Voting in the 2018 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 5 through April 2. This week, we will continue posting profiles on each of the candidates.
Featured here is Colin Meade, who is facing six other candidates for two at-large seats, which run for a three-year term. 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?
I have lived in Reston for 5 years. I’ve been a long time Northern Virginia resident and had always admired Reston as a prime example of suburban planning. At the time we decided to move to Reston, my wife and I were just starting our family. With the excellent schools, abundance of nature and the amenities of the Town Center, it felt like the perfect place to put down roots. The last five years have proven that to be true.
What inspired you to run for the board?
My wife and I have two young boys (four and five) who have been very active in many of the children’s programs sponsored by the RA (Fit Kids, Enrichment Clubs, Summer Camps, etc). Over the last year, those programs have been either cut drastically or eliminated altogether. When I raised the issue with some of the members of the current board, it was made very clear to me that children are not a priority of this current version of the RA Board With respect to other worthy initiatives, I disagree with that prioritization and am running to provide a voice on the board for the families of Reston.
What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?
1. I believe some of the board’s priorities, particularly as they apply to families and children, are misplaced and not necessarily reflective of Reston as a whole, but rather the much smaller subset who happen to be active in local politics. I believe the board should be more reflective of the entire community and make decisions accordingly.
2. Like most Restonians, I am concerned about the rapid pace of development in Reston and ensuring that the community retains its essential character while adapting to the inevitable growth to come.
3. As Reston grows and evolves, its relationship with Fairfax County will become more an more important. I believe the current relationship can be improved, and I will bring a pragmatic approach to working with the county while advocating for issues such as smart growth, better schools and the preservation of natural spaces that are important to Reston.
What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?
I hope to be a voice on the board for the families of Reston. As it’s currently comprised, the RA Board is not reflective of the overall population of Reston, nor their priorities. As a board member, I will advocate for programs and policies that benefit the families and children of Reston. That includes restoration of funding for children’s programs, putting a priority on maintaining and improving our common areas and parks and working with the county to build a new middle and high school for Reston.
How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?
As a high level sales executive, I’ve learned that nothing is more important than listening to your constituency and knowing their problems and concerns. Only then can you tailor a solution to meet their needs. I will take the same approach to being a board member and pledge to be the ears of the RA board for anyone in Reston who has concerns. Additionally, I’ve learned the power of negotiation and being pragmatic in order to achieve your goals. The ability to see issues from multiple perspectives is key to any good negotiation and is a skill I have mastered throughout my career.
Photo by Reston Association