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Op-Ed: Multiple Resignations from the Reston Association Elections Committee

by RestonNow.com March 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm 164 Comments

This is a commentary from Bill Krieger, a resident of Reston. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

On Wednesday, Michael Gandolfo resigned from the Elections Committee after a public dispute with current Board Member, Eric Carr.  In solidarity with Michael, I resigned as well. If you’ve seen Carr on Facebook you may already know some of the story. But you may not know it all.

Weeks ago, a current board member asked if he could actively campaign for candidates. The Elections Committee wasn’t certain if this was allowable, and sought legal counsel. My understanding of the answer we received was that no one forfeits their basic rights as an RA member to speak out as they please, regardless of serving on boards or board committees, as long as they make it clear that they are speaking as individuals and not as representatives of those boards or committees.

Speaking only for himself and not for the Elections Committee, Michael Gandolfo posed questions to Carr on Eric’s public Facebook page about whether the Tetra Loan was paid off with Reston reserve funds.  According to Gandolfo, Carr proceeded to berate him saying, “As a member of the RA Elections Committee, I would hope you would be more attuned to the operations of the Association, and I would further hope your social media postings might serve as an exemplar of civility.”  Carr then contacted the Chair of the Election Committee expressing his concerns about Michael’s position on the committee. In response, the Chair sent all its members an email, saying, in effect, that as Election Committee members we must not to engage in any Reston political issues with board members or candidates on social media or elsewhere.

While the position of the Chair seems reasonable at first, unfortunately it contains an inherent hypocrisy.  RA members do not forfeit their rights to speak out on any RA issues when they make it clear that they are speaking out as individuals, not official representatives. Michael Gandolfo did just that. His speech, therefore, was as valid and protected as Eric Carr endorsing candidates. When the Election Committee Chair sent out this email, Michael Gandolfo resigned. I followed suit not only in solidarity with Michael but also because I believe Eric Carr crossed a line. In my opinion, he used his influence as a current board member -not as an individual -to take Michael to task with his committee chair. I believe he abused his positon and for that reason, frankly, he should either be censured by the board, resign his office, or be voted out of office the next time he runs.

Eric Carr’s behavior, to me, personifies the fears of some Restonians regarding the candidates he is actively supporting – Bowman, Ganesan, Johnson and Petrine. These four candidates are running as a slate calling itself “4 for Reston.” For some, the math is troubling.  A slate of four fortified by even one current board member in lockstep can easily translate into a guaranteed majority, or what some Reston Now readers are calling “group think.” They rightly fear the creation of a board with a built-in majority that has the potential to rob the RA Board of all debate and independence when important issues come before it.  And now a second slate of candidates appears. This is a trend that we, as members, should actively discourage with our votes. The Board must consist of independent thinkers.

(Editor’s note: If you wish to submit an op-ed, email [email protected])

  • EagleFoxtrot

    The majority is even more fortified than that. Remember Carr ran in slate with White and Mooney and they are all on the Board. Then the Board appointed Ganesan and Bowman. Now Carr is running paid facebook ads for the slate of 4 for Reston. His facebook ads are bizarre – he runs paid ads patting the Board and himself on the back on how well they have done.

    • Ray Wedell

      Amen, again.

    • Drip

      As someone else said, this is a complete circus and embarrassing for RA. Many of the candidates want RA to be a vocal advocate with county entities, etc, but it’s hard to do that when RA looks like a crap show. Despite the latest shenanigans from the current board and its “slate”, I am wary of the Tetra crew (Bitzer, Wedell, Sigel, Pinkman) and others (Meade) who appear more eager to spend money well beyond the scope of a HOA. And for Donald’s benefit, swimming pool funding is within the scope of HOAs… Tennis facilities, day cares and dilapidated lake houses are not.

      • Lynne Mulston

        I would not consider your “Tetra crew” definition accurate. Please check your facts and the timing of these candidates before posting damaging comments.

        • Thanks Lynn

          I think its called campaigning.

          On a side note, I am not endorsing anyone.

  • Donald

    Well done Mr. Krieger. Mr. Carr and board leadership should be held culpable. They have abused their power by aligning with the “slate” 4 for Reston.

    This well orchestrated group must be stopped in its tracks. I have read the comments on Mr. Carr’s Facebook page and find individuals, closely aligned with the slate, defending his tactics and opinions. You will also find derogatory statements made towards Reston staff. This must stop.

    Mr. Carr, the board president, existing board members running as “4 for Reston” candidates, and Elections Committee leadership, must apologize, or resign.

    This community has had enough of these types of individuals who continue to condone this type of activity.

    Donald

    • cRAzy

      You are so out of touch with what is going on in this community, you should not be allowed to post on this news site. It’s embarrassing–and pathetic.

      • J Gallagher

        Bravo

  • Derrick Watkins

    Seems to be a lot of corruption going on in such a wonderful community that we all choose to call home. It is no wonder there is such a lack of voting when it is clear that it isn’t the residents who have a say at all.

    • Ray Wedell

      Amen.

    • Travis Johnson

      Derrick, we made an agreement not to negatively campaign in this election. Unless you have proof of some corruption, I suggest you remove this message.

      • CallOutThe BS

        Derrick did not say anything about any candidates. What he said is called the First Amendment, something that you and your cronies on the Board simply do not understand; and which is also the reason behind these resignations.

        • Travis Johnson

          “CallOuttheBS,” He has the right to say what he likes, just as I have the right to express mu disappointment…just as you do and have to me. We’re all exercising our 1st Amendment rights and I’m thankful we have them and can use them.

          Have a great night!

          • Bernie Supporter

            What B.S. So now Mr. Watkins has the right to say what he likes? Two minutes ago YOU ACCUSED HIM of negative campaigning. You instructed him to take his post down. “We’re all exercising our 1st Amendment rights…” Can you get any more HYPOCRITICAL?

      • Bernie Supporter

        And Lo and Behold, YES, we have ANOTHER ERIC CARR in the making, trying to SILENCE any RA member he disagrees with.

        Travis Johnson SAYS he doesn’t want a race with back biting, innuendo and character assassinations, yet HERE HE IS … ACCUSINING DERRICK WATKINS f negative campaigning in response to Mr. Watkin’s comment that says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about ANY of the candidates in this election. “But TAKE DOWN your post, Derrick.” The members of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON compel you!

  • Drip

    This harkens back to the comment thread from a few weeks ago about desiring that Reston Now independently report on RA matters beyond just meetings and releases. Here, we have an opinion piece talking about dissension in the election committee during an election. That’s local news of interest to Reston. In this way, she can review the Facebook arguments and get all sides of the story while keeping it in the context of resignations from the committee (to keep her reporting from being confused with gossip). Now, I’m sure Donald and Friends will criticize this comment as an attack on Reston Now, but it’s meant to be a follow up to the previous discussion about how local reporting can impact our community.

    • Donald

      I think it’s a wonderful idea.

      Donald

  • Willie Reston

    What a circus.

    • Reston Realist

      Willie, guess what? I agree with you 100%!

    • OneReally

      Willie, finally we agree! Never thought I would see that day!

      It’s car full of clowns.

  • Michael Gandolfo

    I was very moved that Bill resigned with me. Bill and I didn’t always agree on issues in front of the committee, but he always displayed integrity and professionalism. Much like Bill, my decision to resign was so that I could maintain my voice in matters in front of Reston. I had been a member of the Elections Committee for four years and enjoyed volunteering my time toward it. The unilateral policy change to take away committee member’s voice in community matters is a 180 degree turn from how it had been; I’ve even had my member comments read at Board of Director meetings before.

    I ask that no one personally attack Mr. Carr, the “4 for Reston” or anyone else while discussing this issue.

    • Samuel Colbertson

      Mr. Gandolfo, well said. Though, I do believe the tactics and behavior should be investigated. This is a governance issue in my opinion.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Grow up

        • Samuel Colbertson

          You’re not worthy of a comeback sir…
          — oh wait… damn!

    • Fletcher89

      Thank you for sharing your story with Reston otherwise we might have never known more about these issues. We are still waiting to know officially from RA if Cate got fired by the Board or resigned and its reasons. Don’t give members the B.S. that it was a “mutual understanding”. You want to establish transparency? Start by giving members clear and honest answers. Not by writing a lip service B.S. code of ethics that is totally irrelevant to the issues going on.

      • Ray Wedell

        a very big “amen” to this post.

      • Ray Wedell

        Sequel to my “amen” to your post……..For those who do NOT believe the “Kitchen Cabinet” already has the next CEO lined up for us, and that if this Group of Four wins it will be a fait accompli……… I have a friend in Nebraska who just listed a prime ocean-front mansion overlooking a cornfield on the other side. Only $4.5 million. Call me for details.

    • Thanks the Lord

      I find it extremely annoying that we cannot have a truly impartial election committee – therefore I applause your decision to resign.

      • Michael Gandolfo

        My decision to resign had nothing to do with my ability to remain impartial. My conflict with Eric Carr had nothing to do with any candidates nor a position on any candidate. Eric Carr is not a candidate. Regardless, in the four years that I have been on the committee, EVERY member I have worked with has conducted themselves in an impartial matter, going as far as to recuse themselves in decisions that may effect themselves. Even in this election cycle, the record shows that I recused myself on a decision regarding a candidate that I have a personal conflict with; something that I did not have to do, but something I viewed as the ethical thing to do.

        I had it very dangerous that you wantonly dismiss the EC as impartial when you are clearly ignorant of its practices. You are diminishing confidence in the democratic and open process without merit.

        • CONTROL FREAK

          Thanks for certifying yourself, it could not have been clearer.

  • From The Trees

    We hear the super-monkeys are coming in to set the place straight, or set it back 50 years and do it right

  • Ray Wedell

    They need their Gang of Four (as opposed to the other “slate”, whose backers have an entirely different, but nonetheless inwardly-focused,agenda) to win so that they can complete their “efficient” form of Government, run by the small handful of people who are better and more knowledgeable than the rest of us. Aren’t we lucky to have such “leaders” looking out for us? Such efficiency does, indeed, stifle the cacophony of dissent, and creates such a wonderful internal unity.

    This form of Government worked very efficiently in post WWII- Albania, Romania, and Bulgaria. So why not give it a shot here, right?

    • cRAzy

      We have all voted for our “leaders”. How many won open elections in post-WWII Albania, Romania, & Bulgaria, or even today’s Russia?

      Just stop it, Ray. You’re embarrassing yourself and the rest of us, just like Trump does daily.

    • Mike M

      I, too, am a normal human being and like to compare a glorified homeowners association to the soviet bloc.

      • Greg

        More like disgraced homeowners association…

  • 40yearsinreston

    A storm in a teacup
    This has absolutely nothing to do with RA and is a distraction from the real issues that face the community
    Plum would be proud that his lessons are taking root

    • RottenTomatoesX

      You’re right, someone needs to write an article about the “Kitchen Cabinet” “Board whisperers” that pass out flyers for their slate, shut down general members and candidates, speak out of turn from the peanut gallery and are the shadow government. Unless you dont think that is a real issue we wont write about that either.

      • Ray Wedell

        I am posting more “amens” to comments on this article than I post all year. RTX, this is SO true.

        • Travis Johnson

          Ray, also disappointing. This is a race among people who want to help this community. I have a family and a job. I am in this race for them, not to take part in a race filled with back biting, innuendo and character assassinations. The people of Reston want to see their financial resources properly managed, their open spaces protected and their community safe. They, and I haven’t got time for this nonsense.

          You and I met last week and had a good conversation. I think you’re a good man. I think Derrick is a good man. In fact, I think everyone in this race are fundamentally good men. Let’s stop this nonsense bickering, let the gentlemen who have a problem with Eric Carr take it up with Eric Carr directly, like adults, and let’s, the rest of us run the rest of this race like the neighbors we all are.

          Come on, guys. This is ridiculous.

          • Bernie Supporter

            “Ridiculous,” cries one of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON. YOU chose to take part of this opportunistic “slate” of candidates, a slate designed to give you FOUR TIMES THE RESOURCES OF YOUR OPPENENTS. No one did that for you. That was YOUR choice. A choice to try to get an unfair advantage over other candidates just as worthy as you. And it was YOUR choice to hook your star to APPOINTED members of the board, who never won a single vote from a RA member, but who had the nerve to SPEND RA RESERVE FUNDS to pay off the Tetra Folly, and now brag about it. Ridiculous, indeed.

          • Travis Johnson

            “Bernie Supporter,” I’m more than happy to discuss this with you in person like gentlemen. I will not get into an internet sparring match like a couple of angry Star Wars fans.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Perhaps the person you need to talk to “like gentlemen” is ERIC CARR a MAJOR SUPPORTER of YOU AND THE FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON campaign. Or would actually expect anyone to believe you are unaware of his FB post:. (“Folks, take a look at Travis Johnson, RA Board candidate… helping us FINISH THE JOB!”)

            You say you DON’T want be part of back biting, innuendo and character assassinations? Then why aren’t you calling out ERIC CARR, who is doing exactly that ON YOUR BEHALF? Why aren’t you OUTRAGED at Eric Carr SILENCING RA members like Mr. Gandolfo who have every right to speak? Carr RETALIATES against those who challenge him? Is THAT the kind of board member a “gentleman” stands with? Yeah, right.

          • Travis Johnson

            “Bernie Supporter,” I try not to put my grievances out on the street. I like to discuss things in person. Just like I’ve offered to do with you multiple times. I can link you to studies that show that having arguments, particularly about issues like this, on the internet just make them worse. I’m not going to exacerbate this situation. We’re all neighbors.

            [email protected]

            Coffee, tea, water, a malt…your choice. it’s on me. Let’s have a conversation and discuss this.

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Mr. Johnson, I respect your decision to discuss issues in person, but Bernie Supporter does bring an issue up that is near and dear to my heart since it happened to me personally: you claim that you don’t like “Internet sparring matches”; do you publically condone Mr. Carr and the way he talks to members asking questions on his Facebook page?

          • Travis Johnson

            I say with complete honesty that I don’t read Eric’s Facebook page with any regularity. As I mentioned above, I have a job and I have a family. It’s just not on my radar. My Reston time is spent reading up on the governing documents, out canvassing or attending local events. This article came to my attention only because I’m a regular reader of Reston Now.

            Even If I did read Eric’s page, though, I wouldn’t police it. He’s a grown man who is responsible for his own words and actions. Unless he’s violating some RA rule or some kind law, his words aren’t my business. I trust that if he offended someone they’d take it up with him and make it clear that his words weren’t acceptable to them. If he said or did something that I found dishonorable, I’d bring it up directly to him. I’m much happier talking about my concerns with someone in person than I am doing it online.

            I’m putting this to you, as a person I know is interested in the community: if you have a concern about something someone I’m campaigning or who I my working with on the board has done, drop me an email at [email protected] I will look at whatever you send me and give it due consideration. I can’t promise I’ll resolve the situation that way that you may want, but I will be aware of your concerns.

            I’m not in this election to be part of some shadowy cabal. I joined with my running mates because we share a similar adherence to process and I think that will make the Board run more smoothly and because we share a goal of transparency and accountability. All this “groupthink” that is being kicked around is really an insult to me. I’m beholden to myself, my family and the people of Reston. That’s it. Any conspiracy theories about things “The Frightful Four” (some of my favorite comic book villains, by the way) are doing are absolute nonsense. We work on coordinating campaign resources and on the issues we have in common. Anything else is fantasy.

            Now, if you don’t mind, I’d prefer not to continue this conversation in the comments thread of an article on Reston Now. If you’d like to continue chatting or there are any relevant links you’d links to send, please drop me a note at the email address I’ve given above.

          • Bernie Supporter

            When someone a statement with how “honest” they are it usually means just the opposite. “Even If I did read Eric’s page, though, I wouldn’t police it.” Really? After all these comments about Eric Carr retaliating against an RA member, you weren’t curious enough to check out his comments? “Honest Injun’?” Your claim of not “policing” Eric’s page is nothing more than political sidestep to avoid taking a STAND on whether Eric Carr’s inexcusable behavior toward an RA member is acceptable to you or if you agree that its an abuse of his position. Carr did not just have words with Gandolo. He approached the Chair of Gandolo’s committee — not as an RA member but as a current board member — and demanded that something to “be done about him.”

            Your insistence about how you only want to comment “privately” is the exact opposite of the TRANSPARENCY the FRIGHTFUL FOUR for RESTON supposedly advocates. The questions are simple: Do you CONDEMN Eric Carr’s abuse of his board position? Or is his continued support more important to you than fighting on behalf of RA members? Is this our first, clear indication of the “groupthink” positions your slate has in store for us if the worst happens, and you are elected? SILENCE IS TACIT CONSENT. SILENCE IS APPROVAL. And your silence, Mr. Johnson, is deafening.

          • Newperson

            Being new to the community, this group has a lot of passion. Does this come out in hi levels of passion for charity events as well! You all need to channel the energy for some good

          • Bernie Supporter

            Newperson, you ask a question and then follow it with a slanted conclusion worthy of the manipulative FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON. The self-promoting slate of Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine, and their cronies on the board would have us think that only THEY can do right by Reston. Baloney!

            And YES, this community does bring this same passion to charity events, everything from feeding and sheltering Reston’s homeless to raising money for our ill, sick and fallen. Maybe– as a Newperson — you should hunt down charitable events that YOU too can be a part of. Channel your OWN energy for good. Plenty of opportunities await you.

          • Derrick Watkins

            I agree! If we could get all of this “passion” out there to actually do some work, we could accomplish some great things!

          • J Gallagher

            Bravo

          • Michael Gandolfo

            I find your response concerning, Mr. Johnson. You claim that you don’t follow Mr. Carr’s Facebook with any regularity, but posted a reply on it 2 weeks ago when he endorsed you. You claim you don’t have time to follow him, but you are offering your time to personally meet people. This isn’t an issue of a spat between two people, but an issue on how you believe members of the board should engage RA members. I believe you when you say that you’d like to meet and person and discuss; and that is all well and good. But how should your fellow Board members act? Especially one who endorses you? I think these are valid questions that deserve answers available to the public. Thank you for volunteering your time and good luck with the campaign.

          • Ray Wedell

            Bernie, maybe you should moderate the upcoming podcast between Travis and I?

            And be prepared to say these words if this Group of Four wins: “Eric Carr, Reston Association Board President.” How does THAT sound to you?

          • guest

            How do you know exactly what Mr. Carr said as you quoted. Were you there?

          • Bernie Supporter

            And another genius is heard from. Go read it for yourself. It’s on Eric Carr for a Better Reston webpage, which isn’t just a misnomer, it’s an oxymoron.

          • Donald

            Still no official statement of taking responsibility from RA Director Carr on his official Facebook page.

            Donald

          • Bernie Supporter

            Donald, we can agree on the point you make. Carr never takes responsibility on his FB. Nor does he deny what Gandolfo says. Here’s the exchange, and I chose to believe that Michael Gandolfo is a man of integrity and is telling the truth (or why resign his seat over it?). So I ask you. Do you believe Gandolfo? I do. Nor do I see any place where Carr denies this conversation:

            ERIC CARR: ” …As a member of the RA Elections Committee, I would hope you would be more attuned to the operations of the Association, and I would further hope your social media postings might serve as an exemplar of civility.

            MICHAEL GANDOLFO: “… I asked Eric Carr if the loan was paid off from our reserves. He said no, but that was a lie? Or at least a half truth?

            “He then proceeded to berate me for asking the question? Not only that, he contacted my committee chairperson that I am a member of saying he had concerns about my position on the committee. I find it really scary that Mr. Carr (1) doesn’t want members asking questions, (2) lies about questions asked, and (3) retaliates against those who ask questions. I ask again, what kind of leader is this?”

          • Donald

            The statement “head on a stick” made by his commenters as well. He should have taken responsibility to tone that down.

            Donald

          • Bernie Supporter

            Agreed

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Thank you for the support, Bernie supporter.

          • guest

            I was referring to your post where you wrote “He approached the Chair of Gandolo’s committee — not as an RA member
            but as a current board member — and demanded that something to “be done
            about him.””

            How do you know that Mr. Carr demanded something “be done about him?” You quoted it. I don’t see this on the Facebook page. I don’t see this in the article. How do you know he said this?

          • Bernie Supporter

            My words, maybe, but the GIST of what I was said is DEAD ON. That’s ABUNDANTLY CLEAR from both the Op-Ed piece above and Mr.. Gandolfo’s response’s to Carr on his FB page: And I quote (this time NOT my words):

            THE OP ED PIECE ABOVE:

            “Carr then contacted the Chair of the Election Committee expressing his concerns about Michael’s position on the committee. In response, the Chair sent all its members an email, saying, in effect, that as Election Committee members we must not to engage in any Reston political issues with board members or candidates on social media or elsewhere.

            … I believe Eric Carr crossed a line. In my opinion, he used his influence as a current board member -not as an individual -to take Michael to task with his committee chair.”

            MR. GANDOLFO’s RESPONSE ON CARR”S FB PAGE:

            ” … (Carr) contacted my committee chairperson that I am a member of saying he had concerns about my position on the committee. I find it really scary that Mr. Carr (1) doesn’t want members asking questions, (2) lies about questions asked, and (3) retaliates against those who ask questions. I ask again, what kind of leader is this?”

            BACK TO MY WORDS:

            if Mr.. Krieger and Mr. Gandolfo BOTH THINK Carr crossed the line and ABUSED HIS INFLUENCE as a board member, that’s good enough for me. Both these guys RESIGNED THEIR SEATS RATHER THAN PUT UP WITH THE BULLYING TACTICS OF A CURRENT BOARD MEMBER.

            AND I PREDICT WE WILL SEE MORE OF THIS KIND OF “LEADERSHIP” if ANY OF THE FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON — Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine — are seated. This group and their cronies, like Eric Carr, are looking for nothing less than PERMANENT LOCKED IN MAJORITY. They will squash all debate and independence.. To me, this is virtually an attempt at a HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF OUR BOARD. And anyone who votes for any of these frightful four are just asking for trouble. The warning is clear. And people get the exact kind of leadership they deserve. I think RESTON DESERVES BETTER.

          • Ray Wedell

            Then walk the walk, Travis…..break from this Group of Four and immediately declare that you are running your own campaign, and will not be bought off by anyone. We can announce it on our podcast.

            And Travis, encouraging people to get off a public forum board and direct everything to private email? Come on, man. Let’s keep having this very important discussion in public.

          • Ray Wedell

            Podcast….live…..open to outside questions….mutually agreed upon moderator…… are you there, Travis?

          • Ray Wedell

            Travis, you are running for a public office….. You SHOULD be putting grievances, opinions, ideas…EVERYTHING “on the street”….. let’s encourage ALL people to listen and hear what is really going on out there. Or actually, what’s going on “in there”: in the bowels of the RA Board bureaucracy.

            I continue to encourage all members to vote only for independent candidates. There are five of us. There are 8 who are not. Know the difference.

          • Ray Wedell

            Bernie, Bingo!!!!! Eric Carr saying to elect these four and “Help us finish the job.” Does that not speak volumes: Get an ironclad majority of GroupThinkers who will enforce THEIR vision for Reston on everyone else?

            We all know you can judge people by who they hang out with. Accept this type of endorsement from Eric Carr, who seems to be desperate in his need to get this “Frightful Four For Reston” elected, and you will “finish the job”. I was there. I am the only one who knows what exactly “finish the job” means to them.

            It is not pretty.

            Install an internal legal department they can easily control, and totally ignore the Board member who wrote a beautiful 3 page memo to all 8 Board members and submitted it in a public meeting, but had his voice shut down BY pre-planned motion to stop debate!!!!! And a unanimous vote (as always, it seems) to do just that!

            Prop up a new CEO for us, one they can control more easily.

            Ignore the one person with the financial sophistication to realize that you do not use reserve funds to pay off a loan worth, at most 75 cents, and pay a dollar for it from funds that should be earmarked as “needed reserves”. A disgrace, and one your beloved partner in those Group of Four made sure to cram down with NO DISCUSSION. And that same person would not even be in his current position without my support to get him there, as a short-term plug in.

            Travis, these are facts. Maybe you should break from this group and run your own campaign.

            As for Eric Carr, I have absolutely no doubt that he values a Board Officer position, probably President next time, and sees you as a valuable pawn to get him that majority on the Board he needs come time for Officer voting in April.

            At that point, the Kitchen Cabinet vision for a Utopian Reston will be firmly in place.

            Thank you all for the inspiration: I read Huxley’s “Brave New World” again in the last two nights. Utopia, indeed.

            Want to change the image, Travis? Want to REALLY get the word out there….let’s do that podcast: just you and me. Live. No private offers to meet one individual for coffee; not just an open offer to talk to people one-on-one, (which we all have)…..but a widely broadcast, live, open mike, with just two people.

            I am sure you would project well, and maybe get out of this rabbit hole you placed yourself into. I like you. I offer this opportunity as a friend who wants to do the right thing for Reston. Break from these strings.

          • Ray Wedell

            Hi Travis…You may not yet be aware how much you will be “influenced” by these people to “do what is right” (that is, do as they say or else).

            I love your offer of openness to people on an individual basis, and I have ALWAYS had that offer out and always will, as you know. But we should offer so much more.

            And I love that you at least have the guts to jump into the discussion and use your real name.

            But let’s REALLY get this discussion out win the open shall we??? Why don’t we organize a podcast….just you and me…..and discuss the issues on open mike with the people of Reston. No need for the other 3 marionettes in this choreographed dance routine to join in. Just you. And me. Who knows…we may agree on many things. I think the people would benefit greatly.

            I put this same offer on the table to any candidate in this race, or any current Board member.

            But time is running short. So is it a yes or is it a no?

          • Travis Johnson

            Feel free to email me at [email protected] and we can arrange a time to sit down and have coffee/tea/water.

          • Ray Wedell

            Bernie, my point exactly.

          • J Gallagher

            Why do you think it’s bad they’re campaigning together or sharing the cost of flyers? I just don’t get that…

            Also – people throw financial stuff out here all the time without telling the full story…like you, I went back and forth on paying the loan and not paying the loan..I had no say on this, as I had no say in the purchase, but saw some of the numbers and felt like it did make sense..straight numbers people will tell you we could make more if we put it in our investment portfolio…however what they are not telling you is that we used the $650K from Comstock to make the loan payments during the first year so didn’t really feel those payments yet…terry Maynard ran some numbers and with the best case scenario on revenue from programs, (which have not materialized) our assessments would increase around $30…so the question for me was do we want to have members, half of whine disnnot support the purchase, assume MORE costs for the Lake House while RA builds up its reserve or do we pay off the loan and ask RA to cut some of the fat from its budget to rebuild the CASH reserve…I would not have supported it if they did not say they would be cutting the RA Admin costs as well, but that is what they said they were going to be doing and that’s part of the reason I sit on the Fiscal Committee – to help monitor that…again, I had no vote in this, but would not have supported it if it was coming out of CAPITAL reserve that is used to maintain and improve our assets…this came out of our cash balance and came with the promise of making efforts to cut waste to build that reserve back up instead of passing the costs to members… which, by the way, the Tetra referendum said it would NOT do (affect our assessments). Everyone has their view on this I know – this is just my line of thinking. I didn’t think RA should be stashing away money an asking members to pay more.

          • Bernie Supporter

            The board speaks from both sides of its mouth. When they made this stupid Lake House purchase they told us what a great deal it was to have this LOW COST LOAN. Best thing since sliced bread. Then APPOINTED board members like Ganeson, our treasurer, helps sell the “no, no, no.” vote. The low cost loan is bad, bad, bad. We must pay it off. Forget our investment portfolio. We could have been earning the same interest rate that we were paying by stashing cash in a CD ladder which guaranteed liquidity when we needed it, and laid out a long term safe investment plan to hedge against the loan. No one need to take SO MUCH MONEY OUT OF OUR RESERVES. And to do so on the “promise” that RA would cut administrative costs? Was this before or after the CEO wanted live-in house lawyers? Promises? I’d trust magic beans before I trusted the people who sank money into Tetra. This guy — Ganeson, perhaps the leader of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR for RESON — RA’s Treasurer, wanted to pay off this loan to pretend the worst decision in RA’s history never happened. And rather have the Lake House continually produces its actually loss of revenue, make it APPEAR as if whatever feeble funds come in from it go into the Plus column. I’ve seen 3-Card Monty games more honest than this. You may be a great person trying to do the right thing. But the FRIGHTFUL FOUR for RESTON aren’t. You ask why I think its bad for the FRIGHTFUL FOUR to share the costs of their flyers? Because that gives them FOUR TIMES THE REVENUE OF INDIVIDUAL, INDEPENDANT CANDIDATES … which then RESULTS IN FOUR TIMES THE CAMPAIGN MARKETING MATERIAL … which means the potential of FOUR TIMES THE NAME RECOGNITION, which is sadly what many people base their votes on. I refuse to believe that you are naïve and don’t recognize what these self-appointed saviors of Reston are doing, and how it will result in groupthink decisions of built-in majority votes on our Board. RA doesn’t need that. Not one bit.

          • J Gallagher

            You’re talking about two different Boards. The old Board did not listen to the concerns of its members – many who spoke up to say don’t rush into the purchase, share the appraisal, make sure repair costs are documented, etc. Our membership nailed ALL the major issues that we highlighted in our presentation AS IT WAS OCCURRING and the old Board did not heed these comments. The new Board is dealing with the issues that the old Board created. So the old Board entered into the loan, the new Board and the new Treasurer are dealing with the residual. We mapped all these decisions and all member input during meetings – the RA members spoon-fed the Board questions that should have been asked but never were. You are right…we were told the low-interest loan was good and then in reverse fashion told to pay it off – what we were NOT told is the true impact of the loan on assessments when we entered into that loan. Just be clear – the new board is working through these issues created by the old Board – it’s important to distinguish.

          • John Higgins

            You are right, members expressed concern to no avail. I suspect the enthusiasm to acquire this property and a rushed agenda filtered those voices. We became stuck with the consequences.

            I don’t see your point about the impact of the loan on assessments not having been known. The pro forma financials showed clearly what the annual loan payments would be. What we did not see was how extensive renovation costs and revenue shortfalls utterly changed those projections. Am I missing something?

          • J Gallagher

            There’s a statement in the referendum I believe that says the purchase will have no impact on assessments. Yet the revenue shortfalls indicate that we would have to cover this some way – could be increases
            To assessments or cuts to Key programs because you know no one put legal costs on the table…even with the most optimistic revenues from programs (which did not materialize) we were showing a shortfall. The money has to come from somewhere

          • John Higgins

            Don’t hold me to the exact detail because I have not taken the time to look…but I can’t imagine a statement that there would be no impact on assessments. The pro forma financials that accompanied the referendum materials clearly showed negative cash flow after the Comstock proffer had been exhausted. But, yes, the negative flow had to be made up from somewhere.

          • J Gallagher

            It’s in the pro forma in the Fact Sheet – impact on assessment shows $0 for several years and then a gain (!) to member assessments from the Lake House.

          • J Gallagher

            Have to tell you though that there were multiple versions of this document and people could have easily lost track and I think the CFO had left by that point – the one we saw was the version posted on the RA website

          • Donald

            Actually, I recall the assessment impact was negative, not a gain, in the outyears. May be wrong.

            Donald

          • J Gallagher

            No you are correct – there were multiple versions with various levels of revenue coming in – the one on line shows the negative like 5 years out – but all depended on overinflated revenues from programs –

          • John Higgins

            I think we are looking at the same thing (yeah, you made me look.) The first three years show no assessment impact because the $650k Comstock money was being used. By year four (2018) it shows that the property would consume $2.57 of assessment revenue; $4.55 in 2019; $4.43 in 2020. At that rate they projected many years before it would pay for itself.

          • J Gallagher

            Correct

          • J Gallagher

            What you are ignoring in your thoughts on stashing the funds away is that if RA does this, we will likely see an increase in our assessments. I do not think Reston should be hoarding more money in a cash balance (we already have some) AND a capital reserve and then ask RA members for MORE money on top of that.

          • John Higgins

            I tend to be more a logic and numbers guy than a political thinker, so I’m side-stepping the motives and future direction part of your argument. It is my personal view that the loan pay-off was a mistake. Partially because the money used might well have brought in more revenue than the loan interest it saved. More importantly, the decision was taken with no known analysis of alternatives or solicitation of member input.

            I agree that laddered CDs would have produced high liquidity and some earnings, but the “some” was far below the threshold to make this a wise choice. Having been identified as money the RA had no foreseeable use for, liquidity ranks kind of low. Last month, RA’s investment adviser told the board that non-profits with similar risk tolerance and investment objectives typically can expect a return of about 6 percent. To pay interest until the term of the loan, RA would have to have earned only 2.8 percent. A 6 percent return would pay both principal and interest on he loan and leave the $2.4 investment untouched. I would like to have heard this before the payoff rather than after.

            I respectfully disagree with the view that there was too much risk that would go along with investment of this money. Yes, there is risk in all investments. But if RA is risk averse, one wonders why it would be investing the money that it does have a foreseeable use for. In the context of RA, $2.4 million is a lot of money and I think the board missed the boat in not subjecting this to independent analysis and broad member comment.

          • Samuel Colbertson

            Mr. Johnson, thank for joining the discussion. I believe the community would welcome all of the other candidates joining as well.

            If I may. Would you be willing to go on the record:

            – As to whether or not, you are aware of the reasons behind Ms. Fulkerson’s departure?

            – To state whether you have been involved with any in-person, phone, or electronic conversations with members of the board (and/or members of your slate) regarding suggested names to replace key senior leadership positions within the RA staff organization? Are you aware of any conversations?

            – To state whether you are aware of any conversation with members of the board (and/or members of your slate) regarding specific individuals to be the CEO replacement?

            – To state whether you are aware Mr. Carr endorses you and your slate on his Facebook page. Are you aware of the language “head on a stick” being used regarding staff, in the comments section . Do you condone this? Do you have anything to add?

            Thank you for your responses. And thank you for your time and offering to volunteer your services to the community.

          • Travis Johnson

            – I am aware of no more than you are. Potentially less.

            – I have not been in any such conversations and if that were to come up in my presence, I’d have excused myself. As I said, I’m in this race to help the community, not to make it worse. In my opinion, breaking rules and norms like that would just make it worse.

            – I’m not aware of any “head on a stick” language. I typically stay out of the comments on these types of posts when they involve me, as the conversations often get heated. Had I read it, I’d have said I’m not a fan of language like that. Firstly, overheated, “Lord of the Flies” rhetoric is part of what is making national politics so poisonous. We don’t need it here in Reston. Secondly, we rely on the staff, particularly now with Cate gone, to keep RA moving. I’d be extremely hesitant to go gunning to make more changes now. I say this as a manager with years of experience.

            PS
            I am very much aware that there are (only) two women in this race. It concerns me that only two (even two of such high caliber as Tammi and Julie) are in this race. When I look around this community, its.so often the women who are doing the hard work of organizing us around important causes. Their POV is vital to how we are governed.

            As to my mistake in myblast message, well, as you see in the flyer that’s caused so much consternation, I’m standing next to Tammi Petrine. She’ll almost certainly and deservedly call me out for my misstatement.

            And that’s what it was. I was focused on the men participating in these comments and I neglected the hard work Tammi and Julie have done. They are great people, both whom I reapect, and I apologize for the oversight.

          • 40yearsinreston

            Fulkerson got fired because she totally screwed up and cost the members millions
            Anyone who had a hand in her dismisal should be commended
            Looking forward to seeing some more drones getting their marching orders
            There are plenty to choose from

          • Ray Wedell

            Did she get fired???

          • Donald

            Good question. The board isn’t saying. Or did they? A few here seem to know more than the rest of us.

            Donald

          • 40yearsinreston

            she would not have gone willingly without a push

          • Ray Wedell

            Hi Travis…. I like you. I like most of those I know who are running on these slates, as individuals. I like most of the current Board members who have jettisoned their obligation to hear all sides and be open to the people, but who choose “Board efficiency” and cramming down horrendously poor decisions (most being pushed by their small cadre of friends that portray themselves as “the community”).

            I even love to hear the feedback on issues from “The Kitchen Cabinet” and other groups of organized and intelligent Restonians. An if I support their position, say, 75% of the time, that makes me a lousy guy for not supporting them the other 25%?

            There is a lot of history here, Travis. None of what I say is personal to you or anyone else. There are systematic problems in the RA Board that have gotten so out of control that I had to leave for a short while to gain my sanity. I cannot support then way this Board currently operates, nor a lot of the organized shenanigans that seem to drive many of them.

            Travis, you chose to join one of these slates. I have heard it all before: “I am an independent person regardless of the support I get……” Maybe you do not realize yet how much BALONEY that is. You will be cajoled and molded like the before you, and like anyone who accept favors from others.

            Do not take any of this personally. Carla asked me again last night,”Why would Travis align himself with this group or any group? He seems like such a nice guy.” Travis, I had no answer to the question.

            #Authenticity
            Ray Wedell, Reston At-Large Candidate

        • reston resident

          Whew! For a minute there I thought that Ray had gotten all religious on us.

          Still not voting for you though. You had your shot and you blew it.

          BTW I have yet to see one piece of campaign literature or any Facebook ad or anything else from any candidate in this so-called RA election. Anyone else have the same experience?

      • J Gallagher

        I’m not understanding what you want…you want members of RA not to campaign (pass out flyers) for who they want elected? And you want members to not talk to their representatives on the Board? I’m just not understanding what you want…some people here seem to be saying they do not want the members to organize (assemble)…or to campaign or to actively participate…that seems oppressive – maybe you’re not saying that??

        • Bernie Supporter

          Yup. You’re not understanding it. Board members like Carr and “board whisperers” like Flashman try to INTIMIDATE candidates from speaking out unless they’re the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTION. We’ve already seen Travis Johnson try to do this to Derrick Watkins right here in this very thread.

          Nobody is saying they don’t want RA MEMBERS from assembling. They’re saying they don’t want candidates like the FRIGHTFUL FOUR for Reston – Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine — to assemble to amass FOUR TIMES the resources of other candidates to get an unfair advantage in this election. And they certainly don’t want current board members and their cabal of “board whisperers” to try to pack the board to ensure a hand-picked, built-in majority that will give RA members a “groupthink” board rather than independent thinkers.

          In short, organized and open assembly of RA members, GOOD. Organized and secret assembly of board members and their “board whispers”, BAD.

          • J Gallagher

            Is this in the by-laws or election rules? I am just trying to figure out how people are supposed to know this?

          • Bernie Supporter

            Um… morality? decency? a sense of fair play?

          • J Gallagher

            but you’re citing very specific rules here…on what people can and can’t do…and as voting members of society we have seen people running together all the time and sharing promotional material and slates all the time…I am wondering why you think it’s bad they run together? I don’t know the election rules but it does not seem to be prohibited. Is it?

          • Bernie Supporter

            We are NOT voting members of society here. And this is NOT an “election.” This is a REFERENDUM OF A NON-STOCK CORPORATION and Bowman, Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson — the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON, are engaged in nothing less than A HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF OUR BOARD.

            Along with the 2 current board members who support them, they seek a built-in majority on ever vote that comes before the board. THIS GROUPTHINK APPROACH to “winning a seat” on the board is the construct of little, unethical minds who think they know what’s best for everyone else, and intend to BUY their seats with FOUR TIMES THE RESOURCES of any other candidate to buy their way in and prove it..

          • Donald

            On this I have to agree. When very few vote, as is the case with RA members, buying a board seat isn’t difficult.

            Just identify the addresses that always vote in the RA referendums. Then your team targets that list with heavy branding resources.

            Irwin Flashman wrote an Op Ed on this:

            ”The purpose of obtaining the list of actual voters is not to lose an election or somehow cause a lowered voting percentage. It is to reach the actual likely voters with a message that will resonate so that they will actually vote for the candidate.

            https://www.restonnow.com/2015/12/15/op-ed-why-secrecy-of-voter-identity-in-ra-elections-is-inappropriate/

            I feel for the other candidates that do not have such a list.

            Donald

          • J Gallagher

            So the last Board who listened to no one about the Tetra purchase was good? People are running because of the mismanagement and lack of oversight by the last Board. If it is a takeover it’s a takeover by the members because they are tired of decisions and lack of oversight that cost us money. I’ll give you one example – in our contract with Comstock, we agree to pay for the signage around the Lake House – thousands of dollars! It just so happens that we ask RA about signage for our neighborhood around the same time and they say “RA does not do that” – why would we be paying for millionaire Comstock’s signage and not supporting RA neighborhood signs?? It’s ridiculous. People are running because of a thousand shards of glass like this. I don’t feel like it’s a hostile takeover at all – I think what you see are members running because they are upset by decisions that hurt members (and they are all not on the slate of four – people are running for other reasons as well but the common factor is that they felt a decision by RA hurt the members). Also I see the flip side on the promotional flyer cost – it is a cost-efficient approach to advertise – isn’t this what we want on the RA Board? people who look for ways to save money?

          • Bernie Supporter

            Slanted response. If they did it just to “save money” they could have gotten all 13 candidates to go in together. Bowman, Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson are they the FRIGHTFUL FOUR for RESTON. And clearly you are their supporter and apologist, as clearly as I oppose and criticize them.

            “I think what you see are members running because they are upset by decisions that hurt members” is a disingenuous comment that masks what their real purpose is. A HOSTILE TAKEOVER OF THE RA BOARD, with current board members giving them a super majority to shout down any opinion than their own. I hope Reston voters are too smart to fall for this blatant attempt to rig the game in their favor.

          • J Gallagher

            Instead of saying what you don’t want, how about saying what you want. I want Board members who will listen to the members and allow their input. I want money to stop flowing to high-priced attorneys. I want Board members who will protect the core mission of RA. I want accountability of RA funds. I want money to stop flowing to outside interests and be used for only RA assets. I want a conflict of interest policy with teeth. I want proper oversight of the money. I have not accused you once of being for a slate of candidates but you and Donald) feel comfortable announcing my alliances – why not just tell people what the Board needs – we already know from your zillion posts that your against the 4 – why not just say who you’re for and why. Why not tell people why you would pick one candidate over another – many have come to me and asked me about the candidates and I have shared my thoughts but have also encouraged them to read the bios instead of slamming people – it’s more useful
            To members to say who you are supporting and why – like I am supporting. X because she brings X experience that the Board does not have. Why spend all you’re time telling people who not to vote for – why not just tell them who to vote for?

          • Bernie Supporter

            First off, ANYONE is better than the THE FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON — Bowman, Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson. They are the exact opposite of what you SAY you want, but don’t. These four do NOT want to listen to members and get their input. Your choice of words — “allow their input– is telling.

            As for who to vote for, start with VEN IYER — who was cheated out of his seat last year when he came within 200 votes of winning, but got board-blocked on the LAST day of the race by a SUPER TURNOUT, never seen in the last five years.

          • J Gallagher

            Ok so Ven is one person – because he….? I mean tell people what he has to offer RA….

            And not quite sure what you’re saying about the election…RAs elections are monitored by a third-party firm…you’re not saying they were false? If you are saying that people just got out the vote, then I’m pretty sure that’s allowed…or you are saying no it is not allowed?

            I don’t know the election rules so I’m legitimately asking.

            And I’m not sure what you mean about allowing members’ input – Stoneturn gave that as a recommendation and I thought it was a good one – to leverage community members’ input. Do you not?

          • Bernie Supporter

            You want to know why to vote for Ven Iyer. I don’t need to tell you why because does it so much better himself. If you want to see what an INDEPENDANT NON-GROUP THINKING LOOKS LIKE JUST GO TO

            http://www.veniyer.com/

            What Mr. Iyer DOESN’T come with is a group of “we-know-what’s-best-for-you” Reston Insiders who are trying hijack our election — a group that includes the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON – Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine — board members like Eric Carr who retaliates against RA members who speak out against his voting record, and “board whisperers” who manipulate the board at every chance they get. Is Irwin Flashman one of them? You tell me.

            As for last year’s election, the last day of ELECTRONIC voting produced FIVE TIMES as many votes as any last day of voting in FIVE years. So, yeah, I think the POSSIBILITY that something sketchy went on is absolutely real.

            And as for groupthink, the last board said that Ven Iyer was the most qualified candidate to hit the board running. Yet when two vacancies opened up, did they give to the guy who came in second by under 200 votes? No. They searched high and low and gave it their buddy, Ganeson, who never receive a vote from any RA member. Legal? Yes. Moral? No. Reflecting the will of RA members? No.

            And if you don’t know the difference between RA members GIVING the board their input …and being “ALLOWED” to give their input, I don’t intend to school you.

          • ARL

            Who else besides Ven do you support?

          • Bernie Supporter

            I’m strictly an ANTI-FRIGHTFUL FOUR VOTER. I don’t want Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine bringing in a majority lock with Eric Carr, etc. I want an independent board that holds robust discussions and truly want to reflect what the community wants, not what they want.

            I mention Ven Iyer because I think he may have actually won last year’s election but cheated out of his seat. Can’t be certain but the last day vote numbers are too damn suspicious. To me its a crime that after that election he wasn’t seated when vacancies came up on the board, especially the one that happened shortly after the vote.

            As for the rest of who I’ll vote for, I’m not here as their pitchman. Look at their videos and their statements and what they can offer Reston and everyone should decide for themselves. But that’s different than voting for one of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR who are trying to “buy” their seats by amassing four times the financial resources to blanket us with their campaign materials, or having their cronies play dirty tricks against their opponents behind the scenes.

            So I’m Jake with anyone who votes for any candidate other than Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine. Plenty of good candidates to choose from without the frightful four, who are looking out only for themselves, and are more into power plays than fair play. Who I vote for doesn’t matter. Who you vote for does.

          • ARL

            Apparently it was an email reminder to members that caused the spike in the final votes. If you look at the bar chart that Reston Now posted you will see a spike in the number of votes each time an email reminder was sent. I don’t find it too damn suspicious. We’re talking about a HOA election, not the U.S. elections.

            https://www.restonnow.com/2017/06/13/elections-committee-says-no-irregularities-in-ra-board-vote/

            Sure you don’t think it was a “crime” Ven was not seated after the election. It appears to have been a 4-3 board decision. When it came to the vote only 1 board member voted for him. It would have likely been better for the board to leave the seat unfilled or allow the community to vote. It seems the board made the same call for Mr. Wadell’s seat. Your beef seems to boil down to how vacant board seats are filled. What are you doing to see that this changes? Posting on Reston Now all day long is not likely to be successful in this regard.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Wow. Is that really our board? Are you saying that the board who claims to represent the members voted 8 to 1 against the certified candidate who RA members voted for in the thousands. that they thought it best to put in one of their lackey “insiders” instead? Thank ARL. I didn’t know the extent of how this board disregards its members. So is my beef really with the way vacant boards are filled or with the morally bankrupt board members who fill those vacant seats to their own ends, not ours.

            As for what I’m doing to see this changes? I’m campaigning my little fanny off to stop RA members from voting for the FRIGHTFUL FOUR FOR RESTON — Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine — who not only offer more on the same “us against them” mentality to the board. But who are working in concert with Eric Carr and other current board members to create a super-groupthink-majority to quash all debate and independent thinking on the board.

            You should run for the board, too. Oh, wait. Are you already one of the FRIGHT FOUR FOR RESTON? Which one? Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson or Petrine? Your comment “What are YOU doing to see that this changes? POSTING on Reston Now ALL DAY LONG is not likely to be successful in this regard. ” FITS RIGHT IN WITH THEM. It is also MEANT TO SILENCE RA MEMBERS who find these candidates tactics DISGUSTING and our board members COMPLICIT.

          • ARL

            I’m none of the above. I meant to suggest that YOU should run. Be a write-in candidate.

          • Bernie Supporter

            The last think anyone needs in this election is to foolishly write in names and SYHPON votes away from legitimate independent candidates.

            The only thing one can do to FIGHT BACK AGAINST the FRIGHTFUL FOUR OF RESTON — is to VOTE AGAINST GANESAN, BOWMAN, JOHNSON & PETRINE.

            We have a lot of good candidates running. Just not these four. A vote for the FRIGHTFUL FOUR is a vote for groupthink, board manipulation, permanent locked in majorities, and a threat to the independence and integrity of our board.

          • Drip

            You do realize that “Bernie Supporter” appears to be a sock puppet for Ray. So, it seems that B.S. is running.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Oh, so GLAD YOU WENT THERE, DRIP. Last year, one of the FRIGHTFUL FOUR OF RESTON — Tammi Petrine — who hypocritically CLAIMS to want to bring “civility” back to the board — ALSO tried to dismiss me as one of the running candidates. Not Ray. But a candidate she viscously tore into over and over and over right here in Reston Now. SO MUCH FOR THE LIE OF TAMMI PETRINE’s SELF-PROCLAIMED CIVILITY. Do we really want someone on the board with all that VENOM bottled up inside her. I guess she’d make the perfect partner for ERIC CARR, who RETALIATES AGAINST RA MEMBERS who challenge what they do and say.

            Interestingly, last year Tammi used your exact same lead in: “You do REALIZE that Bernie Supporter is … ” Wait! Tammi Petrine, is this YOU again?

            It just AMAZES ME that Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine — along with their 2 cronies on the board — don’t get it yet. Voters like me are SICK AND TIRED OF BOARD MEMBERS NONRESPONSIVETO RA MEMBERS. We’re also sick and tired of their “DIRTY TRICKS” SUPPORTERS who try to “SONIA HARDING” their opponents behind closed doors.

          • Drip

            Cutting through all that misdirection, I call BS (as in Bernie Supporter). Ray (presumably), how can we trust you with our dues money on the board if you behave in this manner?

          • Bernie Supporter

            That’s the great part of Reston Now, Tammi. You can go back in time and all the venomous comments you made last year are still there for this year’s voters to see. You can’t erase them. Back then, geniuses like you said I was Krieger, Wedell AND Iyer. As I recall, you kicked that off, too. More venom from our “let’s return to civility” candidate. What a hypocrite.

            As for me, if I find your money, Tammi, I keep it. Shouldn’t have given to me in the first place..

          • Drip

            BS/Ray… I have a very pragmatic solution to the sock puppet question. Let’s let journalism and technology resolve the question. You accuse me of being Tammi. I consent and ask Fatimah to compare the “Drip” IP addresses used to comment with those posted under Tammi’s account. Clearly this will disprove your attempt at misdirection. But you must do the same. Publicly ask Fatimah to compare the IP addresses used for BS and the Ray account. If you are really not a Ray sock puppet, this will verify it. But if you are Ray, that will too.

          • Bernie Supporter

            What’s the fun of that? I’d rather you think I was Wedell, Iyer, or any other candidate in the race. Knock yourself out.

            Speaking about distraction, though, I see you have no comment about Tammi “Lets-All-Get-Along” Petrine’s vicious attacks on board candidates last year. Still don’t need that kind of bile on the board.

          • Drip

            Well, I do recall Ray’s verbose and rather vicious comments on Reston Now about how we absolutely NEEDED Tetra and anyone who was against the Tetra purchase was horrible.

          • ARL

            Yes. Bernie Supporter must be a former candidate or current candidate. S/he has posted WAY too many times and is way too emotional/passionate about this election. We could play the drinking game with the use of the term frightful four. Bernie Supporter appears to have some sort of axe to grind. I do not suspect it is Mr. Wadell as he appears to honestly speak his mind and is not afraid to do so using his name. Who else has recently run, is related or friends with someone who has recently run and did not obtain a board seat as they had wanted. BS writes about how uncivil people are yet write things like: “geniuses like you,” “As for your NONSENSICAL question” etc., etc.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Oh, and about that “non-suspicious” email reminder spike? Even on the chart you show that last day spikes higher than any other email reminder. You don’t find it suspicious? Good for you. While we’re not talking about the U.S. Elections, we ARE talking about the RA HOA. The same RA who bought the LAKE HOUSE at double its value. The same RA who allowed a conflict-ridden board member to rake in the cash by voting for Reston “improvements” in Lake Anne that personally benefitted her and her family.

            Also, look more closely at that article you reference. There were no irregularities in last year’s election “according to Robichaud’s report.” Would that be Ed Robichaud who basically got kicked off the Elections Committee when he went in front of the board to renew his position? Read that article even closer. The way the race could have been tampered with is also detailed. And lastly, if you think that local elections are “too small” to be corrupt, take off your blinders.

          • ARL

            For a volunteer board seat?? No, I don’t buy it.

            Don’t forget to take your BP medicine, Bernie.

          • Bernie Supporter

            What a wit. Did you come up with that quip all by yourself? Or just copy it from the many posters before you who use the same lame comment about dozens of other commenters they disagree with?

            As for your NONSENSICAL question about why anyone would want to tamper with ANY local election anywhere, I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain it to you.

          • ARL

            I didn’t say any. We are talking about a volunteer board seat for a HOA.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Actually, you’re talking about a volunteer board seat that allowed one member to enrich her property and her business with her conflict-of-interest vote. And a volunteer board that approved the purchase of the LAKE HOUSE for double its worth. Someone made a LOT of money there.

            So why would ANYONE want a volunteer board seat on a HOA? Or want to have a permanent, locked in majority vote on all issues before the board –like Ganesan, Bowman, Johnson and Petrine, partnered with board members like Eric Carr who retaliates against any complaints about him? Gee. It’s a mystery to me.

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Bernie Supporter, there was an uptick in votes on the last day last year because it was the first time we sent out a reminder email on the last day. We always see upticks on days we send out reminder emails.

            Ven was not cheated nor was the election improperly handled.

          • Bernie Supporter

            You know what? I take you at your word. You’re the only poster I’ve seen on Reston Now who has proven their integrity by their actions, not their words. I stand corrected.

          • ARL

            I think I directed you (Bernie Supporter) to the same information posted on Reston Now. Glad to see you now believe it.

            Thank you for the clarification Mr. Gandolfo.

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Thank you, Bernie. The integrity of the process was and still is very important to me. The Elections Committee has done everything in its power to do that. We did investigate allegations of wrong doing against Ven and found no evidence. Further, we took action to ensure more safeguards in the election processes. For example, lost ballot logins are no longer replaced by RA, but by our third party counting agent. Someone who loses their ballot login needs to prove to them they are who they say they are through non-public information questions.

            Thank you again for your support and passion, Bernie.

          • KB

            Michael,
            As having been a member of the Elections Committee myself, I respect what you did. But I also have to correct you here. You do not know for sure one way or the other. Lets leave it at that. The loophole that Ven highlighted was legit which is why the Committee fixed it this year. It did present an opportunity for candidates to exploit on the last day, you simply cannot deny that. Maybe it was the email reminder on the last day, maybe it was not. Maybe it was a bit of both – the last day’s spike is like twice that of any other spike. You don’t know for sure. Ed Robichaud failed to even acknowledge that there was a problem in giving out username and passwords to anyone who simply called RA and claimed to have lost their ballot. All they had to do was provide their name and property address, both of which is public information. In fact, candidates are actually provided this information in an excel spreadsheet so no need to even look it up.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Wow. I did not know this. Jesus.

          • J Gallagher

            Well my envelope from RA says “Election Ballot Enclosed” and “As a member of Reston Association, you are eligible to *vote for the RA Board or Directors. I’m not sure what your distinctions mean? We are *voting and it is an *election right? I mean is it just jargon or are there distinctions?

          • John Higgins

            Finally, a point where everyone is right! Yes, we are voting in an election – an election that is to be held by referendum (with minimum participation thresholds.) It’s in the deed.

          • J Gallagher

            But other than participation rates are there other distinctions?

          • John Higgins

            None that I am aware of, Jill.

          • Bernie Supporter

            The other distinction is actually quite big. Since what we call an “election” is actually a referendum of a non-stock corporation, it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Board of Elections. No third party oversight. No appeals. No challenges to arbitrary rules listed in our governing documents that violate a candidate’s freedom of speech.

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Bernie is correct that the election is actually a referendum of a non-stock corporation. Bernie is incorrect that there is no third-party oversight. RA contacts a third party to send out ballots and tally votes. There are also appeals allowed in the form of recounts.

          • Bernie Supporter

            We may both be right here except I wasn’t clear enough as to what I meant by oversight. Everything you said is true. But its all internal to RA, I believe. Our third party vendor. Our internal appeal process. Everything that I was saying pertained only to the fact that we don’t fall under the jurisdiction and protection of the Virginia Board of Elections. I don’t think I’m wrong about that but would bow to your superior knowledge in this area.

          • Michael Gandolfo

            Bernie, you are 100% correct. The Virginia Board of Elections has nothing to do with RA’s referendum. They participate in no way.

            My biggest issue with the RA Election process is that the Elections Committee, which I believe to be completely impartial, makes the rules for the election through Resolutions. But those Resolutions are then approved or rejected by the Board of Directors, including those running for re-election. That seems like a conflict of interest to me.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Agreed

          • Donald

            Wholeheartedly agree.

            Donald

        • Donald

          Ms. Gallagher, what many of us feel is different Tom what you continue to process. Yet, instead of listening, you and the group rally and go into defense mode.

          You and the group immediately state “we know more than you and this is why we feel our decisions and actions are best for the community”.

          For example, many of us disagree with your interpretations, assessments and recommendations. Many of us believe the public persecution of staff should come to an end. Yet, what we get I return from you and others is a vehement statement that we are wrong and we just don’t know any better.

          Our concern: we see a group, the names have been shared many times, have decided to formalize an apparent agenda, under the guise of “reform”. This group is now implementing a plan to get four people elected to the board already supported by two additional board members. This majority of 6 almost guarantees the “reform” agenda will be implemented. The other directors’ voices will be shut out.

          We fear decisions and desired outcomes (Sr. Staff positions, CEO, facilities, programs, etc.) are already underway.

          I, personally, have seen this type of group manipulation too many times, and just hate to see it happened by here in my lovely community. I don’t want people making decisions for me, without my input, purely on the basis ”they know what’s best for me”.

          “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig.

          We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.”

          — George Orwell, Animal Farm

          Donald

          • J Gallagher

            You need to get your facts straight – I am not with any group, never attended a kitchen cabinet meeting or “cabal” as you call it. I have not campaigned for anyone or against anyone. I don’t even know who you are and continue to rack my brain trying to figure out how you think you know me…I am a fiscal watchdog-type person NOT a cabal-type person. I got involved with Reston stuff when they tried to place a Rec Center here and have Reston foot the bill rather than have it be supported with county funds, like every other Rec center. I got involved with Tetra because I saw it as a massive waste of money and abuse of power. You’re wrongly saying here that I am
            part of the kitchen cabinet. I think it’s because this type of information – the information that we shared, and that Irwin shares and Terry Maynard shares threatens the old way of doing business which is basically behind doors and among friends. And you being so vociferous and recklessly attacking anyone who does not agree with you makes me believe that you sir are part of that old guard and do not want things to change.

          • J Gallagher

            Also – I don’t think you mean to attribute your words in quotes to me, correct? Because I know I have never stated those words nor have I heard them from any candidates running…might be better to remove that so as not to misquote people.

          • Donald

            Jill,

            I think I’ll leave my commentary as is. Members will be able to make their own determinations… unless you’d like to tell them what they should think.

            Donald

          • J Gallagher

            You said I said something which I did not say – that’s not honest.

        • RottenTomatoesXYZ

          If Irwin Flashman has a list of people who voted (as John Higgins posts above) and is helping out the 4 for Reston, you don’t think that is an unfair advantage? You don’t think once they get elected if he has recommendations from the peanut gallery the Board is obligated to be attentive to him? Watch video after video after video of these committee meetings. He has tremendous access to the Board right now. And how did you manage to get an hour presentation in a full BOD just before the elections? I think that presentation, the Third Tetra review charade, Cate not being the CEO all of these were well timed moves just during the election. Yes, all of this is organization and orchestration with an agenda. I really feel your questions are not sincere. You are just undermining fair arguments here with your million questions fully pretending that you don’t know what is wrong with this picture.

          • J Gallagher

            Your post here is outrageous. Do you even realize that you are referring to members as “the peanut gallery”? This is everything that is wrong with RA. Everyone has the ability to attend committee meetings. Everyone has the ability to contact Board members. Everyone has the ability to formally request documents as we did and Irwin did and does. You come in with the assumption that members should be like children of yore – “seen but not heard.” Together, we contribute millions of dollars to this homeowners association. We have a right to be heard.

            In terms of tetra, What we saw was a waste of funds. We went through the process to present to the Board just like anyone else does – though the BOC. We requested time – the same amount of time that they gave folks to sell the Tetra property – they gave us one hour – far far less than the time spent selling this project to members. While RA spent hours of meetings and executive session to discuss tetra, they gave members 3 minutes. And many spoke out against for their entire 3 minutes. At one meeting where Members tried to ask questions of the old Board one of the opposers was told by a Board member that that was enough from the “peanut gallery” – the same words you use here.

            And in terms of the time given to us for our presentation, we don’t see the time aspect the same way that you do. There were several outside forces pushing this deal that got about 30+ hours or more of our Board’s time and we got one hour to dispute it. So if you want to talk about unfair – look at the hours spent given to those advocating for the project and time spent allowing those to speak against. And look at the web page. Do you see one article against the purchase? No you do not. You see only positive articles pushing the sale even though several residents wrote articles in opposition. But what’s up there on the website? -Articles from Most members of the Board pushing the sale, an article from Colin Mills in support, and a letter from Rescue Reston in support. No articles from terry Maynard, ed Abbott, and many others who wrote articles in opposition. So The question should not be how did we get an hour. The question should be why only an hour and why’d it take so damn long.

            Everything you quote here as an unfair advantage is available to any member who cares to ask. You’re all outraged about unfair advantage but everything this other group has done and everything that Irwin has done is allowable to anyone else to do. We did much of the same for our research – filed requests for information. You can ask for the same information today. And Irwin did not ask for this information through a covert email, he asked in a public meeting a year or more ago. There was no inside passing of information – he asked for publicly available information that is available to all – youncould ask for the same information today.

            I asked questions because I wanted to be more open in discussing. But your intent seems to be to make members who want to ask questions about RAs money feel like rogue players or part of a conspiracy crowd and that’s not what I’m about. I’m not part of the kitchen cabinet. I did feel that the members of that group raised very good questions around tetra throughout the process and were not heard. I feel that anyone should be able to have access to this Board – and I think that’s gettin better. And anyone can participate In meetings and such. I encourage people to participate. That access is available to all – just last meeting 6-7 people spoke up on a dock issue – nearly a half hour was given to this group. That’s a great thing and I commend this Board for listening.

            I’m sorry you feel my questions are insincere – that’s not my intent. I honestly bring a different viewpoint from you and that’s ok – we can think through this stuff in different ways and have different views – it’s OK. Whoever wins I am fine working with –
            None of them have an easy job and I will support the Board with what I can.

  • Ray Wedell

    By the way….hey Elections Committee. It is Friday at 6:00 pm, and I still have not received my ballot. A couple of friends have said they haven’t yet, either.

    What gives????????

  • Tetra Troll

    Typically, Ray deals in paranoid delusions.

    The Board hasn’t even hired a search firm yet.

    • Donald

      The board makes the ultimate decision, not a search firm. Given the the tight bond among the 4 for Reston, their close backers, and certain board directors, I’m sure they’ve all had a discussion regarding who they want to put on the list, and then have the majority to make the call. Just watch.

      Donald

      • Ray Wedell

        Donald….Bingo !!!!

      • John Higgins

        The thrift-conscious inclinations of the board (not a bad thing) might tempt them to forgo a search firm, but I suspect it is highly unlikely. What we can expect is a sub-committee of the board to serve as a Selection Committee, vetting dozens of applications and recommending to the full board perhaps three or four for final consideration. The hazard here is that any board (perhaps this one especially) will have less than a full appreciation of the executive needs and challenges the CEO faces. A year or two (or less) of service on the board hardly prepares them for this task. But we members are far less able to make meaningful contribution. Yes, we will have to just watch.

        • Donald

          Yes, I too, am afraid we’ll just have to watch. I’m also afraid we’re going to see some very familiar faces accepting very senior leadership roles at RA.

          Donald

    • Greg

      Why can’t they place an ad on the Community Associations Institute job board? We pay a small fortune to belong to the CAI.

      https://jobs.caionline.org/jobseeker/search/results/

  • Nature of Reston

    [For posting / editor]: “Nature of Reston”

    This is an email lineage from a few weeks ago, when the temperatures were expected to be 70°F the next weekend and there was no foliage. Creating a complete model of the nature of Reston should have been a continual community task, and would have been easy to do this season.

    On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 11:27 AM, Synthetic Ground wrote:

    There is no exhaustive environmental model of Reston and this is why the poor management of the current situation is compounding and disintegrating. The community should have actively participated in recording the natural and practical environment of Reston and have used this in all planning.

    On Feb 27, 2018 3:39 PM, “Eric Carr” wrote:
    >
    > Mr. or Mrs. Ground,
    >
    > I am sorry there was a delay in responding to your comment. Speaking only for myself, I did not realize it was a request for information.
    >
    > To my understanding, no such document had existed in the past, which is what spurred RA’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) to develop a comprehensive evaluation of Reston’s environment. This past July, the RA Board adopted this report, titled Reston Annual State of the Environment Report (RASER). The full report can be found here
    (http://www.reston.org/Portals/3/2017%20Governance/Merged%20RASER%20Report_080417.pdf).
    >
    > I have copied Sue Beffel and Irwin Flashman, chair and co-chair, respectively, of the EAC, who can provide more background, correct my understanding if need be, and explain the genesis of the report.
    >
    > Thank you for your interest in Reston.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Eric Carr

    On Feb 27, 2018 4:06 PM, “John Mooney” wrote:
    >
    > Dear Member,
    >
    > I, too, regret not answering sooner.
    >
    > My board colleague Erik Carr’s response to your inquiry was right on.
    >
    > I was very impressed with the RASER report. It was meant to be the first of many comprehensive assessments of environmental issues in Reston, a base against which we can evaluate changes in the coming years. Obviously, we’d welcome your feedback on that report.
    >
    > Sincerely,
    > John Mooney

    On Tue, Feb 27, 2018, 5:15 PM Synthetic Ground wrote:

    (Carr, Mooney:)

    At any time in many decades, a comprehensive survey and environmental model (including inset objects, roadways, human dynamics) could have been completed with available technological means. In the last decade, however, an opportunity has existed to entertain the entire community’s interest in participation by using these common camera (cell) phones and digital video devices to create and passively maintain a complete and comprehensive model of everything in the environment of Reston.
    Beyond natural areas and environmental dynamics, the human sustainment and future planning could have already been included — with community participation in full — in an exhaustive model that accurately represents the entire situation. The referenced PDF is a contractor’s report typical of any environmental review, something you include in the EIS when you are prospecting on high value real-estate developments.
    Contrarily, any and all of the recurring concerns and any future philosophical potential should have been included in an appropriate and adaptive model with full community participation. An example of the use of accurate modeling corrects the repeated explinations typical of Reston’s DRB that easily allows review of aesthetic and physical compliance and exhaustive protection of thematic areas. Similarly, a minimal model of the managed areas would have allowed accurate planning for all of Reston, appropriate environmental mitigation and management, and minimal standards of quality for community areas, pathways, etc.

    On Feb 27, 2018 5:24 PM, “Eric Carr” wrote:
    >>
    >> I cannot speak for past decades as I have been on the board for 10 months. Further, we can only address the situation going forward, not in retrospect. What we might wish to have been done should not stop us from acting now and into the future.
    >>
    >> The report I sent to you was compiled entirely by RA volunteer members. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of RA committees, giving countless hours of their time to help make Reston a better place.
    >>
    >> I invite you to attend our EAC meetings, which are held the first Tuesday of each month. You seem knowledgeable on these matters, and if you want to make a positive difference in our community, please attend. It would also be helpful to get your name.
    >>
    >> Regards,
    >> Eric

    On Mar 5, 2018 5:49 PM, “Synthetic Ground” wrote:

    It is good that someone prepared a general overview based on a typical standard EIS background report, and good that RHOA has tried to do some urban planning, transit, and land use signboards, though typical of school childrens’ homework.
    Perhaps, as one of the largest corporately managed HOA and land management organizations — especially in this area — it might serve well to attempt at least the absolute minimum of global standards in the foci of the Dulles Aerotropolis and purported “richest place” in America.
    Simon’s original intent was a managed “New Town” that provided a designed inverse to Manhattan’s urban grid and Central Park. RA, Fairfax County, and related entities have done anything possible to undermine this fundamental design and blatantly fail at obligations. The only reason for this is that the job was not even attempted. (Despite the various malicient influences of the region.)

    • Donald

      Well Synthetic Ground.

      While you had a wonderful idea for the board to bring the community together for a very fun, engaging and useful endeavor, they appear to be – just too busy to listen.

      Sad.

      Donald

  • Donald

    As I recall, a few years ago, Mr. Flashman requested of RA — a copy of the actual voting records — who voted, and for whom. Anyone recall the outcome of that request?

    If such a list exists in the hands of some, but not all candidates, wow.

    Donald

    • John Higgins

      Yes/No, Donald. One year the board provided to him (in paper format, refusing to deliver it electronically – punitive) a list of properties that submitted ballots. The next year they decided not to give him the information, citing a combination of “privacy concerns” and the fact that they did not have the data. (The counting agent did and could/should have provided it.)

      To be clear, Mr. Flashman requested only a record of properties that returned ballots, not how people voted. Such information would have been very useful to all candidates in allowing them to reach the pitifully small number of members who actually vote.

      • Bernie Supporter

        And The Man Who Would Be King(maker) strikes again.

      • ChessPlayer14

        What year did this happen that the list was provided to Irwin Flashman? Was the list just shown for reference or did he retain it?

        • John Higgins

          I don’t recall. Perhaps 2013 or 2014. It was given to him. For all I know it was given to others, too. This was a record available to all members. In my view, the denial of the record in the next year was the more important event. To make it worse, the RA board instructed the independent counting agent to not give it such a list so that they would not have a record of who returned ballots.

          One would think the Elections Committee would have wanted the ability to better understand where to focus its communications to improve turn-out. Candidates waste 80 percent of their campaign resources in reaching out to folks who never vote. It should be no surprise that this prompts some to pool their advertising money, including – as we see in this election – people running against one another.

          By the way, there was nothing secretive about this. The subject was discussed openly in a number of board meetings. I considered it an abuse of the board’s power, prompting me to question continuing what had been a long, satisfying relationship with the RA.

          • ChessPlayer14

            “This was a record available to all members.” – Is there an archive of this record available for now? I am not sure – is this type of polling information considered public or sensitive?

          • John Higgins

            You will have to ask RA, it depends on their records retention policy.
            Second question is a matter of opinion. The “public” is not entitled to see our records, only members. Unlike the publicly available poll records in governmental elections, this one lists only addresses, not names. Sensitive? At one time I took pride that someone at my address voted. These days? Perhaps not so much.

          • J Gallagher

            Good point John (now we have two points of agreement on here! LOL)

  • Derrick Watkins

    As a RA member and BOARD CANIDATE I am concerned why it has been a week since the election started and i still have not been mailed a ballot.

    • Donald

      That’s a fair question Derrick.

      Hey board. Off to a good start ????

      Donald

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