Op-Ed: Time to Vote for RA Board Members

Reston AssociationThis is an op-ed from Reston resident Terry Maynard. It does not represent the opinion of Reston Now.

It is time for that annual RA ritual: The election of members to the RA Board of Directors. There are three positions up for election this year, one At-Large position and two district seats.

The only contested election is the At-Large race among three candidates. I recommend voting for John Bowman, whom I have known and worked with for nearly a decade on the RCA Board, the Reston Master Plan Task Force, and Reston 20/20. He has also worked on RA’s Transportation Committee for several years.

I have found John to have an uncanny ability to look at Reston’s many issues from diverse angles and balance those considerations in making decisions that served all Reston, not just a single faction or location. In doing so, he communicates openly and listens to all points of view, values that need greater attention on the RA Board.

He also appreciates the financial burden we share in making Reston a better place, and he would oppose unwise future RA investments or expenditures, such as the exorbitant Tetra purchase. In brief, John believes in the principles that make Reston a unique master planned community, and he will work to advance them wisely and openly.

The two district representative candidates are running unopposed, but, yes, they both need your vote!

Even unopposed candidates must receive a quorum of at least 10 percent of the eligible voters from their district.

Danielle LaRosa is an incumbent running for re-election in the North Point District. As RA’s Treasurer, she has pushed the Board to address the fiscal impacts of its decisions, and I expect that she will continue to do so in her next term. Even from my south Reston vantage point, Dannielle also appears to be good at communicating with her North Point constituency on the Board’s activities.

Sherri Hebert, whom I have come to know, work with, and respect in the last year, is running to represent the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District on the RA Board. Sherri — who is President of the Bentana Woods cluster and COO of a non-profit corporation — has already been Reston’s leader in searching for a reasonable redevelopment solution for the Tall Oaks Village Center.

She has engaged and mobilized the Tall Oaks community to push the developer, the RA Board, and the County to ensure that the redeveloped Village Center includes the retail and plaza features called for in the County-approved Reston Master Plan.  The county’s recent decision to defer action on the current Tall Oaks proposal pending a retail market study is partly due to her efforts.

As a Board member, Sherri will also have to deal with issues surrounding the failed County attempt to redevelop Lake Anne Village Center. I can think of no better candidate to address these key redevelopment issues, and she will do so in a transparent and constructive way on behalf of her district and all of Reston.

Most important, I strongly encourage all eligible Reston residents to vote in this RA Board election. At a time when Reston faces numerous challenges from planned expected growth, County exploitation, and RA Board overreach, we all need to become more engaged in our community to assure its continued uniqueness.

The first and easiest step in that process is voting by mail or electronically in our local RA Board election beginning March 7. Please do so.

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