's Mark Plotkin


WASHINGTON -- Alexandria Mayor William Euille was a guest on the "Politics Program" with Mark Plotkin on Friday.

The mayor discussed the impact of the lowering of Alexandria's AAA bond rating, which could occur if Congress cannot reach an agreement on the debt ceiling.

The money Alexandria is able to gather as a result of its current rating goes not just toward services, Euille said, but also capital improvements like bridges and schools, which would become costlier for local taxpayers to the tune of "several millions of dollars."

"It's time for the politicians --both on the left and the right -- to take off their boxing gloves and stop acting childish," he said. "Let's not kid ourselves, it's just sheer politics."

Euille also discussed the plan for improvements to the Alexandria waterfront, which will include flood mitigation, new restaurants and some small boutique hotels.

The city council still feels the plan has some "missing pieces," he said, but it should be finalized by Thanksgiving or the end of December at the latest.

Euille considered suing Metro for the $30,000 in hospital bills he accrued from a fall on a slippery train platform while he was en route to a Metro board meeting. He is working with them to recoup the costs not covered by his insurance.

The mayor was interrupted by a nation-wide address by President Obama about the debt ceiling debate. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., called into Politics Program after the president finished, and echoed much of what he had to say.

"We're not that far apart...if you strip away the political rhetoric," he said of his colleagues across the aisle.

Euille added that he believes public statements from previous presidents -- particularly both George W. and George H. W. Bush, and Clinton -- would help move the debt debate along. He is "surprised" they haven't yet gotten involved.

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