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2018 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Colin Meade

by RestonNow.com February 27, 2018 at 10:30 am 15 Comments

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.

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

Photo by Reston Association

  • Donald

    Mr. Meade

    The Community is reading this RA Board is considering closing facilities, possibly the Lake Thoreau pool.

    Given these matters will likely spill over to the next board, I’d like to know your position.
    Are you in favor of closing facilities, eliminating programs? If so, which ones come to mind?

    Thank you,
    Donald

    • Colin Meade

      Donald,
      Thanks for your question. You’re right there are several important issues that will spill over into the next board. In general I am never in favor of closing facilities or eliminating programs, so long as they are serving the community. Only if there is a high level of redundancy should a program or facility be considered for elimination, and even then elimination should only go forward after careful consultation with all stakeholders. I am not planning to come to the board with any “targets” for elimination, but rather would prefer to keep an open mind and judge each case on it’s own merits.

  • Peter G

    Colin- I notice that you’re not running as part of a “slate” which frankly I much prefer, as I don’t think GROUP THINK, is healthy for the RA Board. What are your thoughts on maintenance of the facilities vs closing facilities.

    • Colin Meade

      Peter – Thanks for reading. I think, whenever practical, RAs responsibility is to maintain and improve facilities. That being said, there may be a time when usage is so low that it makes more sense to close a facility, but only after consultation with all stakeholders involved

      • Tetra Troll

        So were your kids among the 19 in the FitKids program that the rest of us were subsidizing by more than $60,000 per semester.

        Isn’t that exactly the kind of low usage that justifies closing a program?

  • Colin, thanks

    I appreciate Colin for not turning his candidate statements into an autobiography.

  • jvb11

    I like the statements and have been looking at the candidates. Colin has my vote. I have a young family and like that type of approach.

    • Are you

      When I had a young family, I paid for my childcare without a subsidy from anyone, especially my homeowners association. Colin, where are you going to find the money to support 19 families?

      • Colin Meade

        Thank you jvb11

        Are you, I think there are some misconceptions about the childcare that was provided by RA and that I am trying to restore. Primarily that it was paid for by the RA. RAs childrens programming was entirely “pay for play” and actually made a small amount of money. It was just marketed very poorly, so very few residents knew there was another, affordable option for child care out there.My goal in restoring the programs is to market it much more effectively, primarily through targeted social media marketing and grassroots marketing through the schools and other established childrens programs, in order to achieve critical mass in terms of enrollment.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Reston ‘Young families’ are being driven out by Hudgens development policies

    • Arlene Krieger

      you bet they are. My own daughter living and renting in Reston with her small new family couldn’t afford to buy here. She went to Ashburn.

    • Colin Meade

      40yearsinreston,

      Thanks for reading. You’re right, Reston is becoming hard to afford for young families. One of my main goals as a board member is to work with Ffx county to ensure all new development contains a sizable affordable housing set aside to keep the economic diversity of Reston intact.

  • Arlene Krieger

    How about we finally get rid of Lake House. We don’t get enough revenue to pay the basic expenses., As a special events person it will never be a success. It doesn’t have a decent kitchen.

  • Arlene Krieger

    Colin,

    How about we sell Lake House and finally get rid of it. What we make with it will never cover our expenses. Lets put what we can get for it back in the emergency account and invest and try to get back as much as we can.

    • Colin Meade

      Hi Arlene,
      Thanks for your comment. I look at the Lake House as a “sunk cost”. Was it a good deal? No, but it’s in the past, particularly now that the loan on the property has been paid off in full. My goal is to move forward in a much more constructive manner without the shadow of the Lake House looming over everything the RA does. I will also bring better marketing resources to the board, so RA can begin to recoup some of it’s investment in the Lake House through more and better programming to make use of it.

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