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2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Tammi Petrine

by RestonNow.com February 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm 22 Comments

Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will begin posting profiles on each of the candidates.

Featured here is Tammi Petrine, who is facing one Julie Bitzer for the three-year South Lakes District seat. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. 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?

In 1976, my family moved here from a beautiful small town in Illinois when my husband took a job with the FDIC.  On previous visits to the DC area, we had discovered Reston and were SOLD immediately on its diversity, beauty and reputation as a planned community.  When we moved here, Lawyers Road to Vienna was part gravel and forded Difficult Run Stream.  South Lakes had not yet been developed, nor had N. Point.  The Dulles tollway did not exist; Rt. #7 and Lawyers were the main access roads to the New Town.  Reston Town Center (RTC) and Metro were but dreams.  We shopped at the cramped Magruder’s grocery in Vienna, an iconic Washington institution with an international clientele – diversity in Technicolor!  Thriving though the years is the activist, pioneering spirit of Reston, where all are welcomed and robust opinions are expected.  But where we once led the way as the premiere planned community in the world, today we are fighting to keep the character of our unique community alive.

What inspired you to run for the board?

During our 42 years in Reston, I have participated in a variety of community organizations, but became intensely interested in RA when the 2013 Lake Anne land swap occurred.  I was alarmed at irregularities that occurred during that process and later became involved in the debate over RA’s purchase of Tetra.  Looking at both Tetra’s run-down condition and the property’s limitations, I knew instantly it was wildly overpriced.  When the referendum to purchase passed by a narrow margin, I vowed to get to the bottom of how RA members were so misled.  Curious others, also concerned with the radical transformation of our planned community, conducted successful campaigns to be elected to the board.  When two directors resigned this year, two very active community volunteers were appointed.  This allowed a strong new board majority to closely examine RA internal processes.  When the recent independent Callaghan/Gallagher exposé on Tetra was presented, I knew we could not afford to backslide into a situation where special interests could manipulate RA decisions over the well-being of all.  An aging community has many challenges, but our financial and ethical integrity is paramount to serving our membership well over the long term.

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

  1. Urbanization: Bob Simon’s precious 7 founding principles  are disappearing as development springs up in the corridor and RTC.  The vast majority of Restonians object to recent densification without accompanying infrastructure in these areas. Livability in Reston is endangered, but Fairfax Co. officials are tone deaf to community frustration. A functioning, inclusive suburban planned community is our overwhelming preference.  Every day we worry ‘What is next?’
  2. Communication: Understanding who controls what in Reston is frustrating!  Decoding the functions of organizations is tricky, as many overlap or sound similar. Even worse, in a rapidly changing Reston, public lack of awareness advantages developer interests.  While RA and its community partners desperately seek to facilitate understanding, no way exists to communicate efficiently, if members do not sign up for newsletters or critical announcements.  People can empower themselves by providing email addresses to organizations who care and are working hard to serve.
  3. Aging Community Assets:  RA must be disciplined in allocating limited resources for upkeep of and accessibility to our commonly owned amenities: pools, courts, fields and trails, etc.  RA’s covenants must be applied consistently to protect the value of all members’ property.

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

Prime goals are:

  • Promote RA as the representative of 22,000+ households, each of which has a stake in influencing future development in Reston.  Collectively, members represent a significant political force that is routinely ignored by Fairfax Co., as it seeks to capitalize on Reston’s fine reputation.  However, unrestrained densification without limits and supporting infrastructure threaten our community’s flavor and functioning.  We want to remain a welcoming, caring, diverse planned community!  OUR taxes pay county bills; we want OUR judgments to determine OUR future.
  • Continue the complete assessment of all RA departments, processes, programs, projects and internal controls.  One assumes, as a 52 year old organization, RA has sophisticated management systems in place.  Surprisingly, StoneTurn’s 2017 review proved otherwise.  The current new board led by President Hebert & new treasurer Ganesan have accomplished much in a short time; I support the completion of this huge, critical job.
  • Promote sound fiscal management of RA.  Although RA cannot be all things to all people, we can chart a holistic analysis of Reston’s many working parts.  We should identify what other entities can fill some of the voids impossible for RA to undertake.  We can and should coordinate with other resources to best serve our members.

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

Reston is a complex puzzle and our history is not always pretty.  For the past 10 years, I have attended 100’s of meetings.  As a Reston Citizens Association (not RA!) board member and Co-Chair of Reston 20/20, I have learned about Fairfax County’s Small Tax District #5 (aka Reston Community Center) and RA.  At the county level, I have interacted with planners or chiefs in most departments.  I have been an outspoken advocate for the rights of Restonians in many issues:

  • The Make Reston a Town movement (2007)
  • Reston Master Planning including subsequent, continuous rapid-fire zoning amendments that change the density/character of Reston (2009 – present)
  • The fight to save Reston National Golf Course (2012)
  • Library system degradation (2012 – present)
  • Lake Anne land swap (2013)
  • Indoor Rec center at Baron Cameron Park (2013)
  • Lake Anne Fellowship House redevelopment (2013)
  • Tetra/Lake House (2015 – 2018)
  • Tall Oaks Shopping Center (2016)
  • St. John’s Wood (2016)
  • Reston Town Center paid parking (2017)
  • Kensington Assisted Living outside of Transit Station Area boundaries (2017 – present)
  • Hidden Creek Golf Course preservation pursuant to developer purchase (2017 – present)
  • Metro and gridlock (sigh…)

I have been privileged to serve as a member of Reston’s diverse, committed volunteer army and hope to use my knowledge and love of Reston to carry on in service to the residents of RA’s South Lakes District.

Click here to view video statements or read candidate statements submitted to RA. 

Photo by Reston Association

  • reston resident

    You’ve got my vote!

  • 30yearsinreston

    If I lived in SL I would vote for her
    Her platform and approach is diametrically opposed to Hudgins views

    • Donald

      So you self-promote yourself with a “like” ?

      Donald

      • Sorry guy it’s true

        Well no it’s just against Hudgins who he is obessed with.

        Did he really like his own post?

        • Donald

          Yup. 30years hit the promote button on his own post.

          Donald

          • John

            Sad

          • Crooked?

            I occassionaly rub one out. Check your fingers!

          • 30yearsinreston

            Check again
            Finger malfunction

          • Ted Jensen

            Not likely only you would agree with the stuff that comes out of your mouth

    • Bernie Supporter

      Not much of an endorsement. Whose ISN’T diametrically opposed to Hudgins and her stab-you-in-the-back views? Tammi’s opponent? I don’t think so.

  • LK HUT ZING

    $crew sweater season. It’s turtleneck time, _itches [drumroll]

    Just kidden, you got my vote !

  • Donald

    Ms. Petrine appears to be a good person, but I find it difficult to support someone who is a willing participant in this organized groupthink involving three other candidates, three members of the existing board, and a number of their advocates.

    Donald

  • Sandy

    I have spoken with Ms. Petrine in person and she seems to be a wonderful person. The few times I’ve spoken with her she’s always been very pleasant and nice to speak with. I would love to vote for her based on that alone, but I can’t based on some of her views. During a few of the meetings she voiced views in favor of shutting down pools and some of the facilities. She even was on board with turning some of our facilities or to Fairfax County. She also does not seem to believe in programs for the members. I say this, because of comments she made in regard to the stopping of a fitness class for older adults (55+). While, I’m a little over 20years from that demographic it made me think about what would be available for me if I decided to age in place right here in Reston. My husband and I moved to this area for all it has to offer in the many trails, pools, camps, tennis courts, ball fields, etc. This is why we have no problem paying the assessment, because of all Reston has to offer. If we were told these amenities are subject to be stopped based on Board approval, I don’t think a lot of people would make Reston an option. I wish I knew this before we bought

    • Sandy

      I didn’t want to end my post on a bad note. You look great in your picture Ms. Patrine. You are a sweet person and pleasant to be around. I wish you well and congrats on becoming a candidate.

  • guest

    I love your platform in regard to keeping Reston a great place to live and developers out. I however don’t understand why you aligned yourself with current Board Members. I don’t think having a Board full of members that all think a like is a good thing for members. It seems as if things would get pushed through and no one will disagree or give a viewpoint from another side. A Board should represent all people that live in Reston and that can’t be done if you all have the same agenda. I’m also not impressed with a few of the current Board members and their lack of interaction and concern for members that aren’t on their radar. I think you would do better if you separated yourself. Thank you

  • Donald

    Ms. Petrine.

    In the other comment threads, it’s becoming known this RA Board is considering closing down facilities, specifically the Lake Thoreau pool.

    Given these matters will likely spill over to the next board, I’d like to know your position.

    Will you close down the Lake Thoreau Pool? Will you be closing down other facilities, if so, which ones come to mind?

    Thank you,

    Donald

  • SuperCoop1280

    As a homeowner in South Lakes, you have my vote!

  • Terry Maynard

    It has been my pleasure to work with Tammi for nearly a decade on RA and county issues, including the RCA Board of Directors, as co-chair of the Reston 20/20 Committee, and through involvement with the Reston Master Plan process. I know no one who attends more RA (including committee) and county meetings and talks with RA and county officials about issues confronting Restonians.

    Overall, she knows more about the issues facing Reston than any other candidate or RA Board member, current or past, in my view. In every case in which I have worked with her, she has focused on the needs of Reston residents, not bureaucratic imperatives, and is articulate in advocating for Restonians in any forum.

    She has my vote for the RA Board and I strongly urge all of you to do the same.

    • South Lakes guest

      You are absolutely correct about Tammi. My caution in voting for her is based on her stance and views in regard to programs and facilities. It will be interesting to hear her speak at the forum. As one of the many young families that moved to Reston based on the facilities and programs I want to hear where she stands. on this issue. The many facilities, programs, parks. etc is what brings people to Reston and what sets our community apart from others. This is why we pay an annual assessment. Reston has become to focused on profits (I thought we are a not for profit) and not members. I want to hear how these candidates plan to come up with a compromise that doesn’t shut down all of why people move to Reston, while not wasteful spending

    • Bernie Supporter

      Terry, I might be wrong but is there any “4-for-Reston” candidate that you are NOT supporting? Is your every post going to be a tribute to them? (I feel like they are but haven’t yet gone back to check and cross reference.) Please note, there is nothing wrong with you being a “state” supporter, if you are.

      I just want to know how much of what you say I should take seriously, and how much is just campaigning from the sidelines.

  • Bernie Supporter

    Tammi, you would have had my vote if you hadn’t aligned yourself as a “team” with current board members who I can’t support, especially treasurer Sridhar who takes credit for a reduction in assessment fees that I don’t believe he’s entitled to, and who — for god’s knows what reason — championed paying off a low cost loan for Lake House, where the low interest rate was a prime reason the loan was taken in the first place. With interest rates going up, seems like a dumb move for a treasurer to make.

    Also, the fact that current board members support this “team ticket” reeks of the board trying to pick their own members to me. Don’t remember current board members campaigning for candidates before. And I don’t trust them.

  • Mike M

    ” Bob Simon’s precious 7 founding principles . . .”

    FLUNK!

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