Reston Association Election: Meet Michael Sanio

Michael Sanio/Credit: David Madison for RAVoting in the 2015 Reston Association Board of Directors elections is now open. We will be running candidate profiles Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format so each candidate has an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

Today’s profiles are of At-Large Candidates, both of whom are running unopposed.

Michael Sanio is seeking re-election to the RA Board.  He is the association’s current Secretary, as well as a member of the Board Planning Committe and liaison to the Fiscal, Environmental Advisory Committees.

Reston Now: What makes you want to serve — or continue to serve — on the RA Board?

MS: Reston is on the verge of significant growth with the opening of the Metro Silver Line. Growth that can bring new services to Reston, or more traffic, noise and pollution.

Over the last three years I’ve had the honor to serve on the Board as an At-Large Director, and the Secretary, on the Board Planning Committee, Legal Committee and liaison to Fiscal, Legal and Environmental Advisory Committee.

I will represent all residents of Reston to support and promote:

  • Growth that meets the needs of all residents of Reston
  • Growth that protects our natural areas
  • Growth that ensures our long term economic viability.

RNWhat is the biggest issue facing RA right now and do you have an idea to improve it?

MS: The greatest challenge to the Reston Association is ensuring the growth that will occur, directly benefits the residents of Reston, not only the residents of Fairfax County.

The RA Land Use Review Processes we established during my first term to facilitate discussions with the development community, the county, the Reston Association Design Review Board and the Planning and Zoning Committee will ensure Reston has both a seat at the table, and a voice.

Over the last year we created a Governance Committee, the Governance Committee will focus on establishing a Code of Conduct for members of the Board, and board processes that will improve decision making, provide Reston Association staff clear direction and opportunities for innovation and creativity.

RN: How can RA members better understand what the board does and how can they be better involved in improving our community?

MS: The best way for members of the community to understand what the RA Board does, is to serve on one of the many board committees. The Reston community directly benefits from members active involvement.

Beyond that, all meetings are open to the public. RA board agendas, meeting minutes, committee meetings are available on the Reston Association website, on YouTube and televised on Comcast cable.

RN:  Some of the criticism of RA recently is wasteful spending, lack of transparency and rising assessments. What can be done to improve or at least improve perceptions of all of these things?

MS: Wasteful spending is often a difference in opinion on where resources are being allocated, versus where a member believes they should be spent. As a member of the RA Board, I often see the same individuals attending public meetings and serving on committees. To be heard, members must be involved, in that way they have a direct opportunity to shape the associations programs and priorities.

You often hear, “decisions are made by those that simply show up.”

So I urge my fellow members of Reston to get involved, show up, and make your voice heard!

RN: 2015 and beyond is an important time for Reston’s growth as several large residential developments are in the works, and most of the residents will be RA members. What can the board do in the next few years to adequately prepare to serve thousands more people?

MS: The most important thing the RA Board can do over the next several years to prepare and serve the several thousand more people in Reston is to improve the operation of the Board and to effectively represent the broad interests of Reston residents.

As an effective board, we are a predictable and strong partner with the county, state and the development community.

Credit: Michael Sanio/Credit: David Madison for RA

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