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Updated: Newly Elected Reston Association Board Members Highlight Need for Transparency, Improving Infrastructure

by Fatimah Waseem April 11, 2018 at 10:15 am 50 Comments

Reston Association’s Board of Directors will welcome two new faces following the Tuesday night announcement of election results in the contested race.

Returning board member Andy Sigle secured an at-large seat for one year and newcomer Ven Iyer won an at-large seat for three years. Incumbents Sridhar Ganesan, the board’s current treasurer, maintained his at-large seat for three years and incumbent Julie Bitzer also held on to her seat at South Lakes District Director.

“It’s our hope that the entire membership will join us in this recognition regardless of the outcome,” said Caren Anton, chairwoman of RA’s elections committee.

Ganesan won with 3,476 votes — just 294 votes more than Iyer. Margins in other races were not as slim. Bitzer won over Tammi Petrine with 662 more votes for the South Lakes District seat and Sigle won with more than 843 votes.

Thirteen candidates vied for four open seats during the election period — competitiveness that Anton said could help boost voter turnout, which has been historically low for the organization.

However, this year, overall voter turnout hovered at 19 percent — the same as last year. Turnout hovered around 14 percent three years prior.

Newly elected board members highlighted broad visions for the coming months.

Sigle said he hopes focus on three main goals: boosting community engagement, establishing relationships and processes to improve RA’s influence with the county related to development and sustaining and enhancing RA’s physical infrastructure.

Bitzer also highlighted the need to maintain recreational amenities. With five of RA’s fifteen pools slated for major renovations in the next five years, Bitzer said it is critical to complete a pool demand analysis before upcoming decisions on the budget and RA assessments. She also hopes to build off the work of a working group established in March to analyze lake and boat access.

Our overall policies and governance have some conflicting guidance and potentially out-of-date boat restrictions – again the timeline is to have recommendations ready for the Board’s consideration by November for changes to benefit all – those who use the lakes and those who must enforce our usage and access policies,” Bitzer said.

Iyer said the campaign season has been a “long and uphill journey.” He will continue to “ stop wasteful spending, improve Board transparency, stop projects invasive on neighbors and nature, and advocate Member interests with Fairfax County.”

He noted that the county’s response to RA’s letter about planned population density increases indicated the need to investigate more effective options witht he community.

“… I am not certain if our methods have been effective in conveying Member interests to Fairfax County,” he said.

He also said he was interested in addressing a concern he said he repeatedly heard on the campaign trail that member complaints were not being heard.

The impact of slates on the election — a relatively new development in the election — is unclear. One official slate, “4 for Reston” slate included Ganesan, Travis Johnson, John Bowman and Petrine.

A group of Reston residents created and endorsed an informal group for mailing distributions, coined the “Alliance for a Better Reston,” which included Bitzer, Sigle, Colin Meade and Aaron Webb. RA candidates said they did not choose to be a part of the alliance.

This story has been updated. Ganesan was not immediately available for comment. 

  • 30yearsinreston

    Lets see who stands up to Hudgins
    Lets start with rescinding her invitation to the Founders day @ lake Anne
    Send her and Bulova packing

    • Soul for density

      The issue here being that the old man made a deal with the devil long time back.

    • CaptainObvious

      Do you have replacements in mind.
      By the by, The current Board is standing up to the Supervisor on several issues, including the ill-conceived proposed zoning ceiling change.

      • John Farrell

        The replacements selected by Bulova and Hudgins are Jeff McKay and Walter Alcorn, respectively.


    • John Farrell

      Not Bobzein, RA’s next president.

      He was Hudgin’s anointed selection for the apartment owners seat that she controls because the County owns the most apartments in RA.

      BTW he was also in charge of the office that covered up the murder of Jon Geer by Officer Torres. So yeah, expect him to take on the Taj Mahal on a regular basis. Not!

  • Rational Reston


  • Rational Reston

    “clenched a seat…”

    Is there a picture or video?

    • Why do you bother?


  • Donald

    Well, now let’s look to see who the new officers will be.

    The board will cast their secret ballots at tomorrow’s first board meeting. Carr, Hebert, Ganesan and White need just one more to make their plan work.


    • John Farrell

      White automatically left the Board she moved out of Hunters Woods into South Lakes.

      Interesting to see how and who the other 8 choose to replace her. Getting folks out of that district to serve on the Board has always been a problem.

      • John Higgins

        Sorry to see Victoria leave. She must have moved this morning, as she was introduced last night as the South Lakes director.

        • Donald

          That’s what I thought I saw as well. So I’ll assume she will be voting for officers with her colleagues.

          Again, this will be interesting to watch. Carr, Hebert, Ganesan and White need just one more to keep their plan in play.


          • John Farrell

            We all know what assumptions do.

          • Donald

            Well, you appear to have an inside to board activities that the rest of us don’t, so I’ll have to let you have the last word.


        • RA Cynic

          Wait, RA was slightly disingenous in public?

          Shock and surprise! Call the press!

          Oh, wait this is the press. So when to we get the real story on that little bit of subterfuge, Fatimah?

          • Donald

            At the moment, it’s apparent White will be casting her secret ballots tonight. If she has already moved outside of her district, then I sense some subterfuge going on.

            This is interesting to say the least. What a great test for the new inside counsel.


          • WatchingThisBoard

            She has moved and is no longer eligible to be on the Board. If the last of the Carr/Hibert/Ganesan try to say otherwise that’s total BS, the rules are clear. Further if they try to put Bowmen in her place that’s also BS. They should do a call for candidates, interview and vote.

          • Donald

            I agree. This is a real violation of good board ethics, potentially a legal violation. Carr, Ganesan and Hebert better be careful here.


          • Are you

            The Board hasn’t even met yet and you are already complaining. Why don’t you use your energy and help Reston become even better?

          • Are you

            According to the press release White resigned and will not be at the Board meeting tonight.

          • Donald

            Thanks. Looks like it just hit the presses. So, let’s see how they fill the post.


  • Bernie Supporter

    What wonderful news! The FRIGHTFUL FOUR against Reston only got one seat out of four. (Unfortunately the worst of the lot in my opinion — Ganesan — kept a seat.) I had hoped it would have been a complete washout for the Frightful 4.

    I fear Donald is right about Carr, Hebert, Ganesan and White only needing one more. Still, this is a whole lot better than the disaster it could have.

  • John Farrell

    Can’t wait to see Bobzein try to keep Iyer from going full Waddel at the first meeting.

    • MiguelLopez

      Iyer stands up to the Board but he is cool as ice. I watched him speak at the Hook Road meeting in August and he even made people laugh to diffuse a tense situation. I am waiting to watch other Board members try to chew him out for thinking independently like they did in the last Board meeting when he spoke in member comments.

      • Tetra Troll

        Well, there’s a first time for everything, I guess.

        Just haven’t seen anything from Ven except smouldering outrage.

        That act gets old fast, and in his case, at this point, it’s past its sell by date.

        • Rational Reston

          The last time Ven ran, there wasn’t an angry Reston mob* that Ven wasn’t afraid to get in front of to take a picture with.

          *Angry Reston mob – uses organic torches and GMO free pitchforks

          • PNF

            Oh, you must be talking about the residents who wanted to preserve lake newport soccer fields. how dare they protest their natural backyard being replaced with a soccer stadium and artificial turf. And the Park Free RTC Protest, everyone has a couple or four bucks to spare for parking.

          • Rational Reston

            Yes, those are two incidents that came to mind. Where Ven would take a microphone give to publicize himself and give a campaign speech.

            I wouldn’t characterize the Newport fiasco as ‘preserving’ the soccer fields. Those fields are in increasing disrepair, the actions by some of the locals were to drive out people using the parks. (not all, a portion was just upset with the process) No one has ever mentioned a ‘soccer stadium’ except for those trying to incite a frenzy of misunderstanding.

        • PNF

          I don’t see that at all. You are just branding anyone against the Ganeson, Hebart, Carr plus/minus Bobzien, Mooney camp. That is old and past its sell by date.

          • Donald

            I was disheartened to see how Bitzer, Sigle and Iyer were constantly diminished by their colleagues. Anything they proposed, or asked for additional discussion, were quickly tabled and stopped.

            Looks like they might as well stay at home.


    • Ray Wedell

      Speaking of big mouths, when are you going to run, Farall? So easy to sit in your self-constructed perch and spew nonsense as if you are “Mr. Reston”, isn’t it?

      • Sigmund Yung

        He did Ray long before you ever thought of it.

        Sour grapes much?

        Did you even get 500 votes last night?

        • Wardrobe blowout

          If no then free turtleneck sweaters for all of you!

  • Sheila

    Seriously… voter turn out only at approximately 19%. If you’re a Reston resident and not voting, then don’t get to complain about what the association is doing. If you want to have a voice, you must start by first participating in voting for those you want in office.

    • Snakeden Sam

      Some political scientists would tell you that low turn-out reflects an electorate that is basically satisfied with the status quo. Or not sufficiently dissatisfied as to bother with voting.

    • Rational Reston

      If I could have submitted my ballot blank I would have voted.

  • Why do you bother?

    Um………clinched. Although I’m sure that some folks’ anatomy is clenched after the results.

  • Sounds Like More Of The Same

    Now can we put the Lake House stuff behind us and move on, pleeze? The results are about what I expected.
    Sorry that Bobzein will be the next RA president. That cake was already baked though. Hudgins will have a compliant board.

    • Tetra Troll

      Exactly, just what see wants in her last year in office!

    • cRAzy

      No rule says Bobzein will become President. It’s up to the Board to vote on that, and I have no idea how that will work out.

  • OneReally

    There was an election? Since when?

  • Are you

    The CEO job posting is out. Why don’t some of you that think you know everything apply for the job?

    • Donald

      Why? It’s already wired.


      • CEO

        Wired in favor of who?

        • Donald

          Ask Ganesan and his associates. Just watch. It will become obvious.


          • Georgie

            Oh man you live in a fantasy world.

          • Donald

            You don’t think they’re going to do a true, bonafide, CEO search do you? The deal’s already baking.


  • Terpitude

    Sad that Iyer won. Hopefully the rest of the board will outvote him every time.

    • Truethat

      Yup, and they are showing what Iyer said all along about the board’s groupthink mode is true. They will get what they want, but Reston is watching and they will have to live with that as their legacy.

  • Donald

    Watching the board directors choose their committee participation was revealing and sad at the same time. The president did not lead. Ganesan continued to text – nonstop – with his PAC bosses. Watch the video.

    Bad start.



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