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Letter: Choose Eve Thompson for RA’s At-Large Seat

by RestonNow.com March 21, 2016 at 11:30 am 25 Comments

Amanda AndereThis is an op-ed by nonprofit executive Amanda Andere, who formerly served on the Reston Association Board of Directors. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Reston Association members have already received their ballots for board elections. Several people have asked me who I will be supporting in the At-Large race.

There is really only one choice if we want a community leader committed to engaging members, bringing together diverse groups to solve problems; who is dedicated to good governance, and community. Eve Thompson.

I have spent the last 12 years living and working in Reston. For the last eight years as a homeowner, and for all of those years working as a staff or volunteer for nonprofits concerned about living out Bob Simon’s dream that this be an economic inclusive community. Eve Thompson is a person I first met when she was honored as a Best of Reston awardee, and she continues to live out that vision of a place where people don’t just live, but feel part of the community.

I served on the Reston Association board with Eve and admired her dedication to our members and her ability to bring people together, even when they disagreed, to do what was best for Reston.

In the next few years Reston Association will have to make some critical decisions about how we offer the best value and services to residents during a period of unprecedented growth. How we engage a diversity of voices in those decisions and balance our needs versus our wants with the highest amount fiscal responsibility and fiduciary oversight.

Eve has proven to have those skills in her role as a current board member and her leadership in reviving Lake Anne as the former president of  the Lake Anne Merchant’s Association and active member/leader of many Reston task forces and coalitions that have addressed the critical sustainability and viability issues facing our community.

Eve is the choice for the Reston Association At-Large seat if you want all of the qualities of what makes Reston a wonderful place to live. A leader who understands where we have been, but can see how we need to change in the future.

Amanda Misiko Andere, MPA

  • NO

    Eve Thompson wants to spend more of our money irresponsibly. That’s why she didn’t get my vote.

  • MJay

    I voted for the guy who did not support the Tetra debacle. Because Eve supported taking on significant debt to pay for a small piece of property that only benefits a wealthy section of lakefront property and not Reston writ large, and took on that debt without a tangible plan in place on how to recoup the cost and use the property, Eve does not get my vote.

  • Sally Forth

    My husband and I voted for Eve last time and voted for her again this time. She’s worked tirelessly for the good of the community. You may have disagreed with the Board decision to buy Tetra but the fact is that most of us voted yes– that’s the way it works.

  • MJay

    I believe she worked tirelessly to convince a slim majority of voters via biased and misleading mailings to support an irresponsible project using all of our money. Now that the facts are out in public, we may not be able to take back the deal, but we can certainly reject the ones who led us into this financial mess. Based on her record, I choose not to vote for her. That’s the way it works.

    • JMay

      Slim majority is still a majority. That’s the way that works.

      • cRAzy

        So if Donald Trump is elected President by a slim majority, you’re OK with that because “That’s the way that works.”

      • MJay

        My issue is that Eve helped spearhead a campaign to mislead the RA members into thinking that the Tetra purchase was necessary to avert a crisis to Reston writ large… As part of this misinformation campaign spearheaded by Eve, the membership was falsely informed that the Tetra purchase would pay for itself in a few years, become a revenue-generating property, and a plan was in place. Only afterward did we learn that there was no plan, citizens are still talking about what to do with the property, and Eve sought to limit the use of the property through noise legislation. Unfortunately, that is the way it works in Reston. By voting out such individuals in favor of people more responsible with our money, we can hopefully change how Reston works for the better.

        On another note, is it Sock-Puppet City in here or what?

  • Guest

    Hmmmmm…..support the woman who voted for the Tetra purchase so her daughters could be married there (or so she said) and voted for the one-acre woodland-for-stormwater ditch land swap at Lake Anne?

    I don’t think so. Vote for John Bowman who specifically said he opposed both and will be financially and environmentally responsible. Thompson is the anti-thesis of that.

    • Sally Forth

      I think you’re mistaking Eve for Lucinda Shannon who wanted to renew her vows at Tetra.

      • Tammi Petrine

        No, Eve. I heard Eve say the comment about 5 daughters weddings and so did many others. It’s on tape. Sorta hard to confuse a vow renewal with 5 daughters weddings, no?

        Is this Eve/Sally trying to muddy the waters? Seems very strange coincidence when Lucinda is the RA Hunters Woods director/hero who supported Tall Oaks when Eve slammed her own constituents..

        Is Sally a real name? Oh, c’mon, post under your real name just as you demanded of someone else in a previous post. Calling someone a coward when you are doing the same thing seems just the wee-ist bit hypocritical.

      • Guest

        Apparently you weren’t at the televised RA sales, er, community, meeting with maybe 300 other people when she made that remark. Check it out on RA’s website or Facebook.

        Either that or you are lying to defame a solid member of the RA Board. Now why would you do that???

    • Maggie (one of the daughters)

      Don’t you think it’s possible Eve’s comment was made to demonstrate possible community use of the building? Or perhaps said in jest? I see that you feel you have a pretty clear bead on who you think Eve is; however as one of the above mentioned daughters, I can promise you, the “Tetra wedding” comment was in no way based in a personal investment on her part.
      Also– as a side note, I would like to point out that Eve goes out of her way to be civil. She may get passionate, and she may disagree with her opponents; but she is respectful toward them. Your tone is accusatory and implies disgust for her. With elections come strong feelings; but using sarcasm and anger to anonymously air your frustrations only makes this community process harder.

  • Tom O’Brien

    I’ve found Eve to be consistently hard working and thoughtful in her approach to things. She got our vote.

  • Observer

    Hard work toward undesirable ends is perhaps not to be rewarded. Every election is Accountability Time. Leading support for an extravagant property purchase, a questionable land swap, excessive spending (e.g., Pony Barn and uncompensated work on behalf of VDOT) and ever-increasing assessments is the record. Ms. Thimpson is not the only director responsible for that, but she is the only one this year under the microscope of accountability.

  • cRAzy

    With all due respect, Amanda, you and she were both part of the RA Board problem. You are gone now and hopefully Eve will follow next month.

    Reston is taking back its Board one member at a time.

    • Sally Forth

      Dear Ed Abbot- you should be brave enough to post under your own name. Coward.

      • Tammi Petrine

        So should you, Sally and Naming Names.

      • cRAzy

        I am not Ed Abbot nor do I know anyone with that name. Like the other response to my remarks, it is untrue.

        Try truth for a change. See the comments by “Observer” below for a little truth.

      • Guest

        When anonymous posters start slandering other anonymous posters because they are posting anonymously, you’ve really got to wonder if there is any merit to their points if they have any.

    • NamingNames

      Because anonymity allows them to spew nonsense without taking responsibility for it. It is convenient. It is easy. It is cowardice at its finest.

      Really Ed– just stop.

      • cRAzy

        It’s not nonsense. Tho you may not like it, It’s truth. Embrace it and it will set you free!

  • Tammi Petrine

    Wow. Sorry Amanda but I could not disagree with you more. I have lived in Reston for 40 years. Eve has consistently voted for her self-interests OVER the interests of the Reston community as a whole. She was one of the RA directors who did not promptly or completely fill out the conflict of interest form as required by RA rules. When concerns were filed with Ken Knueven who was RA president at the time, he promised immediate compliance. Two more months went by with no compliance. Finally RA’s attorney, Chadwick said the forms would be completed by New Years!!! And they were supposed to be filed the month after the election was ratified so May!!! After more complaints to Knueven, the forms appeared in Dec. Question: what was so complex about these forms? Others had done them within hours of being elected. Makes one wonder.

    In addition, Eve participated in the discussion of the LA Grove swap for the temporary parking lot. Whoa! She had a direct financial conflict but did not recuse herself from this discussion or the final vote. (She did abstain from the first vote because the vote was alphabetical and by the time it was her turn, it had already passed.) LARCA, the condo assoc. of which she is a member owns the large parking lot which was where the main LA redevelopment was going to be built and is directly adjacent to the grove. The terms of the deal between LARCA and the developer were never disclosed but I doubt LARCA was going to allow him to use their huge property for free. LARC also owns another parking lot to the west that could’ve been used for the temporary garage. Despite a long, contentious, emotional debate by scores of environmentalists begging to save the grove, she didn’t budge. As sorry as we all are that the LA revitalization died, we can at least rejoice that the grove has been saved, no thanks to Eve.

    In addition, she lobbied hard against a referendum for RELAC which imprisons LA patrons in an antiquated (50 years old with few if any upgrades), often ineffective A/C monopoly depending on where one’s home is located on the A/C line and the home’s exposure to the sun. Eve lives in Heron House which had spent a lot of $$$ to install a powerful pump to assure adequate A/C for her home but was unsympathetic to those being charged enormous fees for terrible or non-existent A/C in theirs. Who does that? The shame is that RELAC would survive if those wanting new, state of the art, quiet systems were allowed to leave the monopoly. But no, RA lead by Eve and Knueven who also is a RELAC subscriber insisted on a rigid “all or none” referendum. During the referendum, Ken issued an opinion that VA Dominion Power could not possibly provide enough power if everyone left RELAC and installed new A/C systems. Ridiculous and a red herring as few per year would afford to retrofit their homes in any given year. In fact, fewer members could actually increase the functioning of RELAC for others remaining. Sadly the referendum to allow freedom was defeated.

    Next, Eve threw all of her constituents from Tall Oaks (she is the LA/TO rep!!!) under the bus by voting that TO should be changed to a convenience center vs. a village center. She consulted NO ONE in Tall Oaks neighborhoods before making this statement at an RA board meeting. She said words to the effect that all TO residents needed was “a place to take their cleaning and buy milk.” (She sure didn’t feel that way about the residents around Lake Anne!!!) There had been a big town meeting at Aldrin Elem. about the future where a full house voiced desires for TO. Eve apparently did not attend. The only director who stood up for TO was a Hunters Woods rep. who stated the obvious: that Reston is supposed to be a walkable community and every Village Center was planned with this in mind. Eve’s behavior here was a terrible betrayal of the needs of HER OWN constituents.

    And then there is the controversial Tetra deal. No further comment necessary there except to say that no sooner was the ink dry on the referendum when the RA board voted to restrict any noise that might annoy the Lake Newport neighbors in the evenings. So if you are planning to rent the facility so your evening party can enjoy the lakeside location, sorry, you are out of luck. Your party has to wind up early. Noise travels don’t you know. Unfortunately this decision was neither realized nor publicized before the referendum materials were formulated where all the tons of RA income from rentals figured in. Another wrinkle with Tetra is the RA original vision to eliminate close parking to plant more trees. How, I ask you, do you rent a facility with insufficient parking close parking? Sigh.

    So all in all, I can positively state that Eve is not a director who put her interests aside when deciding important RA policies and business. She needs to be replaced for the betterment of the RA board and the community.

  • Sandra James

    I live in Lake Anne and Eve made it easier to get off RELAC not harder. She streamlined the process, I know because we talked through her plan, which was passed by the board.

    • Tammi Petrine

      Sandra, I find your statement odd as my LA friends who are prisoners of RELAC tell me exactly opposite information. Perhaps Eve helped walk you through a process that was confusing and you only thought it was easier because you didn’t know what it entailed? Or do you have a medical excuse but then have to return you unit to RELAC status when you sell? There is no streamlined process for being released from compulsory RELAC membership or the referendum would not have been necessary.

  • Helen

    The Eve I know is an exceptional community organizer who has done wonders for Reston. Her passionate love of the community is apparent in every choice she makes. She has time and again worked to invigorate the community in a positive way. The time and energy she gives has made Reston a better place.

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