2020 Reston Association Board Election: Meet Robert Petrine

Voting in the 2020 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 2 through April 3. This is the last candidate profile. Featured here is Robert Petrine, who is running against Kerri Bouie for an At-Large seat with a three-year term.  

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

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

My wife and I first visited Reston in 1969 on our first trip to DC and decided then that Reston would be our home if we could ever move to the area.  We fell in love with Reston’s diversity of people, housing, income levels and its embrace of living in Nature. It seemed like a place where learning never dies.  

When a job opportunity arose, we moved to Reston in 1976 and have been here ever since.

What inspired you to run for the board?

We are in the midst of redevelopment of the TSA corridor that has changed our community forever.  Going forward we should collectively have a voice in the planning process. In my opinion, the most effective way to influence that essential work is through RA as our collective representative.  

I have been working intensely for the past 4 years with other community members to understand and communicate development that has already been approved as well as what may happen to our community in the future. Careful planning will be essential to maintain the planning principles set forth in the current PRC zoning ordinance including Reston’s founding guidelines.

My professional background enables me to advocate for improving RA’s financial reporting to members – posting monthly financial reports is not enough. Members need to be clearly and concisely informed of how money is being spent – it’s their money.  They shouldn’t have to wonder how much amenities and programs cost to run and maintain. The information exists, and members shouldn’t have to search for it. 

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

Supervisor Alcorn’s proposal to reopen Phase II of the Comprehensive Plan may provide our community an opportunity to contribute to the plan review in a meaningful way.  We must make the most of that dialogue to promote and protect the interests of RA members. 

The Board and the membership need the knowledge I have of business and financial operations to immediately address RA’s related issues.  

Reston is one of 14 cities globally that has been designated a Biophilic Community.  We as a community need to continually build upon work that is already underway to ensure that Reston is at the forefront of planning for and adapting to climate change.  

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

  • Ensure that the membership understands how RA assessments are determined; that the membership is regularly informed of RA’s finances in an easily understood way; and that an effective system of internal controls is in place and operating to established policies to meet the Board’s fiduciary responsibilities to RA members
  • Work to strengthen the role of the advisory committees in setting issues and priorities for RA with regular, periodic reporting of their deliberations by committee chairs or their representatives at taped RA Board meetings.
  • Ensure that Reston Association members are effectively represented on the taskforce to review the Reston Master Plan.
  • Promote an appreciation of and stewardship for the open space that makes Reston unique in the DC metropolitan area.
  • Encourage actions, both individual and collective, that minimize climate change.  In the long run, I believe that proactive solutions will save RA members significant future costs and promote a healthier community.

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

  • I have professional experience in finance, strategic planning, risk management, and financial regulation: 28 years of private sector experience as an auditor, accountant, and independent management consultant as well as the chief financial officer of two banks; and 20+ years’ experience as a federal bank regulator. 
  • I have served on several professional boards and civic committees including the Electronic Funds Transfer Association, the Greater Washington Society of CPAs, the Education Committee of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, and Metro’s Riders Advisory Council.  
  • In addition, I bring to the RA Board a commitment to community engagement.  Specifically, for years I have regularly attended meetings at RA including BOD, Fiscal Committee, MTAC, BGC and BOC as well as Nature Center events.  For five years I served as the treasurer of the Fairway Cluster, and I have testified before the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission on local land use, the PRC zoning amendment, and transportation issues.

Photo via Reston Association

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