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2017 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Arlene Krieger

by RestonNow.com — March 13, 2017 at 11:30 am 43 Comments

Arlene Krieger/Reston AssociationVoting in the 2017 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run through April 3. We will be posting profiles on each of the candidates. Featured here is Arlene Krieger, who is facing John Mooney (profile) in the race for the North Point District seat. The two squared off in a candidate forum last week.

Profiles of candidates in the races for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District seat and an At-Large seat will run later this week.

The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

Three generations of my family have lived in Reston. My family has enjoyed Reston’s green, open spaces, its incredible schools, its dog park, its lakes, its pools, its wide range of recreational facilities, its library, and its beautiful residential neighborhoods. I have been a wife, a mother and a grandparent here in Reston. Members of my family have been born right here at Reston Hospital.

Nobody is more INVESTED in preserving North Point’s lifestyle and quality of life than I am. As a long-term resident of North Point, how could I be anything else? Bob Simon’s beautiful vision of a planned community is what brought me here. But with what’s happening with all the redevelopment I see around me, I think that Bob must be spinning in his grave.

What inspired you to run for the board?

I was one of three women who began the fight against the St. John’s Woods Redevelopment Plan. I live nearby. This affected me directly. SJW would have more than doubled the amount to people living in this one neighborhood … destroyed a beautiful green canopy of trees … and created even more traffic congestion than we already have. We cannot allow developers to trample on our way of life without fighting back.

After the Reston Design Review Board approved SJW’s plan, I got it out of their hands and in front of the entire board of directors instead. There, it was shot down. Turned out it violated our Master Plan. It was then that I realized I needed to be on the RA Board. We need louder voices to protect our neighborhoods and homes. My outrage at projects like St. John’s Woods, the Golf Course, Tall Oaks, the Soccer Field and the disastrous Lake House purchase mirrored that of residents throughout North Point. I realized that my specialized skill set as a professional community organizer would give me an edge to better deal with the challenges confronting North Point, and give our residents a stronger voice in protecting our shared interests.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

Foremost, it’s how developers are targeting residential neighborhoods in North Point. I hear much talk about Reston’s need for “balanced development.” But it seems to me that the only balance that matters is the bank balance of developers. I am extremely concerned about special waivers, exceptions and zoning changes for specific developers that allow them to encroach on our neighborhoods like invasive plants.

Second, the lack of communication between RA and our community troubles me. Everything seems backwards. Today, the onus is on YOU to find out what’s happening. YOU need to check the RA website. YOU need to figure out how to sign up for crucial alerts. Transparency has become a buzz word. Everyone says it, but few know how to implement it. That’s why so many Restonians don’t learn about development projects until bulldozers show up. It’s almost as if RA doesn’t want you to know what’s going on. As a community organizer, my plan is to reverse this paradigm. Make RA responsible for transparency, not members.

Third, even though I know it’s not a tax, I’m not a fan of the way assessment fees are determined. I think some people are paying more than their fair share.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

All the candidates know the basics. Compromise … Dialogue … Negotiation. But what makes me different is one unwavering position: developers MUST abide by Reston’s Master Plan and Deed, and other binding legal instruments.

I am NOT a politician and I’m NOT part of the establishment. I haven’t worked for the government in any capacity whatsoever. I think that’s important. I am a community organizer and activist. Always have been, always will be. And what I hope to accomplish by being on the board is to bring my unique experience and special skill set to the table, to enable the community to have a stronger say in their own lives. I know how to keep people informed. And I know how to form collations to help ordinary people deal with the challenges we all face.

The advertising for the Reston Parkway commercial building soon to come reminds me of the biggest challenge we face in Reston. It labels itself, “One Address Above it All.” And I believe that’s what developers think about us: That they are ABOVE us all. I won’t accept that. No one should.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

I have spent my entire career organizing people around vital issues. As a community organizer, I have created committees, boards, special events, community services and collaborations that bring people together to work for the common good. I have done this on behalf of major national nonprofit organizations.

As an activist, I know how to change the status quo. This experience is urgently needed on the RA board. The status quo is tearing Reston apart. There are so many different kinds of service and experience. That’s why I always say, “Vote for Results, Not Resumes.”

In addition, as a North Point wife, mother and grandparent, I have used our schools, our kiddie parks, our dog park and our open green spaces with joy. I have benefited from every facet of Bob Simon’s vision of a planned community, and I can’t bear to watch developers continue to chip away at his legacy. In my opinion nobody will fight harder for their community than a person whose neighborhood is being threatened. And that person is me.

Read more about Krieger and the other candidates in the 2017 Reston Association election on RA’s website.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED CANDIDATE PROFILE:

  • james dean

    reston2020 info on stoneturn report & more info on tetra / lake house transaction can be found @ http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2017/03/a-preliminary-report-on-key-issues-in.html

    • restonresident

      the link to reston2020 does not work!

    • Arlene Krieger

      Don’t worry about me I will be there both nights unless tomorrow is cancelled because of snow.

  • Reston Realist

    Arlene, can you explain to us how the skill set of an activist community organizer is better suited for the RA board than those of a professional bureaucrat?

  • Donald

    Ms. Krieger, good luck with your campaign. If you are willing to use this forum for a quick discussion, I’d like to ask the following question(s) (I’ll ask the same of all the candidates.)

    Reston Association, Rescue Reston, Fairfax County have taken on defending the Reston National Golf Course as open space. In fact, Reston Association has gone as far as to state it would purchase the property as last resort (via referendum of course.)

    Hidden Creek Country Club represents a mirror image to RNGC on the North side of the Transit Station Area (TSA.)

    Given the demonstrated tenacity of developers and some property owners in our area, what will you do to make sure the Hidden Creek CC does not go down this path? Would you be willing to state RA should be prepared to purchase the property?

    Note: HCCC is owned by Fore Golf Partners: http://www.foregolfpartners.com/default.asp?contentID=17

    • JoeInReston

      What would the market value of RNGC property be? I presume the cost would be too high for RA to even consider purchasing.

      • Donald

        JoelnReston,

        As you can see I removed the question, I believe the tone from some others on the related threads might blow this topic up. To answer your question though, I suspect it would be a large number.

        Donald

      • John Higgins

        This is one of the best questions asked on these pages is a long time. As a public-access golf course, it has an assessed value of $1.3 million. That’s a low price for so much land but if it can only be used as a golf course, its value is driven by its earnings potential, and golf is not the money maker folks imagine. If it could be developed, the value would likely move to something in excess of $50 million. (The current owner purchased the property for $5 million over ten years ago, before the collapse of the real estate market.) On the heels of the Tetra deal, it’s unthinkable RA would attempt to protect this open space from future development. Too bad, the idea has appeal. Hundreds of communities own golf courses. Some fail, some thrive.

        • Donald

          Thank you Mr. Higgins. This was the question I asked of the candidates, but decided to delete it given the way the conversations are going on these threads. I didn’t think the candidate would be willing to address it here, and no need to put them on the spot.

          This requires some real adult discussion. And heaven forbid the owners of Hidden Creek see a possible opportunity to capitalize on their investment. Perhaps, in time, the Community will feel comfortable addressing these matters and can agree to some innovative contingency plans.

          Donald

        • Donald

          Thank you Mr. Higgins. I had originally asked this question of each of the candidates, but decided to delete it, as the tone at the moment on these threads may not do the topic justice.

          This will require an adult conversation. The community will have to identify some innovative contingencies (including purchase) sooner than later. Throw in the potential of the owners of Hidden Creek CC seeing a opportunity to capitalize on their decade old investment and we may have to make some very tough choices. That is, if we intend to defend Reston’s open spaces.

          Donald

          • Donald

            Ms. Krieger, would love to hear your thoughts. What would you do if this matter came up while you were serving?

            Donald

          • Conservative Senior

            No way.

          • JoeInReston

            John Farrell said in a recent post that Hidden Creek club is not the same deal as the Reston National club. I can’t recall the exact specifics (please chime in and correct me John!), so my vague recollection may be off, but something about selling the club would require the consent of the country club members.

          • Donald

            JoeInReston,

            Mr. Farrell definitely appears to be up to speed on the Hidden Creek CC matter. One of the questions is what powers do the members have?

            The present owners of the Club are Fore Golf Partners:

            http://www.foregolfpartners.com/default.asp?contentID=17

            They have a small national portfolio of courses which they actually own and manage. Mr. Staples and Mr. Miraglia may be inclined to recoup their investment if they ever had the opportunity.

            Of course the other question is what opportunity with the County is there? Again, we’ve seen how aggressive developers and owners can get around here.

            Better to know and be prepared, ahead of time.

            Donald

        • JoeInReston

          I looked at some of the properties next to the golf course when I was looking to buy a house. The nicely manicured open space was a big appeal, and I am not even a golfer. To develop that open space would hurt the appeal of those properties.

          While I would support the funding of a legal defense to prevent the open space from being developed, I would not support the purchase of the property to preserve the open space. The cost of $50 million over 60K residents would come out to $833 a person. Of course thats only a per person cost, the per household cost would be much larger.

          • Donald

            Needless to say, future boards will have to confront this matter. I anticipate some very tough decisions coming their way.

            I pray we have directors who are willing to think creatively, and are able to identify one or two innovative ideas to protect these treasured areas. The community needs to be aware of the risks, the potential costs, the potential benefits and potential outcomes.

            Talking about it now is less expensive than reacting later.

            Donald

        • SamIAm

          What if they purchased the property but allowed a small portion of it to be rezoned and sold to a developer? We could take the cash and use it to upgrade or update the other facilities that need improvement. I’m sure everyone will go crazy at this idea but it could at least be explored.

          • Donald

            SamIAm, that’s a creative idea. And your point is well taken – people may go crazy – regardless, these ideas need to be explored.

            Donald

          • Conservative Senior

            No it doesn’t. RA is only a HOA & they don’t even do a good job of that.

          • Bernie Supporter

            No. Actually, they don’t.

          • Conservative Senior

            No. It’s an awful idea.

          • pc

            I like a variation of SamIam’s idea. DO NOT have RA purchase the property (or any more properties). However, work with Fairfax County Zoning, RA DRB and the developer to insure that a significant amount of the property (at its perimeter) remain open space. Be specific (eg, 200 yard buffer, walking trails, x # trees must be planted). Golf courses bring chemicals and lawn mowers. Compare that to the Glade Stream Valley and other trails…much more desirable IMO and folks pay a premiums to live on those trails. We need to work with developers while we can. Complete opposition may result in the developer working quietly to do what it wants with minimal community input.

          • Donald

            pc, interesting idea. It may be the one the Community sees great value and return on their investment.

            I think every board member needs to be ready to propose and/or evaluate ideas like this, well ahead of any potential action taken by a developer or owner. Would you agree? Would a special task force be an appropriate mechanism?

            Donald

        • Conservative Senior

          RA should not be purchasing a golf course.

          • Bernie Supporter

            … or they may relocate it to the Lake House. 😉

      • Conservative Senior

        RA should not be buying properties. They do a terrible job.

  • Donald

    Edit. Given the nature of some of the conversations elsewhere, I’ll remove my question for now.

    Donald

  • Bernie Supporter

    There continues to be a contingent of people (the same few posters) who have never seen an open space that they didn’t want to see developed. I find it interesting that these same people time and again tell us that RA has so little power — that everything is in the hands of Fairfax County. Yet when some pet project or idea pops into their head, they forget what they’ve said just days ago.

    Fairfax County told us in June, 2012 —

    “… any alternative development of the property that cannot be construed as open space, parks, golf course or nature center would require an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan…Additionally, in accordance with Sect. 16‐203 a PRC Plan approval will also be required.”

    I don’t play golf. But I still don’t want developers building on ANY land where they don’t have the right to. Our Master Plan already has 25-30% growth built-in — including 11 athletic fields.

    We must protect our green spaces — even those that come with holes in them. And after Tetra, anyone who wants RA involved with buying anything is a touch … out of step with the reality we find ourselves in.

    Not everything is about revenue. And it would be unthinkable for RA not to protect this space, especially given its specific land use restrictions. I can just imagine the hidden conflicts of interest or other problems that would come out of such another Tetra-like disaster.

    • Donald

      Bernie, good points. At the same time, any thoughts in case the Community needs to do something? A developer may be inclined to pursue an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and seek approval. What if they were to succeed?

      Thanks,
      Donald

      • Bernie Supporter

        Yes. If the community loves Reston, they need to FIGHT for the vision of its Founder, who had this to say on the subject –:

        “The Reston National Golf Course area should remain as open space forever.” – Robert Simon, Founder of Reston, August 14, 2015

        The legal case regarding the land use designation of Reston National Golf Course has made it clear: An investor bought into a golf course, and a golf course is what they have.

        Last time, we brought in heavy hitters like the Sierra Club who told us the horrible environmental impact developing this land would have. And got major media support, detailing how the golf course provides vital habitat for a wide range of plants and animal species.

        If you believe you have a fight ahead of you to protect this land, then don’t discuss how to acquiesce. Discuss what you can do to prevent it. That’s the only discussion worth having, unless we want to roll on our backs like submissive dogs.

      • Constance (Connie) Hartke

        There is no need at this time to speculate on “what if they succeed.” Please let the candidates focus on current issues.

        RNGC is a profitable golf course. It is managed by Billy Casper Golf, the 2nd largest golf course management company in the USA. BCG moved their headquarters to Sunrise Valley Drive just a few years ago. Given the status of RNGC’s land use designation and the strength of the company that manages it, our supporters do not need to spend time speculating who might manage it in the future.

        Donald, John Pinkman and I would like to meet you. All we know is your first name and that you appear to be quite a supporter – we can be contacted by email: golf (@) rescuereston.org.

        • Donald

          Thanks Ms. Hartke,

          I’ve been involved with Rescue Reston when you rally the troops.

          But I must disagree, the sale of either of our golf courses IS a current issue.

          I respect what Rescue Reston has accomplished so far, but our Reston board members must be prepared for some potentially tough decisions in their future. I would like to know what they may or may not do given the risk these properties face.

          There are questions in the air again regarding RNGC (and now HCCC.) I believe it is important to be in front of these matters. Also, wouldn’t you agree, who manages a property is very different from who owns a property?

          Again, thank you for all you do,
          Donald

          • Constance (Connie) Hartke

            Thank you for your support, Donald. I don’t read my answer as indicating confusion over who owns and who manages.

            I hope all will read today’s news from Rescue Reston: http://eepurl.com/cGpE7j

            I’ve got to get back to work.

          • Donald

            Ms. Hartke, yes, I saw your latest posting on your website. Well done.

            I truly appreciate your efforts. But, again, my point to asking these questions is to get the candidates running for the RA board to respond. They will play a significant role on behalf of the Community.

            So again, to the candidates:

            “What will you do, as a board member, to keep this matter at the forefront?”

            “What should the board do to stay at the forefront, keeping the Community involved? ”

            “Is the board prepared to purchase the property?”

            Thank you again,
            Donald

          • Bernie Supporter

            Ms. Hartke loved the column, “We Broke the Story. Will You Keep Us Strong.” Especially the ending —

            “This is an example of attempting to confuse and distort. With your support we will counter and state facts. We need our attorney to effectively communicate our position with developers so that we preserve our open space. This is a critical time.”

            This investor bought a golf course and that’s what they have. A golf course. And I don’t think it helps anyone but developers for people to speculate what they will do when the Big Bad Wolf comes blowing at your door. What you do is fight back.

            Thank you for being someone who fights back.

  • Steve

    I saw the debate / informational meeting between Ms. Kreiger and John Mooney. Mooney completely, and I mean completely, outclassed her. Vote for him.

    • Bernie Supporter

      Yes, by all means. Vote for Mooney who literally told us that he would not “burden the community” with early news of projects that affect us. What you mean isn’t “outclassed” … what you mean is “out of her class.” She wants to notify the Community as soon as anything comes up that will threaten us.

      • Steve

        Arlene was rude, ill prepared and engaged in personal attacks. I stand by my assessment of her as I witnessed it with my own eyes. I’ve had it up to here with nasty people in politics (e.g. our current President) and don’t care to see it at the local level.

        • Bernie Supporter

          This is the second time I’ve heard the “nasty woman” argument. To me, that says more about the people saying it than it does about Ms. Krieger. I found Ms. Krieger assertive and responsive to the great anger that many of us feel in the Community over the Board, which I feel has let me down. But that is just MY OPINION. Above me is Steve’s. I encourage anyone who lives in North Point NOT to take my opinion or Steve’s or anyone else’s.

          The video of the debate between these two candidates is still online for you. The questions posed to all candidates are still printed online for you. Watch them and read them — and make up YOUR own mind.

          These two candidates come from different places, have different opinions on important issues, and have each accomplished different things in their lives. The choice is clear. But it needs to be clear to YOU. Not me telling you who to vote for. Not Steve or anyone else telling you who to vote for. Make up your own mind, Reston. Everything you need to know about these candidates s right here, ABOVE this endless, partisan thread of “vote for him, vote for her.”

  • Bernie Supporter

    Saw’s Steve’s similar thread elsewhere. Seems redundant and coordinated. But when in Rome …

    I also saw the debate between and Ms. Krieger and John Mooney. And if you want someone who’s willing to fight on your behalf, vote Arlene Krieger.

    Some people thinks Mooney gets points for being “more polished.” Well, after 17 -27 years in local government of course he came off more polished. If you wear the same suit of clothes for 17-27 years, it has a shine, too. Doesn’t make the shine good. You throw away that slick suit. Mooney is just as slick. But not slick enough.

    His big misstep in that debate was his arrogance. He told us to our faces that he thinks he knows better than the entire community. He told us that he would keep the community informed of developer threats only if and when HE deems it necessary.

    I didn’t say that. He did. The debate is still posted. Go look for yourself.

    Ms. Krieger said the exact opposite. She wants the community to be involved from Day One when developers target us. Mooney is not in touch with the anger that our Community is feeling about RA and Reston’s overdevelopment. So Mooney is part of the problem, not the solution. If you want someone to represent YOU, really fight back on your behalf, there’s only one candidate in this race you can trust. Vote for Arlene Krieger.

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