News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canoegate 2011: Dissent Crushed, or Something, in RCC 'Preference Poll'

ten_canoes.jpegWe bring you shocking news from the most closely watched political race of this or any other season, the Reston Community Center Board of Governors 2011 Preference Poll. And in this bellwether election, the most talked-about issue has become the presence of canoes at the Wednesday forum:

On Wednesday evening, the six candidates in the Reston Community Center's 2011 Preference Poll will take to the CentreStage to outline what they would bring to the Board of Governors.

Candidate Rod Koozmin wants to bring a canoe on stage, and is miffed that executive director Leila Gordon has told him "no."

Koozmin says he wants to bring the boat because he hand made it in RCC's woodshop. The woodshop - expanding hours, availability and programming- is the central focus of Koozmin's campaign.

"I don't think bringing your canoe will work," Gordon wrote to Koozmin in an email obtained by Patch. "We have another candidate who builds things in the shop, and if you bring your canoe he should be able to bring his work, so I think it is best to just restrict this to the physical presence of the candidates."
Welcome to Communist Russia, where canoes bring you. But this is only half the story! Collected from a series of e-mails "obtained by Restonian," here are the real facts about Canoegate:
  • The canoe in question is called the "Wee Lassie," and it doesn't "take up any more room side-wise than, say, a laptop."

  • Per Koozmin, "it might actually be useful in an emergency like a fire should one occur during the candidates forum as kind of a shield."

  • Canoes could help fulfill the one-time dream of a series of canals connecting Reston's lakes.

  • Canoes are hardly a side issue in this election, given their long and storied history in Reston, which includes this... and... well, mostly just that.
So yeah, dissent crushed. You'd almost think this wasn't a democracy, but rather an appointed position to a governing body overseeing an organization with taxing authority and the power to advance multi-million-dollar projects whose leadership is selected by the county supervisor based on the results of a thinly attended "preference poll." Nah, that would be crazy.

Update: RCC is now allowing Koozmin to bring his canoe and display it in the lobby during tonight's forum, according to e-mails "obtained by Restonian." Democracy restored, all's right in the world, etc., etc.

Update #2: A Confidential Restonian Wiki-Canoeleaks Operative shared this account of yesterday's forum:
More crowded than a GOP primary election in Takoma Park, a standing room only audience of...12...sort of filled the RCC for this evening's "meet the candidates" event, one that competed with such other simultaneously occurring RCC programs as dog obedience class, K-9 detection work, and the Narcotics Anonymous meeting. After a detailed explanation of upcoming RCC voting procedures, which if followed in 1960 in Chicago would have swung Illinois into Tricky Dick's column, we were greeted by our moderator, the one and only Lady Fairfax. All six candidates, whom I truly laud for their civic-mindedness, came up with such memorably snappy sound bites as "I'm not a one-issue candidate, I'm 3-D", "It's not for the glory that I do this", "I am aging in Reston wonderfully", and "Let's polish up the stainless steel around the pool."

And, unless it were a stealth canoe that would prove useful in making waterborne getaways from the ABC store in South Lakes or transporting muffins at $16 a pop to Department of Justice conferences, alas there was nary a canoe in sight tonight.
Of course, the real scandal is that only 12 people showed up. Have we mentioned that this group has oversight of unpopular multi-million dollar projects?

In the interest of having more than 12 people hear what these folks have to say, here's video from Wednesday's forum:


  1. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonSeptember 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Never a dull moment in Reston, and if there were, Rod's Sharpening Service would take care of that.

  2. Rod Koozmin for Reston Community Center Board.I wish to emphasize opening the door to the woodshop. so that Reston citizens can use the woodshop instead of not use the wood shop. Currently the Woodshop is closed to citizens six days out of the week. This was not the intended purpose in creating a woodshop to have a closed door.
    I would like to have a period of time known as the after school hours open to young people emphasizing boatbuilding. For some this would be a fascinating possibility. There is a special beauty of wooden boats that will draw some to the woodshop and away from drugs and alcohol and sloth. Robert E. Simon has said that there is just not enough for our youth to do to challenge them.
    In addition I would like to establish a support group system. Do you have a project and need some help? Maybe there is another Reston resident that can help. Do you have an area of expertise? Can you be of help? Could you use help in complying with Reston’s Design and review board? Register for this group.
    I do not like to see power cords used to power the boom boxes around the pool. Every year thousands of people are electrocuted because they do not respect the dangers of electricity. Even though there are ground fault interrupters that may work to save someone, who would want to put it to the test? Let’s emphasize this safety practice to our youth.
    Let’s polish up the stainless steel work around the pool. It is badly tarnished with a green rust, giving a uncared for appearance.
    Let’s emphasize physical fitness and accomplishments in the woodshop and arts and crafts and person to person links on the bulletin board in the lobby of the main center..
    I ask for your vote and ask that you do not return to the board incumbent candidates who voted for the Browns Chapel Recreation Center disaster which wasted an estimated hundred thousand dollars of Reston money and was one of the most unpopular ideas in Reston..

  3. Vote for Rod. At least we'd have one board member who will say what the emperor is really wearing.

  4. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonSeptember 21, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Agreed, scubadiver. Rod has The Peasant's vote. Way past time to break up the clubby RCC clique.

    "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable".

  5. Hey, that's a wonderful idea, Rod, about the support group for the woodshop. I'm in the process of building a small methane-fueld generator on my back deck. However, as part of the process, I need a wooden barrel with a tight lid so that I can "cure" my family's excrement in it so that I get only the richest methane for my generator and, of course, to keep from antagonizing my neighbors with the smell of curing excrement. Could your group help me with the barrel project?

  6. Thank you Reston Patch and Restonian,

    Your willing to listen and story have made Leila to listen something that would not have happened without your presence in Reston. I could not take advantage of Leila's eleventh hour reprieve on the canoe at the forum since I was at work at Reston Wednesday farmers market where I am sharpening scissors and knives.

    I have not had time to look at Leila's latest wood shop report. I look at the wood shop as a woodworker not as a bureaucrat. What I am talking about is if you go there with a piece of wood in your hand, the door is going to be locked and not available except for the one day a week (evening Tuesday and Saturday). This may be a great solution bureaucratically but it sucks from a woodworker point of view.

    Leila told me once that there's a file on me there at RCC, like J Edger Hover once kept on US citizens he considered enemies. I'm wondering if under the freedom of information act I can look at my file? Leila I am not subversive, just a Reston citizen who wants to make things better at RCC.- Rod Koozmin

  7. You get my vote Rod.

    It would be a good thing to have kids doing this after school instead of smoking dope in the woods--(as the mother of two South Lakes grads I know this happens more than anyone would think). I would guess it is an insurance issue and that the shop needs to be supervised by someone tho?

  8. I think I'm voting for Rod too. The RA shouldn't get all of the fun. We should shake up the crystal palace a bit. Good luck, guy!


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