2020 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Caren Anton

Voting in the 2020 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 2 through April 3. Featured here is incumbent Caren Anton, who is running unopposed for the Hunters Wood/Dogwood District seat, which has a three-year term.

With the exception of minor formatting edits, the Q&A candidate profiles are published in an unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I have lived in the same house in Reston since 1989.  I moved here from Burke with my then husband.  We were attracted to the beauty, cultural and economic diversity, and strong sense of community.  Having grown up in a planned community in suburban Chicago, I felt at home.  And we found we could get the most for our home-buying dollar here, with a variety of styles from which to choose.

What inspired you to run for the board?

After 20 months on the Board in many ways I feel I am just hitting my stride.  I originally applied (in 2018) and ran (in 2019) because I felt passionate about advocating for the district in which I had spent almost 30 years.  I want to continue the work I started.  (See #4).  I am also excited to continue working closely with our new CEO in his second year.

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

As with most Restonians, I am worried about overdevelopment and insufficient infrastructure to support it and the resulting threat to our precious open space.  One of the reasons we left Burke all those years ago was traffic congestion and the amount of time it took to get from point A to point B.  Now the same thing is happening in Reston.  Another concern is lack of affordable housing, which is not just a local crisis but a national one.  The condos and apartments cropping up seemingly every week are generally quite expensive.  I am pleased that bringing more affordable housing to the Hunter Mill District is one of Supervisor Alcorn’s priorities, and I enthusiastically support his desire to convert some of our underused office park spaces into affordable housing.  Finally, our population, like our facilities, is aging.  I am concerned that, for many seniors, remaining in Reston is becoming more challenging, especially for those of limited financial means.  This goes hand in hand with my concern about affordable housing.

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

I hope to continue to do what I can to raise the profile of Hunters Woods/Dogwood.  I was very pleased to have successfully shepherded the Board’s long-delayed approval of the construction of the Butterfly Meadow Overlook across from the Pony Barn.  And I am excited to be working with our community’s stakeholders on repurposing the ballfield behind Hunters Woods Plaza. I hope to continue on the Board Governance Committee to help complete an updated Conflict of Interest Policy and develop a Code of Ethics.  And despite the Board’s decision to eliminate the 55+ Advisory Committee (a decision I supported), I want to continue to find ways for RA to help our seniors age in place.

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

Each Director brings his or her unique strengths and experiences to the table.  My “right brain/left brain” approach stems from my background as both an accounting and performing arts professional. In both of my careers I have learned to interact closely with a wide variety of personalities in often stressful situations.   I consider myself a keen observer of people, and I thrive on grass roots level engagement to gather information to assess the needs and expectations of the Members.  I’m a you-can-catch more-flies with-honey-than-with-vinegar type of person, and I believe making any gains towards problem solving will require healthy, civil interaction with my fellow Board members, the Association’s executives, the staff, and the County.

Photo via Reston Association

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