Colin Mills: Giving Credit To Two of RCA’s Best

Colin Mills/File photoLast week, I announced that I will not be running again for the RCA Board. I’m not the only one stepping down this year, however. Two other RCA stalwarts, Terry Maynard and Dick Rogers, are also retiring at the end of this term.

This week, I’d like to pay tribute to Terry and Dick. They have both served Reston well in their time with RCA, and I’m glad to count them as trusted colleagues and as friends.  I will greatly miss working with them both.

Dick and Terry have a lot in common. They have served with RCA for quite a while (Terry joined the Board in late 2009, Dick in early 2010). Both are retired CIA analysts, and they brought that analytical skill to their work with RCA. Both are most interested in planning and transportation. But although they’re similar in background, they have different approaches and have contributed to RCA in different ways.

If you’ve followed the planning for Reston’s future — whether it’s the Silver Line, the Master Plan revisions, or the RCC rec center proposal — you’ve probably heard Terry Maynard’s name. He has been quoted more often than anyone else on the RCA Board, and with good reason. Over the years, Terry has become one of Reston’s preeminent experts on development issues.

Terry’s analytical reports, full of charts and footnotes, are legendary. If you think I’m verbose, you should take a look at one of Terry’s reports, which can run 100 pages or more. But they are lengthy for a reason.  Most people don’t have the expertise or the inclination to dive into spreadsheets full of numbers and figures and dig out the real story, but Terry does. Whether he’s examining the accuracy of Toll Road revenue forecasts, quantifying the impact of development on Reston’s traffic and recreational facilities, or raising unanswered questions about the rec center, you can count on Terry to provide a rigorous, reasonable analysis.

In addition to his reports, Terry has taken on a leadership role on planning issues. He has been the co-chair of RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee, serving as a community watchdog on key development-related matters.  He also served with distinction as RCA’s primary representative on the Reston Master Plan Task Force, standing up for Reston’s citizens to protect our founding principles and quality of life. While the final Master Plan recommendations weren’t quite as Terry wanted, his staunch advocacy and thoughtful analysis made the final plan better for Restonians.

Terry can be outspoken, but his passion has its roots in an abiding love for the community and a desire to see it thrive for decades to come. Terry believes strongly in responsible and well-planned development and in transparent and responsive government, and he’s not shy about speaking out when he believes our leaders are falling short in those areas.

And when Terry speaks, you know he’s got the facts and figures to back it up. His impassioned critiques are informed by his dispassionate analysis. He understands that once you’ve done the homework and know that you’re right, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out. Terry has never been afraid to speak his mind.

Terry’s integrity, analytical capability, dedication, and abiding support for Reston’s citizens have been a tremendous boon to RCA and to Reston. We’re all much better off for his efforts.

While Terry is a widely-known figure in Reston, you may not know Dick Rogers. That’s due to a difference in styles: Dick is quiet where Terry is outspoken, and Dick often works behind the scenes while Terry has been more visible. But Dick has also been a tremendous advocate for the community’s interests, and he has been a tremendous help to RCA in his time on the Board.

Dick first became involved in RCA through Reston 2020. He was already an active member of the community, serving for more than a decade on his cluster board and having been an Associate Member of the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee. Dick has lived in Reston for a long time (almost 40 years), and he wanted to represent the community as Reston’s future was being discussed. When a spot on the RCA Board opened up, he applied, and he’s been a blessing to us ever since.

Dick is well-liked by everyone, and with good reason: he is very thoughtful and a true gentleman. He applied these qualities, as well as his analytical background, to carve out a niche as RCA’s transportation expert. He attended as many transportation-related meetings as he could, and reported back with thorough notes and observations. His dogged persistence and gentlemanly demeanor helped him find out information that no one else had.

Perhaps Dick’s finest work is the paper “Wiehle Metro Station Access: Congestion Ahead,” of which he was the principal researcher and author. Early last year, Dick began wondering if Reston was ready for the coming of the Silver Line and the transportation challenges it would bring. He wasn’t sure, so he started doing the legwork: doing research, interviewing key players, and developing findings.

Dick concluded that not enough has been done to allow Silver Line users to access the Wiehle station. His report described the problems in detail, and better yet, suggested solutions.  His report focused public attention on a key challenge to the successful implementation of the Silver Line, and sparked discussion on how to address it.

It’s unfortunate that Dick and Terry will no longer be on the RCA Board. Happily, though, neither one is leaving RCA entirely. Terry will continue as Reston 2020 co-chair, pushing for responsible and balanced planning solutions. Dick will also remain active on 2020, and he will serve as RCA’s representative on the Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory Committee. I’m delighted that RCA and Reston will still benefit from their expertise.

Terry Maynard and Dick Rogers have been two of RCA’s guiding lights for the last several years. I hope that Restonians recognize how much that they’ve done for the community, and that we give thanks for their dedication and service. This column is my small contribution toward giving them the recognition they deserve.

Colin Mills is the president of Reston Citizens Association. He writes weekly on Reston Now.

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