News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Week, Another Non-Partisan Partisan RA Board Endorsement

Several secret Restonian operatives forwarded us this "electronic message" from RA President Robin Smyers, encouraging people to vote for three "non-partisan" candidates and calling another unnamed endorsed slate of candidates -- presumably the Gang of Three endorsed by Save Brown's Chapel -- "a partisan slate of candidates who, if elected, could cause much harm to Reston."

Smyers endorsed David Robinson, Kevin Danaher, and Mike Collins, who coincidentally were the same three candidates mentioned in another "non-partisan" e-mail about snow removal sent by the RA. Well, knock us over with a feather! Smyers' "electronic message" is below:

From: Robin Smyers
Date: March 5, 2010 10:16:23 PM EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Good Candidates to Support - Please VOTE

Dear Friends and Fellow RA Members, The RA Board of Directors candidates‚ ballots have been mailed and it is very important that those whom we elect are people of integrity. There have been unfounded attacks on RA recently, led by a special interest group looking out for its own agenda, rather than looking out for Reston as a whole.
This coalition has put forth a partisan slate of candidates who, if elected, could cause much harm to Reston.
Please give your consideration to the following non-partisan candidates who have experiences that would make them thoughtful and contributing board members and who are enthusiastic about Reston and willing to put in the work needed to guide us in the years ahead.

If you live in Lake Anne/Tall Oaks or in North Point, you have the opportunity to vote for two of these three excellent candidates.
If you live in South Lakes or Hunters Woods/Dogwood, you can only vote for David, but he‚s terrific!

*On a personal note, even though I will soon be leaving Reston, my heart and passion for this community will never fade. This community is worthy of the enthusiasm these fine candidates are willing to dedicate to our members and your vote counts!! This community deserves leaders who have no personal agendas, vendettas, but bring educated ideas and openness to this important time.
For the record, we think Smyers has every right to endorse candidates she supports, particularly since this message was not sent through official RA channels. Other board members have done the same in the past, and we suspect they always will. We just can't recall a RA Board election that's generated this level of emotion.

Here's the problem: Neither knee-jerk suspicion of the RA's motives or the blanket dismissal of any criticism of the RA are a good omen for the future of our beloved beige community. Let's hope whoever winds up getting elected manages to move beyond that point.

118 comments:

  1. I suspect that, in the mind of a lot of voters, an endorsement by Smyers is the kiss of death for those three candidates.

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  2. The reason that this election is so heated is the stakes are high. Smyers, the current president, is termed out and there will be a board vote for a new president immediately after the election. With the development and density issues that are bearing down on Reston like a freight train (ok metro rail) this may be bigger than Reston. You have to ask yourself...why are Smyers and Chew pulling out all the stops and getting so heated over this election?

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  3. first Simon, then Smyers? please give these guys a chance. They can't be that bad.

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  4. From Robin's letter

    "This community deserves leaders who have no personal agendas, vendettas, but bring educated ideas and openness to this important time."

    I couldn't agree more. However, it looks like Robin is the one with a vendetta and personal agenda... and wasn't the biggest complaint about her administration it's lack of openness?

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  5. I'm confused...according to the ballot it looked like I could vote for anyone? Was that not clearly outlined? That makes me upset, if it was clearly stated, then my bad. But I voted online, and I had a choice of any candidate...this is all starting to sound stupidly managed..Good luck counting and figuring out all those votes.

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  6. The one good thing about Smyers' letter is that it is almost a certain "kiss of death" for her candidates. If Robin wants them, few others will after the debacle of her leadership the last several years.

    The use of the term "partisan" lowers this letter to demagoguery. She accuses a "special issue group" of endorsing a set of candidates with a narrow point of view. Then she turns around and endorses her preferred set of candidates who, strangely enough, apparently share her narrow point of view. This is campaigning at its worst--hyperbole and innuendo capped by arrogance and hubris.

    The fact of the matter is the candidates proposed by the "special interest group" are so much more experienced, pragmatic, and open than Ms. Smyers' gang that they should win in a landslide.

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  7. What are Robin and co so afraid of? RA, RCC, all those RA committees where the members are appointed by the board, they do a great job of making sure that everyone shares the same point of view. It's an incestuous group of people running everything and there is no tolerance for different opinions.

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  8. The issue of partisanship is the great concern. Not the internal partisanship of Board v "name your group that opposes them" as an intra-RA matter though.

    I looked at Mike Collins web site and he says, “Since moving to Reston, most of my involvement in the community has been as a volunteer for several Democratic political campaigns. One reason I became a candidate is to demonstrate that younger professionals can and should be involved in local government and community affairs. I feel I have something to contribute and hope my campaign will encourage my peers to do so too. “

    Is Mike a Democratic politician or Restonian?

    I looked at the background of Richard Chew, David Robinson, and Kevin Danaher too. All of those people met, or are closely acquainted by, their involvement with the local Democratic Party.

    In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with that at all. My concern is that the three of them are running as a block, and Richard Chew is managing their campaign coordination.

    Is the FFC Democratic Party trying to control the RA board? That scares me. For one thing, we are a homeowners’ association not a city council. For another, the bylaws require that RA is apolitical.

    I don’t draw any conclusions, but as I ponder motive, I can see where Cathy Hudgins may wish Restonians to remain silent while she completes her work on Reston Master Plan. We may be seen as a fly in the ointment, and she may not want us buzzing around.

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  9. As my sister would say Robin thinks that her shit doesn't stink.

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  10. Leave it to Robin to lower the level of election discourse to utter trash....

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  11. Anon 9:48 wrote: "You have to ask yourself...why are Smyers and Chew pulling out all the stops and getting so heated over this election?"

    Yes--why indeed? These positions are unpaid and typically set individuals up for being on the receiving end of endless complaints and accusations.

    I haven't not always agreed with Ms. Smyers, I think the RA Headquarters issue was poorly conceived, communicated and everything else; however, I do not believe there was anything sinister in her intent. Time and time again I have seen her continue to attempt to work with some of her most vocal opponents--

    We are so ugly in our tearing down of these people who devote enormous amounts of time trying to serve the needs of our community, you don't have to like the approach, but really I think it's just wrong to vilify the individual.

    I don't know who I'm going to vote for yet--but I'm thinking it will be either Rando or Danaher as they seem to be the only ones with a solutions approach rather than a *NO* approach. The SBC group has already shown the lengths they will go to get their way and I just don't think that serves the best interest broader community.

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  12. Really Anon 10:15 & 10:17? Who's lowering the level of discussion?

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  13. Yet another example of smyers' egotism. Doesn't she get that she is the source of much of the antagonism toward RA today?

    RA elections were as "partisan" in the late '80s early '90s, with slates of candidates running together.

    At the arch forum, Knueval and Greenburg demonstrated that they did not understand the issues facing RA but spoke in generalities that were either inappropriate to RA or uninformed.

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  14. Clearly Hudgins has a stake in this. She/Fairfax County want to get their massive high-density development approved without any protests from the people who live here. SBC stopped the rec center at Browns Chapel which Hudgins clearly wanted.

    Hudgins sold out to development long ago. Even die-hard democrats don't support her anymore.

    Elect Robin's 3 candidates to the board and we will be inviting Fairfax County to do whatever they want with Reston. Fairfax County is built-out the only way to increase tax revenue is to redevelop existing communities and they are foaming at the mouth thinking about what they can get from Reston.

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  15. uhhh -- again, many that support "that partisan group" are Democrats... go figure. Huh, must be the issues, not the party label...

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  16. uhhh -- believe it or not, many of the supporters of "that partisan group" are Democrats...go fugure...

    Hmmm... must be the issues, not the party label.

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  17. Anon 10:13 If you think the RA committees are in lock step agreement, you should go to a committee meeting where there are many contentious and vociferous disagreements.

    Anon 10:14 Robinson is a Republican. Danaher is not a member of FFX Demo. Cmte.

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  18. Danaher is probably the most dangerous of the candidates running. He works for RCC and so does his wife. It is in the best interest of RCC to increase their SD5 tax revenue by increasing density (both business and residental). RCC doesn't care whether the new residents/businesses are part of Reston Assoc or not. They get the tax revenue regardless. You can bet that Danaher will vote for anything that increases density. And don't forget that RCC can't buy land so they will continue to go after RA land.

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  19. Indeed Danaher = developer

    Vote RANDO (and Joe)!

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  20. First Anon 10:24: If Reston were politically a city, we would control the land use not the County. It already is a city by every other measurement.

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  21. The Danaher's family income depends on RCC. Do you think Danaher will ever vote against what RCC wants? He has a clear conflict of interest.

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  22. Anon 10:33 Nothing stops a Small Tax District from buying land. The Fairfax Board of Supervisors controls its budget and its land may be held in the name of the County in trust for benefit of the Small Tax District. Since the Small Tax District is entirely in Hunter Mill District, 99% of the time the other Board members will defer to the Supervisor from Hunter Mill.

    The RCC Board is merely advisory to the Board of Supervisors.

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  23. Please keep the political party mess out of these discussions... I can give a rat's arse about who's a what, and he's a that... This is a Homeowner'S Association geezzz...

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  24. Thank you Robin. These words from you are a great compliment to that "special interest group" . Your message only demonstrates that the deficit of integrity is with you and unfortunately through your office and the behavior of other RA board members with Reston Association.

    There are two meanings for the word 'partisan'. The first and literal meaning is 'organized into political parties'. I think you can see if there are candidates that are partisan it is the Smyers/Chew Snowgate threesome.

    There is another meaning for 'partisan'. In WW2 'partisan' was a term for 'paramilitary forces engaged behind enemy lines'. They were brave, freedom fighters who contributed to a war against tyranny. It would be unfair to those brave souls to even draw a comparison to mere Reston politics. But if you choose to throw labels around then I think they should accept it proudly. They are partisan and you and Chew are tyranny. I know which side I am on.

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  25. geezzus this is getting fascinating ... freedom fighters vs the evil empire... Hey BiCO, can I join ya Arlington... Restonian, you must be loving the AdWords hits and revenue -- traffic must be way up...

    Folks... I just want to make sure my $500/year is being spent wisely, and not going to go up anytimne soon. I'm watching the Village Centers turn into strip malls, while others are literally closing up. Do you really think the Reston ASSOCIATION can impact the coming development -- except for design, and covenants.

    My god, don't you think the folks living on the perimeter of Reston see the same things coming with Metro...?? Did you know they are voicing their thoughts as well...??

    Everyone here should get off their little arses and realize RA is just one step above a cluster -- and BTW, my cluster is better managed, without this nonsense.

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  26. SHAME ON YOU smyers!

    What a hypocrite you are!

    The sooner you leave, and take your disastrous legacy with you, the better for all!

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  27. Wow. What a way to end a failed regime.

    I call for Smyers' resignation here and now. No need to wait for her term to gracefully expire -- she is a hpocrite and an ignorant one at that.

    Who will second this motion?

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  28. I'm loving this... you folks have a lot of time on your hands...

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  29. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)March 9, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    (Watches people foam at the mouth. Shakes head at the name-calling and blind accusatory remarks). While I may be guilty of hurling around the word "NIMBY" chronically on this blog, I very rarely ever make a personal attack against anyone else, and if I do I try to recognize such a "heat of the moment" incident and atone for such an egregious error in judgment. A few items I'd like to touch upon:

    1.) Why does a candidate's party affiliation even matter? I'm a registered Democrat who is socially liberal (happy to see gays getting married today in the District), fiscally conservative (bailing others out from their own mistakes with MY hard-earned dollars?!), and who always votes for the CANDIDATE---not the party. Just because I'm a Democrat doesn't mean I'm aligned with Cathy Hudgins, and just because I have friends who are Republican doesn't mean that they are loyalists of our former president. Can we stop this ideological in-bickering about partisan politics?

    2.) This is a HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION! Get a grip, people! If you have this much free time on your hands that you curl up in the fetal position worrying if they'll make ecru a DRB-approved color for front doors, then your life is pretty darn good overall, no?

    3.) What incentive would ANYONE have to run for a leadership position within RA if all they do is field complaints and personal attacks from the public at-large? There's no financial incentive, right? Granted saying you "managed" a rapidly growing community of 65,000 would do wonders for your professional resume, but that's about it. I haven't fully decided yet to leave Reston in favor of Arlington (this is dependent upon whether or not Archstone intends for me to pony up well over $1,300/month for my no-frills 1-BR apartment or is willing to negotiate), and if I DO stick around then you can all bet your arses I'm getting much more involved than I have been as of late. The youth here (i.e. under-30) truly has no voice (it's sad when the aging populace here is calling 40-year-old candidates "young"). I'd love to rise to the call through becoming more active in community happenings to give us such a voice. If I'm going to be expected to pay Arlington-like prices for a Reston apartment, then Reston will have to start justifying an Arlington-like quality-of-life for young professionals, which it has yet to do for most of us.

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  30. Come on BiCO -- you are underestimating yourself and your own value. YOU are intelligent and respected voice here -- so please don't move to our neighbor to the east and abandon us in our time of need.

    I will vote for you and support you and help you campaign for whatever office you may seek (anonymously or not).

    Now, why don't you buy a place in Reston and take a tax credit for the effort? I am sure you can get a lot more for $1300 by owning than renting in Arlington.

    PS -- I am a registered (whatever that's worth) Republican, I support gay marriage, and believe youth (however that's defined) are under valued and represented in Reston. If you can drive a car at 16 and fight a war at 18, you can and should run for and be elected to office!

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  31. I like Mike Collins. I met hime the other night at the Museum Concert. I like Kevin Danaher. I have known Kevin for many years and have worked with him on many projects. He is very intelligent and I am glad he is running as I thing he should share his good judgment, his reasoning power, his hard work, and his dedication to duty with the community.

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  32. Go for it BiCO... stay here in Reston and get involved... a breath of freash air.

    I wholeheartedly agree -- party affiliation has no place in RA in affairs, and is meaningless noise.

    Folks, he's right -- IT'S A FREAKIN' HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION!!!

    God bless any of these candidates willing to put their name forward and volunteer their time...

    Holy crap -- where's the Tylenol....

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  33. bico you're not a registered demoncrat - there is no voter registration by party in Virginia.

    Archstone won't negotiate. Their rents are set at corporate HQ not by the local manager.

    Its normal for 20 somethings not be involved in community affairs, they're spending all their time in romantic and business affairs. Its also normal for folks in their 50s and 60s to be more involved. The kids are grown and gone and they've still got the energy to get involved.

    With no town/city elections and the closest local electoral office representing 110,000 people covering both Reston and vienna and lots of others in between, its kind of a surprise that Reston Association elections haven't been more contested over the last decade or more.

    Sure its a homeowners association. But there are very few hoas in the country with 65,000 people in its boundaries, its much more like a small city with factions, bureaucrats and severe anonymity between the appointed and elected officials and individual homeowners. Most folks in Reston could not tell you who their cluster president it. Never mind their RA rep or the ED of RA.

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  34. Bico, I am so with you on points 1 and 2. But I would like to make a point about #3. I have read some of your previous posts and you are a renter. Therefore you just may not be looking at the prospects for financial incentive the same way that some of us do. Who ever controls Small Tax 5 calls the shots. If the RA board is not in lockstep with RCC and therefore the county, then Fairfax County has a lot harder job rolling over Reston with development without infrasture improvement. Financial incentive is huge in this election, not in the pocket of the board member (we hope) but in control of the tax. Those of us who are homeowners are very aware of the amount we pay a year in Small Tax 5. (not meant as a knock on non homeowners in Reston)

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  35. what is the voter turnout in RA elections?? I suspect very low...??

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  36. Can we elect an 18 year old? The RA board is in need of adult supervision.

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  37. That's the point --- RA is a homeowners' association and has gone FAR beyond its authority by getting involved in county business.

    We have acres of land, pools, tennis and lots of other amenities that are our focus -- stay in the sandbox you've been given and draw within the lines!

    Will you do that BiCO?

    If by change, you do move to Arlington, please be our "foreign" correspondent so we can see how good redevelopment can and has been in Arlington County. Thankfully they buried most of their metro...but I guess I digress :)

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  38. Anon 11:53 the average bill for a homeowner to Small tax District #5 is less than $200 per year!

    The rate is $0.047 per $100 of value. The rate is set by the Board of Supervisors. Your annual cable bill is higher.

    Your RA dues are 2.5 x that amount but not set based on value of each house.

    Anon 11:56 Zoning and land use issues used to be addressed by the P&Z Committee of RCA starting back when Gulf/Mobil still controlled RHOA, they didn't want the homeowners interfering with their plans. RCA was organized to give homeowners a voice. But with the developer no longer controlling RA, it was believed that RA was a more accurate reflection of community sentiment and the P&Z function shifted to RA.

    Also in those parts of FFX with hoas, it's normal for hoas take an active role in zoning and comp. plan reviews.

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  39. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)March 9, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Actually, I appreciate the encouragement, and I may decide to stay in Reston after all just bore everyone with my nonsensical diatribes. LOL! ;-) I'm not fully happy here with the status quo, but the way I'm starting to visualize my impending relocation is that I can either cowardly flee from an issue requiring resolve or stick around to confront it and try to improve upon it somehow to make things better not only for myself but for our posterity. Besides, nearly all of my friends live outside the Beltway---would I really enjoy commuting all the way back out here in the evenings to socialize or have to sever ties with them to create new friendships inside the Beltway?

    I don't think Reston is a "bad" place to live at all. It has a lot of qualities I really adore, not the least of which is its impressive tree canopy (despite heavy damage from the winter storms). I also like the extensive trail network, the recreational amenities, and the fact that for some reason unbeknownst to me we tend to get a tad more snow than many other surrounding areas. :-D

    What don't I like? Housing prices are rapidly approaching exorbitant levels for the middle-class. I'm a college-educated financial professional and can barely afford a 1-BR apartment here the way it is on a salary that was higher than the median household income in my former hometown. How will our service workers be able to afford to live in Reston if housing prices continue to edge upwards? Not everyone in Reston earns six-figures or has a college degree. I dislike that the answer to our traffic woes seems to be "widen roads." If you want to discourage traffic congestion then why not try to encourage people to stay off the roads altogether? Widening the roads will just make pedestrians and cyclists more nervous about eschewing their cars in the first place as the wider the road, the faster people typically drive. Also, by trying to be so NIMBY against new residential growth we're just going to encourage "leap-frog growth" in which thousands of people will move to Loudoun County (or Loco as I like to call it) and then bring their cars either THROUGH or TO Reston, only further exacerbating our traffic issues. Why not encourage these people to live here instead so they will be on our roads less?

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  40. When the metro stations were planned in Arlington, they made a decision to preserve residential neighborhoods. That was the only way such big changes to the town could be politically accomplished. Unfortunately many of our older neighborhoods are being considered for redevelopment. They will be replaced with high-rise apartment buildings just like those proposed at Fairway Apts. The developers will make a lot of money, the county will get more revenue. What will Reston lose? Our identity. Our open spaces. The RA board members have kept the homeowners in the dark about the county's plans. It's time we had some board members who will represent the homeowners and what they want. Vote for Guy Rando.

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  41. I sat in a board meeting last Spring where Cheryl Beamer and president Smyers talked at great length about the importance of building a rec center and building a grand headquarters so that RA would NOT be considered JUST a homeowners assoc. They said we have a choice we can be a homeowners assoc or something more and they made it clear they wanted more. While they are dreaming up these grandiose schemes RA basic services continue to go downhill.

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  42. The RCC desperately wants a new facility. They want a bigger empire to run. They keep telling us that Fairfax County will not build a rec center here. Yet, that is for them a self-serving position. Do you think the RCC wants the county to build a rec center?

    Leila used the increased tax revenue from RCIG as the means for funding a new rec center. If RCIG brings in that much new revenue let the county use some of the funds to build a rec center here as they have done elsewhere in the county.

    No one wants Kevin Danaher to win more than Leile Gordon and the folks from RCC. Leila won't be able to vote though because she lives in DC.

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  43. Exactly where in the RA governing documents is that "choice" granted?

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  44. Leila is another arrogant hypocrite. She embarrassed me to no end with her arrogance at last year's discussions on the rec center with her defiant I know what is best for you tone and disdain in her voice.

    LISTEN lady, listen! Two eyes, two ears, one mouth -- use them in the proportion that whomever you may believe is your creator intended them to be used!

    If she wants bigger and better, let her go work at the KenCen or the Smithsonian -- in HER city, not our unincorporated "town." Both are falling apart, supported mostly by taxpayers, stray far from their designated missions, and are suffering from decades of terrible management --- she will fit right in at either entity.

    --- at least Danaher lives in Reston and pays both the non deductible RA assessment and the STD 5 tax but his conflict of interest is so apparent that he's clearly not an appropriate, let alone wise, candidate for the board seat.

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  45. anybody know how much small tax district 5 money was collected last year? Is it over 10 million? There is a reserve fund with 6.6 million in it currently and the funds are used to operate RCC. Anyway its a big bucket only to get bigger with more density allowed in RCIG.

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  46. I think Kevin is a really hard working person. I think we could do a lot worse. He did a great job in Ivy Oak on their condo association & he has a long history of involvement in the community, he's not a Johnny Come Lately associated with a single issue. I'm voting for Kevin Danaher!

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  47. Wow--you folks are really mean spirited.

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  48. Anon 12:12 is right, living in within the RA & Small Tax District boundaries cost the average homeowner 15.00 per week. Seems like a pretty good deal given the amenities. I don't think RA can stop any development, so if you are thinking that any of these guys can do that I think you are wrong. Oh...and I pity the poor bastard that wins cause I know it won't be long before you same people will be chewing on his leg.

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  49. The best argument against RCC is that other communities with rec centers like Oakmar and south run don't have to fund them with a add on tax like Reston and McLean do.

    Small tax proponents will scare you with threats that we who in in STD #5 would lose the preferential registration and infinitesimal discount. The discount never comes close to reimbursing the tax we pay each year and the preferential registration isn't worth the difference.

    Abolish STD #5 and let RCC be funded from the County general fund just like Oakmar and South Run.

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  50. HIckory Cluster Knuckle DusterMarch 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Anon 1:13,

    Are you a sock-puppet (aka Danaher?) or a real poster not affiliated with him? Because you are coming across as a sock puppet.

    Anyways, Guy Rando is the way to go!

    Vote Rando (and Joe)

    HCKD

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  51. the issue with small tax district 5 funds is not how much it is costing each taxpayer it is who has their hands in the pot. and its a big pot. As anon 12:12 points out is .47 per $100 home value. But anon 12:12 then says that your RA dues are 2.5 times that but our RA dues are a set at $515. I pay more in STD 5 dues than I do RA dues. I am happy to pay a tax to support RCC - we love it and my kids swim and take other classes. But don't try to imply that it a small amount "smaller than your annual cable bill" - that is an insult to my intelligence, and my annual cable bill. If you don't think that control of STD 5 is at the bottom of RA board politics, give me a different reason.

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  52. These are exciting times for sure!

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  53. HCKD--I'm surprised you'd be voting for Joe, you should ask him how he feels about your beloved Lake Anne, and no I'm not a sock puppet and this is a mean spirited group, and yes I am voting for Danaher based on my very own opinion and judgement, I like Guy but I worry that Guy will be single focused and won't get to anything but development issues.

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  54. If the any of the three Robin/Milton endorsed candidates win could not the other candidates file some kind of a suit against Mathews? Would any other homeowners association want to hire Mathews? If instead of terminating Mathews the new board could instead change his title and job description could they not save paying the quarter million?

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  55. Chew who sometimes appears clumsy is some kind of "Lieutenant" in the democratic organization. Following learned Democratic strategy slowly but surly he will achieve his aims!

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  56. If you really sat down and talked with Kevin Danaher you'd discover that he he actually listens to people and their concerns, then he looks at what is the most LOGICAL and best solution and then will explain it in a language you understand! My vote is for Kevin! He also has a great car!

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  57. Oh my gosh 2:41 are you a sock monkey too?! I'm so glad to know I'm not alone! Power to the sock monkeys!

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  58. I'm not going to enter the frey about the candidates but I will say that political affiliation is important to me. While no candidate should be strictly defined by his or her party affiliations, those affiliations nonetheless should tell you something about where that candidates values lie.

    So, no, I won't be voting a straight party ticket. However, to say that political parties don't matter and that party politics has no place in RA is just folly.

    And, BiCO. I understand where you're coming from but, as a no-growther, I'm hoping that you decide to take your Big City agenda to the east.

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  59. oyyy... this is sad

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  60. Rule one for anyone thinking of volunteering as a candidate for Reston Association Board of Directors ... run away as fast as you can. This is sad...

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  61. If you look at who is slinging the mud in this race it is Robin Smyers, Richard Chew and co. And then they accuse a certain coalition of being negative because they dare to disagree with her agenda.

    Excuse the analogy, but clearly Robin Smyers thinks that her shit doesn't stink.

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  62. Anon 1:56 STD tax rate is $0.047 per $100 of valuation. Your post left out a zero!

    If your house is valued @ $500,000, which is above average for Reston, you pay STD #5 $235 annually. Even on basic, Comcast's bill is +$500 annually.

    The real complaint is that we have to pay anything at all when folks using Oakmar and South Run don't have to.

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  63. I'm voting for Kevin Danaher! He's smart, hard working and an all around good guy!

    Vote Danaher & Collins!

    Anon 5:11 your comment stinks!

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  64. Anon 12:39 I think Leila is a HUGE asset to this community! You are so sadly wrong.

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  65. If you were in favor of that massive indoor rec center on RA parkland then by all means elect Kevin Danaher and you may get what you want.

    Leila doesn't care who's money or land she uses to get what she wants. She believes the end justifies the means. She wants a massive RCC run rec center for all the county to enjoy and Reston to pay for.

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  66. Folks... please... let's stop the mud slinging,

    To the SBC folks, please take the high road, knowing your cause and efforts were sound and just...

    To the RA board. be proud of what you've accomplished, knowing you volunteered for what most will say are thankless jobs...

    Let's move on now...

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  67. Hickory Cluster Knuckle DusterMarch 9, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    6:13
    SOCK PUPPET!

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  68. Ahh, so it's true. You're not allowed to *NOT* hate Robin Smyers or now Kevin Danaher and I guess Leila Gorden is to be added to this list. So this blog is just for the group that hates these folks? Well tough toe nails HCKD, I think these people have done an exceptional job, not a perfect job, but a pretty damn good job and I'll take that any day over small minded, narrow focused NIMBY attitudes that you are displaying. And I'm going to post here all the damn time, so bite me!

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  69. Danaher will frost the cake with IPAR as the developers are cutting it. He is in the county pocket and cares nothing for RMAG. Collins is in over his head, he's not going to hit the ground running. This is just an HOA, yes; but it's all we have to communicate Reston interests and requirements to county and state authorities.

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  70. Vote for Kevin Danaher! He carries his own water!

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  71. Kevin's a snappy dresser!

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  72. I walk with Kevin Danaher and he picks up after his dog!

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  73. Crap we're not allowed to like IPAR either?!

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  74. Yeah--what Tim said!

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  75. Is there an echo in here?

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  76. Leila is arrogant and she's a narrow-minded spend and tax DEMOCRAT -- she was the one who brought up HER politics and her tax and spend mentality in the so-called listening sessions RA and ARCH sponsored last year.

    Let's get this clear:

    Leila doesn't LIVE here
    Leila doesn't PAY THE RCC TAX
    Leila pays NO FAIRFAX COUUNTY PROPERTY TAXES
    Leila pays NO FAIRFAX COUNTY PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES
    Leila pays NO VIRGINIA INCOME TAXES
    Leila pays NO RESTON ASSOCIATIOL ASSESSMENTS
    Leila is NOT ELECTED
    Leila does not represent the people

    but she benefits by many tens of thousands of dollars per year in salary and benefits.

    Now that's self serving if ever I heard it!

    She only self-serves by seeing that the RCC and its not-wanted tax district continues to pull in excess amounts of money and provide services that are replicated elsewhere, or not wanted at all, by those who are forced to pay for her sacred cow.

    If she's so for the RCC, then move to Reston, pay the taxes and walk the walk.

    And, of course, shut up more often, bite your bitter tongue, and listen to those who pay your salary, Leila.

    I won't go so far as to say I hate Leila, but I damn well have a right to do so in this country if I wish to, and I have the right to write about hate for her (or anyone else) if I so wish.

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  77. Wow. This has been almost as much fun as somw of the flame forums on other boards.

    Keep up the good work.

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  78. Robin Smyers is a disgrace to all of Reston.

    Let me say that again:

    Smyers is a disgrace to all of Reston.

    To disparage others, in the thinly veiled way she's done is the epitome of hubris and corrupt partisans. We may be some 20 miles from Washington, DC, but, please, let us distance ourselves from that cesspool of dysfunction and corruption.

    (Marion Barry for the next RA president anyone? I hear he's looking for a job).

    Smyers should apologize then resign in respect for office she's tarnished and disgraced.

    She should be ashamed of what's she's done and the harm she has caused to Reston.

    Reston should be annexed into Herndon or Vienna and the RA dissolved and abolished. It's a failed institution lead by an ever lengthening list of failed "presidents."

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  79. I spoke with Hoyt N. Chick, homeless man living in a campsite adjacent to the Herndon-Monroe Park (October 14, 2009 Fairfax Times).I was sad to learn Hoyt has been in the Hospital for a week following a heart condition. You can send Hoyt a get well card care of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, 11975 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston, VA 20190 I like Hoyt he is a native son.

    Telling one lady today that I was a candidate she replied, Oh your going to have a hard time running against 'Scissor-man.'Then she took another look and said Oh MY! You are Scissor-man, wait until I tell my husband that I meet you. And : I hope politics doesn't change you.

    At this point in the campaign I wish to emphasize:

    1- I am the only candidate who has announced to try to reduce the annual fee. Fairfax County is lowering taxes and services why not Reston?

    2- I hope to encourage community in Reston by pushing for two way communication. For too long the Reston Association has emphasized only bureaucratic information and spends 1.5 million dollars for it. Today if you buy a toaster at Best Buy you can go on line and make a comment about it. Why not Reston? Two way communication will make Reston a closer community and will change Reston for the better.

    3- Why not have meaningful volunteer opportunities? During the recent shovel out lots of Reston Citizens volunteered to help and it was fun. One man brought his own Bob Cat tractor. Why can't Reston citizens volunteer to do things like run (with training) front end loaders and other equipment? A lot of people would enjoy this as a recreation and it might save Reston money and be fun. Instead the RA limits volunteering to pick up stick type of volunteering.

    Rod Koozmin Canididate for the at large Seat

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  80. Don’t forget we will host the Reston Master Plan Special Study Open Mic Night tomorrow (3/10) at the Nature House beginning at 7 p.m.

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  81. Ewok With An Inquiring MindMarch 9, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    Sorry, did I stumble into a Star Wars forum? I'm asking because of all this talk about RCC Princess Lei(l)a "Flash" Gordon and Richard Chew-bacca...

    Does that also mean we also have in this forum Obi-Wan Koozminobi and his sharpened light saber? And is innocent young BiCO actually Luke Skywalker searching for that special Jedi knight? And is ageless Bob Simon the ageless Yoda ("build density must we")?

    How did those election on Tatooine go, anyway?

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  82. I'm thinking more like "Robin Hood Men in Tights"...

    Mel Brooks would love this...

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  83. It amazes me how some are ready to jump on a topic or comment at a moments notice... almost like there are some professional bloggers ready to pounce...

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  84. What's an IPAR?

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  85. I'll tackle this one, since I know all the acronyms flying around up in this piece, and have come to be known, if I do say so myself, as the Reston Acronym ("RA") expert. There are exactly 1,444 Reston Acronyms. There were only 444 in 1970, which says something.

    "IPAR" stands for two things: The most common usage is "Iditarod Pontificus Agamemnon Reston." What that actually means depends on one's spiritual affiliation, favorite earth tones, as well as one's position within their respective phylum. It's complicated. You kinda have to live here for a few years.

    The other meaning, of course, is an average Reston golf score. But since no one in their right mind plays golf under any circumstances, that's neither here nor there ("NHNT").

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  86. While the old RA board is engulfed and rapidly going down in flames take look at a vision of the new board:

    While Lake Ann is currently in shambles, several business recently closed adding to the glut of empty stores, look to the new RA board to ultimately come up with a real Lake Ann revitalization plan. The RA will sign up all the individual slum lords, I mean owners (of empty stores) and set up a confederation of Art and upscale Craft and eatery business which will occupy the now mostly empty stores and empty Plaza. Look to the new RA board to work with Reston Community Center but not to build a rec center but to provide music and entertainment on the Plaza with a beach theme (how about Jamaican Music?; Beach Boy music? Both?) It'll be fun (not at some far off distant calendar date) THIS summer! Look for a second farmers Market to appear that will function mid week right on the Plaza. Look for a boat building at one of the now empty stores. It's going to be fun and exciting THIS summer at Lake Ann!

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  87. Isn't there a election committee that is supposed to oversee the election? what have they done in this election? They seem to have as much integrity as Robin!

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  88. Anyone who knows Kevin Danaher, knows he is a great guy. He is funny, honest, and fair. He is the best candidate for the job. He is all about bringing the community together.
    I VOTE KEVIN DANAHER!!

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  89. FYI, to the vote Kevin Danaher contingent. This blog is normally used to comment on things going on in Reston, preferably in a interesting and/or funny way. We don't use it just to shill for a candidate. So cut it out... your boring us. Use your candidates facebook page for that.

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  90. A Loyal Restonian - since its not your blog, give it a rest.

    Danaher and other candidates for RA Board have been attacked on this comment section on a story about the RA Board!

    Noticing that you didn't tell the attackers or those hawking the other candidates to stop, one is left to conclude you're a supporter of another candidate.

    If you don't like the comments, there is one fool proof solution: don't read 'em. Sheesh.

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  91. Loyal Restonian - its not your blog so it's not yours to say what should and shouldn't be posted here.

    Danaher has been subjected to some pretty callous attacks in this comment section on an article on the RA Board elections. Noticing that you're not advising the attackers or the proponents of other candidates to stop, one is left to conclude you're a supporter of another candidate.

    There is one fool proof way to not be annoyed by the comments of others: don't read 'em. Sheesh.

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  92. Loyal Restonian - I think you're jealous of the great support for Mr. Danaher! Go start your own blog and bore someone else!!!!!!

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  93. Robin Smyers, great letter. You make insulting people seem so effortless. I fondly remember your letter last year to Restonian when you called him "not an experienced journalist". We're going to miss you.

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  94. sooo ... we done now...???

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  95. 97 comments! (now 98) Holy crap!

    My favorites are from the Danaher supporter (sock puppet) going back and forth with himself to make it seem as though there is actually some supporters of Danaher besides Danaher himself (and Smyers.)

    One thing is for sure: this election has generated more interest than any other in my lifetime here in Reston.

    Interesting times indeed.

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  96. Why these people volunteer for this is beyond me... it is said public service is the best thing you can do for yourself and the community...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...
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    ...
    Except in Reston...
    Sad...

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  97. 100 ... not celebrating, sorry Restonian.

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  98. Okay so the board members are volunteers. Does this give them license to do whatever they want and not listen to their constituents. Smyers got herself into this position because of her arrogant attitude. She knows what's best for the community -- no need to actually listen to the community.

    Now Smyers and Chew are trying to rewrite history. We never intended to build a rec center at Browns Chapel Park. We just wanted to hear what the community thought about indoor recreation.

    Months before any public input meetings took place there were private meetings behind closed doors at which decisions were made. Decisions that no one in the community were aware of. Luckily for us there are rules requiring minutes to be taken at all RA and RCC board meetings.

    We have meeting minutes that document everything. Way back in March of 2009 a decision was made to locate a rec center at Browns Chapel Park. A decision was made to eliminate all baseball fields. A decision was made to name the facility the Robert E Simon Center. A decision was made to move all exercise classes from the RCC Hunters Woods facility to Browns Chapel. Decisions were made about what exercise classes to offer. A decision was made to move all swimming classes from RCC Hunters Woods to Browns Chapel. A decision was made to seek building permits. I could go on and on. It is all documented in meeting notes that fortunately we have.

    So yes, Smyers and co are volunteers -- does that give them license to do whatever they want. I think not.

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  99. There is a meeting tonight at 7 pm at the Walker Nature Center about what the master plan revision means to you and your neighborhood. Hosted by Paul Thomas of RA Board. Open mike. Community meeting. Better to go late than not go at all.

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  100. Darn it --- I wanted to be 100, but oh well, there was a 101st dalmatian, so that shall be me.

    In any case, we are not done --- we have to tar and feather Smyers before she leaves Reston -- hopefully we can keep her out for good and add her name to the

    Reston hall of shame.

    Why is it that in Reston we have tree limbs and stups lining our "parkways," but in Columbia, they have flowers and well-maintained, attractive signs everywhere?

    Guess that's why Columbia dumped milty matthews during the interview process --- he would drive his Lexus through the slum he fails to maintain.

    That or they could not afford his quarter-million compensation package.

    What do we have here? Poorly maintained, has-been, falling apart and faded marketing signs from 1980's developers!

    SHAME ON SMYERS for ruining Reston.

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  101. I heard that a Reston condo is putting together a lawsuit against the RA and Symers.

    The condo apparently have hired one of the best attorneys in town and will be filing the suit around the time of the RA annual meeting and before Smyers steps down -- or maybe the day after she steps down so she will not be defended by the RA and will have to pay for her own attorney.

    Anyone heard anything about this?

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  102. In Richard Chew's latest letter to the editor he states:

    Beyer asserts the RA Board “promoted construction of the $100 million Brown’s Chapel recreational facility.” Since he knows there was never any RA Board action in support of the conceptual facility, I can only assume Beyer knows his statement to be false.

    I think we need to remind Richard of the facts. The facts are the Ra board paid for a $100,000 consultants report produced for the purpose of justifying construction of a rec center. They also authorized engineers to develop site plans for a rec center at Browns Chapel Park. They participated in a joint task force with RCC that made many decisions about the rec center before anyone in Reston knew anything about it.

    Like any public figure involved in such a fiasco Richard is now attempting to rewrite history and he is arrogant enough to think he can get away with it.

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  103. Hmmm, Richard Chew comes up for re-election next year. Let's see how his arrogance works for him then.

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  104. richard chew is a two-bit fool --- he can eat his own dog food all he wants, but no one with any intelligence will believe his abominable attempt to re-write history.

    smyers thinks that he will be the next ra president --- but his own words will surely doom him.

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  105. Anonymous said...
    There is a meeting tonight at 7 pm at the Walker Nature Center about what the master plan revision means to you and your neighborhood. Hosted by Paul Thomas of RA Board. Open mike. Community meeting. Better to go late than not go at all.
    _______

    I did go but would be hard put to explain exactly what was said.

    Remember the Washington Post on New Years day?

    In: with concise communication
    Out: with endless meetings and jargon

    I meet earlier in the week one resident of Heron House walking his dog. He lamented that even though he went to numerous meetings regarding the Lake Ann revitalization including a County $100,000 study on the matter. Yet in the end nothing seemed to help and now he can think of nothing to help Lake Ann. He feared the same fate would come of the current talk about the Master plan. -Rod Koozmin

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  106. I heard about that condo lawsuit against the RA and smyers. It will sure be interesting.

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  107. Let me say this. I am a fan of lowering the the annual assessment. Go through the budget and eliminate things that cost money to citizens. At the meeting last night large urns of coffee were produced along with cake and cookies. A staff person appeared and set up a large camera to record Paul's rambling talk about the master plan. A new case of Sharpies and new box of name stickers were put out. Someone went out to Office Depot to get them. This was at some expense. Would the citizens of Reston be willing to not have this expense and have lower annual fees? I think most people would.-Rod Koozmin

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  108. Let me tell you something about these people. They announce with great excitement that there is going to be yet another MEETING! A new Meeting to produce NEW jargon about the master plan as if producing jargon about the master plan is going to be somehow useful. And that's basically the point of vies especially the RA/Chew three, David Robinson, Kevin Danaher, and Mike Collins.

    And let me tell you another thing. Every thing from Cathy Hudgins has a never done any good....for Reston! Cathy Hudgins nixed the town plan. That's why we are in all of this mess. And it's going to be bad.

    We have a subway coming here with no way to get to it. There will not be sufficient places to park and the buses are being canceled.

    Cathy Hudgins supervised the "renovation" of Lake Ann and it's going to hell. We are all going to hell in a hand cart and Cathy Hudgins is pushing us there!

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  109. The only beneficiaries of Hudgins are Section 8 tenants. We are getting more and more of them all the time. Don't forget that the county bought the Crescent complex (not exactly world class architecture) and is attempting to "preserve" it for the Section 8 masses flocking to Fairfax County's gold-plated benefits.

    Meanwhile. Lake Anne continues to fester and decay after years (almost a decade now) of "charettes" (yes, just another stupid government word for meeting).

    there's no shopping nearby, the buses will be cancelled and we we will be stuck with marooned section 8 tenants at Lake Anne---

    Lovely Reston!

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  110. Rod, I liked your last two posts. When you stay on topic, as opposed to your drifting off in a stream of consciousnes style, you can make good points.

    Just think, at the new meeting there will be more coffee, cake, cookies, Sharpies, and name stickers. It reminds me of when I worked in the federal government. Very few people gave a damn about being cost-conscious and using money wisely, because it wasn't directly their money with which they were playing.

    I'm now waiting to see if we all get a postcard from the RA reminding us to vote, a mailing that will cost a couple of thosunad dollars in postage alone.

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  111. Speaking of Kathy Hudgins she wants to make sure that they put more low cost housing in RCIG because she wants to ensure that the dems will control the area. I vote mostly democratic, however as a resident of Reston I think we have more than our share of low-cost housing. You don't see them trying to put more low cost housing in Great Falls, because the residents wouldn't stand for it, because they want their homes to retain their property value.

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  112. Oh and I forgot to mention our illustrious RA Board is writing a letter to the county begging them to add more low-cost housing in RCIG. Now as a home owners association, who are supposed to be protecting our home values, why would they do that?

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  113. RA is a homeowners assoc. They are charged with maintaining and enhancing our home values. They have completely lost focus. Richard Chew who is the democratic party precinct captain for his district is turning the RA into a sock puppet for Kathy Hudgins. Richard is trying to elect a slate of candidates who will support him in his bid to be RA President. We should be outraged. The RA is a homeowners assoc. The money we pay is dues, not tax. They are not a government. They need to stay out of government and politics.

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  114. Anon 9:40, 9:41 & 10:11 - the paranoid style of hoa politics on full display.

    It is not RA's job to enable your real estate speculation. That may be what some other hoas view as their primary purpose but you live in RESTON: founded in the middle of Virginia's "massive resistance" crisis, its originating principal being that people of multiple ethnicities, socio-economic levels and ages can live, work and play in one community. Advancing those principals is RA's job not maximizing the price on your resale. You want that other approach move to South Riding or Broadlands.

    Doing its job requires RA to engage in the decisions that government officials make about Reston, like what will the redevelopment around the Metro stations look like.

    If redevelopment around the Metro stations doesn't include workforce housing, then even more of the people who work in the to be built office buildings and retail shops will be commuting from Harrisburg, Martinsburg and Winchester as many in the existing offices buildings along the Toll Road do already. That would mean even more cars on the too few roads Reston has.

    Every other hoa in Nova gets involved in land use and other politics. With Hunter Mill containing over 110,000 people, there is no way each of us could communicate our preferences directly to the Supervisor. No matter who it was. So all supervisors in Fairfax, Loudoun and PWC reach out to the hoas to determine the community's preferences.

    For more than 50 year FFX has pursued a land use policy of exclusion, except in Reston which had a very different ethos. That's why the average density in the County at large is only 2,500 people per square mile while Reston which has 6,500 which is closer to to the density of Arlington at 7,300 and Alexandria at 8,400. Since FFX is mostly built out, the land use patterns we see today aren't going to change on a county wide basis. Thus, no low and moderate income housing in Great Falls, Oakton, Mason Neck or Clifton. For that we can thank, Jean Packard and Audrey More among many others.

    BTW it's Cathy Hudgins.

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  115. Wow,

    Your ears must have been burning.

    Kudos for dropping into the filthy web-log.

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  116. HCKD - Anon 12:17 is NOT Cathy Hudgins. Just a humble Restonian. Don't blame Ms. Hudgins for what Anon 12:17 wrote. She probably doesn't agree with all of it.

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  117. Cathy Hudgins is a lovely, law abiding citizen who cares for her community. She'a also a very gracious lady!

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