Four Apply to Fill RA Board Seat Vacated by Wedell; Decision Set for Thursday

by Dave Emke September 25, 2017 at 11:30 am 17 Comments

Ray Wedell’s resignation from the Reston Association Board of Directors with eight months remaining in his term has left the remaining Board members with a decision to make.

Four RA members have submitted statements of candidacy to fill the remainder of the At-Large term, which lasts until April’s election. Directors are scheduled to hear from the candidates at their Thursday meeting and make a decision on which one should join them.

The four applicants are:

  • John Bowman, a two-time former candidate for the Board. Bowman is a past member of the Reston Citizens Association Board of Directors, a founding member of Reston 20/20 and a current member of RA’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee.
  • Moira Callaghan, vice president of the Reston Citizens Association. Callaghan also served on the FY2017 Budget Task Force for Fairfax County Public Schools.
  • Ven Iyer, who was an At-Large candidate for the Board in the 2017 election. Iyer also was up for vote to join the Board earlier this year following the resignation of Eve Thompson; however, the Board chose to appoint Sridhar Ganesan instead.
  • John Pinkman, a co-founder of Rescue Reston and a member of its Board of Directors.

Each of the candidates’ full applications can be viewed in the Board packet for Thursday’s meeting.

Wedell resigned from the Board on Sept. 1, citing in his statement that his “successes have been outweighed by the frustrations.” He had served on the Board since 2015 and was also on the Board Operations Committee, which is responsible for reviewing and setting board agenda items each month.

The seat will be one of four on the nine-member Board up for vote in next year’s election.

  • Donald

    Admirable, but it’s the same old faces – over and over again. Nothing changes around here, how sad. The apathy is deafening.


    • Chuck

      So how about you run instead of just complaining.

      • Donald

        I served in the past on many committees, etc., and still attend and comment at as many meetings as possible. Right now I focus on P&Z. But, it’s time for fresh blood, not old faces like mine.

        The demographics are changing in Reston, and the board needs to be reaching out proactively and changing up the representation at the table.

        I’m tired of friends and colleagues appointing each other. Too many times I’m hearing “…hey, let’s get ‘so-and-so’ to run, she’ll be perfect against this person…”

        At the RA level, the conversation should be — “…hey, has anyone reached out to this segment of the community, or that segment, to get their representation…?” or “what have we done to get our message out – that we’re looking for new board members throughout the community…?”

        The RA board should not be a members only club.


        • John Higgins

          Agreeing with the basic theme of your comment, I would offer a different perspective for this particular appointment. Looking around the current board table, I see no old faces. Two of the eight are in their second term, but prior to their initial election I recall no involvement in RA affairs. Five directors are on the steepest slope of their learning curve, with fewer than six months of experience. One, the president, is early in her first term.

          The person appointed will serve for some seven months, seven important months, as RA allocates resources for the next two years. Without the crucible (limited as it might be) of a campaign and an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of issues and their approach to them, the process almost compels directors to favor those who are well known to them. The ability to work with the existing team, understanding of RA’s operations (and its past missteps), and an appreciation of today’s RA seem to me the vital elements of appointment.

          I have positive views of almost all the candidates. By my criteria, Mr. Bowman stands out.

          • Donald


            I hope you’re right. But, I’m not seeing it. I’m not seeing the demographics well represented at all.

            Maybe it’s just me.


          • John Farrell

            Consider that, for most folks, the demands of multiple jobs and family make it very difficult to participate in civic affairs. Thus, leaving it for the empty nesters to do the heavy lifting.

          • Donald

            Far enough. Just frustrated.


    • John Farrell

      Seriously? Moira Callaghan is not the same “old face.” And 400+ people turning out tonight is hardly apathy.

      • Donald

        Agree with good turnout. Don’t know if it will impact the politics of the entire BOS though. Hope I’m wrong.


        • John Farrell

          Her interests are far broader than the dog park. She works to research the background on issues facing Reston. But you’d have to actually, you know, talk to her.

          • Donald

            Actually, I have met her. Baron Cameron Avenue seemed to be the primary place where she focused her time with me. It came across as a specific agenda item she couldn’t let go of.

            But, I’m open minded.


          • MCallaghan

            What meeting? Date and location. Thanks.

        • Jill Gallagher

          Well I have worked with her and she does a great job in all she takes on – focuses on the facts, is sensible, and not for nothing, but re: the dog park – nearly 90 folks signed a petition asking to move (not remove) the dog park to locate it a little further from homes so Reston residents aren’t deluged with dog barking from a COUNTY facility – she was just the brave one who took the reins – and all the heat – for the rest of us. Just sayin…

  • Drip

    As others have previously mentioned, John Pinkman was a vocal advocate for the Tetra fiasco and participated in the much-maligned sales tactics. I believe Tetra should be Reston’s version of a litmus test and the Tetra advocates should be avoided (only Sanrio/Blizter remain, as does Fulkerson).

  • Feh

    I don’t think I can vote for Pinkman. He has too much going on in his life trying to keep his meth-dealing son Jesse in check.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I’m running as a Write-In candidate. As such, I will build a wall around Reston to keep out new development; with my wealth of business acumen, I will negotiate extraordinary deals for Reston; I will reduce the overall size of RA; and, most importantly, I will throw anybody under the bus for any reason that suits my needs.

    • Matthew J Reider

      Do you have a twitter account?


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